General Crown Info
What are wedding crowns?
Simply put, wedding crowns (also known in Greek as Stefana, Stepahana, or Stephania) are actual crowns that the bride and groom wear for a certain portion of the Orthodox Wedding ceremony. These crowns are steeped in tradition and meaning. There are many wonderful websites that outline the sacrament of marriage in the Orthodox Church and the significance of the wedding crowns. Below are links to just a few that offer much better explaination than I ever could.
What size are your crowns?
My standard crown size is a circular with a diameter just slightly larger than 7". Having been in this business for over a decade now, I have found this size crown to be a great fit for nearly everyone. Some of you may be concerned about this size being too small or too large, please don't be. The crowns can be placed in a variety of positions for secure fit. Your priest knows what he is doing and will ensure that your crown isn't slipping off your head during the ceremony.
For the best fit, I really like oval shaped crowns as they feel a little more secure than a round crown (even though both round and oval crowns are equally secure and stable once they've been placed on your head). But oval crowns are not as popular. So I have some of those sprinkled throughout the collections. Read crown descriptions to find out if a crown is round or oval.
Is the listed price for one crown, or for the set?
Prices are ALWAYS for the set of 2 crowns, (or 2 candles, or 2 mini-crowns). Crowns will always be joined with a ribbon, unless you send select the "No Ribbon" attachment option when adding them to your shopping cart.
What is the significance of a ribbon attaching our wedding crowns?
The ribbon joining the wedding crowns symbolizes the joining of the Bride and Groom together as one. In some Orthodox Christian cultures, such as the Romanian Orthodox Church, the tradition is not to tie the crowns together, but to tie the Bride and Groom's wrists together for their walk about the table. In my experience, nearly all Brides and Grooms have a ribbon attaching the crowns, rather than their wrists. As such, all of the crowns that I sell will normally include a ribbon. If your Church does not use ribbon to attach the crowns, please let me know and I will leave it off. If you are unsure of your Church's preference, talk to your priest
How are the crowns shipped? Do they come in a keepsake box?
All crowns are carefully wrapped in tissue paper and tucked into a white liner box before being packed in a standard cardboard shipping box. This liner box is an excelent way to store the crowns and keep them out of harms way both before and after the wedding, but it is not really a presentation box.
To display and protect your wedding crowns, you can get a crown case, which can be found at most Greek import stores. At one point, I tried to sell my own line of custom-built display cases... but my supplier retired and I have long since phased those out.
Do you offer any discounts/coupons/sales? What about "package deals"?
I am often asked if I offer sales of if the price listed is the best price possible. Simply put, I don't do sales, coupons or discount codes. In over a decade in business I haven't yet, and I don't intend to start anytime soon. Every item you see for sale on my site is hand made-- and 95% of it is made by me (I don't make the trays or bare candles 😃)!
At some point, I would like to create a discount for "pacakges" with a certain crown set, candle, and tray combination, but I as far as sales go, I just don't do that.
I will occasionally mark down the prices of specific items to clear out my stock when I supplier discountinues a certain material or I'm trying to make room for a new style. But that markdown is permanent and will continue until my stock is gone, so it really isn't a "sale," per se.
In general, I try to keep prices as low as possible and will revise my pricing a few times a year to keep up with the ever-chancing metals market. Lately that has meant several price descreases for you! Please trust that I really do my very best to keep prices fair so that crown shopping is a pleasant an experience as possible!
- What are wedding crowns?
Shipping and Ordering
What forms of payment do you accept?
All major credit cards are accepted by my "Shopify" payment processor. I do not accept personal checks, cashiers checks, money orders, etc.
How far in advance should I order my crowns?
The earlier the better, just in case anthing should happen during shipping or the crowns don't look as expected. That way you have plenty of time to get those matters resolved without putting yourself in a time crunch.
When will I receive my order?
Everything listed on the website is available for immediate shipping (or nearly so). I try to ship all orders within 24-48 hours of receiving them (but exact timing is depenant on my work schedule, USPS/UPS pick-up is schedules, the time of day your order pops up, etc...). If there is an inventory, scheduling, or shipping problem that will cause further delay, I will communicate that to you via email as soon as possible.
