Wedding rings

Sep 13

Hen celebrations underway!

“I can’t believe we’re celebrating me getting married!” I exclaimed, as my friend Rachel whipped a flashing hen party badge out of her bag and handed it to me to pin to my top. We were sipping champagne (through L plate straws) and tucking into a generous serving of cakes, scones and sandwiches over afternoon tea in a central London hotel last Saturday – which, excitingly, marked the first of my hen celebrations.

Check out my straw!

Check out my straw!

We dubbed it my mini hen. And what a mini hen it was! Rach had taken me out because she’s not able to come on my official hen – a long weekend in Marbella starting on Friday – and although I’m super sad she won’t be joining us in Spain (particularly because we met while we were both living in Madrid) we more than made up for it in London.

I’d even banned Sean from contacting me for the duration. That’s what you’re supposed to do on a hen, right? Well – he failed spectacularly! I heard off him when Arsenal won their match, and again when it emerged they were top of the league. Hmm.



Anyway. I was thoroughly spoilt. “All the stress of wedding planning is finally paying off!” I remember thinking, as we ordered another bottle of fizz. Rach had gone above and beyond with prezzies too – presenting me with a goody bag that contained everything from the practical – vitamin C (can’t be getting ill before the big day!), hairspray, underwear and party feet – to the touching, including a gorgeous jewellery box, a bracelet, and a beautiful home made scrap book containing photos of me and Sean and words from this very blog, that moved me to tears as soon as I opened it.

We gossiped, we laughed, we fell over, and we had a stab at some dares. It was an amazing, memorable day.

Afternoon tea, fizz and an old friend. Lovely.

Afternoon tea, fizz and an old friend. Lovely.

I enjoyed it all the more because pretty much everything is sorted for the wedding now. I went home last weekend and mum and I ticked off most things we had left to do. We bought flower girl dresses and wedding rings, we picked up the champagne (very important), we trialled a brilliant hair and makeup artist, I ordered presents for my bridesmaids and stationery for place settings and table plans, I sorted out our honeymoon visas and travel insurance, booked our trains home for the wedding, I visited our family friend Lesley to organize the music (she’s playing piano for us during the ceremony) and we visited the venue to run through the order of the day, tell them our final numbers and suppliers and choose table cloths etc.

Most our jobs are now done. Including picking up the champagne...

Most our jobs are now done. Including picking up the champagne…

Everything is pretty much sorted – so now, with just over one month to go, we can breathe a sigh of relief and get down to celebrating. Finally!

May 13

The wedding rings

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've been on the hunt for the perfect wedding ring for three months now. This is one I found on the high street.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect wedding ring for three months now. This is one I found on the high street.

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:

Potential wedding ring? This is what the jeweller who designed my engagement ring picked out...

Potential wedding ring? This is what the jeweller who designed my engagement ring picked out…

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.

I thought this was my dream ring. Turned out it wasn't.

I thought this was my dream ring. Turned out it wasn’t.

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.

Another one I'd tried on...

Another one I’d tried on…

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!

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