Photos from the talented Redfield Photography

When it came to planning our wedding the two most important things to me were the photographer and our rings. These were going to be the two things we have and remember our entire lives. I am going to see the photos over our tv and look down at my ring everyday.

Finding Lauren for our rings was a fluke really, I got invited to a blogger event hosted by herself and after much debating I decided to attend. We got to talking, she invited me back to look at some rings and after stalking her website I decided to take her up on her offer.

But before we get to that part, I need to go back and tell you a little story…

When I was in high school, I took photography (no surprise there) but I used to carry my camera around and take photos of the most random things. Cracks in an old building. A lonely boat in harbour. Raindrops on a flower. Everything was in macro form. So when asked to take portraits for an assignment I decided to do something a little different.

A candid shot of my uncle playing with his grandson. A family friend’s son pulling a little wagon across a yard so big he looks like an ant. And my grandmother, her hands wrapped around a glass of wine sitting in her living room. Her hands, wrinkled but not fragile. Adorned with multiple delicate rings on nearly every finger. It was the only black and white shot I submitted the entire year for my course – and it was my favourite. It felt like her.

Of the many rings on my grandmother’s petite little fingers was a simple rose gold band. She wore it on her middle finger next to her own wedding rings. It was her mother’s wedding band – my great grandmothers. And it was the reason I’d always wanted a rose gold wedding ring. It’s one of the many problems Rich had when looking for my engagement ring, but he knew it had to be rose gold. And when you have a rose gold ring you need a rose gold band…

Not wanting to jump right in, and a little scared to ask my grandmother for something that had become a part of her, I asked my Mom. Technically speaking, she would be next to receive it as it was her grandmothers. She had no particular attachments and knew how in love I’d been with it for years and she told me to ask my grandmother. So, she came for support and we went and asked.

I’m not going to lie. I was terrified. How was she going to react? What was she going to say? We went in the afternoon for a visit. And after we caught up, my Mom said those dreaded words, ‘Mom, Staci has something to ask you.’ Talk about throwing me in the deep end. Not only was my grandmother staring but now we’d attracted the attention of my grandfather. Three pairs of eyes, all staring at me, waiting for me to speak. Great.

It was not eloquently put whichsoever, I basically rambled for a few minutes until my Mom stopped me to explain what I was asking. She immediately reached for her ring and started playing with it. Nervous. And then there was silence.

Oh so much silence.

She continued to mess with her rings until she turned to my Mom saying it should be hers next. My Mom and her chatted. My grandfather quietly sipped his wine, not wishing to get involved. In the end, she agreed. The wedding wasn’t for another almost 10 months, in which time I assured her she could keep the ring. I was so thankful. So happy. I couldn’t wait to tell Rich that she agreed – to which he had no doubts.

A few months later, we had to get the ring.

We picked it up in the morning, went to see Lauren and dropped it off in the evening. And in one day, all three of my rings were sorted.

Lauren was so easy to work with. I’ll admit I was anxious. I had a very clear vision and look in my head but when it comes to articulated what’s happening in my head, I’m not normally the best. Once again, I brought my Mom. She gets me, but bringing my Mom to a jewellers the week of Christmas is like bringing an alcoholic to a bar – just asking for trouble. Despite the stars in her eyes with all the shiny gems and jewels, she was very on task.

Initially, the plan was to get one other band, mixing the old with the new in a way that works well together and complimented our story while staying true to my personality. I’m not one for flash and I knew the moment I had my bands, I would only wear my engagement rings on special occasions. Despite not being a diamond, it still felt big and splashy and unnecessary for everyday life.

Lauren patiently went through nearly every ‘stackable’ ring she had. I had done my research and knew three I wanted to try. In the end I didn’t get any of those. I saw one that was nearly the same width as the other but with a little sparkle and the different shapes made it unpredictable. My Mom and I both loved it. But when I put it on with the solid band something felt wrong. I just kept saying it was unbalanced. And it was.

In the end Lauren picked up the most delicate and dainty ring I’ve ever seen – nothing I could possibly ever wear. I’m a mess, a klutz. Surely I’d break it. Put with my Mom nearly forcing me to at least try. I fell in love. It’s one of those things that I would never pick for myself but when on, it was just meant to be. I tried them with my engagement ring and without, I stared. I took too many pictures and in the end my mind was made up. I would have not one, not two, but THREE wedding bands! I’m a crazy person.

I can not thank Lauren enough for her time and patience with me. I like to think I wasn’t a bridezilla or anything like that, but I am very particular. Especially when it comes to something I’m going to see every single day or my life. She even took time to show me some rings for Rich, but ultimately he’d need his own appointment because if I was just particular, than he was definitely high maintenance.

Rich hates shiny. And he’s a guy so he’s never worn a ring so just kept telling it – ‘it’s touching him’ – as if it wouldn’t? Lauren assured me she had a solution. So on his next visit to Philadelphia we made yet another appointment to see Lauren. I got to try on my rings again *swoon* and Rich was presented with SO many options. Who knew guys had so many different styles!

Anyone who knows Rich, knows he doesn’t do well with a lot of options. He gets overwhelmed very easily. Restaurants with big menus are a no no because it will take him an hour to decide on something. I knew this was going to be a long day. Luckily, Lauren was so on it and with a few questions narrowed it down to about 4 options. After much debating, he settled on a brushed look and a special curved band that’s meant to stop him feeling them touching him. No shine and less touching. A match made in heaven.

One of the many reasons I loved working with Lauren is that she does everything. Custom designs, ready to order, estate jewellery – you name it and she can help you. Not just that but her office is so homey that you don’t feel like you’re being sold to. I loved that. I also really liked that she dealt in estate jewellery because I felt like she’d get my want of mixing vintage with contemporary. And she did.

Most of you will know by now, that my engagement ring was meant to be temporary. The day we got back from our trip we went into so many shops that had 90% cushion cut diamonds and less than 5 options in rose gold. The problem was, everything was so trendy, I didn’t want trendy. I wanted classic. So we went to into some antique jewellers where I tried on some stunning Art Deco and Victorian rings but none in rose gold. In the end, we went to a pub and called it a day. I still look from time to time but I’ve come to terms that the ring in my head might not exist. But not to worry because my wedding bands are everything I wanted and more thanks to Lauren.

And I have a sneaky suspicion that if I’m ever going to find ‘the one’ it’s going to be from Lauren’s website…but until then, I’ll bask in the happiness of such a beautiful set of rings