One of the highlights of running this blog is coming across amazing new companies that offer something new and refreshing to the industry! I was particularly interested in new antique tableware and furniture hire company Hélène Millot Furnishings as I searched high and low to find antique props as gorgeous as these to no avail when planning my own wedding! I found it was relatively easy to find vintage china, vases, bunting and tables but really hard to find more unusual antique items such as the exquisite gold and silver cutlery, silver goblets and linens! You can even hire a taxidermy deer head or an old wooden boat to fill with ice and bottles! I think it’s pretty damn special and if you’re after quirky and unique decoration ideas then you should most definitely take a look! I spoke with Katherine from Hélène Millot to find out a little more info about the amazing products and services she offers…
What is the inspiration behind the company?
There is a very simple answer to this question! Hélène Millot is my late maternal grandmother. She was a Parisian dressmaker and costumier. She lived in Paris until she was in her 20’s then moved to the UK where she settled and met my Grandfather.
When I got engaged in January this year, my mother told me that stored away in her garage were lots of my Grandmothers treasures that I could potentially use at my wedding. What I found were hundreds (and I mean hundreds!) of solid silver cutlery, antique crockery, French linen, wine & sherry glasses, silver napkin rings, silver goblets, silver wine coasters & placemats, silver tea sets, old typewriters, record players as well as antique French dining chairs, armchairs and coffee tables plus many more amazing items. (My grandmother lived until she was in her 90′s so you can imagine how old some of the items are now!) Some of the linen had been signed and stitched by Hélène Millot and I even have her old letterheads from when she was working as a dressmaker. One of the trunks has a travel stamp from a trip to Paris -truly amazing!
So now we hire Hélène Millot Furnishings out to other brides who are looking to create a really special and unique setting at their wedding. Just a simple touch like using elegant cutlery, crockery and wine glasses can really enhance the beauty of wedding tables. It’s a small thing but can make a huge difference. We also hire to photographers and interiors stylists. I continually add to the collection, ensuring that all added items adhere to the style and elegance of the original Hélène Millot pieces.
Where do you seek your inspiration?
I have always been obsessed with anything old. Whether it’s from the 1980s or over 100 years old. This applies to most things whether it’s art, music, fashion or furniture. For me antiques hold so much beauty. We have a lot of French Limoge porcelain in the collection. The detailing on the plates is so amazing and all hand painted. You just don’t see this anymore what with mass production. I already mentioned the solid silver cutlery but each knife, fork & spoon are so ornate, you can’t help but marvel and wonder the history behind how they were made and who has used them over the years. Of course I am biased but in my opinion French antiques are the most elegant and inspirational!
Photo: Marie Wootton Photography
Are you able to source specific props/ items for clients?
Yes, absolutely. This is one of our services. We have a wealth of knowledge of antique fairs & flea markets all round Europe. We always love to add to the collection so if a bride is looking for a specific item that we don’t have then we will do our utmost to find it.
Are brides able to buy the props from you outright or is your collection only available to hire?
Unfortunately not. We can’t part with many of the items as they have too much sentimental value!
Photo: Marie Wootton Photography
What is the typical price range for your props available to hire for weddings?
Our hire price ranges from £100 – £600 for a 48 hour period. If the items are needed for longer then this can be arranged.
What areas of the UK are you able to supply your beautiful antique props to?
London & East Anglia (and surrounding areas)
You have a showroom opening soon in London, will this be open to the public and what can we expect to find there?
We hope to open it next year. We will display all the amazing items so people can browse and see up close all the pieces that are available for hire. It will be open by appointment so I will be there to answer any questions.
You also have a showroom in Amsterdam. Do you hire props to brides in the Netherlands also?
Yes we do! Vintage styled weddings are getting big in the Netherlands. We also hire a lot to photographers & stylists there. Amsterdam is a very creative hub.
What beautiful items and such a lovely personal story behind the company. Wishing Katherine every success with her new venture. You can contact Katherine to find out more information about her ever growing collection of beautiful props here.
Mrs White x