Category Archives: Rings

The wait is on…

What do you do when you are over a year and a half out from your wedding and you are just so excited to be doing something but there isn’t a lot you can do??

Spend hours a day on the internet learning everything you can about wedding planning, I guess. So this week not a lot has happened.

We have gone to 3 different Ben Bridge locations, a Tiffany’s retailer, Kay Jewelers, and Zales. I really never thought I would want to have a big central stone or a set. I was thinking a medium width white gold band with some inset diamonds. After a few trips to the jeweler I have surprised myself by falling in love with giant rings and rose gold. I may need to get a second job with a jeweler to pay for this new love for sparkly rings. The first time we went Amanda found a ring she liked right away, and she has been looking at the same ring every time we go to a different Ben Bridge. I found a rose gold band with morganite stones halo’d in diamonds that I really liked but the width of the stones is a little too wide for me and it rubs against the inside of my fingers… not the end of the world but maybe not the ring even though I thought it was really pretty. I tried on several bands while we were there and of course LOVED the $5000 radiant cut diamond 5 stone platinum band, but it is way out of our first ring budget. So I tried some other styles as well and learned that I do actually love all the sparkly big rings. Here are a few I have tried on so far…

And here are some Amanda has tried… This first is the one she likes very best!

We did go try on some more rings last week and I found one I really love. The jeweler was kinda putting some pressure on us- which is the first time this has happened… just warning that this ring might not be around if we try to wait until closer to the wedding to buy it and that rose gold and morganite is not a super common combination for wedding sets so we might not be able to find something I like as much if it sells out. One of the previous Ben Bridge jewelers we tried on rings with had told us that if we saw anything online that we liked we could let her know and she would get it in to the store for us to try on. We both really liked her so I emailed her and asked if she would be able to get that ring and one other for me to try. I feel like she would be more honest with me about the likelihood of this ring disappearing and I know if she is holding it in a store for me to try on it buys me a little more time at least.

I felt like with my dress I had to make a snap decision. I don’t regret buying it but it felt like a now or never kind of situation and I don’t want our rings to feel that way. I want to feel like we have time to really think about what we want and try on a lot of rings and styles. Amanda is still pretty sold on her ring right now but I think she still wants to browse a bit and I don’t think her ring is at risk of being discontinued. Hopefully we get a chance to go to a few more jewelers and try on more styles before I need to make a decision. One major plus is that if I get a set like this I can start wearing the engagement ring part as soon as we get it, instead of having to wait until after we get married like I would if I just get a band. I can’t wait to wear that pretty pink ring!

So that is ring shopping so far… Even if you are not engaged or in the market for a ring I would recommend going and trying on some rings for fun! You never know, you may realize that you love sparkly things too.

Also a final note on this- we have really liked the staff and experience with Ben Bridge so far- minus the one pushy sales person who may very well have been looking out for me… They haven’t turned up their noses at our smallish budget, instead they have been finding rings that work in our price range and offering options like lay-away and financing. They have a great upgrade program for diamond rings where you can bring your ring (you purchased from them) in and get the value you paid for it towards a ring of 2x the value or more when you are ready to upgrade. I don’t think I would part with my ring I was married with but it is a nice option for someone who isn’t as sentimental. They have also been very friendly and welcoming to two brides ❤

Update: I got the ring!! I decided on the rose gold with the pink morganite tear shaped stone. Best part is that I get to wear the engagement ring portion immediately. I am very pink and sparkly.

This week in wedding planning: I bought a dress!

Some other stuff happened too…

  • we went to the hardware store and grabbed paint swatches so we could get an idea of colors we like
  • put together some potential color sets to show our BM’s and MOH’s and get their feedback
  • we tried on a few more rings- I am falling for rose gold and starting to think I want a wedding set rather than just a band
  • I was able to give one of my bridesmaids her proposal and she said “yes!”

The big news is the dress though really. It is super surreal to know my wedding dress is in the closet in our room. Amanda and I decided we wanted to have each others opinions on our attire so I showed her my dress via photo along with the dresses I did not chose. When I told her it was now here in the closet she got excited- it was very cute… and when I got it out and showed her the top so she could see the beading and the shade/tone of white we needed to match she was suitably gushy about how beautiful it was ❤ I couldn’t have hoped for a better reaction (thanks love, if you read this). We are waiting to wear our clothes in front of each other until our wedding day but I think it was really nice to be able share the excitement via photo. I am a terrible secret keeper.

I was not planning on buying a dress so soon, and not from a store most likely. My plan was to get one used, likely online… but I had no idea what size I was or what would look nice on me. I read all these online articles that mostly convinced me that because I am short and I have a booty that nothing would look ok on me. My (confirmed) bridesmaid Shea convinced me to try some on even if I just went alone. She said when she was trying on dresses she found that most of the stuff she read online about her body type didn’t hold true.

