Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ring Shopping

It took me nearly a week to recover from the ball. Lack of sleep and lack of vegetables left me feeling quite drained. Fortunately when Friday rolled around I was perked up by receiving my first official pay as a permanent staff member at my job! It was higher than I expected, even with them taxing me too much (I will get a refund for the overpaid tax), and it was nice to feel the financial pressure of the past year begin ebb away.

(Riding the train is still novel)

Pay came just in time, because on Saturday David and I went to London to buy our wedding rings! We had a lovely but exhausting day. The journey to London is beginning to become familiar—a 40 minute walk to the station, waiting in line anxiously worrying that I'll buy the wrong tickets, the rush onto the platform to purchase breakfast from the West Cornwall Pasty Co (this time hot Cumberland sausage in a bun), and then a 50 minute ride of beautiful English countryside and small villages.

Do you need another picture of me on the train?

When we arrived in London we went to Hatton Garden, London's jewellery district. The morning was, at least for me, fraught with disappointment. As I expected, most of the stores were way out of our price range (hello £10,000 rings! Seriously). We had wanted to go here because they were supposed to have a 300 store jewellery mall...which turned out to have about 5 stores open (so not 300), the majority of which were run by pushy, somewhat sleazy men hawking their wares.

Creepy statue children on the way to Hatton Gardens

After the jewellery mall failed we continued to browse on the streets. Then I found a beautiful antique ring—a fat round bright yellow gold ring with a bit of engraving around a bright blue sapphire. I fell in love with it...but it was not to be. I was worried about the pressurized setting not keeping the stone in (the ring was from 1911), David was worried about the quality overall, and although I will likely go back and buy it with some grad money one of my uncle's gave me I couldn't sell myself on getting a ring that neither of us felt 100% about, even if I did love it.

Antique ring I fell in love with.

More browsing. More feeling dissatisfied. Finally we went back to The Wedding Ring Shop. It is a cheesy looking shop that has a giant wedding ring serving as the door handles. We had been in there earlier but as they didn't have any prices displayed we figured it would be way out of our limited budget. By this point in the day I was feeling rather low—hungry after hours of fruitless searching, and only becoming increasingly dissatisfied with options. Fortunately I have David.

Within minutes of entering the shop he'd found a ring that he thought looked similar to the one I loved at the antique store. And after finding that I noticed that this store had a number of rings with engraving on them. After much looking, because there were many options, I found a wedding band that was hand engraved with a series of flowers and vines around it. Love, again! The way the light caught the engravings made it look like it was sparkling with gems, but it was still plain enough to not clash with the all the stones in my engagement ring.

Not my ring, but similar

I hardly dared to hope that we could afford it. However this shop is wonderful! All the rings are made to order, which meant that we were able to customise it to fit with our budget. And we also ordered David's ring from there so he got the fun of choosing the style and metal as well. The only downside is that since the rings are all made-to-order we won't be able to pick them up until July 13th, four days before we leave for our wedding. Still, I think it is well worth the wait—not only do we have rings that we love, but we had the fun of going to get them in London.

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