Archive for the ‘The Ring’ Category


First Two NY Wedding Dress Appointments Made!

April 26, 2008

Image found online, shopping in New York

Thank god for Emily and New York Magazine….read on to find out why.

Last post about the first wedding dress weekend (which actually happened back in January), I mentioned how I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown and ready to quit the whole wedding event before I had even gotten started. My sweetie just looked at me and laughed every time I told him about my “pain”. So, it was about a week before Emily and Melissa would arrive (and several days before Sam, Melissa’s little sister, was due to arrive) – yes we were about to have a very full house, and I didn’t really have any appointments to look at wedding gowns.

Until that email from Emily came. She apparently knew what I was feeling and immediately set to work – actually that’s a miniature lie. Back in November of 2007 when I announced to her that we had found “the ring” and were having it made, she immediately began planning my wedding. Sent me emails frequently with possible venues, bridesmaid dresses, ideas for flowers, and all that stuff! Right away in fact – more like within minutes.

Anyway, getting back to her dress email – in it she suggested that we check out Saks (if we could) and Blue. She had gotten her information from New York Magazine online, which I thought was a great source. She sent the links to the descriptions, the one for Blue is quoted from the site below:


Designer Christina Kara creates modern, edgy custom-made wares for hip brides in her tiny shop, offering an array of fabrics (silk, duchesse satin, lace) and styles (off the shoulder, mermaid, A-line).

Young professionals looking for something fashionable turn here for fresh takes on cocktail dresses ($400 to $650) and ball gowns ($1,200 to $3,000). Everything is custom-made at the in-store workshop. As a bonus, designer-owner Christina Kara offers group rates for large wedding parties.

I read that and thought, “Well, OK…I could be a hip bride. I like a fresh outlook on the gown. The prices are up my alley!” and figured I’d give it a whirl despite the one and only user review was a very negative one. (I’ve since learned to pay more attention to those user reviews – more on that later.)

A few minutes after that first email from Emily appeared, she sent another with the subject line “ooohhhhhh!” which I knew had to contain something good! In this one, she didn’t even write anything except for the description from New York Magazine online, which I’ve included below:

Morgane Le Fay

These stores will have you imagining yourself as a powerful CEO by day, a princess gliding down a staircase in glass slippers by night. Ethereal silk-organza ball gowns range from $1,400 to $4,000; brides love the dress collection here. For day, try the feminine business suits and wool jerseys.

Liliana Casabal’s bridal collection features light, ethereal fabrics, playing with opaque and transparent materials (ivory and white silk, duchesse satin, organza, and chiffon). Her clients range from avant-garde Björk to the more ladylike Dame Helen Mirren. Alterations not included for the prêt-à-porter collection.

“Ooohhhhhh!” was right! I was totally into the idea of Morgane Le Fay – under the name alone…but the description was completely perfect.

So I immediately called Morgane Le Fay and made my first appointment for the upcoming Saturday, followed by the call to Blue. The one thing going for Blue was that I spoke directly to Christina Kara, the designer, and she had a fabulous accent on the phone. The appointments were set for Morgane Le Fay at noon and Blue at 4:00 PM. So I was super excited, more inspired, and ready to try and make a couple more appointments now that I had something started.

M, J, and S


Christmas 2007 Morning – Engagement Day Part Two

March 26, 2008

My Engagement Ring

Quick flashback – I was like an adult child on Christmas morning, waking up excited about the day. I had gone around and gotten all of my siblings out of bed and ready for the day by about 7:30ish. They were none too pleased, but in an overall good mood since it was after all, little baby Jesus’ birthday.

Plus, there was the promise of presents and breakfast. To most people, that isn’t a half bad way to start the day.

So, you’ll remember that I had made my rounds, waking up Jennifer, Christopher, Douglas, and then finally Dale. As soon as everyone was downstairs, they asked where Jon was…to which I replied with a swift motion pointing upstairs toward the bedroom. He was still sleeping, and I just couldn’t have that!

I made my way back up to the room and nicely told him to get his butt out of bed. He was awake because he heard me waking up the rest of the crowd and dreading for his moment of “Good Morning”. So he casually hugged and kissed me good morning and told me he would go get ready for the day.

This meant some clean teeth, washed face, and clothes. Because we all know my sweetie won’t go downstairs in my parents’ house in anything less than a clean t-shirt, jeans or shorts, belt, and sometimes even hat, socks, and shoes! He’s so formal.

Minutes went by which seemed like an eternity. I went back upstairs and he shut the door (now fully dressed and ready for the day.) He got down on his knee, took my left hand in his, and asked away! He used my full name – the first, middle, and last!

He was so nervous and shaking that it almost occurred to me to taunt him, much like he had taunted me with the ring in his pocket for the previous several days, but I didn’t have the heart. I was too excited to have been formally engaged with the ring on my finger!!

And after all the preparation, to be engaged in my high school bedroom is the highest of all ironies, in my opinion.

I quickly kissed him and we hugged and I asked if it was really my ring now – officially…and promptly ran right down the stairs shoving my left hand into everyone’s face. Demanding that they get down and kiss my ring.

