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Can I tell you a secret? For a long time, I was a bit vague about just how engagement ring shopping went down in my relationship. I told those who asked that we looked at rings together, and then… (crickets – I let them fill in the blanks themselves :)). The truth? John and I looked at rings together, and then we chose the exact setting and diamond that he later purchased. You can read a bit more about our story below, as well as the ring journeys of a few of the other Southern Weddings ladies, but I want to encourage you that whether you chose your engagement ring yourself or if you had nothing to do with it, your ring is both special and romantic!

Speaking of special and romantic… today we’re also sharing a few of our favorite engagement rings and wedding bands from Simon G. Jewelry, a family company whose exquisite pieces are destined to be beloved for a lifetime, no matter who picked them out.

Clockwise from top left: MR2679 | LP2361 | MR1577 | MR1577 | LP2361 | MR2827-A | MR2679 | GR204

From humble beginnings, when Simon himself designed all of the jewelry soon after arriving in America, to today, when designers from around the world collaborate to make these special pieces, Simon G.’s rings offer inspired individuality and a ceaseless passion for detail. They go above and beyond to make sure their jewelry surpasses your expectations, by adopting practices such as four-prong settings, using only conflict-free diamonds, and alloying their platinum with iridium to prevent it from developing a gunmetal color over time.

First row: LP1846-D | MR2088 | TR128
Second row: MR1676-D | MR2088 | MR2567-A
Third row: DR351 | DR352 | MR2088

Curious to hear about the engagement ring stories of the Southern Weddings ladies? Here you go:

Emily: Though I am an extreme lover of weddings, I will freely admit I’m not a connoisseur of engagement rings. There was never one particular style or shape I loved or hated, so I knew I wanted to try on a few different options before settling on the final pick. John and I went on a “looking” trip a few months before we got engaged, and ended up selecting the exact setting and diamond he later purchased. Though part of me wishes my ring was something he picked out all by himself, most of me is so glad to have had a say in something I’ll wear for the rest of my life, and that my ring is something I absolutely, completely, and totally adore.

Marissa: I have always wanted an estate engagement ring full of history and timeless style. But without one in his family, Brandon’s sweet mama offered up the diamond in her engagement ring to start our very own tradition to be passed on for generations to come. So, gratefully, off to Brandon’s family jeweler we went! They were able to make me a completely custom ring influenced by a design I had loved for years. Though there is a lot of allure around one’s boyfriend choosing the ring, I am NOT one for surprises, so it was in both of our best interests that I was brought into such a permanent decision :)

Amber: I always knew my engagement ring would be timeless and traditional. We tried on rings maybe once or twice, but I honestly was very excited about the surprise element in what Brandon would select of his own choosing.  My direction to Brandon was that it would be a princess cut in white gold. The rest was up to him! Of course, I was delighted by the style he selected. Years later, the setting on the ring had become worn, and we risked losing the main diamond. Our jeweler recommended we start with a new setting from scratch. This time around, I led in deciding the replacement. I originally had intended to stay close to the original ring’s design, but instead fell in love with a much more sparkly option — very different than my direction before! Knowing that we included the original diamond in the new ring eased any sadness I had about replacing the original.

Kristin: At some point before getting engaged, I dragged one of my best friends to the jewelry store to browse around and try a few things on for ‘fun’. While everything I tried on was gorgeous (umm, all the sparkly diamonds), I was drawn to classic and timeless solitaire settings. We never went and looked at rings together and I provided KPW with no direction, short of having a pretty clear personal style. Fast-forward a few months and KPW picked out my ring all by himself, although he did reach out to my best friend for final, final confirmation. There was a last-minute discussion on the shape of the diamond. She recommended round, but KPW was adamant that I wanted square, and proceeded to pick out a nearly perfect princess cut diamond. I smile every morning when I put on my rings because KPW was so confident and proud of his selection.

First row: MR1676-D | MR2701 | GR204
Second row: MR2827-A | MR2701 | TR128
Third row: MR2567-A | MR2701 | MR2567-A

Ready to start shopping (or daydreaming :))? Head to the Simon G. website to browse their beautiful styles and find a jeweler near you.

This post is brought to you by Simon G. Jewelry–thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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I haven’t made it to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina yet, but judging by the number of sweet proposals we’ve seen there, I daresay it must be one of the most romantic places in the South! We were delighted when this dreamy video (and photos!) of one of our good friends, Austin of Blueberry Creative, came through our inboxes–Austin’s teammate, Adam, sneakily captured his and Megan’s engagement on Super 8 video, and then did a mini portrait session with them around the Biltmore grounds. I love thinking about the fact that Austin and Megan will be able to return to the Biltmore any time they want, and always be reminded of this special day!

From Austin:

I wanted to do something memorable and special, but my options were limited (you don’t get too many free weekends as a wedding photographer and I knew I needed to make my move before wedding season started). We never need much of a reason to take a trip to Asheville, and we had talked about touring the Biltmore Estate on many occasions. My birthday was coming up, so I had a convenient excuse to book a weekend trip at a cute bed and breakfast, The Sweet Biscuit Inn. On the outside, I was cool and collected and everything was “normal.” Inside, though, my heart was pounding when my mind drifted to what I had planned. After I booked a last minute, super-secret flight to Ohio to ask for her parents’ blessing, the stage was set!

On the big day, we were treated to a delicious three-course breakfast prepared by Claudia and Christian (the owners of the bed and breakfast). With full bellies, we made our way to the Biltmore Estate and started our tour. My plan was to tour the house and pop the question in the garden that afternoon. What I didn’t plan for was the hundreds of people touring the gardens at the exact same time! This made it super challenging to find the perfect spot without Megan becoming suspicious. I was a nervous wreck and we spent far too long walking around the gardens. I knew I had to make my move soon, so I led her over to a gorgeous arbor and took a few polaroid selfies before kneeling down and telling her all the things that were on my heart.

We spent the rest of the afternoon taking photos around the estate, grinning from ear to ear, soaking up the bright beginning to the rest of our lives.

lisa Written with love by Lisa

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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In honor of Veteran’s Day, we thought we’d share this lovely proposal story with you. Joe, the groom-to-be, conspired with photographer Michelle Cross to document his elaborate plan, and we’re so glad he did! In Michelle’s words:

“When Joe left the house on Saturday morning, Jill was under the impression that her beau would only be gone for a half hour or so. She began making breakfast, but was soon stopped by the knock at the front door. When she opened the door to find her neighbor standing there with a red rose and a card, the confusion set in. After being told she had an hour to get ready, Jill headed to a nearby lake, where she was to find rose — and clue — number two. After a rowboat ride across the lake and an obstacle course challenge, she was given her second rose by Joe’s fellow Marine before being directed to the National Marine Corps Museum. What Jill thought was going to be a quick trip to the lake had turned into a day full of physical challenges, relationship trivia, and lots and lots of roses. From the museum, Jill was sent to the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Haupt Fountains, the Washington Monument, the Starbucks on H Street, the Korean, WWII, and Vietnam memorials, and then, finally, the Lincoln Memorial. If you lost count, that makes twelve roses, twelve challenges, and twelve Marines in the dress blues that Jill had to find.

Oh yes, she said YES!”

See the rest of the story and a few more photos on Michelle’s blog! Congratulations, Joe and Jill, and thank you for your service from all the SW ladies!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Emily Scott reply

    I love these images. So much.

  2. avatar Coretta reply

    This is one of my favorite blog posts ever! Michelle Cross did an amazing job with the photography. And this couple. Wow. I’m Air Force, but I have a really soft spot in my heart for a Marine in dress blues.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to: