County Wedding Magazine editor Laura Sutherland interviews Open for Vintage's director Sarah Byrne

Online boutique Open for Vintage's director Sarah Byrne shares her bridal-inspired jewellery box with Laura Sutherland

County Wedding Magazine editor Laura Sutherland interviews Open for Vintage's director Sarah Byrne: Image 1
Tell me a bit about how Open for Vintage works started.
I've always loved the art of sourcing and styling vintage, and have even run buy-and-sell pop-ups from my own home. I met our CEO, Colin rather serendipitously at a dinner party and we ended up discussing how convinced I was that there was a way that we could sell pre-loved pieces from lots of fantastic sources, giving them a polished online platform they may not have previously had. I've always thought that vintage doesn't have to be about trawling markets and second-hand shops. Open for Vintage allows consumers to shop beautiful, affordable and original pieces from premium boutique. The collection of fashion listings has been carefully curated from our 47 sources across the world. We're looking forward to reaching a more global audience who share our passions for these retro and antique items. Vintage fashion is anything that has both heritage and a future and is for anyone who is confident in their style – and this includes brides who like to push the style envelope on their big day. Brides-to-be want something truly special and one off to wear, it seals the memories of the day.

What's the oldest piece Open for Vintage stocks?
There are a number of designs from the Art Nouveau period and '20s Art Deco accessories, but we don't have anything from a period earlier than the 1890s.

What should women consider when shopping for bridal add-on pieces?
For me, and I'm sure a lot of ladies out there, you're also thinking, 'would I get a chance to wear this again?' Items like faux fur and fur jackets, traditional white paste, gilt metal costume pieces and the more expensive Kramer of New York rhinestone designs are timeless and can be styled to complement bridalwear and work for day-to-day accessorising.

Which eras and products are proving most popular with your bridal customers?
The '50s is probably the most popular. Back then, people had to go cheaper and substitute paste for diamonds, but even now it stands up as glamorous costume jewellery, with its luxe twinkle. At the other end of the spectrum, the delicate, fine Victorian and Edwardian pieces also do well with wedding shoppers. Aside from gems, little '20s beaded bags are a hit with Deco-inspired dressers, as do the clutches made from abalone shells.

Hair accessories can be tricky – does Open for Vintage have anything appropriate for weddings?
In terms of hair pieces, Open for Vintage runs from one end of the spectrum to the other. We have a selection of spectacular paste and pearl tiaras from labels like Butler & Wilson for the bride that wants to go for a classic Grace Kelly, regal look on their wedding day. Personally, I love Art Deco celluloid hair combs – they can be accessorised with most bridal and eveningwear outfits, but I think going for a whole period look with bias-cut gown would work fabulously.

Do you have any suggestions for bridesmaid gifts?
I think buying a different brooch for each bridesmaid to either wear on their dress or in their hair is a lovely way to make sure that each girl has her own meaningful memento from the day. If you're thinking more in terms of classic pieces, Miriam Haskell-style baroque pearl cluster bracelets are beautiful, appropriate for the occasion and carry a lot of history.

How about gifts from a groom to the bride?
One of my favourites that we have in right now is the '80s Christian Dior faux pearl and diamante bracelet and necklace set. The pieces have a real quality and weight to them, and would work beautifully with a simple wedding dress. Another piece that is quite charming and has a bit of history is the wedding cake bracelet. The wedding cake beads, which are Venetian Murano glass, are called fiorata. Made in the 1930s, this traditional little keepsake is also blue – perfect to add to your something borrowed, old and new!

To view Open for Vintage's full range, visit

Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre
Gloucester Blackfriars Priory
Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre
Gloucester Blackfriars Priory