Engagement, Jewelry, Planning, Wedding

Ring Cycle: Wedding Rings Are Hard

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Trying on rings at Catbird. Spoiler alert- not my wedding ring (because I don’t have one yet), but very pretty. Bittersweets Leaf Ring, $695

One of the first things I did after we got engaged was start sketching up wedding ring ideas. Nick had JUST presented me with this amazing, handcrafted ring that he had spent a year designing and making- but I just couldn’t WAIT for ANOTHER new piece of jewelry, because I’m a princess and it’s my special day. Almost immediately, I drew a chevron band with a bunch of tiny diamonds, and declared, “This is for sure what I want.”

And then…. I changed my mind. A new drawing was made. And then I went and actually tried rings ON, and changed my mind again. I’ve bought several dummy rings made with cheap metals and CZs just to try ideas out.

Diamonds. No diamonds. Mixed metals. Just platinum. Single-prong. Shared prong. Curved. Pointed. Custom. Stock.

At this point, I’ve gone through nearly every possibility. I’ve changed my mind so many times and made so many bold declarations that this was IT FOR SURE that Nick now just rolls his eyes. He says I’m overthinking it.

And he’s right.

I didn’t anticipate having such anxiety over the rings. I assumed, actually, it would be fairly easy to decide on the perfect solution. But the magnitude of this thing being on my hand, ostensibly, forever has really got me a tizzy. Nothing I’ve seen or tried on or sketched out has felt special enough, important enough. How can you wrap up a lifetime of promises and dreams and hopes into a tiny piece of metal? At first, I thought the answer would be to add sparkle (as that does tend to soothe most woes)- but this was a rare case where stones didn’t seem to solve the problem. It’s just a lot of pressure to put on things from the ground (which is, coincidentally, how diamonds are made. Hey-o!).

Objects carry tremendous emotional weight. For me, a person who can easily fetishize the significance of, well, nearly any little token or trinket, something like a wedding ring is basically the Holy Grail. But what I’ve realized is there’s not a ring in the world, or one I could possibly dream up and create, that could hold all the weight that I’m placing upon it. For a year now, I’ve been imagining a ring that is both everything and nothing, that is tremendously detailed yet impeccably minimal, that is both my style now and my style in 50 years. It doesn’t exist. It won’t exist. And that’s ok.

The rings we end up exchanging in a handful of months will BECOME the right rings- special enough, important enough- because they will be our wedding rings. These objects to which we assign meaning are just that- objects. Their importance sits squarely in our hands.

Why couldn’t someone have told me this a year ago?