It’s finally happening. Yes, this weekend! They are doing it. They are getting married!
Who? Who do you think?
I don’t really have an opinion on the Royal wedding, to be honest. I wish the couple well, but boy is it a good segue (who knew this is how you spell ‘segway’? What a world we live in) into a potentially tricky conversation.
So back to you. You’re in a relationship. You’re going steady, you know each other well, you really think this could work and you got a feeling he or she does too. Moreover, you don’t really see yourself with anyone else anymore.
A proposal is going to be made, but it’s going to be a surprise.
As a jewellery designer, I hear about weddings and engagements on a daily basis. Weddings are my life. They are my ‘day in the office’, but luckily for me getting to know the couple means no two occasions are ever the same.
But I do have some advice.
Marriage is clearly meaningful and deeply symbolic for many people. Not just the couple, but the family, friends, broader society. It is also an event and as anyone who runs events knows, they can be stressful and require a lot more work than people realise.
‘So you’re getting married’ often means ‘so now you’re an event/project manager’ but with no experience (‘how did I land this job again?’). Fantastic! Now, let’s reserve our pity and horror for the poor gallant proposer – the ring buyer – who is upgraded into a woman’s personal stylist for a her most personal and lifelong accessory, but with even less experience. Without even a clue. Sometimes, yes, without even any sense of style.
So on the one hand you have a woman who has been honing her look, knows what she likes, has been comparing notes with friends and thinking about this for years and on the other a guy who can’t tell the difference between this ring and that ring and has not given it any thought until yesterday. And he will choose the semi-permanent accessory that the stylish lady shall very rarely ever take off forevermore.
…it’s quite strange when you think about it.
I am often the first person to know about an engagement. I feel privileged and honoured. It makes me feel a bit like part of the secret services. I am used to working from the shadows with guys who are out of their comfort zones and stressed and under pressure, sending them on intelligence gathering missions without blowing their cover. So I think I am well-placed to give some advice on fact-finding conversations to better inform how a jewellery designer can make the best ring.
This is advice for both sides of the couple.
Back to Harry and Meghan. Whether you are interested in the Royal wedding or not it’s fine. But I feel that it is important to listen to the comments surrounding the wedding if you want to know what your partner wants (not the celebrity – but the wedding details). Especially you, men – LISTEN TO YOUR GIRLFRIEND! They may be dropping hints about and guidelines to their engagement and wedding choices. Make mental notes. I would even push you to go further and scribble notes on your phone or in a notepad. The wedding gives you a legitimate, casual reason to ask about wedding dresses, flowers and engagement and wedding rings without letting her know that you are thinking about proposing.
In general wedding planning wedding rings often get overlooked until the last minute. You know, the everlasting symbol of love which you will both wear for the rest of your lives.
But as with all crafts, a good job can take time. A last-minute rush can limit your options.
Give him a hand. Make sure you are not disappointed with your engagement ring by giving him the information he needs if you want a surprise proposal. He is only trying to make you happy.
Possible conversation starters from the royal wedding…
Don’t make it super obvious that you are hinting at wanting to get married. It might put him off proposing for longer.
Remember that a lot of our fellas can’t tell the difference between one ring and another and are far more likely to be able to distinguish features than style. So he might get the difference between gold and platinum, he might ace the size and type of the stone, etc. but he may be far less inclined than you to have a feel for whether the ring looks good or not or what the design says stylistically and how that matches you.
Therefore you may need to educate him, by talking about style and features but without necessarily talking explicitly about what you want. If he’s taking notes he should get the picture and be able to use your words to work with someone like me to get you the ring that you want.
“That ring looks great but it’s far too plain. It’s not exciting.”
“Traditional rings just look elegant.”
“Why do people care so much about the size of the stone?”
“Look at that diamond!”
Men– possible conversation starters from the Royal wedding:
Don’t go straight to talking about the ring – it’s too obvious. Subtlety is king! Ease in. Talk about the dress, the ceremony, then the ring.
“[Insert name] work was talking about buying an engagement ring for his girlfriend and he asked me but how should I know? He’s worried about getting the wrong ring. What should I tell him? What about an engagement/wedding ring like Meghan’s?”
Take notes on what she thinks is positive and negative in a ring. Make sure this is in a general context or includes what she would like for herself too rather than specifically speaking about another person.
“I am not sure about her engagement ring/wedding –it has too many diamonds/is too big/is a boring colour… What do you think?”
From all the conversations I’ve had, I’d like to confirm we are not all mind readers, trust me, and we need help from time to the time. Buying an engagement or wedding ring is among the most enduring purchases in your life. No one likes wearing engagement or wedding rings they don’t like. At worst, it can leave a simmering disappointment or resentment as an enduring symbol of a lack of effort, regard or care.
I hope this has been helpful. Choose wisely. And if you need advice give me a call on 07843129287.
“Love recognises no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope.” Maya Angelou