This past Saturday was double date night with Rachel and Ryan, a fabulous couple in Savannah. We spent the majority of dinner chatting about our upcoming weddings, exchanging pictures, and laughing at our men across the table who remain clueless about our gowns. Rachel and Ryan are set to marry in a romantic Savannah square this December. Later that night, while exchanging texts about our enjoyable evening together, I received an unexpected picture of Rachel’s gorgeous bling…#engaged on November 8, 2014.
After that night’s dinner I started to think about engagement rings and the hype over cut, color, clarity, and carats, better known as the 4C’s. Although receiving a ring upon saying “yes” is certainly traditional, who says that the ring should come before planning? I love the thought of planning a wedding with your significant other and simultaneously anticipating the bling. Although the stone is certainly not the center of the marriage, it does reveal a lot about the bride and groom-to-be.
Like most brides-to-be, inspiration for my ring started months before my engagement. Although it makes me cringe, I do remember a six-month anniversary poster that I made for JB with pictures of wedding rings glued next to pink bubble letters, which read “Future Mrs. Peterman” (crazy, I know). Obviously, my heart was set on marrying JB very early on in our relationship. With that said, I never knew whether or not I would have a say in the bling.
Here’s a question I still ponder: If the bride is expected to wear her ring everyday as a symbol of her marriage, should she have a say in the style?
Today I’m sharing some sparkly thoughts as a bride-to-be whose ring was the most successful surprise…
Don’t let trends trump tradition.
Initially, much of my inspiration for an engagement ring came from dazzling celebrities and a few too many hours watching the E! network. I went through a phase where I was confident in my adoration for a rose gold engagement ring. I thought the ring would compliment my pale complexion and light hair. JB didn’t quite agree that there was a correlation between beauty and bling.
Even before receiving an engagement ring, I purchased a ring for the sister finger. Have brides seen the renowned “love” ring that exploded in popularity only after Lauren Conrad posted the instagram below? Apparently, it’s trendy to wear a ring right next to the rock.
…and that’s how trendy invaded my vision of classic. @LaurenConrad
My “love” ring is one I still have but rarely wear. Ironically, I was wearing it on the day I said “yes,” which also happened to be the day when Lauren Conrad’s engagement no longer influenced my style.
But how about Blake Lively’s ravishing rock set in rose gold? In my opinion it’s a perfectly pink engagement ring. Despite my celebrity crush, JB remained unconvinced that rose gold was the right choice for his bride-to-be.
The ring is gorgeous, but then again what’s not gorgeous about Blake Lively?
Although both celebrity rings are stunning, neither have that perfect shimmer, the kind that only comes from the man behind the bling. So, while trends like rose gold might swoop in and tempt your thoughts, be careful what you wish for.
Don’t let hints hinder the groom.
I am a strong believer in the elegance of subtlety (lesson learned after creating a six month “marry me” anniversary poster). While brides are entitled to express their preferences, there are consequences for becoming too involved and losing sight of what being engaged really means. One of my friends actually printed out a photo of the exact ring she desired, only to “drop” it in her boyfriends office. Ultimately, she received the ring of her dreams without every discussing the mystery of the misplaced paper. Some men flourish with very specific direction. Others choose to take on the mission solo.
There is no right or wrong way to acquire an engagement ring. If a couples trip to the diamond store is mutually agreed upon, then why not? Aside from a puppy, I can’t think of a more exciting treasure to shop for as a team.
Some hints are harmless. Others detract from the sparkle of it all.
Don’t Compromise the Surprise.
Even if you personally select every aspect of your engagement ring, let your boyfriend dictate where and when he will pop the question. On the day of my proposal, I was so shocked, that when JB got down on one knee, I forgot he was holding a diamond ring. While smiling, crying, and laughing, JB slipped the most beautiful ring on my finger, one that I could never have picked out for myself. I was far too busy looking at rings on other brides to realize the potential of my own bling.
JB proudly designed my engagement ring entirely on his own. One year later, and six months closer to saying “I Do,” I’m thankful that my rosy gold obsessions were not taken to heart.
It’s easy to get caught up in the bling. When the moment comes, just remember it’s who, not what you say, “yes” to!
~Written with inspiration from my dear friend Rachel, whose nontraditional engagement was exceptionally memorable~