About Me

I studied art, both from a perspective of practical design and from the perspective of art as an influence to the human spirit. My studies in art were at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and at George Washington University in Washington, DC. My passion for art and things of beauty brought me into the world of jewelry design. The wedding is a perfect venue for the display of beauty, and the bride has become the perfect "canvas" for my talents. Each of my handcrafted pieces has been described as a "work of art". Mary Clary Designs has been featured in "Bride's" magazine, "Modern Bride", "Greenwich Magazine", and "Fairfield County" magazine on numerous occasions. You can still have gorgeous, couture quality headpieces and jewelry for a fraction of what they would cost in a bridal salon or even on the web. visit: http://www.maryclarydesign.etsy.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Should the Headpiece Match the Bride's Jewelry?

Mary Clary Bridal Designs
 I like to coordinate the headpiece and jewelry by including certain similar aspects of the designs of each, so that they don't match, but that they blend harmoniously. If it is your style and preference to match everything, then, of course, you should and can, if you utilize a headpiece company that customizes the headpiece and jewelry.  Be certain that the pieces will be handmade.  A ready made matching jewelry and headpiece set is a sure sign of "cheesey."  With the right designer, the matching headpiece and jewelry can be created tastefully and beautifully.
     If your look is eclectic, it is pretty hard to accomplish this look for your wedding.  I love being eclectic in everyday fashion, however, I would not recommend it for a bride.  You really want to look completely pulled together on your wedding, not a mish mosh of looks and designs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

LGBT? Getting Married? Don't Forget Your Headpiece

Congratulations for finally having the legal ability to unite two souls in love.  Some of the most beautiful weddings going on right now are those of LGBT couples.  I have noticed,  however, that the one area that has not been showing up as much in LGBT weddings, as I think it should, is the headpiece.  Brides and grooms alike can pull out the stops and wear an adornment that signifies the wedding more than any other accessory.  It does not have to be a full tiara, although it certainly could be.  A beautiful accessory in the hair or on the head, will pull together this most special day of your life, and show everyone that you are the shining stars of your wedding day.  My recommendation is to consult with a headpiece designer who can create for you the most perfect headpiece that will signify your personal taste and how you want to reflect yourselves.  At Mary Clary Designs, custom made headpieces are my specialty.  I will be more than happy to chat with you about what look you would like to accomplish.  Attention to style, beauty, and detail are my highest priorities.  I also  have a wide range of price points for every budget.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Express Yourself

Mary Clary Bridal Designs

As a bride or groom, you want to express your sense of style on your wedding day.  A perfect way to be self expressive on the most important day of your life is via your headpiece.  In the modern society of the Western world, most people do not wear a headpiece in daily life.  The wedding venue is one of the few times in the life of people who are not royalty to don a headpiece.  The placement of an adornment on your head gives it the most prominent position in the bride or groom's ensemble.  Why not use this fabulous accessory as the first place to add your own special touch.  Search for a headpiece designer who will either customize the headpieces in the line that they carry or someone who will help you design exactly what you want. 
At Mary Clary Bridal Designs we do just that.  We will work with you to create exactly what you want your headpiece to express about you!!  We use the finest jewelry grade materials and create the most beautiful designs that fulfill your dreams.  Our prices are amazingly affordable to fit any budget.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Your Headpiece: "Something Borrowed?"


The only time that it is ok to wear someone else's headpiece is if you truly love the headpiece that is being offered to you, and you would have chosen it for yourself in the first place. You most likely would not even think of using a borrowed gown even if the fit were perfect. For some uncanny reason, the bride often considers the headpiece as an afterthought or unimportant trinket. It should be considered one of the most important elements of your ensemble. After all, it is near your face and hair. It's purpose is to bring forth the bridal glow in your hair and face. Everyone's attention will be drawn to you from head to toe. However, it is in your face that radiates your happiness on your wedding day. Your headpiece should be a very personal decision and it should be chosen with the utmost of care. Therefore, if it is your "borrowed," it might not be the perfect size, style, or fit for your hair and face.
Go to http://www.maryclarydesign.etsy.com/, and for a very reasonable price, you can have the perfect headpiece for you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How can the headpiece be worn after the wedding?

Mary Clary Bridal Designs

Some headpiece companies offer the prospect of either remaking your headpiece into jewelry that can be worn after the wedding or the possibility of wearing the tiara around the neck after the wedding.  I have found that initially many brides find this idea appealing as their practical side takes over.  This practicality doesn't usually last long.  Most aspects of the wedding are chosen by taste, love, and that once in a lifetime dream fulfillment.
The choosing of the headpiece should be based on all of the above mentioned aspects.  If the headpiece of your dreams is a convertible headpiece, that could be good.  However, most brides want to keep their headpiece in tact as a cherished memory of their wedding.
If you do go the route of convertible, be sure that the company that reworks your headpiece uses a fine quality clasp and considers your design preferences.  Unfortunately, many of the companies that offer this service, simply string the pearls and crystals and finish it with a very ordinary metal clasp.  You really have to conside

r if you would ever wear this reworked piece as jewelry anyway.
The other option is the tiara that is supposed to work as a necklace after the wedding.  Usually these pieces are uncomfortable and questionable in taste.
Mary Clary Designs offers both of these options with tasteful, beautiful designs that pay attention to all aspects of detail and quality.  If your choice is to wear your headpiece as jewelry after the wedding, we will work with you to make that dream come true.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Purchasing My Headpiece - "Online" or "In Store"

Mary Clary Bridal Designs

The short answer to the question as to whether purchasing a headpiece from a website is acceptable is definitely YES given the right set of circumstances. The following conditions should apply to your online headpiece purchase.

