Monday, November 15, 2010

The Starting Bell (Riiiiiing!)

All the planning, all the craziness, the spreadsheets of guest names and timelines and to-do’s, the color palettes, the dress hunting, the shoes(!), the menus and linens and so much more—it all started with a ring.
A few months before we got engaged, Mr. Goodlaff asked me to show him what I liked in the way of engagement rings.  He said that if “sometime way, way, way, way, way in the future" he decided to propose, he wanted it to be a surprise, which meant that he would be ring shopping all on his own and could use a little guidance.  Now, I, like most girls have given this a thought a time or two and I had definite ideas on what the ring should look like.
So, I showed him “the one”:

*sigh* It still makes me go all gooey inside. 
I fell in love with this ring when I was living in Shanghai, China.  I walked into a Tiffany & Co with some friends and was immediately drawn to the Legacy setting.  The good people at Tiffany’s knew that there was no way I’d be buying that ring, but they still pulled it out of the case, handed it over, and let me dream for a little bit--it was a good day.  
I showed this ring to Mr. Goodlaff.  He didn’t say, “Oh, that’s so pretty,” or “Look at the stunning craftsmanship” or “That would look lovely on your finger.” No.  “How much is it?” was the first question out of his mouth.  “It’s around $13,000,” I deadpanned.  He blanched and I laughed.  The ring is beautiful, but wasn’t even remotely in our budget.
If he had asked me what kind of ring I would want even three months earlier than he did, he would have heard: “platinum or white gold, princess cut diamond solitaire.”  But I kept thinking about that Legacy setting, knowing I could never afford it, but loving the character and class it had.  It looked like an antique, looked like it had a history (hence the “Legacy” name—I am so smart!).  Surely there would be other rings out there that also looked classic and timeless?
So I did what I always do in those situations: I googled.  I searched “antique engagement rings” and what do you know? It was to the rescue.  Ass over teakettle, I fell in love. I was smitten.  The rings were gorgeous and they were unique and detailed, and I had never seen anything like them before.  Take a look:

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? My heart is fluttering as we speak type!

I spent a while on the website, showing Mr. Goodlaff the milgrain details I was in love with, the art deco scrolling and the amazing settings. He took notes and no more was said.

Until, one day in March, he presented me with this:
Personal Photos (They don't do it justice!)

Mr. Goodlaff got his wish--I was completely surprised, both by the proposal and the ring he picked.  I love that it has all the details that I fell in love with, but he was the one who ultimately made the choice. I don't know if he could have picked anything better. It looks so great on my finger, doesn't overwhelm my hand, and everyday I find myself looking at it and thinking how incredibly lucky I am to have Mr. Goodlaff in my life.

I wasn't in on the purchase, but Mr. Goodlaff  was thrilled with the level of customer service he got from Leigh (the jewler), and said that even though he bought it online, he felt really comfortable with the transaction. Bonus of buying online: no sales tax. (He's a smart shopper!)

Were you in on the ring decision in any way?  Did you give your fiance guidance on what to get, or did you let him choose for you?

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