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We've been celebrating our annual 'Tie the Knot' wedding and engagement event online and in-store the past week with new and exciting Goldcrest items and extremely useful guides to picking diamonds and precious metals by our bespoke manager Susie Lee. To round off the week of all things wedding, Alex talks engagement rings, bespoke pieces and Mr. Monroe.

Q; When people think bespoke, I'm sure there are a lot of people who think it involves a big scary budget and having a firm idea of what they want before they contact us. Can you talk us through how our bespoke service works?

Alex: The majority of people that come to us for a bespoke piece of jewellery are already aware of the brand and are wanting our signature style to merge with an idea they have. The bespoke service can vary from a simple change of stone to something we create from scratch, incorporating elements from our catalogue of designs to create something unique. Our process is definitely a collaborative process with the customer, in some instances we will have a client that has little to no idea of what they want but they know they want it in our style, which means we do take more of the design lead but at the same time ensuring they are kept informed of the process and feedback their likes and dislikes. On the other end of the spectrum, we have clients that come to us with very strong ideas and direction of exactly what they want. We've even had people come to us with full finished sketches! It's a journey that we want the custom to leave with their expectations surpassed and with a heirloom for generations to come.

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Q: You designed Denise's (Mrs.Monroe) wedding and engagement rings as well as your own. What was your thought process with such a personal and precious task?

Alex: Let's just say, when we got married, my budget was almost non-existent. The ring was a simple 9ct gold band with a white sapphire. Over the years I have made a number of rings for Denise, to either celebrate the birth of our children or transforming her mother's ring into an entirely new ring.  Jewellery is such an emotional investment, and it's something I try to put into every piece I do, be it bespoke or a collection. My own band is hopefully in a box somewhere, I wore it for about three seconds. Constantly working with my hands, makes it difficult to wear. A jeweller who doesn't wear jewellery!

 

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Q: Any advice for boyfriends looking to pop the question to unsuspecting girlfriends or couples shopping for their first ring?

Alex: If you looking to surprise your girlfriend and are unsure of her style or ring size. I'd suggest buying a holding ring maybe in silver or gold plate to propose with and to pop back in together to start the journey of your ring together. It's always good to do your research, our website is a great place to collate images of things you like, it could be a certain from flower from one ring or how a stone set in another, almost like a jigsaw puzzle that our bespoke team will help you put together. We have a great bespoke team here that can guide your initial ideas into a finished piece. Susie Lee, our bespoke manager has written two fantastic guides on precious metals and diamonds, that are an extremely useful read, I even learnt a few new things!

Q: Mr. Monroe is a small but slowly expanding mens range of Alex Monroe. Where do you see Mr.Monroe heading?

Alex: Mr.Monroe is another fun way to experiment with jewellery, it's a different thought process when creating jewellery and accessories for men than when you do for women. Whenever I create a piece for Mr.Monroe, I always reference my father's box that he would have on his dressing table with watches, cufflinks and quite masculine accessories. It's something I want to reflect with Mr. Monroe, a strong sense identity. I've created some really lovely cufflinks for my brothers and a few tie pins and Mr.Monroe is an area I'm really looking forward to exploring.

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Q: What would be your recommendations for the groom to wear on the big day?

Alex: For wedding bands, I'd personally recommend ones that compliment one another. Our new Papina bands are a perfect example. Our cufflinks of course, my personal favourite being the honeybees. I've never been a fan of suits and simple wear my  uncles hand me downs which  I quite like because they have a strong British Heritage and are quite a retro design. I'm a champion of British heritage and design and it is something we should definitely be proud of and shout about it from the rooftops. My favourite store in the whole world is called Old Town in Holt, Norfolk. They are a testament to great, simple design all made in Britain. I'm also a huge fan of Albam clothing, that encompass the same values. I also must mention our 'Mr & Mrs Chicken' wedding favours we recently made for Cancer Research. I designed them with myself and Denise in mind and what I would personally like to wear. It is such a worthy cause to be a part of and was very honoured to be approached.

 

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