Vintage Rentals for Your Wedding

18th March, 2015

“Make Your Vintage-Inspired Wedding A Reality”

So you’ve decided on a vintage-inspired wedding. Maybe you have your grandmother’s dress in hand, or a spectacular vintage engagement ring. But where to go from there? Luckily, you’re not in it alone. There are so many fantastic rental companies specializing in vintage furniture, china or other accessories, and most of them also offer a styling package and more to help you design the perfect wedding day.

Little Vintage Rentals – New York City

Instagram: @littlevintagerentals

Little Vintage Rental China

Owned by married couple Mandy and George, Little Vintage Rentals specializes in “vintage china, tabletop items and accent decor.” Styling services are also available for clients who made need extra creative assistance.

Patina – Brooklyn, NY

Instagram: @rentpatina

Patina Furniture Rentals

Patina rentals, based in Brooklyn, specializes in furniture for your event: tables and bars, seating, and decor and display. If you already have a vibe in mind, Patina offers theme-based collections such as “the happy mod,” “boho glam,” “industrial farmhouse,” or “bourbon-infused styling.”

Distressed Rentals & Revivals – New Orleans, LA

Instagram: @distressedrentals

Distressed Rentals and Revivals

Popular rental company Mrs. Vintage has thrown in her lot with Distressed Rentals & Revivals, resulting in an absolute mecca of vintage rentals and styling services for the Southern bride in New Orleans, Louisiana. You have your choice of two collections, the New Orleans or Mississippi, with everything from larger pieces like furniture or seating to smaller accents like luggage, vases, and cake stands.

Past Pieces – Vancouver, BC

Facebook: Past Pieces Vintage and Vintage Inspired Wedding Rentals

Past Pieces, based in Vancouver, BC, specialized in both large and small accents and accessories for your wedding. They offer several packages to suit your wedding needs, including a day-of-coordination, set-up and clean up package, a package for brides on a budget, styling and photo-shoot, or the whole kit-and-kaboodle full service package.


Maggpie Vintage Rentals – Philadelphia, PA

Facebook: Maggpie Vintage Rentals

Maggpie Vintage Rentals

Engaged couple Jason and Maggie run Maggpie Vintage Rentals, based in Philadelphia. Primarily a rental service, they specialize in seating, tables, trunks and suitcases, china, and other unique details. like rustic signage.


We’re Talking Sapphires

17th March, 2015

some of the sapphires featured above

Rockefeller sapphire emerald cut ring

sapphire and diamond hat pin circa 1910

Logan sapphire

Art Deco Egyptian Revival pin

star of Bombay sapphire Edwardian engagement ring

Van Cleef & Arpels 10.51 carat Burmese sapphire and diamond ring photo from Betteridge

For in depth information about sapphires refer to this GIA Encyclopedia (Gemological Institute of America) it’s a great reference for all things gems!

our favorite sapphire rings from our collection


5 Vintage Inspired Weddings

11th March, 2015

There’s no doubt that vintage has become a huge trend in the wedding industry, through vintage-inspired weddings, gowns, engagement rings, and more…

The word alone can accomplish so much by way of explanation to your friends, family, and event planner. And the term “vintage” doesn’t have to be a blanket term. Perhaps you love drop-waist Gatsby-esque dresses because they flatter your figure (lucky you) or you fell in love with the lily-of-the-valley bouquets popularized by the English royal family. Focusing on one facet can help unify the theme of your wedding, especially at the beginning of the process when planning can feel overwhelming.

Here are a few vintage-inspired weddings we love, from full-on vintage commitment to a lovely blend of classic and modern:

Old World Glamour – Alder Manor - Venue as Inspiration

{ inspired by 1920s glamour }

Alder Manor Vintage Inspired Wedding

This incredible abandoned estate in Yonkers, New York served as the backdrop for Donovan Baddley and Becka Citron’s 2013 wedding. The bride wore a flapper-inspired Jenny Packham dress which exuded the old-world glamour of the mansion, which was built by mining tycoon William B. Thompson in 1912.