I am a take action kind of person so I pretty much immediately made an appointment for the next day. I have big gaps of free time mid day, and other than Shea none of my party live in town, so I figured I could just go alone and try some stuff on to get some ideas- I wasn’t going to find my dress for a while…

I decided to go to Alfred Angelo because I wanted to try on the Disney collection (why not, right??) and I knew that it was possibly not going to be continued so I wanted to see it in person. I went in and they were pretty slow so all the really nice girls working helped me to pick some dresses. They were very knowledgable about what they had and helpful, which was good because I came in basically saying “dress me!”

I told them I liked the idea of a ball gown but didn’t know if I was too short to wear one and that I was open to ANYTHING that looked good on me. I was probably a pain because I wouldn’t narrow anything down… lace? sure! beading? why not? color? whatever! They set aside 4 dresses for me including the Disney Cinderella dress they had. This store sells only off the rack, but they were having a sale of 50% off all samples, so everything I tried on was half price!

The first dress was terrible- I didn’t even take a picture… it was almost a nude champaign color and it blended in with my skin too much. The next was a mermaid, which was pretty actually- would have needed some alterations around the waist and hips, but was very hard to walk in. The next was my beautiful dress! The Alfred Angelo Signature Ballgown. I knew when I stepped in front of the mirror that it was special. It just felt so good on and it made me feel like a princess, but like a sophisticated princess. I told her it would be hard for her to find something I liked better… I tried on the Cinderella dress next, which was also very pretty but just didn’t do as much for me. I learned I really like trying on fancy princess dresses.

It was really hard to leave my dress in the store that day. My MIL convinced me to sleep on it and go try on dresses somewhere else and I think she was right because it made me very certain that I was making the right decision when I went back in the next day and bought it!

On my MIL’s advice I also went to David’s Bridal to try on a few dresses and see how solid my conviction about the other dress was. I told them my budget was the same price or less than the AA dress. I tried on 4 dresses there, 3 in my budget and one Vera Wang ballgown that was a little over double. I found one $600 dress that I liked but the material just felt cheap… it fit well but it was very little girl princess-y and it felt a little scratchy. The VW dress was pretty but wasn’t any more special than my AA dress and was more expensive.

I went back to Alfred Angelo, all the girls laughed when I walked back in not more than 24 hours later. They asked if I wanted to try on my dress again and I did. It was just as beautiful as I remembered and I didn’t want to leave without it again. Upon the advice of a girl from the DISbride Facebook Group I checked all the beadwork and stitching carefully since it had been a sample. There were about 5 spots with loose beads or beads that had come off so the girls gave me a whole bunch of matching replacement beads. My mom, who is a talented tapestry beadworker, had offered to embellish a veil for me, but since I don’t want a veil she is going to fix up my dress top instead!

It will be an expensive alteration to hem it, but I just love the bottom and I think it is worth it especially considering I saved almost $700 on it! Here are some photos of the dresses I tried on.

And here is the dress I got, with a close up of the skirting. Even with 5 inch heels I will have to have about a half foot of fabric removed. Hopefully it doesn’t change the look of the layering in the skirt.

Two engagement rings…

After some thought and a few days of engagement bliss Amanda and I decided that I should have an engagement ring as well… I mean we are both the bride, and the bride should get to wear an engagement ring, right?? Who knows… we just both wanted to have a visible token of our engagement, and since we can do whatever we want we did. I got a matching smaller width tungsten ring to go with hers. I returned the two previously purchased rings that did not fit her and ordered my ring. I know I mentioned before, but the ring company we purchased from (EMBR) was really helpful and easy to work with. The rings are inexpensive, the company is great with communication, and they deliver quickly. When we got my ring Amanda wanted to put it on me, so she took her turn proposing, and of course I said yes 😉

Here are our two rings together and I like mine so much I will probably just switch it to my right hand when I get my wedding ring.

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If at first you don’t succeed buy a few more rings and hope for the best…

So after ordering Amanda (aka sleeping beauty)’s ring I was sent a shipping confirmation and eagerly awaited delivery. When it arrived on Tuesday I was so excited I ran upstairs to the mailbox to get it and barely made it in the door before opening the mailer envelope. I loved the interior envelope it came in so I did make sure to stop and catch my breath long enough to grab my camera and grab some photos.


I love the ring and the packaging, not to mention the speedy service and I would definitely recommend this company (EMBR) to anyone looking for a tungsten steel ring. Unfortunately after trying it on my finger I knew it would be too big for Amanda’s delicate alien fingers and I was going to either have to propose knowing the ring was too big or try to get a smaller size before Sunday.

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Here is the ring perfectly fitting my child sized sausage-like fingers

So I contacted 2 people- My future brides mom, and the company (via Facebook) and they both replied within the hour. Mom was on top of it by helping me reassess ring size by measuring her own ring since their hands are similar sizes and agreed that having a ring that fit her that day so she could wear it immediately would be ideal.

