Propose On The Beach, Then Handcraft Matching Rings // With These Rings

Photos by  Jesse Holland

Photos by Jesse Holland

Tory planned the most elaborate and heartfelt proposal for her girlfriend, Kate, and a run-of-the-mill engagement ring would not do. After dating for seven years and living together for two, Tory and Kate knew they wanted to get married, but both felt ambivalent about engagement rings, as neither wears much jewelry. Tory says that after guessing at Kate’s finger size based on a mood ring, she went into Tiffany’s one day after going for a run, “which was one of the funniest experiences. I was like, can I just look at bands with no bling, and they were very confused why this sweaty woman with no engagement ring wanted to try on wedding bands.” In the end, Tory decided they would make their own wedding bands together at With These Rings in Port Townsend, Washington, and she planned an elaborate proposal leading up to the making of the rings.


She describes the proposal below:


“I proposed to Kate through an elaborate weekend long adventure that started with a series of puzzles. She solved the first one at work, which led her to a dinner date with me that night, then the waiter presented another puzzle with dessert that directed her to take a bus the following morning. The next morning she took the bus, reached a flower shop where she received a bouquet with another puzzle that led her to an escape room, where a bunch of her friends and family were gathered for a surprise birthday party. We successfully escaped the room with 11 minutes to spare, then celebrated with a picnic. At that point she thought the journey was over—three puzzles that led to a puzzle-y game and party, made sense! And I even established a decoy in that we had to meet with a high schooler to talk about college that afternoon, which we did... But then (sorry, this story is so long...) we made it back to our apartment, and a friend was there with yet another puzzle.”

Has your mind been blown yet? Well it didn’t end there! From there, they jumped in the car, and Tory started driving:

“At this point she was really confused because she thought we had two holiday parties to go to that night, which by the time we pulled into the long-term parking lot clearly were not going to happen. I had had a friend hide our luggage in the trunk earlier, so we were ready to go, and she didn't find out where we were going until we printed the boarding passes to Seattle. Skipping ahead, we made it to Seattle, there were more puzzles, etc., one of which led her to the ferry to Victoria the following day. (We had joked about going to Canada together since the first day we met, but it had never happened, so we always said we'd have to break up or get married if we made it there.) On the ferry, there were more puzzles, and we ended up at the beach where I proposed on the rocks, and a surprise photographer captured the moment — hurray!”

Kate then assumed the surprise had concluded, and “she thought everything was over, BUT NO (I'm exhausted writing this) I left our hotel room and told her to pack us up.” Kate thought Tory had gone to get coffee, but Tory returned with a rental car: “and we drove to Port Townsend. The whole time she was trying to guess what we were up to: hiking, whale watching, horseback riding... It wasn't until we opened the door to Stephanie's studio that she figured it out.”


Tory says, “Stephanie was great about the surprise and very excited to be involved. She was so flexible when I didn't know exactly what band thickness Kate would want, and she had multiple options in stock for us to try, which was great because I was so stressed about making decisions about Kate's ring without her input!” The two were able to slow down and enjoy the ring making process together: “We had so much fun making the actual rings, and it was completely relaxed and unhurried.”


Tory and Kate both chose plain gold bands. Tory says, “At the time I thought there was a chance we'd keep the rings and not wear them until the wedding, or wear them on a different finger, but we've just been wearing them.” For two people who don’t really wear jewelry, they love their handmade bands: “We might get them engraved before the wedding, but probably we'll just take them off and put them back on. It's symbolic, right??”