So I don't like the traditional diamond solitaire engagement ring. I never have. On a practical level, the stone gets caught on things ("Oh noes, my favorite sweater!") and likes to twist off-center, and I hate my rings off-center. Just one of those things. On an emotional level, having a big rock on my finger would feel gaudy — it doesn't fit my aesthetic tastes, nor do I feel any need to flaunt dollar signs on my finger, y'know?
Forrest and I went to Green Lake Jewelery Works (which is apparently some big-name custom shop, not just our little local shop, go figure) to talk with the jewelers there about how much custom rings would cost. Since we're holding off the wedding date itself primarily for financial reasons, we wanted to ask about designs that would allow us a simple engagement ring now that could then be combined* into a more expensive custom wedding ring later.
We came up with a design that we really like: a subtle two-tone band, with engravings across the ring, like combining these two rings (plus tiny inset gems on mine). This design even allows for wearing plain bands that later become the final ring.
Unfortunately, the plain bands weren't going to be in our immediate price range (although the final price the custom wedding rings is okay, I think). We decided that, if we can't get the engagement-ring-that-becomes-the-wedding-ring thing working for us right now, we might as well keep the engagement rings super simple and inexpensive. After all, we're only wearing the engagement rings for a small amount of time; it makes more sense (to us) to splurge on the the custom wedding rings instead, since those are the rings we'll be wearing for the rest of our lives. (Omg! I'm getting married!! Sometimes it just hits me, like this thing is real, y'know? Hehe...)
Anyway. We've been wearing these plain silver bands on our right hands since 2007, when we were long-distance for the year that I had moved to Seattle but Forrest still had a couple quarters of college left to finish. Forrest suggested that we just use those rings as the engagement rings, then "upgrade" to the custom wedding rings when we get married. Sounds like a brilliant idea to me! The only problem is that, while Forrest's ring fits on his left-hand ring finger, mine was too big. So I went back to Something Silver (where we originally got the rings) and bought myself a size 4 silver ring to wear on the correct finger.
So now I'm properly engaged and ring-ified! It's really pretty awesome. :)
* I don't like the tradition of wearing both the engagement and wedding rings after the wedding. I want just one ring on my finger, and ideally I'd like the engagement ring to become the wedding ring. Alas, that's not happening, but it's not really a big deal.