You’ve probably gathered by now that planning my wedding was far from the stereotypical routine. If you haven’t read about our proposal story, feel free to check it out! To continue with our wedding series here, we’re going to talk about ring shopping and how I ended up with these gorgeous creations from Laurie Fleming Jewellery.
I started attending some wedding shows in advance of my proposal. The Wedding Co was held in the Evergreen Brickworks space and was a lot of fun. It’s a smaller show, and I definitely recommend it as a way to dip your feet into wedding shows. Trust me, the huge banquet hall/convention center ones are INTENSE. I tried on my first rings at this show and it gave me an idea of what I didn’t like. I’m an avid user of Pinterest, so I already had tons of rings saved, but there’s nothing like trying a ring on and seeing how you feel about it (more on this later).
The typical wedding set includes the engagement ring and the wedding band. The engagement ring is usually the ring people discuss. “Historically,” this ring has been a diamond — this history can be traced back roughly 100 years, and De Beers can be thanked for linking diamonds to “forever.” Diamond rings are pretty, but I have never been a fan of the gem. You’ll see from the images below that diamonds just don’t suit me.
My love of blue sapphires is unparalleled. It’s my birthstone and the typical variation is a deep/dark blue. Almost every piece of jewellery that I wear on a daily basis is set with sapphires. What you may not know is that like diamonds, sapphires come in a variety of colours and they are known to represent commitment and fidelity.
When we went to NYC, a large part of that trip was to try on rings at Anna Sheffield and Catbird. I had saved this image of an emerald cut blue sapphire Bea ring and a crescent diamond band set many years ago and was so sure that this would be the one for me.
Although I do wish they had the exact pieces I was interested in at the store when I visited, I tried on similar pieces and came to the realization that these rings were just not for me. Big stones look amazing in photographs, but they don’t suit my personal style. They are clunky and obnoxious on my hands. I didn’t like the height and although they were not the most expensive rings I’ve admired in the past, they were still out of my general budget.
Catbird has smaller settings, and I thought I’d find one that I would like there. Lots of designers I enjoy sell through Catbird, such as Jennie Kwon, Satomi Kawakita, Polly Wales and Sofia Zakia. Laurie Fleming also sells through Catbird — while I had saved some images of her pieces, I will fully admit that they weren’t high on my list at this time. I tried on so many rings at Catbird. Then I went to the Wedding Annex to try on more! I returned to Catbird the following day to try some on for a second time.
Still nothing really appealed to me that much. What I learned is that you should definitely try on engagement rings to get a sense of how they will look on your hand. Just like a dress, you may have an idea of what you want, but when you try on the one you think will be perfect, you may find it to be less than ideal for you.
So I went home at the end of that trip not knowing where I’d find the right ring(s) but knowing what I did not want in my future rings. Speaking of rings, I love the look and idea of a ring stack, so I’m hoping to build a stack in the future. I’d love to hear your thoughts — do you like a single ring, the engagement and band duo or a stack celebrating various moments?
A week after returning from NYC, I was tapping through my Instagram stories when I saw an ad from Laurie Fleming Jewellery. I immediately reached out via DMs and was able to set up an appointment to visit her studio. Your tech is always listening to you, to better provide you with targeted ads. If you don’t believe me, just talk about any product or problem while near your device. You’ll soon see targeted ads in your various social media services of the product or a product to solve your problem.
Before visiting, I had let Laurie know which rings I was interested in. I wanted to see the Atlanta, Aika, Aurelia, Beacen, Jasmine, Ilona and Cyndra. Below I’m testing out the Ilona and Aika rings.
Laurie is such a sweetheart and working with her was a breeze. She listened to what I liked and what I wanted modified/customized. We decided on customizing the Ilona ring to have a medium blue rose cut sapphire as the center stone, and bring the shoulders up to bracket the center stone. Then we got a customized Aika, elongating it with a gradient of sapphires.
The universe helped me find a dream designer, who is professional and full of creativity. And LOCAL! She took us through the process of how her rings are created, how she would be making the changes and provided updates as she sourced the stones and created these beauties.
We weren’t in a rush for the rings as we still had months to go before the wedding. Despite the busy holiday season and planning a new Spring collection, Laurie had the pair completed by January!
Just as your proposal does not need to follow heteronormative stereotypes, your engagement also does not need to prescribe to capitalist consumerism. You do not need to have a ring for the proposal. You can take your time finding the right ring for you. But if you’re planning on having a ring, here are some tips:
If you’re looking for rings, whether for a commitment to a partner or to yourself, here are some local Toronto designers, boutiques and collectives: Anice Jewellery, Bluboho, Laurie Fleming Jewellery, Made You Look, Mejuri, and Omi Woods.