Daytime Tea Wedding – Tea Length Gown

{ inspired by 1950s dresses }

1950s vintage inspired wedding

We love how this bride’s choice of a knee-length tea gown which she made herself (!) went hand-in-hand with the couple’s decision to have a daytime, 1950s-inspired wedding. The fabric from the dress was authentically vintage and came from the bride’s grandmother’s fabric collection.

New Orleans Style – The Second Line Parade

{ inspired by 1960s New Orleans }

Vintage Inspired New Orleans Wedding

Much of the inspiration for my wedding came from the location, the city of New Orleans, and more specifically, the French Quarter. It’s a tradition there to do a parade after the wedding (usually from the church to the reception; in our case from the reception to the after-party). You hire a brass band to play down the street, with bride and groom and the entire wedding party following behind. It requires a police escort and is totally worth the extra planning. It was a great way for me to incorporate the rich New Orleans history and tradition into our day.

Tiki-Style Vintage – Theme Within a Theme

{ inspired by 1960s tiki bars }


Brooklynites Kim and Tom admitted that “vintage-tiki” style was their obsession, so it made sense for them to go with this very specific vintage theme for their wedding. “Tropical drinks, flowers, and sounds of the vibraphone and ukulele—they just create a fantasy getaway,” the bride told Martha Stewart Weddings. They served tiki cocktails and pizzas at the reception, and jetted off to Hawaii for their theme-appropriate honeymoon. The bride even incorporated the theme into her manicure, with little pineapples on each nail.

Modern Meets Classic – 2013 – NYC


Vintage style doesn’t have to overwhelm your vision of your wedding. We love how this bride and groom welded the two ideas of “classic” and “modern” into their wedding day with a classic black-tie celebration where the bride incorporated color into her gown. A nice twist to an otherwise traditional event.



Introducing Jessica Ferri

10th March, 2015

Our new vintage-obsessed contributor!

We are so happy to announce a new addition to the Erstwhile Team!

Why we love Jessica:

Jessica planned her vintage-inspired wedding which took place last April at the Beauregard-Keyes House in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her engagement ring is Art Deco, from the 1930s, and her wedding dress, veil, and shoes were all from the 1950s. The venue itself is a historical landmark, built in 1826. Her hair, makeup, and flowers were all vintage-inspired.

Hometown: Roswell, Georgia

Current Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Day Job: Opera Singer and Writer

Daily Uniform: In the winter, black everything. In the summer, vintage dresses.

Too many: Books. We need to build an extension on to our apartment.

Favorite Food: Anything Japanese. Also, tacos. A great steak, oysters, and a martini.

Guilty pleasure: Reality TV. I love Sister Wives and The Bachelor(ette).

Favorite City: I love Berlin and Rome.

Other vices: French Bulldogs, Matcha Lattes, Chick-fil-A.

Fashion icons: Grace Kelly

Jessica has worked as a freelance writer for over eight years here in New York. You can read more of her work on her website,




We’re Talking Jackie Kennedy’s Engagement Ring

10th March, 2015

Jackie Kennedy's Engagement Ring

The story behind JFK and Jackie’s engagement, which took place on June 24, 1953, may be disputed, but what is certain is that President Kennedy had excellent taste in jewelry. When he proposed to Jackie Bouvier, he went with a ring from Van Cleef & Arpels that features two stones: a 2.84 emerald and a 2.88 carat diamond. In 1962, JFK had the ring reset to include the accent diamonds on each side, which included round diamonds totalling .66 carats and marquise diamonds totaling 1.46 carats.

Jewelers Ballard & Ballard estimate the ring would’ve cost approximately 1.5 million dollars back in 1953, so we can only imagine how much it’s worth today.

Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring now resides in the collection at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts

It was exhibited most recently in 2003 in honor of of Jackie and JFK’s 50th wedding anniversary. We’d like to think the President would’ve chosen the emerald as a nod to his Irish heritage. Apparently his father, Joseph Kennedy, Sr. helped him pick it out.

