No pretty pictures in this post. Just some wisdom bombs for ya. Here are 5 bits of wisdom we wish everyone could know going into this process.
5 - What are your priorities? Timeline, budget, and creative vision are the most obvious three. Some priorities will not be clear in the beginning. You have to give them a chance to come to the surface on their own, and to decide which one wins out. Keep sight of your goals but get ready to shift gears quickly if your priorities change. You may decide that a specific detail MUST be included in the design. Be prepared to readjust your expectations on timing to give the jeweler a chance to add your new element.
4 - Our advice: don't throw money at the problem. We hear this a lot: “If I find the perfect ring and it’s $2000 over my budget, I think I should go for it.” Hmmm. First, let’s get creative and see what we can do. Some of our clients worried that they were being cheap when they suddenly got the ring of their dreams for less than they were expecting. Listen folks, You are not cheap. You are smart. You took the time to educate yourself and you hired a super-expert who knows the field. That usually leads to savings and better value in any situation, not just ring shopping.
3 - Custom design is a lot of work. People never seem to have any idea how difficult it is to turn a vision in their head into a physical ring on their finger. Finding the right stones can be extremely difficult and then designing and fabricating a setting can take seemingly forever. There are always hiccups, revisions and delays. Plan for this. Almost everyone has a moment where they say “How did I get myself into this?” Maybe it would be easier to find a ring that already exists or a specialty designer whose unique vision you trust completely. Maybe.
2 - There is no right price for the wrong thing. Seriously, there are some bad deals out there. Here’s the takeaway: just because something is expensive does not mean it is quality or pretty. That said, we've found that there's no wrong price for the right thing. Just because something is inexpensive does necessarily mean that it is cheap or poor in quality. There is no substitute for a trained eye when it comes to spotting a really good ring amongst the fruit loops. Don’t be fooled by the hype.
1 - You are going to be scared silly, but that is okay. There is no amount of time or money or obsessing that is going to keep you from being incredibly nervous in the moment before you pull the ring out of your pocket. Every one of our clients ended up with dazzling, gorgeous rings. (We would know - we’re experts.) And still, every one of them was nervous. The individuals who could accept that anxiety is part of the process had a much easier time making decisions and then trusting them.
We’ve had an amazing flock of clients this year and we have fallen a little bit in love with every couple we've worked with. Their willingness to bare their souls, admit to their fears, speak their most secret wishes to us has been humbling. It takes a lot of trust to let anyone help you find or design an engagement ring and we are honored every time someone decides to partner with our company. Thank you to all the lovely people out there who shared their experience with us. Little Bird signing off.