In a world full of solitaire styles, writer and bride-to-be Lexxi Davis wanted to own a rock that was 100% her. It's kind of important to love the one piece of jewellery you're going to be wearing EVERY day for the rest of your life, right? After being with my boyfriend for around three and bit years, I knew 'the question' was close to being popped. We'd moved in together after just 6 months dating, had always talked about getting married and I knew pretty much from day one he was The One. And, although he knows me better than anyone else, I just couldn't trust him to guess my style (who really can?). So before any proposal plans got into his head, I told him about how the ring thing was going to work. This is the story of how I designed my own engagement ring.
ENGAGEMENT PARTY IDEAS
The Initial Fear
I'm a typical Libra - fiercely independent, but crazy
indecisive. Not a great combo when you're trying to describe the
perfect piece of jewellery to your other half... So, rather than
being terrified of opening a box containing a mystery stone, I
bookmarked a rose gold and tiny diamond style from Monica Vinader
and told him this is what I wanted, if he was going to ask to me to
marry him. Then we would shop for the 'real one', together.
The down-on-one knee moment didn't come as a surprise, which I
didn't really mind as at least I was prepared with nice nails! So
after being presented with my stand-in-ring, (and a bucket loads of
celebratory prosecco) we started to discuss what the actual ring
would be like. (At this point, I had NO idea).
Deciding On Style
We booked in some appointments at jewellers to try on some
styles and inevitably, I fell in love with a pinky-coloured pear
shaped diamond ring by Jessica McCormack. A rare stone that was, of
course, crazy expensive. I could have downsized the style to a
slightly more affordable fee, but by this point I was really sold
on having a 1ct diamond (minimum). To have the ring in the size I
wanted was just in another realm of budget. When a friend's
beautiful bespoke engagement ring came back from the jeweller, I
was hell bent on designing my own ring.
A Pretty Price
The best option financially was to get an engagement ring made.
I love the Jessica McCormack pear, but I also wanted a 1ct diamond
and the two didn't add up. After chatting with Lindsay she
explained the different between old cut and new diamonds and I fell
in love with the idea of an antique stone. This made the diamond
harder to find, but all the most sweetly satisfying when we found
The One. My fiancé even managed to haggle with the Hatton Garden
From Stone To Ring
Once we had the actual diamond to work with (a 1.35ct pear shaped stone dating from 1915), we could start playing around with ideas - both on Pinterest and paper. Designing it with a jeweller made the whole process really special. From choosing the material and thickness of the band (I went for 1.8mm rose gold with platinum top), to getting through the technical drawings where I saw the shape take form for the first time, I loved every moment.
Making An Heirloom
It was really important to me that we created a piece of
jewellery that could be passed down as an heirloom. We don't have
any rocks in the family, so I wanted to create something special
that wasn't just for me (ok mainly for me), and could be a nice
jewel to give to future generations to come.
The Final Thing
I'm still waiting to be presented with the final piece, but I've
tried on the nearly finished version and I cannot wait. It's been
nearly a year since we got engaged and around 10 months since
taking the first design steps, so excitement is an understatement.
The finished ring will be given to Ben when it's ready, so
hopefully this time I'll get a surprise proposal - but thankfully
without the fear of wondering what the ring will look like.
Now all I need to do is plan the actual wedding. Oh, and design the wedding ring of course...
What to do if you fall out of love with your wedding dress
It was the dream wedding dress. It fit perfectly in the shop, you felt a million dollars and your mum shed a tear. But what do you do if, in the cold light of your own home, that dream dress doesn't feel quite right? What is the wedding dress you thought you wanted isn't the one?
First things first don't panic!! Unless it's the morning of the big day, there's still time. Welcome to the Brides guide to 'What to do if you fall out of love with your wedding dress'
Can it be altered?
Really think about what you don't love about the dress. If it's a sleeve that's falling on an unflattering part of the arm, a hemline that's an inch or two short of stylish or a waistline that is less than defined, then fear not. Alternations can be done in a heartbeat to take your dress from drab to fab. If the shop you bought it from doesn't offered alternations then talk to a local dress maker, they might just turn out to be your fairy godmother!
Can you add something to it?
A whole look can be changed with a fantastic accessory. A dull dress can be made incredible with a brilliant belt, a bridal shrug or a stand out piece of jewellery. Failing that, think about the shoes! Even if they can't be seen underneath a full-length gown, a pair of to-die-for shoes can change everything; the way you stand, the way you walk and definitely the way you feel.
Can you change your hair and make up?
As important as your wedding dress is, your big day beauty has a big impact on the whole look. Maybe trying the dress on with a clean face and your hair in a scrunchie isn't giving off quite the right vibe. Book a hair and make up trial with your wedding dress and ask the team you're working with for some advice. Maybe your dress is just crying out for a smoky eye to toughen it up or long flowing braids for the free spirit vibe you need?
Can you get another dress?
Don't ditch the first model completely, but how about adding a second wedding dress to the mix? Not only will it give you another sartorial choice to look forward to (and make you feel like a total celeb) but it could even make you love your first dress more. If you've splashed out on the first dress, then head to the high street for some more budget conscious options for the second. Plus a second dress means a party dress, opt for feathers, sequins and sass to counteract a more traditional first gown.
Can you take it back and start again?
If all else fails and it really is that bad, a new dress might be your only choice. It is your special day and being in anything that makes you feel less than fabulous is not an option. High street and online shops should offer full refunds. If you purchased your dress from a bridal boutique, take it back and explain the situation, chances are they can exchange another dress in stock that is far more up your street. You may have to compromise and have an off-the-peg dress altered to save time, but if the end result make you happy, it will all be worth it.
Can you sell your dress and start again?
If the boutique won't offer a refund or exchange, head online to bridal gown resale websites for another way to get your money back. Many sites will resell luxury dresses for you a take a small cut to save you the hassle or head to the likes of eBay for a DIY option. You may not get all of your money back, but whatever you do can go towards the dress of your dreams.
Can you live with it?
Whilst wedding dresses are a key ingredient of the big day, there are other things that are just as important. As yourself, if I look back at photos and see my friends, family and new spouse having the best day of their lives, can I live with a dress that's not 100% right? After all, your thoughts on the dress may just be sartorial cold feet, and you can certainly live with that kind.