The first time we went out on the hunt for the all-important wedding rings was Valentine’s Day weekend. We thought it would be a romantic thing to do on our first February 14th as an engaged couple – so we headed to Hatton Garden, where Sean bought my engagement ring from, to suss out prices and get a feel for what we were after. (And also to go for a cocktail and a game of table tennis at nearby bar Bounce, one of our faves.)
We had the best day – even though we didn’t end up buying anything. And I have to say, the staff at the shop my engagement ring came from were incredible. The moment we stepped through the door I heard a man’s voice exclaim “Sean!” and come rushing over. Excitedly, he said: “She said yes then! Tell me all about the proposal. You went to see the Northern Lights in Iceland didn’t you?” ushering us into chairs and taking our coats, and telling me what a pleasure it was to meet me finally.
I couldn’t believe it. What amazing service. How many customers must they have a day, and they’d remembered Sean from back in November last year? And not only him, but everything he’d told them about me and the way he was planning on popping the question? The people in the diamond business are pretty damn good at customer service.
He was the jeweller who’d actually designed and made my engagement ring as a one off, and he seemed really proud of it. Consequently he was brimming with ideas of what sort of wedding ring we should buy to go with it. Because my diamond solitaire protrudes a bit from the band of my engagement ring, he recommended we opt for a wedding band with a twist detail to accommodate it, and suggested a few small diamonds to finish off the look. Unfortunately most display rings come in silver, so it’s hard to get a feel for what it would look like in the 18ct yellow gold I’m after. But this is what he picked out for me:
I liked it – but I didn’t get a “this is the one” feeling from it. After trying on about 100 more we decided to call it a day. There’s plenty of time before the big day to decide on this, anyway. Turns out Sean’s not going to be a problem to kit out. He declared he was happy with the very first one he tried on. He’s definitely not fussy!
A couple of weeks later I was at a wedding fair with my mum and sister when I stumbled across what I decided was my absolute dream ring. It was being sold by a company who don’t have a shop – instead, they come to see you in the comfort of your own home, which they claim helps them cut costs. They quoted me a great price for the ring and they had a gorgeous brochure, and a huge selection of bands both with and without diamonds, so I booked an appointment for them to come over the following month.
Let’s just say it was a bit of a disaster. The woman, who was perfectly nice, showed up at our house, armed with a sample of the ring I’d picked out. Only it turned out I’d been quoted one third of its actual price when I’d been at the fair.
I was so upset. It was now totally out of our budget. But because this woman was in our flat, we felt completely pressured into buying something from her. In the end we reluctantly settled on matching plain gold bands (which were ridiculously over-priced, I think) and gave her my credit card details just to get her out of the place. I don’t know what I was thinking. Luckily, Sean came to the rescue and took charge, calling her later on to cancel the order.
Which left us right back at square one.
I had a look around the high street but couldn’t find anything I wanted there, either, and I was beginning to give up on finding something special. Then, my mum called one day and mentioned that I could use my grandma’s wedding ring.
I am SO close to my grandma. When we were little, she and granddad used to take me and my brother and sister on holiday – we lived right by them and saw them all the time, and always have done. Even though I don’t live down the road anymore, grandma and I speak every day, either on the phone or by text. (She’s a very cool grandma!) My grandparents are really my second parents. So I can’t think of anything more perfect, or anything that would mean more to me, than using my grandma’s wedding ring as my own. Especially as she and my granddad have had such a long, happy marriage. Definitely something to aspire to. (Incidentally, I’m not stealing the ring off her finger! Grandma doesn’t wear it anymore, because she wears her mum’s.)
It’s the perfect solution and I’m going to love it so much more than anything I could ever buy. So now we just need to find a band for Sean – which, judging by our trip to Hatton Garden, is going to be pretty straightforward anyway!