The tradition of the engagement ring is a relatively recent phenomenon within the past 500 years. It is popularly held that its origins began with the presentation of a diamond ring from Archduke Maximilian of Hamburg to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. Google it and you will find a wealth of info.
Since then through 500 years of famous marriages, marketing (thanks DeBeers) and the tweaking of the romantic notion – today’s bride normally wouldn’t think twice about a diamond ring being part of the marriage ceremony. It’s romantic, there’s always a story to be told about the presentation of the ring and the ring itself is a symbol of commitment that you belong to each other.
Okay – but what about those of us who choose NOT to have a diamond ring…or even a ring at all? What other choices remain?
Julie Stout & Doug Matthews of Austin, TX chose to go with a painting for their engagement. Being avid art collectors and less purveyors of the jewelry domain – they chose to seal their promise to each other with a work of art that sings of joy and passion. At their wedding, the painting was displayed at the front door for each guest to see upon arrival. Today it hangs proudly in their home for all to see and they each wear simple matching white gold wedding bands.
Jennifer & Helme Calfee of Atlanta, GA went with a blue sapphire engagement ring (fyi – sapphires come in all the colours of the rainbow except for red. When red, they are referred to as rubies). Jennifer loved the tradition of having a ring but has no liking for diamonds. Her passions, next to her husband and step-daughter, are the colour blue and sapphires for they represent strength and protection.
As for myself…I neither require a diamond ring or even a ring at all. For me, something I have to wear everyday would drive me crazy; however, something to wear on occasion might be nice. My fantasy dream piece of jewelry? Padparascha sapphire ring. I have a refined yet eclectic taste.
So what other ring options are there? Check out these funky options from these Offbeat Etsy Wedding Sellers - whether it's for that special day, everyday, or special occasions there's a ring sure to delight your offbeat senses!
And remember - it takes all kinds to make an offbeat bride whether it’s your ring, the colour of your dress , the theme of the celebration, etc. Go be your funky self and dance outside the traditions to make your own!
We would love to hear from you regarding your choice, or not, with a ring. If you have a story to tell, please share it with us and other prospective brides!