Hello, ladies! As I’m guessing you all know, I’m engaged!! Just four short weeks ago we sent out a post all about engagement rings. I wanted your advice, and y’all were too kind to oblige! I LOVED reading your comments about your rings, your pre-engagement searching, and — of COURSE — your proposal stories!
Well, now that I’ve got a ring and a proposal story of my very own, I wanted to be sure and share it with y’all! First, the story, which is simple and sweet. John surprised me with a weekend trip to Beaufort, North Carolina, an adorable seaside town, two weeks ago. Some of our favorite memories from our six and a half years together were made at the beach, and almost all of them happened near the ocean, so even though this particular coastal town didn’t have special meaning to us (yet!), beaches in general did.
We spent the day at Shackleford Banks, a barrier island famous for wild horses and tons of seashells. (Once the surprise trip was announced, I had a hunch that a proposal might be on its way, but nothing happened all morning or afternoon!) After getting cleaned up that evening, we headed for dinner at an ocean-side restaurant. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation (which is HIGHLY unusual, if you know John!), and we decided to take a sunset stroll. On our way back, I suggested we take a self-timed photo, which we’re famous for, since we were all dressed up. It turns out I was playing right into his plans, because instead of setting the camera to photo, he set it to video, and then proceeded to get down on one knee after I thought the flash had gone off! The rest of the evening was a happy blur.
We made a little video from the weekend, which you can check out here…
And now, on to the ring! Here she is:
The story: back in January, John and I decided doing some initial engagement ring research would be an appropriate activity for our six year dateversary. (Come on, y’all have one, too, right?) We decided to check out Diamonds Direct Crabtree, since we’d heard good things about them and figured a store with a large selection of different styles would be a good place to start.
I feel as though I have to back up a minute and admit that though I consider myself a wedding expert, I know next to nothing about engagement rings — really! I had heard of the 4 Cs, but didn’t really know what “normal” ranges were for any of them, and didn’t really know too well what style I liked, either. Before our trip I did a little research and had a little talk with my diamond-fiend buddy (and former SW editor!) Katharine, and both were super helpful. By the time we visited Diamonds Direct, I thought I knew that I wanted a very thin, yellow gold band, I DIDN’T want a halo, and I was most interested in oval-shaped diamonds.
Here are a few of the inspiration images I gathered before our big trip:
First row: oval gold engagement ring from Asprey, micropave cushion-cut engagement ring in platinum from Harry Winston; Second row: photo by Whitebox Weddings; Third row: horizontal gold setting from Marvin Katz, photo by Kate Headley
As you can see, I was pretty much all over the place. Happily, though, we happened to be paired with Raj when we stepped through Diamond Direct’s doors, and I think that made all the difference in our shopping experience! He was extremely kind, patient, and knowledgeable, and put us instantly at ease. We looked through many different settings and styles, and quickly realized a few things:
1) As I had heard, diamonds DO look bigger on your finger! Anything over one carat looked pretty ridiculous on my thin fingers. Hallelujah!
2) Ovals were not the shape for me. Surprisingly, I really liked the look of an emerald-cut on my finger, even though I had never been a fan of that cut before.
3) I actually liked halos, I just didn’t like halos that were bezel-set.
Two of the other styles I tried on.
Next we looked at diamonds. For those of you who are wondering…
— I couldn’t really tell the difference between a S1 and and VS1 or VS2 clarity, so that wasn’t the most important C to me.
— I could tell the difference between color, and “I” was too yellow for me. Above “F” was almost too white.
— GIA certification was also important to me.
It turns out that after that one visit John ended up placing the order for our ring (making a few modifications to the setting, which Diamonds Direct does for no charge!), and that was the extent of our ring shopping! We never did end up looking anywhere else. We found something we both loved at a price we both loved with a customer-experience we both loved, and though we could have continued the search for months and months, there didn’t really seem to be any need to.
After January, I truly put engagement rings out of my mind, making everything a wonderful surprise in June!
So now that you know my story, ladies, tell me what you think! Did you go ring shopping for ages? Did you go at all? How do you feel about yellow gold?! I was worried other people would hate it, but I love it, and the reaction has been great so far!