As one might expect, Jay’s and my engagement was far from traditional. Although it is still a surprise that I have found a man who can live with me and all my quirks, our real engagement was not a surprise. We had discussed getting married on many occasions – when I was moving to Kentucky, while at my friend’s wedding and occasionally while walking through the arboretum or cooking dinner. We both knew the intent was there and that was enough.
This summer Jay’s mom, Sally, visited. While at dinner Sally asked for the second time that week what she needed to do to get a wedding started. I responded by shoveling more mashed potatoes into my mouth and looking at Jay. What resulted from her pressing was a lovely conversation about “social norms” – is it right for us to shop for a ring together (of course!), is it OK that there is no “big surprise” as neither of us do particularly well with big surprises (why yes!) and is it OK that we have a non-wedding wedding (of course, just invite the parents!)
Our fears put to rest; Jay took me aside the next morning to look at rings online. In a matter of minutes we had found the designer we liked – Tacori. A week later his parents and uncle found a VERY good deal on a stone through family connections. The stone purchased, Jay began to save for the setting as I refused to start a lifetime together with debt on what is essentially a very expensive and terribly beautiful token.
When budget permitted we visited the jeweler. I’m sure we looked like two deer in very shiny headlights. I knew nothing about diamonds other than they are lovely and seemed to have a way of making girls act silly. The jeweler was tremendously helpful, explaining different settings, stones, metals etc. After 25 minutes and trying on only five rings I found the perfect one – a simple Tacori setting in platinum.
The ring was ordered at the beginning of October and would arrive in four to six weeks. With luck, we would have it in time for Thanksgiving. Two days before my birthday, Jay got a call from the jeweler – the ring was already in! That night as we did dishes (a task we view as valuable bonding time) Jay casually said, “So Rivard called today… the ring is in already. We can pick it up tomorrow if you like.”
On my last day as a 28-year-old Jay and I drove to the jeweler. Hand-in-hand we walked in and they opened the box. It was perfect. Slightly confused, the assistant asked if I was Sarah and then looked at Jay and asked if I was allowed to try it on. Of course! On the ring went and there it has stayed – without a lot of pomp and circumstance, but with a lot of heart, kindness and attention to our personal needs.
Although some more traditional folks were skeptical of our process, it was perfect for us. Both frugal and unsure of life-altering surprises, Jay and I found choosing the ring together was the perfect way to make a purchase that will stand the test of time (and fashion). It also made me comfortable with the life changes that are on the horizon. The entire process was so simple, fun and painless that it only made me more certain of our future together!