If you like it then you should’a put a ring on it! Finally he did!
It’s here, it’s finished, it’s on my finger and it’s time for the big reveal – hurrah! Just under five months after getting engaged I finally got to experience the feeling of having a ring put on my finger for the first time and it felt great!
If you’ve been following my ring journey and have read part 1 and 2 of the series then you’ll know that not long after after GB proposed, I made the decision to design my own ring. It wasn’t a decision I came to easily, but in the end was the one that felt right. I wanted to create something that truly felt like mine, something which could symbolise all of the emotions of getting engaged and could tell the story of us as a couple. It definitely wasn’t the easiest or the most enjoyable task at times. It took a lot more time and effort than the normal process of choosing a ring might have, there was a lot more blood, sweat and tears thrown into the process and I had to learn be patient, to compromise, to make really hard decisions along the way and to trust. But despite all of that, now as I sit typing with my finished ring on my finger, I know I wouldn’t change a single thing.
My ring was created by the team at Stephen Einhorn who were fantastic from the word go. I’m conscious that my last two posts on ring matters have been more than a little wordy, so today I won’t go into more detail about the design process itself (if you want to know more about how things work, read part 2) or my reasoning for going bespoke (that’s all in part 1) instead just sharing a little about the story behind my ideas and what the design itself means to me.
First off, if this experience has taught me anything it’s simply that I love to create. If I didn’t already know that fact, I definitely do now. It’s made me realise that I love the act of bringing things into the world that didn’t previously exist, and if I could live my life being creative every day then I’d be a truly happy girl. Designing my own ring, although difficult, was an extremely satisfying project and one that gives me immense pleasure every time I now look at my left hand. So much so, that it’s now also led to me making the decision to design my own wedding dress (something that elicits ‘are you mad??’ responses from most I tell and has GB stockpiling the tissues for the inevitable breakdowns due) and embark on many DIY projects which will make up our big day. Yes it will be a lot of work, and yes there may be times along the way that I regret taking on so much but when the day itself rolls around I’m confident it will all be worth it.
I can openly say that the ring that is now on my finger is most definitely not the ring I at first envisioned, nor the ring that featured on my very first sketch. The whole experience – from choosing a designer, to gathering my inspiration to starting to design, to choosing stones, to re-jigging the parts that didn’t work – was a journey, and one which came full circle on the 6th March when I was presented with a ring that felt like as much of a surprise to me as it would have if GB had popped it out that day back in October. The only difference being that there was a certain familiarity that told me it was absolutely my ring that was staring back at me and that was a lovely feeling.
I suppose there are certain compromises with a bespoke ring, certainly if like us you don’t have an endless budget. After waiting so long to see what I’ve come up with, there may be some of you who look at this dainty rose gold number and see nothing special, only a tiny stone on what looks like an unfinished band. And that’s ok. It’s definitely not the most showy ring, it won’t win in any bling -off’s and it doesn’t dazzle its way into a room, but for me it’s so much more than just the size of its diamond and the carat of its gold. So it’s ok if you don’t like it or think it’s all that, if you think I’ve wasted five months creating something that doesn’t even come close to rivaling the type of sparkler I could have walked into a shop and bought, because it means something to me and GB and really that’s all that ever matters.
So onto the design. This is where the soppy stuff starts so if you’d rather look away do so now. As I don’t have a macro lens and my ring is extremely intricate it’s hard to see all the detail on the photos but the main basis for the design was a natural organic vine ring, with a rustic twig like band and leaves growing up around the band towards the stones. Although aspects about the design changed along the way, this was the one constant that always remained the same right from that first sketch.
We got engaged in Autumn, right around the time when all of the leaves were changing colours and beginning to fall. Our first weekend as an engaged couple was spent ambling around the Yorkshire countryside and our engagement video featured me throwing Autumn leaves into the clear and perfect Autumn air. I wanted to capture some of those memories within the design and have it remind me of the time of year we’d got engaged so using leaves within the design was an easy first decision. And now, unbeknownst to be at the time of designing, we have decided to get married just over a year to the date of getting engaged so will once again be amongst those leaves when we say our I do’s.
There was also a more symbolic reasoning to the organic design – there’s part of me that always loves the idea of nature living on no matter what. That trees stay on this earth and live through far more than we ever could, that they’re solid and ever growing and they continue to prosper even when we cut them down. To me that was how I wanted to represent my relationship with GB, not something complete and perfectly formed but something growing and changing and evolving. Living, learning and adapting to the many changes we’ve already experienced in our time together and the no doubt countless ones we’re yet to undertake, just as those trees live through evolutionary changes and those leaves learn to adapt through the seasons.
How the leaves were positioned on the ring was also very important for me. Some of those early drawings from Stephen Einhorn featured two larger leaves, one each side of the stone in a symmetrical fashion and although beautiful I knew this wasn’t right. Love isn’t symmetrical or planned, it’s unpredictable and complicated. I wanted the leaves to intertwine as naturally as possible, alluding to the idea of our two lives now being forever intertwined in a random and unpredictable fashion.
When it came to the stones, I always knew three was the right amount. As I mentioned in my last post we originally planned to have a stone from each of our families and one central one to represent us and our new journey together. Even when we realised that wasn’t really do-able, we still wanted there to be three stones to suggest those same things. So we chose two small white diamonds which were to represent each of our families and a larger champagne diamond to represent us and our next steps together.
Once that was decided it became obvious that the leaves should wrap and intertwine around those two smaller stones rather than underneath or alongside them. As if the ring, and our engagement, was the thing that brought those two families together. The leaves (marking us and our love) wrapping themselves around both of our past experiences and families and growing upwards to start a new chapter as a solid unit. Major camembert stuff I know – soppy part over now you can look back!
Happily Stephen Einhorn understood my vision perfectly, some might say even more so than I did. I was bowled over by how intricately they managed to carve out the little leaves and how natural they were able to keep the band.
And now it’s on my finger, part of me and part of our wedding journey which is a really cool feeling. Hopefully the dress will end up going the same way…
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little insight into designing a piece of jewellery, if you’re recently engaged and thinking of doing something similar, I’d absolutely recommend it.