By Michelle Graff


With Michelle Graff’s recent wedding blogging (see her 7/13 and
7/16 posts), I decided it was time for me to chip in. Last week, I joyfully tied
the knot. And as I went through the planning process over the better half of
the past 12 months, I often thought that the
way I came about my wedding jewelry might seem a bit add for someone who writes
about the industry, including this
confession: My engagement ring hails from cyberspace.

My husband, a programmer who writes code for an Internet
start-up, purchases anything and everything online. So while the proposal did
come as a surprise, his means of securing the ring was no shock. As a young
couple, price was of the utmost concern. And being that he is someone who lives
and breathes online, I know the hubby felt confident in his decision.

I adore my ring, and while I love to support local
retailers, I also can’t help but love that he chose a path that is so typically

I’ve sat in on seminars where sales experts have explained
there is always going to be a set of consumers who will buy online, and for
the jeweler, it isn’t worth chasing them. The hubby definitely falls into that
category. What he missed by going online was a personal connection, but after
years of living with a jewelry editor, he’s become very familiar with my own
thoughts on heirlooms and the way I feel about memories being intertwined with

When it came time to look for a wedding band, guess where
the hubby turned? For my own, however, I went a different route. Friends asked
me why, with access to a bounty of designers, I didn’t ask someone to make
something for me (I did for the earrings and cocktail ring I wore on the big
day), yet I wanted to have that experience of going to a jewelry store and
working with a retailer. 

Typical of me and my powers of procrastination, just
two weeks before the wedding, I picked up a New York Weddings magazine, thumbed
through the jewelry listings and highlighted smaller independents that I
thought would specialize in what I was looking for—something priced at an
entry-level range and clearly handcrafted. I found exactly what I was looking
for at the store of a West Village jeweler. Not only did I find the ring, but I
found a store I would return to in a heartbeat—for future purchases, repairs,

Thankfully for the retailer’s quick work and a fabulous friend who
hand-carried the ring from New York to our West Coast wedding, the band was in
my hands the day before the ceremony.

Unconventional? Sure, but aren’t the stories what jewelry is
all about?

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