As if I were infallible!

Upon seeing the ring on my hand, the first and only think my mother said was, “Where did you get that?!” Thinking I had stolen it without permission.

I, of course, informed her (and everyone else there) that it was official and I was rightly wearing my ring. Mom and Dad refused congratulations until my sweetie came down the stairs and verbally confirmed that it was true.

As if I were a sneak!

And with that, my friends, was the first official day of what was to become known as our Wedding Whirlwind!

More to come, stay tuned.

M, J, and S


Almost Engaged…The Christmas Countdown

March 16, 2008

Baby Polar Bear

Let me throw you guys back into the wedding engagement whirlwind that I left you with. Looking back, you’ll remember that is was Christmas Eve, and not on the early side once we got to my parents’ house in south Florida. Christmas Eve is actually one of my favorite days of the year…you know, with Santa due to make his appearance and all…

We arrive, tired, hungry, and I was more than likely a little irritable. Anyone who knows me will probably say that’s an understatement. I can’t remember my exact mood, but I know it was a combination of emotions – knowing what (the ring) was in my sweetie’s pocket, being subjected to his teasing for several days, the excitement of the holiday itself, and hunger. (When my blood sugar gets low…watch out!)

Flashback to that evening:

My mother is upstairs with Jennifer (or is it E.T.??) wrapping presents. (You may be thinking to yourself, Christmas Eve is surely last minute to wrap the Christmas gifts, but in our family, there is no other way. And to top it off, there are never just a few gifts, the entire floor of the living room is filled with boxes, bags, and packages which tends to overflow into the entrance, coffee table, piano, and dining room table. We don’t mess around.) My sweetie and I have a quick dinner of the turkey, mashed potatoes, and all the trimmings that were waiting for us. Josie (my parents’ black Labrador-pitbull mix) is begging at my feet for a piece of anything on my plate.

I head upstairs to help Mom and Jennifer and to harass my three brothers, who all were there at the same time (shock!) As I make my way downstairs, slightly irritated that Jon had not helped me with the large (and heavy suitcase), I see him talking to my dad outside on the patio – one on one. I knew what was happening, so I kept my mouth shut and silently went up the stairs.

Next thing I know, Jennifer, my Mom, and Jon are huddled together…my sister and soon-to-be fiancé are about to make their way to Nana and Papa’s to get some [more] gifts my mom had hidden at their house. Yay – I knew what would be in store for them…so I kissed my sweetie good-bye and slapped Jennifer on the behind (something I tend to do when I am around her).

Later that night, Dad and I were out front, taking pictures of the metal wire and light baby polar bear that my brother, Douglas, had strategically placed in the bushes in a ready to pounce hunting position a short distance behind an unsuspecting metal wire and light baby seal. Of course it would be our family’s house to represent Christmas with death and destruction! (It was the hit of the neighborhood; at least from all the pagans!) While we were out there, Dad looked over at me and said, “Jon asked me [and mom] if it was OK to marry you. It was a little formal. I didn’t know what to make of it.” To which I responded, “I know. You said OK, right!”

I had to laugh a little because not only did Dad think it was a little formal, he wanted to know if I pressured Jon into breaking the bank on the gorgeous engagement ring. I let him know we got a great deal and it wasn’t too much! (And then reminded him that I am a very expensive girl anyway…)

And with that, I’ll leave you for a bit.





The Ring’s Arrival: Twas Shortly Before Christmas

February 17, 2008

Let’s get back to the next installment of the engagement story, since several of you have asked me to finish it before I discuss anything else. Well, here goes. And it really is not as involved as you may think. Refreshing our memories, I had found an engagement ring that I really loved, but was out of our range. So, we talked to the great folks over at Abazias Diamonds and had the ring specially designed for us – pretty close to what I originally saw, so that was very exciting!Flashback to Friday, December 21st 2007. It’s my sweetie’s birthday (he turned VERY OLD, ha ha) and I am especially giddy with my good friend Melissa in Gainesville. We’ve had a girls’ day out – eyebrow waxing, wine shopping, lunch out, and general wedding talk, despite the fact that at that point, Jon and I were not officially engaged. We were still at that “unofficially official” stage. I head to Orlando for his birthday and to spend the few days before Christmas with my future in-laws.

The entire time I was entirely too excited about the prospect of my shiny new ring being delivered to my future in-laws’ home that Saturday morning. You see, the ring, as it was custom-made, took several weeks (which felt like several centuries) to be ready, so I was more than ready to get engaged! I knew the ring was on its way, which also meant that I was about to become the future “Mrs. My Sweetie” (since I haven’t yet decided what my name will be!)

So, the UPS man arrived, and I answered the door with so much excitement I may have given him a coronary. I was the only one there…well, my sweetie’s dad was somewhere, but I wasn’t sure, and my sweetie had left me alone to go pick up some breakfast. I signed for the package and set it down in the dining room, but let me tell you, it was calling my name…

My sweetie arrived in a panic, seeing that the UPS delivery truck was still outside the house. I am the type of person to ask and ask what the gift is, to shake the packages, and all that jazz. However, I had done nothing of the sort, except to don my engagement dress, and wait patiently (well, not quite patiently, I had called Melissa and Patrick as a diversion).