As for their engagement story, there appear to be three versions:

  1. Since, at the time Jackie was working as a photographer for the Washington Times Herald and was covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in London, JFK popped the question over the phone or by telegram.
  2. Others say he proposed in the restaurant of the Omni Parker House Hotel, in Boston, where he made his first speech at just six years old.
  3. But the romantics believe the proposal took place at Martin’s Tavern, in Georgetown, in booth number three, one of Jack’s favorite haunts. According to Erin Delmore, at The Washingtonian, history buffs and romantics alike have planned their own proposals in that very same booth.

JFK and Jackie Kennedy's Proposal BoothWhile we don’t have any rings quite like Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring…

Here are our vintage diamond and emerald engagement rings!





nature inspired deco beauty

12th February, 2015

Why We Love This

This feminine, nature-inspired ring is unique for the Art Deco period. Art Deco rings tend to feature bold geometric lines and shapes but this ring has sweet leaf motifs on the shoulders. While the ring has a big presence, it feels very elegant.

diamonds unite!

6th February, 2015

Yes, we dress our friends!

It’s an honor to be the first, well maybe the second consideration, when our friends decide to tie the knot. It’s super fun picking out rings and forever being a part of the people we love :)

Rubies…perfect in their loveliness

22nd December, 2014

Vintage Raymond C. Yard Ad Circa 1930

In the 1930′s, demand for diamonds in the US was in decline. Because of this the De Beers Company, who was the sole owner and operator of newly discovered mines in South Africa, began an aggressive marketing campaign using photographs of glam movie stars swathed in diamonds to promote their prized gems.

In the meantime, rubies & emeralds were very much in vogue and definitely had their day in the sun.

Our own ruby find was actually originally a pearl clasp which was repurposed into an engagement ring! Made around 1910 featuring a Burma ruby! Certified Burma rubies command a premium. They are from Myanmar and for centuries this was the prime location for ruby sourcing. Basically the finest and most prized rubies ever to be found, were found here.

Beautiful Myanmar



favorites from my personal collection

21st November, 2014

In clockwise order:

1. As soon as I saw this one, I didn’t bother taking it off, sometimes it’s not clear if I’m going to keep something but if it comes home with me, that’s usually a pretty good sign

* Victorian **mourning ring made with black jet and an old mine cut diamond in the center.

2. These two sweet rings I always wear stacked together, I found them at the same time and they so perfectly matched I couldn’t resist.

Victorian gold ruby ring and Victorian sapphire ring both made in 14K yellow gold.

3. This was handed down to me by Jared’s mother, Susan, a very special gift..

***Edwardian ring made in platinum with a marquise ruby in the center and an outer scalloped design with sweet half moon cut rubies.

4. My engagement ring, which Jared found in his grandfather’s collection. FYI Jared’s grandfather is an antique jeweler as well.

Edwardian diamond engagement ring made in platinum with all bezel set diamonds, the center diamond is a cushion cut diamond orbited by old european cut diamonds.

5. My wedding band which is from our own line of wedding bands part of the By Erstwhile collection, yet to launch!

By Erstwhile wedding band set with old mine cut diamonds.

* The Victorian Era spanned Queen Victoria’s rule of England from 1837 until 1901.

** Mourning jewelry has been around since at least the 16th century, but it is widely associated with the Victorian Era, when mass production made it affordable. The trend reached its high point after the death of Prince Albert in 1861, when Queen Victoria, as well as members of her court, wore black clothing and matching mourning jewelry for decades.

*** Edwardian jewelry (1900-1915) is named after the period of King Edward VII reign. King Edward VII came to power after his mother, Queen Victoria’s death, in 1901. Known for being feminine and delicate with elements like filigree, bows, wreaths, and garland motifs which characterized the “Belle Epoque” style, which lasted 5 years past King Edward’s death

victorian art of diatom arrangement

20th November, 2014

Diatoms are microscopic algae which happen to come in many varieties of sizes and shapes.

Because they’re not seen by the naked eye the artist must find and arrange them under a microscope!

This art form dates back to the early 1800s and reached it’s peak of popularity in the late 19th century.


Diatom arrangements are a perfect example of that Victorian desire to display nature in rational ways.

Organizing and categorizing the natural world was very popular at the time.


These incredible patterns were sold along with other miniature curiosities, including microscopic photographs, to wealthy amateur naturalists who would exhibit them at social gatherings as an amusement.