Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 138: How To Choose Wedding Bands (and WIN an Engagement Ring!)

It's been several days since my last post. Sorry to those (one or two) of you who have been awaiting my next move with bated breath!  Moving back to L.A. the day before I had to start teaching 2 lecture classes at UCLA was more than I bargained for!  Thanks for your patience while I await the return of my sanity and composure. :)

I do have some fun updates to add.  First, for those of you who don't know this, Michael and I have a pretty awesome engagement story.  We WON my engagement ring in the 2010 L.A. Diamond Dash, hosted by Sarah Leonard Jewelers in Westwood, CA.

HOW TO WIN AN ENGAGEMENT RING
It was a completely exhausting Amazing-Race-style scavenger hunt, that required both athleticism and brains.  Somehow Michael and I brought both to the table (usually we're a lot more "brainy" than athletic, but we can bring out the muscle when properly motivated!).  We prepared for the competition in true nerds style, by studying maps to memorize historical landmarks, programming code into a laptop which we carried around with us, and by upgrading Michael's ancient iPhone (so we could get the text-message clues ASAP).  Well... we beat out 165 other couples for the grand prize and - as promised under threat of violence - Michael proposed on the spot.  Here's the (mildly embarrassing) video:
As you can see, we were both pretty psyched. :)  Oh, right. Here's the ring:
I was never into "bling"... until now!
HOW TO PICK OUT WEDDING BANDS
That was 9 months ago, almost to the day.  On Monday of this week, Michael and I headed back to Sarah Leonard Jewelers (we are BIG fans of these folks, obviously) to pick out our wedding bands.  I have to say... this was the most fun I've had shopping for body décor since my no-mirrors project started!  Finally, I could actually see how things looked on my body (errr... I mean finger!).

(A side note here: I've always really liked my hands.  I have my mothers tiny fingernails, and my dad's pointing-inward index fingers.  Not terribly masculine, but not so girly-looking that I can't dive into a home-improvement project for fear of breaking a nail.  Yes, I like my hands.  And I've REALLY loved being able to look at them over the past 4 months... they've become my new vanity, and I'm 100% okay with that.  Using a ton of hand lotion and getting manicures every 3-4 weeks, and admiring my hands, feels a lot more sane than critically counting the blackheads on my nose with a magnifying mirror!)
This option was pretty, but I opted for a
completely plain wedding band instead.
It's less expensive, and appeals to my
minimalist aspirations.

Getting back to wedding-band shopping, things went really well.  Interestingly, our budgeting approach to wedding bands seems to be the opposite of normal: I opted for a cheapo plain palladium band, and Michael fell in love with a pricey piece of precious-metal samurai sword they call a "Mokume Gane" wedding band.  Seriously: "Mokume Gane" refers to a 17th century metalwork technique used to make Samurai swords (moku=wood, me=eye, and gane=metal).  Some artisan/marketing genius named Jim Binnion learned the technique, realized dudes would <3 getting a (literal) piece of the Samurai mystique, and is now making a killing on these things!

Beautiful ring, beautiful hand, beautiful person
Michael had an instant "MY PRECIOUS!" (in creepy Gollum voice) reaction to one ring.  He clearly preferred it over every other ring in the entire store, but seemed almost embarrassed to admit that this was the case.  The gender scholar in me couldn't help but wonder what was going on: was it the price (real-men-who-aren't-gangsta-rappers don't spend $$ on jewelry!), the fact that the ring would cost more than my wedding band (manly men don't wear more expensive wedding bands than their wives!), or simply the experience of wanting a piece of beautiful jewelry (only women lust after pretty jewelry!)?  Or, maybe this had nothing to do with gender norms, and everything to do with Michael being the kind of person who is more generous to others than he is to himself.  This last bit, I know is true.

And so I took it upon myself to convince him that it would be okay to spend a bit of $$ on something he'd be wearing every day for the rest of his life.  He didn't put up much of a fight.  We bought the ring.  He wore it for the rest of the afternoon, and then gave it back to me for safe-keeping until I put it on his finger again on October 1st.  I can hardly wait!

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28 comments:

  1. That is such a great engagement story! And both of the rings are really beautiful. NERDS RULE!

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  2. Who are you calling a nerd? =P

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  3. Nerds do rule! Thanks for your compliment. :)

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  4. My husband did the exact same thing when we picked out wedding bands. His is a two tone ring with white gold mainly and then brushed yellow gold diamond pattern going across the middle. He was so excited about it and continues to call it his "bling". It was so sweet and I secretly melted as he was so excited about his ring. He wanted to wear it before the wedding and then announced that he should have gotten a mangagement ring LOL My husband, the nerd!!

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  5. awesome story! and your ring is gorgeous! who makes it?

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  6. Thanks for posting the link to the contest/proposal on YouTube.

    Re: the wedding bands.
    His couldn't cost more than the engagement ring you are wearing, could it?
    With a decorative setting like your diamond has, a plain band seems a good choice. But how do you get it to sit properly next to the round setting of the diamond? Just wondering...

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  7. I'm having such a hard time keeping track of my engagement ring so i can't imagine what I'm going to do with a wedding band...suture it to my finger, I suppose. But I do like calling it"my precious"
    http://jadedbride.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/one-ring-to-rule-them-all/

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  8. When it comes to choosing our wedding rings, I leave the decisions to my fiance. I just concentrated on looking for wedding dress shops in wiltshire for my gown and for the whole entourage.

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  9. My fiance gave me the most memorable proposal day when he did it in my favorite pub along the long island party venues in New York. It was surreal! Everyone was looking at us because he popped the question when we were in the center stage. My knees were jello!

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  10. Engagement and wedding events are girls most cherished moments, because they only happen once. I remember when my husband proposed to me in a garden pavilion with all the wedding bands, flowers in it, I felt like a queen that moment.

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  11. Aside from a wedding band and gorgeous wedding ring, the venue also makes a great impact on your wedding proposal. That would complete a girl’s wedding proposal dream.

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  12. Those diamond studded rings are nice to look at but personally I prefer simple band too with just a hint of a bling. At the end of the day, it's really the person you're marrying that matters more than anything else.

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  13. Lovely wedding rings indeed! Looking through these pictures makes me more excited about my upcoming wedding; I just can’t wait to see he puts that ring on my finger.

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