I started to think I would be safer having two more sizes of ring when I proposed, so if the first didn’t fit I could have a second option and hopefully at least one of the THREE RINGS I will have in my possession will fit her perfectly. The Company representatives at EMBR were really nice and said that any ring that didn’t fit could be returned for a full refund, so I felt really safe placing an order for another two rings. Hopefully they will arrive by tomorrow to ease my anxiety about having the right ring in time.  Note to self and other sneaky proposers- string is not the most accurate way to measure someones finger, especially if you are trying to do it without them noticing!

Cross your fingers that she says yes and all my frantic measuring and ordering pays off!

 

How to somewhat successfully get your girlfriends ring size without her knowing

This week Amanda, hereafter referred to as Sleeping Beauty and her other aliases, started a new job. She has been working hard, getting up on a new early schedule (as she used to work evening shifts), and has been riding the high of the stress and excitement of a big life change.

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Let me diverge for a minute- about 6 months ago I found THE RING. I saw it online in an instagram ad… note to small business owners, apparently those sometimes work. I knew the second I saw it that this was THE ring for Aurora. See she’s not your typical girly girl. She wants a more simple band, she doesn’t wear jewelry in general, and she doesn’t like to wear feminine things in general. So when you are a girl proposing to another girl, and she’s not the blingy engagement ring type, what do you use to propose? I want her to be able to select her own wedding band. I feel like that is something you will be wearing every day for, hopefully, the rest of your life and it has to be perfect for your hand. So I wanted her to have an engagement ring and a wedding band as two separate entities… unless she just really loves the engagement ring so much that she doesn’t want a second band.

I saw the perfect ring that just called to me for SB. It is black tungsten steel, won’t bend or scratch, and it has a red anodized interior. Black and red are her favorite colors. Now this may or may not sound like a plus to you but for Aurora it is- it was inexpensive and easily replaceable. She sometimes loses things and is not used to wearing and keeping track of a ring. I wanted this to be something that she would not have to stress about ruining or losing. It could happen, and I want it to be easy to replace while she gets used to having a ring. The only thing that was keeping me from buying this ring was that I was unsure of what size to get. I would have had it for months waiting for the right time.

I have been thinking about the proposal for awhile. When to do it? How to do it? While I am an introvert, and would probably like to be proposed to in a more intimate setting, SB is not. She is an extrovert, she likes big, bright, loud, shiny! I knew that the perfect proposal for her would have to be something largely public and grand. Of course I think she would accept any proposal but I wanted to make it perfect for her. I finally settled on a when and how but now the time is getting close and I still don’t know a ring size.

Being the planner I am I had actually tried to get her ring size in the past when I made her a ring around Christmas time in a metal smithing class I took. The ring was just a for fun ring and I didn’t realize that when you make a ring you should actually make it slightly too tight because once you completely polish it the ring will have actually increased in circumference. By the time SB got her ring it fit her middle finger much better than her ring finger. One more complication was that Aurora has been doing crossfit lately and has lost some weight and I think her fingers have gotten smaller. So now I just know that it has to be smaller than the ring I made her. How much? No idea.

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So back to our story. I devised a plan to try to measure Auroras finger. She would be hanging out with some friends on friday night and no doubt celebrating her new job. I was hoping she would be drinking a little extra… Usually when she is out late with friends she sleeps on the couch so she won’t wake me up by coming in to bed. Frequently with the tv on. I was hoping she would pass out in the living room with the tv on and would be sleeping soundly enough and with enough background noise and stimulation that I could measure her finger without her waking up…

I had cut a decent length of dental floss and my original plan was to tie it on her finger and then use cosmetic scissors to cut it off, but I convinced myself that she would feel the scissors if the string was appropriately tight. So I opted to use a marker to mark the string where it crossed on her finger. I had all my supplies ready, plus my phone as a camera to take a video for her mom, when my alarm went off at 2am.

I went out into the living room and my plan was foiled! The tv was off and her hands were tucked in the blanket. I had to think fast! I woke her up and told her she should come in the room since I was up to go to the bathroom. She came to bed and I put on the tv “so I could fall back asleep”. I held her hand and waited until it seemed like she was sleeping. Then I very smoothly (probably not smoothly) loosened my hold on her hand and wound the string around her ring finger while holding her hand further out. I crossed the string over her finger and quietly (probably not quietly) removed the cap with my teeth- I only had one hand. I marked the string where it crossed with the marker and then removed the string gently (probably not very gently). I had done it! Then I dropped everything on the floor and had to get out of bed to pick it up. While I was out of bed on the floor picking up my phone, the marker, and string Sleeping Beauty opened her eyes and asked me what I was doing. I told her I dropped my phone and I was sorry if I woke her up. I would be right back because I had to go to the bathroom. I left the room and measured the string with a measuring tape. I erred on the side of it being too big because I wasn’t sure if I had actually been able to get the string tight enough. This resulted in my 3am ordering of a size seven ring. Was she awake the whole time just pretending to be asleep so she didn’t ruin my secret plan? Totally possible and I will definitely ask her after the proposal. Also she had marker on her hand in the morning and probably wondered how it got there.

Until next weekend I will be constantly stressing and second guessing myself that a 7 was the right size. Until then we just all have to wait to find out!