If I have run out of a certain style of crown, candle, etc., you simply won't see it on the website. I attach the ribbon to your specification immediately before shipping, so there is no concern about a certain combination of color/style being available. That process does take extra time, and obviously means that some turn-around time will always be reuqire between my receiving your order and being able to ship it.
Once your order ships you will be emailed a tracking number. I think both UPS and USPS give ETAs on their online tracking pages, so that can be a useful tool in predicting what day your crowns/other items will be on your doorstep. All orders are fully insured.
Do you ship interntionally? If so, what are the transit times/rates?
I have shipped to just about every country you can think of. Please see the next question below for more details about shipping options, rates, and more.
What are your shipping rates? How often do you ship?
Detailed Shipping Info (Updated 2 Feb 2017)
UPS and USPS are both available shipping options. Both UPS and USPS mail rates are the same.
USPS Priority or UPS Ground. Pricing based on quantity of items ordered:
1 Item: $9.00
2 Items: $14.00
3 Items and up $17.00
UPS 1 Day Guaranteed or USPS 1-2 Day Express, pricing based on quantity of items ordered:
2 Items: $35.00
3 Items and up$40.00
I ship internationally on a weekly basis, and am happy to ship to any country.
I shy away from shipping candles too far, though, due to their fragile nature, so please take that into consideration. You may always contact me to purchase just the decorations for the candles...
The most economical shipping method is with USPS Int'l Priority Mail. Please be aware, however, that the typical 7-12 business day transit time may be more like 12-20 business days. So if you have the time (and patience), USPS Int'l Priority Mail is still a good option. You will be emailed your tracking # when your order ships. Should any problems arise, be sure to check the online tracking for the package. If your package has left the US, then contact YOUR local postal delivery system. They will be able to provide you with additional info. I do not have access to any shipping specifics once your package leaves the US! Please remember, you, the customer, are responsible for any duty fees that may be incurred during shipping. This does not happen often, and varies from country to country. Contact your postal delivery system if you have questions regarding Duties.
Rates for USPS Priority Int'l Mail
1 Item: $32.00
2 Items $37.00
3 or more Items $40.00
Canada: You have a slightly lower shipping rate with USPS Int'l Priority Mail, and you will see that in the drop-down box during checkout.
UPS Int'l Expedited is more expensive, but it's also a sure thing. Transit times are in the 1-5 day range. Delays and losses are incredibly rare. But because of this, it is much more expensive. This is the method you should select if you're in a rush for your order, want to ensure you receive your crowns ASAP, and/or you have an unreliable local mail delivery system. Packages may incur duty fees, and you, the customer are responsible for any fees due upon delivery.
Rates for UPS Int'l Expedited.
1 Item: $95
2 Items $115.00
3 Items $130.00
What is your return policy?
Fortunately, returns are rare, but in the unfortunate event that you need to return a crown set, please email or call me first (using the contact info that was packaged with your crowns.
For crowns that were damaged in shipping, or that you're concerned about the quality of, I will accept returns within 14 days of your receiving them. I will email you a pre-paid shipping label, and then you will receive a refund, minus the original shipping fees, as soon as I receive the returned crowns. I will not issue a refund for crowns received past the 14 day cut-off.
If you would like to return a set becuase you changed your mind, you are resonable for the cost of return postage. Again, I require crowns to be returned within 14 days. You'll receive a refund, less postage, as soon as I receive the returned crowns. I will not issue a refund for crowns received past the 14 day cut-off.
Returns are absolutely NOT accepted on custom crowns and custom engraved crowns. If you have a customized crown that needs some additional attention, please let me know and I'll make all the necessary repairs ASAP.
- What forms of payment do you accept?
Crown Options and Customization
Will you engrave our crowns?
YES! Many of my crown designs are eligible for engravings - you will know because I will specifically mention engraving in the listing, and include a link in the description. If the design you're looking at does not mention engraving in the description then it's just a set that I can't engrave. I really try to make this an option for as many crowns as possible.