So, with Aunt Thelma and my sweetie’s dad, I sat at the kitchen table as Jon nervously opened the UPS package. And then the other package. And then the other package, finally to reveal a small box. He opened it and refused to let me see, although Aunt Thelma and his father took a peek. At which point, I decided to let him know that I “needed” to at least see it to make sure it was right! So he let me sneak a peek, too.

Oh, and for the entire weekend leading up to Christmas, we still weren’t engaged. He carried the box in his pocket day and night and every now and then would pull it out of his pocket and say, “Hey, are you ready for this now?” to which I would immediately reply, “Yes!”.

In response, he’d always say, “Well, not yet.” And so it went for several days – the torture! He laughed constantly.

M and J


Getting the Engagement Ring

February 8, 2008

For those of you who have been following along with our blog, you know that I fell in love, not only with my sweetie, but with an engagement ring called the “Ballerine” which was way too far out of our price range. Costing a mere $25,000, it was a very nice dream, but not something that would ever become a reality. Or so I thought.

After Jon decided that it was finally “time” to start thinking about getting engaged, I went right into research and “figure-it-out” mode. I started looking at diamonds. Learning all I could about what I wanted as far as diamond quality, cut, color, style, and everything else you could think of. And while I loved the Ballerine just the way it was in all it’s glory, I did want some slight changes.

I had decided I wanted an Asscher cut diamond rather than the emerald cut diamond that the original ring typically comes with. It has an old world sense about it. Very classy. Very different than what a lot of the trendy engagement rings showcase (pretty much round diamonds or princess cut diamonds). The Asscher, I think, looks antique with a modern twist. So that’s what I wanted.

So, I talked to Abazias Diamonds and mentioned what I wanted and if they could have the ring made just for me, according to my specifications. We happily found out that the answer was a great big “YES!” They helped me find a diamond that met my needs, and we actually got a great little (well, it’s just about a carat, so not that little…) VS2, F color stone that has absolutely no fluorescence (which means it won’t glow like crazy under a black light, has very few inclusions, and is practically colorless).

We chose platinum for the setting, and through the help of the great folks at Abazias realized that we could cut our costs not by skimping on quality but on the size of the 30 side stones (not including the center stone!) Also, since my ring finger is a mere 4.5, having a full 30 diamonds all around the band, at the original size, may make the ring look garish. With tiny fingers, I need to be careful about avoiding the big bling on my hand.

So, we made the decision, to order this ring, special made just for me. (Yay!) Since it was to be a custom job, it could take a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks in which I simply could not wait!

The ring was to be ready for us near Christmas (which was weeks away)…now I really was like a little kid waiting for Santa.


The Unofficially Official Engagement

January 27, 2008

So after what seemed months of anticipating an engagement proposal (based on my email stating that the “Ballerine” was the ONLY ring for me), my sweetie came upstairs (after tossing a balled up piece of paper at me) to my work area and told me that if I wanted a ring on my finger anytime soon, I had better get to work figuring out just how we would have it made (since we were a little wary of spending $25,000)!

How romantic, right?! Your heart could just melt…Anyway…

I did, however, get right to work – opening my mouth and spreading this non-news to just about anyone who would listen!

“We’re looking for the ring!”

“ We’re shopping around!”

“ We’re having it made! (I think!)”

So there it was, we were officially but unofficially engaged, in early November 2007.

And then the wheels began turning and I knew we could pretty much have the ring made, so I went to work researching whether I wanted white gold or platinum, what shape and quality of a diamond, and where (and how) we should have this ring made. All the little stuff.

I still didn’t have an idea of how much the ring would cost. Basing it on $25,000, my head was spinning. And I think maybe my sweetie was having regular anxiety attacks as well (maybe about the cost, maybe not), although he will never admit it.

Nonetheless, the damage was done. My sweetie had set the stage for the whirlwind engagement…that was yet to come.


Discovering the Ring…

January 26, 2008

Well, finding “the” ring was not too difficult.

And it came entirely as a surprise when I found it, but somehow I knew that it was made just for me.

Sometime in early to mid 2007, I was doing some research for a project I was working on at the time and came across it! It was “the” ring! The only problem was…how could we ever afford a $25,000 minimum engagement ring? (That’s for the setting only, in white gold, with no center stone – eek!)

At the time, we had only talked about the prospect of getting engaged and the idea of getting married. At the time, we had been together more than 4 years and the conversation had come up between us, with friends, with family several times. So, it wasn’t like the idea of looking at what I liked in the way of rings was me being some psycho girl.

But it also wasn’t like we were already engaged and we had to think about buying this ring, which could have been a down payment on a house, a car, someone’s college tuition…

Anyway, I fell in love with this ring. I loved the name, everything about it. The “Ballerine.” How lovely. How graceful. How “Audrey Hepburn“. So, I sent the images to my sweetie in an email that read:

“This is the ONLY one.”

Ballerine Original

A girl can dream, right?