Engagement Ring Shopping?

Its a minefield out there when it comes to choosing rings, read on for some helpful tips.

Getting engaged can be overwhelming! It’s such an exciting thing to happen, my proposal story is a lovely one that I will remember forever and I’m sure you feel the same. I love hearing the romantic and sometimes funny stories from my couples and over the years I’ve gathered a few bits of advice to help you if you are going ring shopping together.

I said YES!

You’ve just got engaged to the love of your life, how do you choose a ring that will last a lifetime?

Aardvark Jewellery, Birmingham

First of all, are you a traditional person or would you prefer something more unique? If you are like me and DON’T want a ‘Normal’ engagement ring then traipsing around shopping centres and high street jewellers windows will frustrate you.

There are clearly two styles of engagement ring in the high street shops, that is a solitaire ring or a Halo style ring. The solitaire is the classic one stone diamond ring and prices vary massively. There are rings that look like a solitaire ring (one stone) but they will have 4 smaller stones to look like one, these are generally more affordable.

The benefit of the halo ring is that the halo is made up of lots of tiny diamonds and their purpose is to encircle the main stone and make it look bigger and sparklier. They will all come in different types of gold which vary in hardness and colour. It is a good idea to have a look and see what you do and don’t like. I quickly realised that I liked rings that had different shapes, and I liked the main stone offset with smaller stones either side. During a try-on in one shop the assistant told me the ring I had picked wasn’t really an Engagement ring. It was a 3 stone ring that looked pretty, I didn’t need her opinion!!

What is your favourite colour?

Alice ring by Alison Moore

So what can you do if you can’t find a ring? Instagram and Pinterest are great places to start but the main thing I think is to think about you, your own style, your lifestyle and your ethics. If you are a quirky type of person who loves colour, you may want a coloured gem, if you are very active you might choose a stone that is bevel set or has prongs holding the stone in place that won’t catch, or go for a platinum ring which is a harder metal. Many couples are choosing lab grown diamonds, fair trade, ethically cut diamonds or gemstones like Moissanite. My favourite are Grey diamonds and salt and pepper diamonds which have become very fashionable recently and they are beautiful, like small galaxies created naturally by inclusions in the stone. Each one is unique but you won’t find one on the high street!

Help. There are so many options!

This pretty solitaire is set by Lilia Nash in her signature flower setting and would be perfect for the person who doesn’t want prongs catching and it looks so unique as well. There is a really useful page on her website with design info and advice.

Rock n Roll Brides

If you prefer something that not everyone has, use colour and shapes, the symbolism of things that may be important to you like birthstones or a star theme. I’ve seen skulls, custom engraving, even tattoos. A custom ring may take up to 8 weeks to be made so this is something you need to factor in. This beauty by Ellie Air is all kinds of amazing!

Wedding Bands

Imagine what kind of wedding band you will need to fit your ring or buy a set that goes together. This pretty wishbone ring is so dainty and the gentle shape would fit with lots of engagement rings.

Custom Rings

If you have a custom ring made for you, think about the wedding band as well, will you get the same jeweller to make a matching band, will you be able to find something that will fit the same style?

Buying Online is perfectly OK!

It is lovely to get to try on rings and see them in person but it is totally fine to buy online, as long as you have done a bit of research into the company and know your correct size. I looked online first and then decided to choose a shop in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham so I could visit in person and see the rings. If you find a smaller family business or local maker it is easier if something happens to your ring like a stone coming loose or if you want an upgrade in the future. I chose a custom ring and it was really good to be able to get an idea of size because alot of the jewellery you see online are magnified by macro lenses in the photography, so being able to see if it suits you on your finger is a good idea. You could also mock up a ring at home using the measurements and see if it looks how you imagined, this is definitely something I’d recommend if you are buying your stones loose.

A lot of jewellers offer ethical custom rings now and are happy to work with you on a design. Here’s a few that I like!

I hope this has helped you think about your engagement ring and congratulations!

Rain, rain, go away!

Rainy days won’t ruin your wedding day!

It’s been planned for a year and today’s the big day, but it’s raining, what do you do? Don’t panic for a start, hopefully you have thought about this, we do have somewhat unpredictable English weather.

I think I’ve been very lucky with the weddings I’ve photographed, I can only think of two weddings where the weather was slightly annoying! I’ve shot weddings all year round so have had to deal with Winter light and it being dark as early as the ceremony finishing to windy days where hair and flowers were hard to hold down. Every wedding day is different.

One of these I will share a few images from, it rained aaaaallll day. But did it stop everyone having the best day ever? Nope.

Weather wise, use props like pretty umbrellas to your advantage, shelter under trees, bring alternate footwear, wear cosy coverups for outdoors. If it really is awful you can always dress up again and do a couples shoot later on in the year.

There are some things you can do to help your photographer at your wedding. Think about the time of year and your timeline for the day, it is a fact that in the winter it will be dark earlier. You could have your ceremony a bit earlier than normal so you have time for outdoor portraits. Maybe you find a photographer that is confident shooting in low light, using strobes, or have your portraits indoors which may give a different look to them.

Summer weddings bring their own difficulties, two big things I can remind you about is the harsh summer light outside and heat, makeup melting, we don’t want that!! Your images will look better if you are photographed under some kind of shaded light, under trees or in a garden. This ties in with your wedding timeline again, if you want some pretty golden hour portraits you need to expect to go back outside maybe during dinner or just before your first dance to get those gorgeous warm sunflarey summer portraits. Talk to your photographer, they will help you, but most of all just enjoy your day as it comes.