Wedding rings (engagement and bands)

Choosing your engagement ring is such an individual thing, and there is never a ‘right way’ to do it in my mind. Everyone has their own ‘right way’.

Some people love being proposed to with the ring already chosen, whereas others would rather pick their own ring. Maybe you don’t want a ring at all! Reeeespeck to bending those weird ‘traditions’. Only you can say what’s right for you, but if you do decide on a ring, I hope you all end up with something you look down at every day and think ‘WOW’. 

Mr DTE proposed to me with a family ring which was really special to him, so that I could wear a beautiful and meaningful ring straight away. Then we went shopping when we got home and chose my engagement ring together. For me this was perfect because it meant so much that I could wear the family ring for a short period of time whilst we were celebrating, then I got to choose my own ring. WHAT COULD BE MORE AMAZING?? Also it was cool that I got to choose it myself as I didn’t really have a clue what I wanted. Other than the honeymoon, buying a ring is just about the coolest activity to do ever. EVER. I would highly recommend.

Here’s my hand and the obligatory hand shot that everyone seems to do (weird):

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Getting engaged: the only time EVER you’ll take a zillion pictures of your hand                                            Photo credit: My (now lesser important) right hand

Where to start for engagement rings?

I can only speak for London here as we didn’t venture too far from home with our search, but once again we were spoilt for choice.

  • Hatton Garden:
    • The famous Hatton Garden can be wonderbar, but we found it quite overwhelming.
    • Also, we only had time to go at the weekend and not all of the shops are open then.
    • >> Also see the bottom of this page for our experience melting down my great grandmother’s pocket watch and making it into our wedding bands. Such an amazing experience.
  • EC One, Exmouth Market:
    • EC One is near Farringdon and is a really lovely small boutique-feel shop in the gorgeous Exmouth Market.
    • Their rings can be pricey, but they’re really unique in style.
    • I went here with my friend, to pick up their wedding bands, and the staff were so super cool. It’s got a really nice relaxed vibe to the whole shop.
    • Check out their stuffs here:  EC One Exmouth Market
  • Vintage rings: I was quite keen to get a vintage ring, so we focused on those first of all. Top tip: You can get WAY more for your money, and also a cool little story about your bit of bling. You can also check out the certificates and make sure it’s been ethically-sourced too .
    • Burlington Arcade: This is where my ring was from!
      • Situated right in Mayfair (nearest tube is Green Park), you feel so classy to say your ring is from here, but it’s so much more reasonable than nearby Bond Street.
      • The guys in our shop were really lovely, put the ring aside whilst we went and had a look at a few other places.
      • They weren’t stuffy and didn’t overwhelm us with tons and tons of info, but guided us through all the details about the ring and the clarity and all that STUFF that you suddenly become obsessed with for a week or so until you find a lovely ring.
      • Weirdly, my ring was a perfect fit. However, they do adjustments on the day as long as you don’t rock up just before closing time.

Here’s my hand and the obligatory hand shot that everyone seems to do (weird):

  • Alfie’s Antique Market: Aaaaaaah, Alfie’s Antique Market. What a gem! Even if you’ve got your ring already, I’d recommend going to Alfie’s as it’s just SUCH a cool place.
    • Situated in Marylebone (nearest station Marylebone)
    • Alfie’s is an undercover market full of antique jewellery, cool furniture and random bits of art and collectors’ items.
    • It’s like The Antiques Roadshow went to Vivienne Westwood’s house and emptied it out, then put it out on a stall at the most AMAZING prices.
    • Everyone who owns a stall there has been there for years, knows everyone else who works there, is super friendly and wonderfully knowledgeable. It just has a lovely, friendly and low-pressure atmosphere.
    • I saw a beautiful ring here but I’d already sort of fallen in love with the ring I now have so had to say bye bye and part ways with it.
    • It’s so worth a visit – definitely one of London’s hidden gems.

Wedding bands:

Mr DTE and I got to make our own wedding bands. SAY WHA?  Yes, ’tis true. My lovely Mum kindly gave us a family pocket watch of my great-grandmother’s, which she wanted us to melt down into our bands.

From pocket watch to wedding ring, a casual 10 years apart:

So we went to the legendary Jason Silkman of Alchemy Jewellery in Hatton Garden, and talked through what we wanted. We took some designs that we’d seen on Pinterest and then…voila. We put on some goggles, picked up some equipment that I am way too clumsy to use in every day life, melted the gold down (casual) and suddenly I had a wedding band on my finger. Dang he’s good.

Not only was the whole experience just amazing, but now I have a little piece of my lovely great-grandmother on my finger at all times. It feels so amazing. Cheers Jason, YOU THE MAN!

>> To contact Jason and see his work have a look at the Alchemy website

CONTACT JO: Our engagement ring search was quite quick and painless, but I’d love to hear more of your ideas and recommendations please! Get in touch, YO!

>> Bridelings, have a look at my wedding venue suggestions here