Wedding project ideas and style how-tos for brides, bridal jewelry designers and wedding planners.
If we wish to form a lifetime union with someone, if we are lucky, and if we work every day on maintaining that marriage, then we will experience an engagement ring only once.
|If you've watched enough movies, especially older ones from the 1930 through the 1960s, you may have noticed a scene in which a man improvises an engagement ring to suddenly pop the question to his intended. The "engagement ring" was a cigar band, a rubber band, piece of string, a pull-tab from a drink can or a twist tie. So, the idea of no rules for engagement rings has been in effect for years. However, you can rest assured most of those guys went out at the first opportunity to buy a more substantial engagement ring (and figured out her ring size).|
A "substantial" ring means a traditional engagement ring with diamond (or diamonds) or some other precious stone such as sapphire, ruby or emerald. Quite often, an engagement ring will be more flashy and expensive than the wedding ring, which in this case would be a wedding band that is worn next to or even attached to the engagement ring--further symbolizing a union.
As always, when it comes to choosing engagement and wedding rings, budget is an important consideration. However a prospective bridegroom can show his love, honor and commitment without busting his budget. But that does not require precious stones in a traditional setting. Wouldn't it be nice to be free from worrying about expense? Here are few ways to make your own rules:
|Tell a Story/Deep Meaning - The couple may choose or design a ring with components that are rich in symbolism. Such a ring makes a great conversation piece. And what couple doesn't want to talk about their couple-ness? Telling the story of how they met would be a likely candidate. Take a look at this ring and try to imagine what the arrangement of beads, crystal and rhinestones represent.|
|Interests - For example, let's say they are both big baseball fans. Here's a ring with an enamel and pewter baseball charm placed in an antique silver-plated brass round bezel setting. Remember, I said they are BIG baseball fans. Perhaps they are musicians, and would like a ring with a treble clef. There are lots of opportunities for jewelry designer-artists to fashion custom rings that reflect the couple's special interests.|
|Setting - Instead of a center diamond, there are plenty of opportunities for a non-traditional engagement ring in how the stones are arranged and set. For example, I know one couple who went ring shopping together and chose an unusual channel ring with small diamonds, sapphires and emeralds for their engagement ring. She knew what the ring was going to look like but still left it up to him to surprise her with when and how he was going to present it to her and pop the big question. This design called Golden Anchorite features a cluster of Swarovski® crystal beads, pearls and drops.|
For a couple into goth or just like black, they may want to consider something like this black onyx and sterling silver ring (below left).
If being green and environmentally-friendly is their thing, here's a nephrite jade gemstone cabochon ring (below center).
Another popular style is the ''Celtic Knot Engagement Rings'', such as this antique sterling silver ring with a knot symbolizing the infinity of everlasting love (below right).
|And to really go non-traditional, and if you perhaps live in a warm climate, you may just be turned on the idea of a toe ring.
So, who says you have to get a certain type of ring (diamond or band)? Make your engagement rings as personal and special as your relationship with fun materials and shapes--that don't break the bank. Plus, a cute, less expensive engagement ring means you can go pick out the wedding band together without spoiling a surprise proposal. Make a romantic day of it!