If you follow me on instagram, you may have already heard the news, but for those who haven’t.. over the holidays I got engaged!!
For four years PJ and I have been at eachother’s side through ups and downs, and every year has been better than the ones before. I’m so grateful to him for bringing this beautiful time into our lives, allowing us this experience the excitement and celebration of being engaged.
So when he pulled me aside in the Getty museum gardens and asked me to share the rest of my life with him, it took me a moment to realize that this man knew me well enough to let me design my own ring. (I’m super picky and he was determined to not let me know he was looking!) In the box, was a stunning, smoky-gray, rose cut diamond. It was all at once refined, natural and modern– all the things I wanted, but better than anything I would have picked for myself.
Truth be told, I wasn’t always sure about marriage. (Even now, I’m still figuring out what getting married actually means to me and deciding how it will define our relationship– more on this coming soon.) I felt love should be enough to hold two people together, and the cost of a wedding rivaled my love for design and event planning in a way that left me feeling like I’d rather just skip the whole thing all together. Plus I didnt want to start looking at rings unless I had a reason- so my prior “research” was limited to magazine inserts, and marriage felt expensive, inaccessible, unnecessary.
But when we decided getting married was the next step and that I SHOULD start figuring out what I liked, I came to some pretty quick conclusions: I wanted a unique, modern ring with a rough cut or flawed diamond–flatish, rose cut–and a hammered gold band. Something sturdy that wouldn’t look odd amidst the rest of my beloved big rings.
But above all else, I wanted a ring I could live in. Our dream is to buy land in Topanga or Malibu, build a little studio for our small family to grow in, and eventually a big house, with plenty of room and land for the dogs, chickens, sheep and children we hope to have. So I wanted a ring that could get covered in garden dirt, wouldn’t scratch our future babies’ faces, one that I could hike in, cook in, hammer and saw in; one that I could truly build a home in and wear every single day.
PJ did such an amazing job picking out the diamond, and I will always remember the day he gave it to me. Immediately after he proposed we went straight to the jeweler without even seeing the Mapplethorpe exhibition we’d gone to check out in the first place– I was so shocked I could barely walk or think straight, nevermind wander through a museum of crowded people and pretend to look at art!
I was pretty skeptical about this particular jeweler- his shop doesn’t display anything remotely modern- so we looked around at some other jewelers while I carried the diamond all around the house for a week like a little tomagotchi before deciding on the original guy after all. Ultimately what I loved about this second-generation jeweler was that he makes everything by hand as opposed to sending it out, and that he let me be a part of the process from start to finish, beginning with a 3D image, then a wax mold, various stages of slimming the overall design, hand-picking the side diamonds (one for each of our years together so far) marking where they should go, and finally, the hand-hammering and setting of the stones.
I’m so thrilled with how it came out- the cut is classic but the color of the stone, upside down setting (rose cut diamonds are typically set with the pointed side facing up) and hammed gold are modern. I love that Pj picked the stone and I designed the setting. I love that the gold reminds me of Nala and the gray reminds me of Che. It’s a perfect representation of our life so far; of my style and values. When I gaze down at it in yoga, when it gleans in the shower, even when it catches my eye while doing the dishes- I am reminded of how lucky I am and how much I love my little family.
I’m working on putting together a resource guide of the sites I bookmarked while researching unique /natural /eco-friendly / budget-friendly/ bohemian/ alternative engagement rings as well as some of the rings that inspired my own design. I’ll try to get that up later this week! In the meantime, see hands that inspire me here.
If you read this whole post, thank you for bearing with me- I’m just so excited to finally share every detail! xx
Update: You can find my engagement ring inspiration post here!