Maybe it was the jet lag.
Maybe it was a bad dream.
But at 5 AM Saturday morning my eyes snapped open and I freaked out!
I thought about how next week we’d be taking 4 days to go up to San Francisco to find an apartment and that for the last week of October, Team England was arriving and we’d be entertaining them. This gives us a little over two weeks to do everything for the wedding!
I thought over our gigantic to-do list and thought we’d never get it done in time. I mentally made lists; the big things, the small things, the priority things. Mr. G woke up next to me at 5:30 and I confided in him all the things I had been freaking out over in my head, even before the sun had come up. We decided that instead of going to the beach today like we had planned, we’d conquer our wedding bands.
Over breakfast we told my mom of our plans to go to the Macy’s and Robbin’s Brothers in our town. My mom told us to cut the crap and bring out the big guns—she’d take us to the Jewelry District in Downtown Los Angeles, next to Pershing Square.
We arrived there without Yelping any reputable dealers and I have to admit I was a little appalled—did my mom really expect us to find a ring here, amongst the shady looking stores and pawn shops? We walked into a wholesalers and I found a ring I liked but didn’t love. I immediately realized I was drawn to the eternity band style, and Mr. G liked the weight and thickness of tungsten. Our first foray into wedding bands left us underwhelmed as we discussed what we saw on the wholesale floor over lunch.
We decided to try a couple more places but as we were walking back to the district, we noticed a huge, looming building called the International Jewelry Center. It looked like office buildings but a sign in the lobby said floors 5-10 were showcase stores. These stores looked much more reputable and attractive, so we ducked into a popular looking one called Bridal Rings Company.
While I was underwhelmed at the selection at the first place, I have to admit I was overwhelmed by all the bling in the Jewelry District—every store was dripping in diamonds! Remember me, the bride who was concerned over the ethics of diamond mining and wasn’t sure I’d want a diamond? The first thing Mr. G and I did was ask what the origins of the diamonds were. A sales rep explained to us what we had been hearing at all the other stores: there’s no such thing as blood diamonds. Nobody will touch DeBeers stuff anymore and everything is certifiably legit, and if it wasn’t, the store would be shut down. I was a little dubious—I mean, of course nobody is gonna say their diamonds are obtained unethically! But by the end of this trip I was convinced that my ring is conflict free.
So, enough talking. Wanna see the ring that put a big smile on my face? The one that I knew was it, hands down?
It’s almost exactly what I wanted! Delicate, thin, not too sparkly, unique and intricate. It’s an 18K white gold eternity band with rubies and yes, tiny, tiny diamonds.
Here is Mr. G’s white gold ring. He had been trying on tungsten but I hesitated to tell him I liked the rings he was trying on. When he asked me what was wrong, I told him they were just too wide for my taste so our sales lady, Nina, showed him a white gold design that wasn’t as wide. While white gold is more expensive, we were able to get a great deal on both our rings.
Nina was great. We are young kids on a budget, not looking for anything flashy and she understood that. She gave us great, friendly, informative service and for that we are really thankful. We thought people would turn their noses at youngsters like us looking to buy gold and would be especially rude when we told them our budget. I’ll be straight with you and say we were looking for something around $500 for each ring. Not easy, but luckily in downtown L.A. you can negotiate. That’s where Mama Glasses came in—she may be a tiny Japanese woman, but she knows how to score a deal! My ring came down to almost half the price and we went well under budget.
So there’s our ring buying experience. We’re completely clueless about jewelry and I think it showed, but we both have rings we are happy with. And as a girl with no engagement ring I can tell you I’m really excited to put on a wedding band!
Did you feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed when buying rings? Did you fall in love with something you thought you wouldn’t like? I wanna hear all about it!