Real Couples // A Lake Michigan Beach Engagement: Emily + Ang

Real Couples // A Lake Michigan Beach Engagement: Emily + Ang

Emily's engagement ring is gold with a small diamond and was made for my great-grandmother in the 1940s by my great-uncle in Melbourne. My great-grandmother was a rabble-rousing Anglican woman who loved me dearly and was always kind. It seemed appropriate to give it to a rabble-rousing Episcopalian woman who loves me dearly and is always kind.

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

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

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.

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Handcraft Matching Bespoke Wedding Rings in Washington // With These Rings

Handcraft Matching Bespoke Wedding Rings in Washington // With These Rings

They made their rings with Stephanie in January of 2017. “It was one of the best experiences of my life!”, Alex says. Alex had ethical concerns with diamonds, so she knew she didn’t want a traditional engagement ring. Furthermore, she “loved the idea of having completely matching rings. We have a long history of making each other handmade custom gifts (for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc.) so the idea of hand crafting matching wedding rings really seemed to be the perfect fit.” They drove to Port Townsend: “We were actually very nervous when we arrived because once you get there it all becomes very real, and for a moment you almost feel like you aren't really going to leave with a real life wedding ring because how could you possibly make it with your own hands in an afternoon?” Alex said she also had “this weird feeling that she was going to mess it up so bad that she’d be asked to leave.” But her fears were alleviated once she met Stephanie: “Once you sit down with Stephanie before the actual metalwork begins, she does a really good job of making you feel at ease and reassures you that you really are going to leave with professional quality rings that you hand craft, and that it will be easy and fun.” Right away, Alex knew she had made the right decision.

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Real Couples // Modern Downtown Atlanta Engagement Shoot: Aubrey + Ronnie

Real Couples // Modern Downtown Atlanta Engagement Shoot: Aubrey + Ronnie

AuBrey and Ronnie are so confident in who they are. Their love was so amazing to witness because as well walked down busy city streets, you could tell they couldn't even tune in to all the people around. That's the kind of love I LIVE for.

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Buying An Ethical Engagement Ring

Buying An Ethical Engagement Ring

Six weeks ago, my fiancé Nathan and I were in Park Slope with a jewelry saleswoman encouraging me to try on a $19,000 vintage ring from early 19th-century Europe. That’s right: $19,000.

Seeing that rock, my stomach sank — not because the ring was way out of price range, which it was, but because I didn’t know how to express my diamond ambivalence to the clerk without being rude. After all, her hands were bedazzled with five diamond rings of her own. With the price tag, it should have been easy for me and Nathan to tell her we were going to pass. But as we explained our preferences, I started to feel like my value was under the spotlight — as though the worth of the ring was a reflection of my worth.

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More and Less // All that Glitters: Gold and Diamond Alternatives

More and Less // All that Glitters: Gold and Diamond Alternatives

Last month I claimed this final chapter of the jewelry series would be on ‘everything else.’ Foolhardy, to say the least. Especially working as I do for a small jewelry company that partners with artisans in Haiti to upcycle unconventional materials like steel and horn, I should have been fully in touch with the fact that jewelry can be created out of almost anything.

What I should have said is that we’d be looking at some other common metals used for wedding bands and a couple other gemstone alternatives to diamonds. So know that this is by no means the real Everything Else. There are possibilities of all kinds that can be used to make jewelry. I just had to give myself a little more focus, or this column would have gone on for days.

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A Day in the Life of Oakland Ring Maker, Kendra Renee

A Day in the Life of Oakland Ring Maker, Kendra Renee

Kendra Renee is a metalsmith in Oakland who truly brings couples’ stories to life through their wedding bands by involving them in significant elements of the ring-making process, from collecting the raw materials to pouring the metal in the cast, creating the actual ring — talk about an awesome date night! Kendra says, “It’s kind of magical.” Recently one of her clients brought in gold nuggets that her grandfather had once been paid in for his work as a dentist. With Kendra, the client alloyed them and melted them into her wedding set so she will always have a little piece of family history with her. “People love to see the process behind the scenes — they literally see their ring take shape and become a part of its story.”

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