Our wedding rings!
The rumors are true: the wedding band that I chose is a teeny tiny brushed gold heart ring that looks like it could be purchased for 25 cents from a vending machine that also sells stickers and temporary tattoos of Miley Cyrus. Brian's is an official gold replica of the "One Ring" from Lord of the Rings, right down to the Elvish inscription along the outside and inside of the band. And we're damn proud of it.
One liberating lesson I've learned from wedding planning is that you don't need to have a traditional approach to traditions. Wearing rings to symbolize our commitment was a meaningful tradition for us, but we also saw the rings as everyday accessories that would be worn when working, when shopping for dandruff shampoo, when tickling our niece and nephew's tiny butts off, when Brian is playing laser tag with friends (yes, some 30-year-olds play laser tag), and when I'm chillin' with nuns at silent retreats (yes, some 30-year-olds chill with nuns in contemplative silence for 3 days - by choice!).
Therefore, we wanted rings that suited our lifestyle, reflected our values, and didn't clash with our everyday wardrobes. (We had a similar approach to our wedding reception - we wanted the party to be "us" not a fancy version of us.)
My wedding ring choice was affected by the fact that I didn't receive a typical engagement ring. I do not own the latter because:
- I didn't want a diamond
- I couldn't afford a high quality synthetic diamond (like moissanite)
- I couldn't find an antique non-diamond ring that I liked or that we could afford
- Brian has known for years that he would give his wife-to-be the 50th anniversary band he inherited from his late grandmother as an engagement ring.
So my wedding ring had high standards to live up to. It was to be the one ring I got to choose - not one that was given to me based on someone else's preference or budget (although I do love Grandma's ring for sentimental reasons). I was looking for a piece of jewelry that moved me to quietly squeal a little bit when no one was around.
Back when I was deciding between my gold heart ring and a more traditional one, I put up a survey on Facebook to get my friends' opinions. The question was: Should I get the ring that's very "me" as I am now, or should I get a pretty but less exciting one that I can grow into as I age? The votes were even, but the comment that pushed me toward my unconventional choice was this: "Go with the traditional ring because you might want to leave it to a daughter or granddaughter as part of your inheritance."
I've got no problem with friends talking about my own impending death on Facebook. But I DO have a problem with buying jewelry with the intention of making someone else's happiness a priority over mine. Especially if this person is a mere glimmer in my husband's eye (or a swimmer in my husband's gene pool). Wedding planning involves taking other's happiness into some consideration because you're a host, after all. But the wedding ring? Ain't nobody gotta love it but me.
I want to wear a piece of jewelry that I love NOW, not something that I might potentially love when I'm 65. Because if I truly love it now for all the right reasons (it's cute 'n casual, it's made by a very ethically kick-ass local artisan who has an eco-friendly and spiritual approach to jewelry making, it's under $300, and it matches pretty much ALL of my outfits), then I will love it when I'm my grandkids' favorite wrinkly little Bingo player. Why? Because you never regret choices that are a true reflection of your values. It's called shopping with integrity, which never goes out of style (even when/ if my wedding ring does).
It doesn't get more "me" than this, folks.