I have some "stock" fonts from which you may choose, but I can usually accomodate specific font requests...just ask! See below for a few examples.Fonts: Century, Futura Light, Helvetica, Monotype Corsiva, Script, or Victoria.Example: Script font, interior engraving, silver crown. This is also an example of further personalization of the crowns by switching the order of the Bride and Groom names in the engraving.Example: Script font, interior engraving, stainless steel crown.Example: Script font, exterior engraving, stainless steel 'Dimitrie' crown.
Can you use a different ribbon color to join our crowns?
Yes, I offer several colors and styles from which you may choose. Please select the desired ribbon color and attachment style using the drop-down boxes before adding a crown set to your shopping cart. See below for examples of the ribbon colors.Colors: White, Ivory, Silver, or Gold
What is the difference between the ribbon attachment options?
This is a case where a picture is definitely worth 1000 words - see below for an illustration. A note about the "no ribbon" option... Some crowns have soldered back joints, others have rivets. Please be aware that if you order a crown without ribbon, some sort of back joint will be visible. I make the joints as neat and clean and inconspicuous as possible, but it is not possible to make them entirely seamless. The example below shows a typical riveted seam.Options (clockwise): Bow, Knot, Wrap, No Ribbon
Can you make us a set of custom crowns?
For many years, I had the time and passion to make truly custom crown sets for couples around the world. Now I am a mother with two young children - I still have the passion... and am slowly gaining back the time as my kids get older. If you have a specific request, I am would be happy to try to alter an exisiting design to make it just right for you.
If you're looking for something completely new and different... well it never hurts to ask and we'll see what we can work out. There have been a few occasions over the past couple of years that someone has inquired about a custom design that was actually similar to an idea I had been dreaming up but hadn't taken the time to make yet! That said, the more advance notice you give me for a custom design, the more likely I will be to take on the project.
Do you make any traditional Serbian styled (non-'wreath') crowns?
Yes and no.... I have made many Serbian styled sets on an on-demand/custom basis in the past, but never more than a few such sets a year. This crown style is more labor- and material-intensive to make than my other crowns, so they tend to be priced significantly higher than a "wreath" set made from comparable materials. With the low volume, high complexity, and higher cost to make, it has not been practical for me to keep a selection of them in stock.
While the wreath styled crowns are much simpler to make, I know that they are not a traditional style for all Archdioces. And I realize I'm neglecting a portion of the Orthodox population who may want this kind of crown by not keeping this in stock. Also, I enjoy the challenge and opportunity for creativity that this style of crown provides. So I have a goal of eventually keeping few of these sets in stock for those of you interested. Until then, please feel free to contact me to inquire about availability.
Are any other crown styles available?
I keep my website up to date with what has already been made and is available for immediate shipping, which means the available items and styles vary frequently. If it's not shown on the website, then the materials are likely out of stock and I'm having problems getting more from my suppliers. If you are interested in a specific crown that you can no longer find on the site, you're alwasy welcome to contact me and ask - I may just be waiting for another material order to arrive.
- Will you engrave our crowns?
How do I care for aluminum crowns?
Fortunately, aluminum doesn't tarnish, so for the most part, your crowns are maintenance free! Over time you may notice that the crowns look a little dull, and this happens just from the accumulation of oils from your hands, dust, etc. And as unconventional as it may seem, rubbing alcohol does a great job of cleaning the crowns, and won't hurt engravings or any materials on your aluminum crowns.
What about Argentium Silver?
Argentium Silver® is a special alloy of fine silver that contains 3% of the element germanium. This allows the silver to be naturally tarnish resistant. These type of silver crowns are practically maintenance free! From time to time, you may notice some finger-prints or smudges. Enclosed with your crowns is a polishing cloth that you may use to help keep you crowns look as shiny and new as when you wore them on your wedding day.
If the beading on your crown starts to look a little digny over time, it's probably due to an accumulation of dust. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently clean the crown, then allow to air dry.
