For our 5 year anniversary earlier this year, Casey and I decided to get wedding bands and to my surprise I ended up with a new engagement ring too! Eek. Since it was a creative process I think it’s only fair I share it here with you with up-close photos of the rings (I always wanted one of those wedding photos of my rings – thank you Mr. Collings for helping me check off my list!)
Why has it taken 5 years for me to get a wedding band? When ‘eloping’ we decided to save ‘the ring exchange’ for our wedding ceremony, to make it more special for our family and friends. Five years later, and with no date in sight (read ‘four year anniversary and a wedding on hold‘), I’m kinda over it saving this as a ‘special thing’. I’m tired of walking around looking like I’m still engaged. So (after a little bit of convincing) we decided to change our minds (it’s funny how important certain things become).
So the hunt for bands began. We visited a few stores and tried on several different rings but none felt right. Even the eternity ring with inappropriately huge diamonds no longer felt right. I meditated, I soul searched… Hmmm, why was this so difficult? Why did my goal of “the more diamonds and the bigger the better” no longer seem to work for me? (I’m the most down to earth shallow person you’ve ever met… I promise there’s redemption for me at the end of this… or maybe not. I really don’t care.)
Eventually we went to a place near home and while I was trying on every diamond wedding band in the store I kept being drawn to this very simple rose gold, hammered, band. I dismissed it since I didn’t want a simple band together with my three-stone engagement ring. Right before we left I asked the owner if I could just try on this very over-the-top engagement ring (oooh, why not! It’s always fun to play ‘dress up’). I tried it on. Then tried it on again. Then again together with the rose gold hammered band, and darn it, I just knew that was it. I looked at Casey, held up my hand and said “this is me. this is so me.”
We left the store, knowing that the over-the-top engagement ring that now held my heart captive, wasn’t necessarily what we had in mind when we went to look for WEDDING BANDS. Then Casey looked at me and said “I think we should put the bands on hold for a little bit because I think you need to create a new engagement ring instead.” wow.
So why would he suggest a new engagement ring after only 5 years? Well, when we got engaged, Casey presented me with a diamond that had belonged to his Great Aunt Norma, and said something along the lines: “I know you probably want to create your own ring since you’re so creative but I inherited this family diamond that I very much hope you accept it.” Of course I accepted it and picked out a lovely three-stone setting and called it a day knowing I would more than likely play with it later.
I’m a total fine jewelry junky. I relax by reading auction house catalogs, watching the Antique Roadshow and browsing antique stores online. I have dreamed up hundreds of different rings for myself over the years. I know way too much about diamonds and the history of royal tiaras etc. That’s just me. We all have our different interests. At the time of the engagement though, it felt foolish to “satisfy my creative itch.”
With a new goal plan, I went back to the jewelry store with the ‘over the top engagement ring’ and worked with the designer to custom make the top of the ring to fit the family diamond. The original setting could only hold a 1.5-2 carat diamond and mine is a 1 carat, but I loved the thick band so much I wanted to make it work. After a couple of versions, and some trial and error, I was thrilled. I still wanted the actual finished ring to be somewhat of a surprise so I worked with the jewelry owner via email and didn’t see any photos of the actual ring – hence why there were some trial and error. Oh well.
On our actual wedding anniversary (July 2), Casey and I exchanged our wedding bands during a magical weekend with beach time, wild horses, boat ride, bird watching, seafood, laughter and romance. He chose a thick brushed stainless steel (he wanted a ring he could bang up and not worry about it which is why he didn’t pick the platinum band that I wanted him to have – I love that he has his own mind!) and mine is the rose gold, hammered, band that kept nudging me.
The engagement ring wasn’t ready for the wedding anniversary weekend unfortunately, so to make it special and somewhat of a surprise, Casey waited three whole months and surprised me with it on the day we celebrated 11 years as a couple.
I couldn’t be happier with the end result – it’s big and heavy, strong yet delicate. It has a feel of art deco yet very feminine at the same time. The combination of the over-the-top coupled with the simple rose gold band is unique and fits my personality well. I like wearing things no one else has, and to me, it really means a lot to wear jewelry that represents who I am. I never thought I was a double halo type – but loved the overall look of the thick setting so I wanted to make it work as much as possible – nor did I think I would ever love a bezel setting but it works to keep the top (and the center diamond) as low as possible.
When I look at it, I’m reminded of how well my husband knows me and loves me as he wanted me to be part of the creative process. Just because it’s an engagement ring doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with what you chose or your significant other chose at one time in your relationship. We all change and we all evolved, and the relationship evolves. As with anything, what may be right at one point in your life may not be right for the rest of your life. Fix what bugs you. It goes for anything in life – i.e. fixing bathrooms that has been the eye sore for 6 years. Your energy can be spent in so many better ways.
I’m so grateful for how this turned out.