1. First try on headpieces in bridal salons to know what style is right for you.
2. Find a headpiece website that has similar styles and the ability to design and custom order.
3. Be certain that the headpiece website has a 100% guarantee policy in case the headpiece is not exactly right.
4. Order your headpiece with enough time allowance to return it and make revisions if necessary.
5. Compare pricing between bridal salons and websites. There should be at least a 50% savings for the same or better quality.

The beauty of purchasing your headpiece online is that if you purchase from the right website, such as maryclarydesign.etsy.com, you will be able to have the headpiece of your dreams at a very affordable price. The bridal salons mark up headpieces in a huge way. You will be paying much less for a much better, and if desired custom designed headpiece. However, as always, "buyer beware". You must be very careful that you choose a reputable website.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Should my headpiece have color? Yes or No

About 10 years ago, brides were using a lot of color in their headpiece. Often they would pick up the colors in their wedding color scheme. Sometimes they would pick up the color in the trimmings of their gown. Some brides would even try to accentuate their eye color via their headpiece color.
This trend abruptly changed to almost exclusively all white , ivory or pure crystal headpieces. Personally, I think an extremely subtle amount of color can be gorgeous. The color has to come from very high quality sources. Either the tiniest perfect peridot, acquamarine, rose quartz, or other gemstone, the tiniest of Swarovski crystals can add a very pretty depth of interest to a headpiece.
In general, color is still rarely chosen by brides. Because trends are cyclical, I believe we are on the cusp of a return to color. However, for the bride completely disinterested in the trends, a splash of the most subtle color might be just perfect for her headpiece.
As always, you as the bride, dictate your taste preferences. Always choose what you want and love as your look on your wedding day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Are Handmade Headpieces Better Than Mass Produced?

Handmade does not always indicate unique or better quality. There are many crafters and sellers in the headpiece industry who think that stringing some pearls and crystals on a comb or gluing a feather to a clip constitutes a headpiece. Surely, you wouldn't want Aunt Harriett gathering some flowers from her garden to make your wedding bouquet. In the same way, you wouldn't want her to create your headpiece. I have found that the best handmade headpieces are created by people with jewelry making, fashion, and hair accessory experience.

Handmade headpieces have more flexibility regarding the components used to make the headpiece. You need to be particulary careful that the designer uses the best quality ingredients. It is highly preferrable that they use jewelry grade such as sterling silver, 14kt gold or gold filled, freshwater pearls, gemstones, and Swarovski crystals. There is a huge difference in the look of a headpiece using inferior materials. The sparkle from Swarovski crystals is a brilliant sparkle, whereas other crystals don't reflect the light in nearly the same capacity. Many sellers of handmade headpieces say they use Swarovski, but in fact, don't. Some use plastic "crystals" that really don't sparkle. The same is true for pearls. There are some high quality faux pearls that are fitting to certain pieces. But, often, fake pearls are just plastic with a paint covering and have a very cheap look. You certainly wouldn't wear a necklace or earrings of such inferior quality. The headpiece should be considered as "hair jewelry" since it is an accessory worn near your face meant to enhance your appearance. You need to consider the design and quality of the headpiece before you purchase.

Quality control with a quality headpiece designer is more obtainable than with mass produced, machine made headpieces. Often, the machine made pieces have glued components that fall out very shortly after purchase. The last thing you want is a headpiece missing some of its parts.

If your desire is to express yourself in a unique way, then handmade can help. If you are working with a reputable designer, the creation can be uniquely yours. On the downside, some designers will not accept returns when the piece has been custom made.

Another very important aspect of handmade that can be crucial for some brides is the fit. If you have very thin or thick hair or a very large or small head, certain styles can work better than others. You can request your headpiece on a very fine toothed comb or on a small clip or even on bobby pins. A tiara can be sized either larger or smaller. Handmade has the versatility to accommodate special sizing requests.

With the right headpiece designer, you can get a unique, highest quality, beautiful headpiece that fits you and your style. At Mary Clary Bridal Designs, I represent the experienced few whose background reflects jewelry making, fashion, art, and hair accessories.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Headpiece - Yes or No

Mary Clary Bridal Designs

No one will dispute the fact that a woman's wedding day is one of the most special days in her life. For most women, being the focal point of a social event of this magnitude, only occurs on her wedding day. Since you are reading this blog, you obviously are either a bride to be or somehow involved in the wedding planning process. You know the enormous amount of effort involved in having everything from head to toe as perfect as possible. Certainly, the gown is the most obvious important element of the "look". From the starting point of the gown, there is a definite need for a bride to accessorize. For some brides, their lifelong dream was to be a princess on their wedding day. It is without question that these women will wear a tiara. For other brides, the idea of even a tiny bit of sparkle in the hair seems too girly girl. At Mary Clary Designs, we believe that certainly everyone has a different view of themselves as a bride, and we try to work with the bride to accommodate each individual. Of course, we adore adorning the head in some way.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"I am not completely happy with the headpiece my aunt gave me to wear"

     If you were given a headpiece that is truly beautiful and you love it, but it is missing some stones, and just needs a tweek here and there, you can have a headpiece designer fix it for you.  If the designer is experienced and good, she or he can replace stones, and straighten out any imperfection. 
     If you were given a headpiece or found a vintage piece that you love in certain ways, but you would prefer the components redesigned, a competent headpiece designer can also accomplish that for you.  The key word here is "competent".  You want someone who really knows what they are doing to rework your headpiece. 
     If you have just one component from a previously used headpiece that you love and would like to incorporate just the component into your headpiece, it can definitely be accomplished by using a headpiece designer who specializes in custom work.
    I love to design new headpieces and to work on older ones to bring them up to perfection.  Some of the most interesting unique and beautiful pieces are comprised of the foundation being the "given" headpiece with embellishments from many other sources.