Is this not the loveliest couple ever, in the history of the world?
Several readers have emailed to ask what became of Nate and Heather’s custom engagement ring.
These two happy people are Nick and Holly, from New Zealand, and when I previously wrote about them I referred to them as Nate and Heather in order to maintain their privacy; they weren’t yet engaged. Now they are happily engaged, though, and had their engagement party last night. Now we can totally talk about them without spilling any beans.
This is the original mock-up for Holly’s ring, with notes discussing possible changes to be made.
Both Nick and Holly wanted the ring to be symbolic of two hands curving towards each other to complete a circle, and Nick’s original sketch and an explanation of the changes I advised can be seen here.
Between the silver mock-up and the final product, though, two significant changes were made.
First, Nick sent me Holly’s ring size, which is roughly an American size 9. I was concerned that if I followed the mock-up exactly, Holly would end up with a teeny little ring which would look quite twee on a larger hand. I didn’t, however, want the ring to be bulky or masculine, as Holly strikes me as very, very feminine woman. I decided to make the ring significantly heavier, and modify the added weight by making sure every bit of the ring was rounded, with no hard edges to convey masculinity. The result was soft yet solid, delicate but not silly.
The second change, and one which will make every woman reading this fall in love with Nick just a little bit: when I told Nick the ring’s cost would be lower than he had anticipated, the wonderful man told me to find a much bigger champagne diamond. When the stone arrived it was gorgeous, and I was frustrated that the camera couldn’t catch what I could see in the sunlight. Sparks of greens and ambers and purples, the kind of colors which make champagne diamonds one of my favorite stones. I couldn’t wait for Nick and Holly to see it in person.
And the final work. Well, almost……after I shot this I realized I had set the stone slightly crooked, and went back and fixed it. It’s amazing how shooting a piece can show up previously unnoticed flaws, and I often rework pieces after photographing them.
Shortly after Nick’s proposal, Holly wrote to tell me of it, and I opened the email in Charlotte Douglas Airport while waiting for the boys’ flight to take off:
I feel right now, and have done for a few weeks now, like I’ll never stop being happy and content again.
The rest of her letter made me laugh and cry, and I’m shocked that the passengers around me didn’t alert security about the crazy woman at Gate 6. An older woman looked at me with concern, and I sniffled and said, “They got engaged.” This seemed to explain everything to her, and she smiled and nodded, because it’s perfectly reasonable to cry and laugh when someone gets engaged.
Holly wrote of Nick’s proposal:
He stopped on my favourite trail, where it widens out to let people stop and admire a view of Queenstown, the remarkables, and the southern alps and he dropped a knee and asked me to marry him.
She went on to say how she’s spent hours looking at the ring, how it catches the light, and how much she loves the deep, beautiful color of the stone.
I have been so incredibly honored to be involved in Nick and Holly’s important moment, to be the one they chose to make their ring, and to have had the tiniest little part in these two wonderful people’s lives.