Down the Aisle: Wedding Stories Tales from real-life as this bride reluctantly navigates the wedding industry and heads down the aisle toward perfect bliss… oh, and perfect flowers, the perfect dress, the perfect ceremony…
Ring Shopping: Stage 1. Trying on rings and finding the right style (Part 1)
First stop: Wilkes Bashford (for Diamond in the Rough rings)
- I first noticed Diamond in the Rough brand rings in a Neiman Marcus catalog and fell in love. Searching the Diamond in the Rough site, I discover that their only local retailer is Wilkes Bashford, who just started carrying them. The rings are beautiful! Just what I am looking for – uncut, raw, and natural! My (first) favorite – a small white rough diamond in the “classic” halo style, set in white gold with a delicate pave band. I want it, but I won’t buy the very first engagement ring I try on! Plus, it comes in a different color, slightly larger. I will wait to see the other ring, but this could be true love! *More on Diamond in the Rough later… (Their rings actually appear in March 2010 on The Bride’s Guide, the Martha Stewart Weddings Blog.)
Next stop: Cartier Boutique (because I’ve always wanted to go in but never had a reason to)
- Oooh! I finally have a reason to open the huge Cartier boutique double-doors and step inside. As expected, the Cartier “bouncer” eyes me warily. The selection of Cartier engagement-style rings feels surprisingly small, but I do at least find one interesting ring style, the Ballerine band, which is different from your typical giant-gem-on-a-prong rings. There is only one in my size available in the country (yikes), but they offer to ship it over for me to try on. How nice! The Ballerine band is my 2nd choice ring, though, it is also one of the few rings I have tried on so far.
Surprise Stop: Shane Company
- Fully expecting a mall-type cheesy jeweler, I venture into Shane Company based on several recommendations, and it is true, they do have an excellent and approachable selection of rings and settings as well as notable customer service and policies. The interior of the shop is also comfy and not stuffy. (Plus they have one of those free coffee capsule machines and bottled water.) This is the place to go first when you’re trying to figure out what ring style you like best! The selection – excellent – and the experience – very informative and useful.
Apparently Shane Company also offers a fantastic warranty, and will replace any diamonds that fall out of their gold and platinum rings! They also make it easy to “upgrade” and trade in your ring for a better one at the price you paid. I totally underestimated this place! I will be back…
Lessons Learned: There are a ton of rings out there that simply don’t look right on my finger! They are either too ornate, too large [yes, contrary to popular belief a bigger rock is not better], or just… not me.
Try before you buy! Rings really look different on your hand, and you could be surprised to find that you love a ring you would never have expected to love. You also don’t have to stick with the tradition of getting an engagement ring and a simple wedding band. Just get what you like, when you like!
Next up: Part 2, and later Ring Shopping – Stage 2. Deciding on “The Ring”
Wedding Stories… from Meilily!
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