Whenever I photograph a bride, whether it’s at a bridal session or on the wedding day, I am always intrigued by the story behind the engagement ring. So many times, there is a fascinating story!
During Ashley’s wedding at Spring House in Winston Salem, I asked about her very distinctive ring. “It’s an antique” Ashley said, beaming. “Kyle picked it out from an antique store in town. The collector said it’s from the 1930’s. I love it, it’s so unique!” I commented on what amazing history that engagement ring has been through, and will go through with them.
When I photographed Jon and Diana’s wedding at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, I was struck by Diana’s gorgeous, diamond encrusted ring. The deep blues glinted in the afternoon sun. Diana explained that it was Tanzanite. She and Jon had gone to Tanzania prior to becoming engaged. Diana, knowing that engagement was immanent, fell in love with the ring in a jewelry store in Tanzania and pointed it out to Jon. Jon purchased the ring and proposed with it later. Of course, engagement rings range in price; this one seems like it might have been at the higher end.
Every engagement ring is special, whether it came from an antique store, a jeweler in Tanzania, or a Diamonds direct website. What counts is the sentiment behind the stone. It doesn’t matter how many carats, or how many inclusions are in the stone, it’s the size of the heart in the man who proposes.
I will never forget the day my husband proposed to me. We were on a family trip to Topsail Island, North Carolina. Alex knows how much I love Topsail Island, an had planned months prior to proposing there. I will never forget how he talked about going to see the sunrise all day long. I thought it was strange how he kept talking about the sunrise when we had gone to see the sunrise every night prior! When we finally started walking to the sound side, he practically dragged me! We stopped halfway down the beach as the big golden ball of light began to drop to the horizon. I turned around and there was Alex, on one knee holding out an open box. “Will you marry me?” The happiest words I have ever heard from his lips.
I didn’t even stop to look at the ring, I just hugged him and began crying. No one could have prepared me for the emotions I felt in that moment. It was pure excitement, happiness, wonder, love.
I did eventually look at the ring and was of course ecstatic at the classic solitaire he had chosen for me. The ring is gorgeous and I still don’t like to be without it on my finger. But it’s not about the ring, it’s about the love and the man it represents.