Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guest Post: The Ring Thing Part II

By Sanyamakadi
In addition to the ‘no diamond’ rule, I also wanted only one ring. My fiancé and I both felt it was important to get a ring when we got engaged; with our engagement began our commitment to each other and we wanted everyone to know it. For our wedding I took the ring off and put it back on during the ceremony. Many women have since told me, “I wish I had known that you could do that! I love my engagement ring and would love to wear it all the time!” In case you were wondering, there are no rules about what you can or cannot do. It’s your hand, and your marriage. If you want to wear a twist-tie on your finger no one can tell you not to!

In deciding where to get our rings, we thought about Green Karat and wanted to support their business model. But they still do craft new jewelery, which creates pollution, plus we knew our families would not be able to donate enough gold to make rings, and buying rings without the gold trade-in was too expensive. What I really wanted was an antique ring. I loved the delicate, elegant styles, and liked the idea of not supporting the modern jewelry industry. In the end I found a 1930’s art deco sapphire ring on Ebay. The stone is in a flat setting that lies against my hand, making it as unlikely as possible that i will somehow clumsily knock the stone out. We payed $160 plus $45 to have it sized. It’s small and simple and I adore it.

We wanted an antique ring for my fiance as well, but it is pretty much impossible to find antique men’s rings that do not have giant stones or Masonic insignias. Running out of ideas we started hitting up all the big jewelry stores, but were put off by the high pressure environment and the attitudes, including the sidelong looks the salespeople would exchange when I said I was not looking for a wedding band. Finally we found a small local jeweler, and talked to a salesman who was perfectly uninterested in pressuring us to buy anything, He left us with a stack of catalogues and said he could order in samples of anything we wanted for free. My fiance also wanted something simple and low key, so we looked at 14 karat gold, and 4mm bands instead of the traditional men’s 6mm. This is not only more eco-friendly as it uses less gold, but saved us hundreds of dollars. One of the samples we requested was just what he was looking for, and fit perfectly, so we got his ring with a whole week to spare before the wedding.

Sanyamakadi means “eyes blinking in the sky” and is the Malinké word for “lightening”, which was one of the first she learned as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea. She loves to travel, create adventurous food, and fly kites. After 5 years overseas she returned to the US and happened to meet the love of her life at a swing dancing class, and now spends many happy evenings dancing around the living room with him and her new son. (photo by her rockstar photographer and Peace Corps buddy Tina de la Rosa)

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Paige Ronchetti said...

Your ring is beautiful. I have a sapphire ring from the same era that's very similar to that one and I love it. A lot of people seem to forget about antique rings when they're getting married and I wish they wouldn't.

lacey said...

I completely agree about being ok with having only one ring. My engagement/wedding ring is one I designed myself based on an antique style, that jewelers who are close friend's of my hubby's family custom made for us. It's completely beautiful and unique, and something that would frankly be diminished if there was a band to go with it. If you're inspired by something, go with it, and don't feel pressured to have 2 rings on your finger just because it's the "IN" thing to do right now.

amandab said...

Ineke, Sanyamakadi!

Can't believe I found another Guinea RPCV on this website! I was in Santou, Telimelé 2005-07.
And I, too, wear my engagement ring as a wedding ring.
Small world!

Sarah Grace Villaflor said...

I love the practicality of the site, thanks for your helpful solutions to make weddings still romantic and fun on a tight budget! You are both brilliant, keep it coming!

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