Since we are on both sides of wedding planning (I’m engaged and Kat just got married) we thought we would do our wedding posts a little differently. We’re starting a blog series called Something Old, Something New: I will be sharing from the perspective of a bride who is going through planning, and Kathryn will add her perspective as a bride who has already done it! Hopefully getting both sides will help those of you who are also planning, helping someone plan, or are just wedding obsessed.
This week we’re talking engagement rings. Engagement rings are my absolute JAM. I know way too much about diamond specs, ring styles, metal types, etc. I was super involved in designing both Kathryn’s ring and my own, but they are very different in terms of style and the process of buying them. In this post, we’re diving into the back story of Kathryn’s ring: a floral-inspired, round-cut halo design created by a local jeweler. (Check out Part II to read the backstory of my ring!)
/ Kathryn here! Summer is writing this post because she did most of the heavy lifting on designing my ring—for the longest time, I had no idea what I wanted. I’ll be inserting some of my thoughts during the entire process! /
Both Kathryn and her (now) husband, Joe, were pretty clueless about rings. I forced her to make a Pinterest board so I could get some kind of idea of what she liked. The themes that came up were round diamond, white metal, and floral design (duh!). Now that we’d narrowed down a cut, I sent her and Joe to a diamond retailer to look at different diamonds to get a feel for what kind of color, clarity, and carat they liked. (I feel I should note, Joe and I were friends for years before either of us met Kat so I felt very comfortable collaborating with him. If you’re helping a future fiancé that you are not as close with, I recommend a lighter touch.)
/ Kathryn: Eventually, Summer was able to narrow down what I wanted, but the Pinterest board that I originally made at her request was allllll over the place. I had diamonds with princess, cushion, oval, radiant cuts. Vintage, unique, sidestone, and halo settings. White gold and rose gold. Summer told me she got whiplash looking at it, because every pin was radically different than the last. She told me I needed to focus in on what I wanted, so I went back through and cleaned up my pins, deleting what didn’t really speak to me, and pinning more and more round cut diamonds with floral designs. If you are brainstorming your own engagement ring, don’t be afraid to edit your Pinterest boards! /
Armed with all that information, Joe headed to Batky Jewelers, a local Dallas jeweler that came highly recommended by their neighbors. We decided custom would be the easiest way to get a ring that incorporated all the design elements Kathryn loved and we’d seen budgets get blown at big-box stores so we weren’t big fans of that route, anyway. I gave Joe a couple photos and a bad drawing of my idea for the ring and he handed them over to Mr. Batky and paid for the ring up front. This part was easy peasy but induced A LOT of stress in me as a control freak. I thought we’d at least get a CAD rendering before he paid up—I now know you generally have to put down at least a deposit for a custom ring before you get any visuals.
I finally managed to get to Dallas and distract Kathryn long enough to visit Batky myself. He prefers to mold the ring out of actual metal rather than use a CAD (a man after my own heart) but the first attempt was… concerning. Okay, I panicked. He’d attempted to fit all I asked for into a much smaller scale than could accommodate it. Lucky for me, Kathryn wears a size 9.5 so we had plenty of room to bulk up the ring without it overwhelming her finger.
I am sure he saw the terror on my face because Mr. Batky immediately brought out the actual head of Kat’s ring and relief washed over me. It was just how I’d described, down to the hidden ruby underneath. We chatted about the design of the band and I left feeling so relieved. The pro of going to a local jeweler is that you get to have one-on-one time like this and really get into the nitty gritty of ring design with the jeweler himself.
/ Kathryn: Let me tell you how Summer distracted me the day that she went to go visit Mr. Batky with Joe. We had weekend plans in Summer’s hometown to go to LJT music festival—but plans came up for Joe and I to leave one night early to go to a friend’s surprise engagement party (ironic, no?) I also had lunch plans the morning of that party with my friend Marisa in Summer’s hometown, so what was going to be a whole weekend together turned into just one night at the festival. It was also the weekend just after Summer officially became a PhD candidate, so we were calling it her Candidette weekend (like bachelorette). When I told the group text of our plan, Joe called me later that night (I was out of town for work) to let me know that Summer was crushed that Joe and I were leaving early and barely had any time together on Saturday. He convinced me that I had really hurt Summer’s feelings, and I should maybe have lunch with Marisa on Friday afternoon instead, leaving Dallas for the festival a few hours earlier than everyone else, so I could spend all day with Summer on Saturday. I of course obliged, fixed what I thought was my social faux pas, and smoothed things over with Summer. It wasn’t until mine and Joe’s engagement party that I found out Summer, Joe, AND Marisa were in on this thing the entire time, and they just needed to come up with a crazy reason to get me out of town! It worked, because I truly suspected nothing. /
/ Kathryn: My engagement ring was a HUGE surprise to me—I honestly had no clue what to expect, nor did I even have a good idea what I wanted in the beginning of the entire process. It turned out better than I could have ever dreamed of: it’s so unique (literally no one in the world has the same one), it fits the size of my hand perfectly (something I was super concerned about, since I have big fingers), and it’s so me. And now we have a local jeweler for life! It’s super easy for me to drop by Mr. Batky’s to get my ring cleaned or replated (the unfortunate reality with white gold rings). Mr. Batky also made us both custom wedding bands: mine fit around my ring perfectly, and they were ready in two days! Joe and Summer could not have done a better job designing my engagement ring. The fact that my husband and best friend did it together makes it even more special. /
Click here to read Part II, all about designing Summer’s ring!
Looking for more wedding planning? Check out Something Old, Something New, our blog series about wedding planning from the perspectives of a bride who’s just been through it, and a bride just starting the process!