I never thought that I would get my engagement and wedding rings designed, not in a million years. However, after spending 2 months looking at rings and discovering the complex world of diamonds, neither myself nor my fiancé found anything we liked off the shelf.
Also, since most rings are made to measure, I found out that it can actually be better value for money to get it designed independently. Following hours of research I started to get a feel for what I liked in a ring (which was actually completely different to what I thought I would have liked) and I put together a mood board.
Unsure where to find a designer I contacted engagement ring blog The Cut to see if they could help. Kate asked to see the mood board and immediately suggested I get in touch with Arabel, as she thought our styles were most aligned. I checked out Arabel's website, loved her work and the bespoke pieces she had done, and got in touch.
My first meeting with Arabel was great, and more productive than I expected. We connected straight away and she began to sketch ideas there and then, helping me to understand what I liked.
The design process was pretty much like this the whole time over the next few months - a back and forth via email as the design evolved. While we developed a basic shape and stone setting for the ring early on, it was the aesthetic details that we evolved over time- the size and type of stone, engraving, additional diamonds etc.
I let myself be guided by Arabel's expertise and experience and always felt excited when I saw her emails in my inbox. My fiancé and I would talk about the designs, I'd share them with my best friend and my mum, do some thinking and send Arabel my thoughts.
A good designer challenges and inspires. Arabel knew that I had the perfect ring in my head, and that I would know it when I saw it. She worked tirelessly (and very patiently) to help me figure out what I liked through a process of elimination and inspiration. I had to have faith in the process and Arabel gave me confidence.
All in all it took about 6 months to design and produce the rings, with three face to face meetings that top and tailed the whole process. Neither of us were in a rush and while I had to fend off the persistent questions about my ring from impatient friends and family, I was happy to go with the flow. I am planning on wearing these rings for a very long time, after all!
I was really nervous meeting Arabel to pick up my rings. What if, after all of our work, I didn't like them?! Had we made the right choices? Was rose gold a good choice? The questions just kept coming.
Arabel placed the jewellery box in front of me and told me to open it, "they're your rings" she said. I remember unwrapping the box slowly, careful to savour the moment, and then I saw them. From nothing sat two rings that represented my life with my husband to be. They were perfect.