While brass is a metal that will tarnish quite easily if left on its own, your crowns will remain maintenance free for years to come. To protect their finish, I have sealed your crowns with a metal lacquer. This sealant provides an invisible barrier against oils and air. If stored in a well-protected location, these crowns should remain shiny for generations.
Depending on how much the crowns are handled, how they're stored, etc. you may start to notice some tarnish develop years down the road as this laquer sealant wears away. If and when this happens, you may use any commercial brass cleaner to strip off the remaining lacquer and polish the crowns.
While copper is a metal that will tarnish quite easily if left on its own, your crowns will remain maintenance free for years to come. To protect their finish, I have sealed your crowns with a metal lacquer. This sealant provides an invisible barrier against oils and air. If stored in a well-protected location, these crowns should remain shiny for generations.
Depending on how much the crowns are handled, how they're stored, etc. you may start to notice some tarnish develop years down the road as this laquer sealant wears away. If and when this happens, you may use any commercial copper cleaner to strip off the remaining lacquer and polish the crowns.
First of all, what does "gold-filled" mean? Gold-filled refers to a base metal, usually brass, than has been heat/pressure bonded with gold - in this case 14K gold. Gold-filled pieces have 2x the amount of gold as do "gold-plated" items.
To protect the gold finish, I have sealed your crowns with a metal lacquer. This sealant provides an invisible barrier against oils and air. In a well-protected place, these crowns should remain shiny for generations.
Depending on how much the crowns are handled, how they are stored, etc. you may start to notice a some tarnish develop years down the road as this laquer sealant wears away. If and when this happens, you may use any commercial metal cleaner to strip off the remaining lacquer and polish up the crowns.
Metal leaf crowns?
The leaves used in the Olympus crowns, and other similar crowns, are made from brass and/or copper. Depending on the style and options you have either chosen to keep the leaves in their natural finish, or you may have opted to have a gold, silver, or copper finish applied. In either case, I have sealed your crowns with a metal lacquer. This sealant provides an invisible barrier against oils and air, and will protect your crowns from tarnish for generations.
Stainless steel is a fantastic material for crowns, as the inherent properties of stainless steel ensure that your crowns will remain beautiful for generations. After handling the crowns, you may notice a few finger prints here and there - while these spots will not tarnish, you may still want to go ahead and buff the crowns before storing them long-term just to make sure they look as beautiful as possible. The enclosed polishing cloth will do the trick.
Should the fabric become soiled, spot clean with warm water and a gentle detergent, then allow to air dry.
- How do I care for aluminum crowns?
About Me and My Business
Where are you located?
I make and ship all of my products from Indianapolis, IN (in the United States). If you live within 350 miles of me, default shipping with UPS Ground should mean next day delivery. Most other US locations are 2-3 days. California is 3 day delivery.
International delivery times obviously vary by country, but (for reference) customers in Australia typically recieve their orders in 7-10 business days.
Can we visit your studio and select our crowns in person?
I often get requests from couples in the Midwest asking if they can stop in to select their crowns in person. You're always welcome to ask, but my apologies in advance if timing can't be accomodated. My children are still young but growing and they're starting to have more and more extra-curricular aciivities, so I do not keep typical business hours.
Do you ever donate crowns?
In addition to our family tithe (or actually before it), my business also makes a donation to the Church...or rather to IOCC. This is my way of saying "Thank-You" to all of my customers and the Orthodox Church for allowing me to take part in their special day.
In recent years, I have also frequently donated crowns and/or candles as part of silent auctions for the annual festival at my home church, as well as others upon request. If you are interested in arranging a donation for a similar event at your church, please contact me directly to discuss.
What if I have a question not covered above?
The best way to ask Ann a question is through email.
Please keep in mind, though, that I have two young children that keep me pretty busy during the day, and email from this account IS NOT forwarded to my phone so unless you catch me at the computer you may have to wait for a reply. That said, I do check email regularly and make every effort to respond to your questions within 1 working day.
- Where are you located?