Bling for the Boys



In my post last week I delved into the world of menswear, so this week I'm going to stay on-topic and talk rings....for our men. My fiancé and I are going to our jeweler this afternoon to check them out. We already have my wedding band - he gave me his grandmother's ring and then we designed my 'engagement' ring together when we first got engaged - so this trip to the jeweler will be all about him!


I'm picturing something simple and masculine, maybe a mix of brushed and shiny silver (like the one with the oval ring above). I love picking things out, so I think the hardest part for me will be keeping my mouth shut and letting him pick the one he likes the best.  :-)

How opinionated were you in your man's ring shopping?

Choosing Our Wedding Bands

I've never gone jewelry shopping. Well, I've never really gone shopping for REAL jewelry. The good stuff. So when this last weekend Kyle and I went shopping for our wedding bands, I was really nervous. I finally got a little glimpse into how nervous he must have felt when he picked out my engagement ring. The poor guy!

There were only two places I wanted to go. First was the wonderful jeweler Kyle bought my engagement ring from. They have been amazing from the day Kyle met them, and anytime since that I have been in their shop. It's called Johann Paul Jewelers in San Anselmo, and it's owned by two Kiwis (New Zealanders, not fruit). Since I spent a semester abroad in New Zealand, we hit it off right away. I love those guys, especially Paul. We hadn't been in the store in over a year, but Paul remembered us and knew all these sweet little life details that I forgot we had told him.

By the way, here's a tip: get your ring cleaned every damn day if you can! I hadn't had mine cleaned for over a year, so when I walked in that's the first thing they insisted. Holy crap?! It was like 10 times more sparkley! Kyle and I were both shocked! Apparently I put my hands in dirty places too often. Needless to say, I've been enjoying the particularly special shine this week :)

We talked to him about what I wanted, which, truth be told, I wasn't sure about. I wasn't sure if I wanted a straight ring or a curved ring to fit snugly with my engagement ring. What if I wanted to wear the band by itself one day? Or if I wanted something simple for traveling and outdoorsy things? I tried on a beautiful straight ring that looked gorgeous with my engagement ring.

Then I tried on a curved ring, and knew that's what I wanted. I mean, it was just instantly WAY better, and it looked like a beautiful, cohesive (anyone else think of Project Runway when you hear that word?) piece of jewelry. So we talked to him about having the designer of my engagement ring (eco-friendly, local, and awesome designer Yael) make a custom band to fit together with my engagement ring. Yay! Easy!

Then we talked to him about bands for Kyle, and Kyle knew even less about what he wanted. I always thought he'd look great with something a little modern, a little rustic, but definitely unique and handmade. Since Kyle works with his hands a lot, the one thing we knew was that his ring had to be tough. Basically it needed to be able to be smashed with a hammer and not break in two or smoosh around Kyle's finger. That meant gold was out because it was too soft, and tungsten was no good either because it's too hard, you can't get it off a swollen finger.

He tried on some titanium bands that had rings of wood or carbon fiber by local designer Jerry Spaulding. He felt so awkward about wearing a ring. He was so quick to pull them off. He kept exclaiming how weird it was to wear a ring. Poor guy, it'll take some getting used to. He ended up loving a matte titanium ring with a thin offset carbon fiber band in it. But we still had one more store I wanted to check out.

Solid TitaniumSolid TitaniumSolid Titanium

Naturally we drove the Triumph convertible into the city to check out Manika Jewelry, which specializes in jewelry handmade by local artists. They had more limited options as far as wedding bands, but I loved the idea of something that had a really organic feel to it, so I wanted to check this place out. He tried on a few beautiful rings by Redstart, and especially liked one called "Stream" that had a hand carved line cut through the band, resembling a stream.

Mens Stream Collection                 Mens Stream Collection

After a beer at City Beer Store, Kyle decided he liked the ring by Jerry Spaulding best. A beer well spent, I say!

So there we are, we have our wedding bands picked out. I can hardly wait for him to slip it on my finger!!

How was your wedding band shopping experience? Was it easy? Stressful? Was your hubby equally as awkward about trying on rings? Do tell!

The Ring::Modern, Classic, Nontraditional...

Of all the decisions I've made for the wedding, by far the most difficult and the one that I am ALL OVER the board on is the ring. Everyday I show JB ring upon ring from wide to thin, diamond-filled to etched, I simply don't have the power to make up my mind on this one. I want to be able to wear my band by itself, or with my engagement ring and at the moment (this literal moment, as I'm writing this) I'm leaning toward minimal or no diamonds (who needs 'em...have you seen my engagement ring?! JB rocked it).

My main problem is that the rings I want aren't sold in store (etsy-love), or they're not sold near me (NYC has the main stock of rings I want), so I can't try them on with my engagement ring. That's why I need your help, what do you think?

Here are some of my options in all their glory...I've tried to narrow it down to my faves, but honestly there are probably more that I may like better, or at least like better for a few minutes (my indecisiveness is RAMPANT). Because there is such a long list of possibilities coming your way, I've broken them down in to groups so that you can easily source each image. Plus, ALL of these can be ordered online and they're all well under $1,000.

P.S. Which ever ring I decide on, I will order in white gold (so no worries on the yellow v. white gold issue).

I was going to try to list my favorites from each group...but I can't even decide on that.

Clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four, five

These next ones match my engagement ring, they're made by Eidel Precious and would clearly fit well with my current ring, but I think they're just a little too classic for me. However they are SO gorgeous and sparkly!


The next set I absolutely adore. I love that number 3 is vintage, but I think it might be a bit too wide. I really love the placement of the stones on numbers two and four. I just generally like number one.

Clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four


Number three of the next four is from BHLDN and I LOVE it, but I don't know if I love it as a wedding ring or just as a ring.

Clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four

This final grouping is maybe my favorite...maybe.

Clockwise from top left: one, two, three

What do you think? Which is your favorite? Which would look best with my ring?

{His Ring} He Doesn't Want to Wear One

The hubby-to-be is a simple guy when it comes to fashion. Put him in a nice pair of jeans (Joes are his current faves) and a well cut, v-neck t-shirt and he's a happy camper. Accessories? You can forget about that...his only accessories are a belt and a pair of sunglasses.  He does not wear (or own for that matter) a watch, bracelet, ring, etc. It's just not his style and I'm okay with that...Well, I thought I was until it came time to discussing his ring.  We talked about whether or not he ''has'' to have one (um, YES!) and then whether or not he ''has'' to wear it (the jury is still out on that one). When we went ring shopping for him, my poor guy was visibly uncomfortable.  Having something on his finger felt so alien to him.  Every sales person told him ''Don't worry, you'll get used to wearing one'' but that did little to calm his fears.  To be honest, I thought I would like seeing him with a ring but it looked a little funny and so not ''him.''  I'm hoping that was just because we haven't found the right style for him yet!

After a lot of thought, we decided that he will get a ring, if for no other reason than to have something to exchange during the ceremony.  Then, he'll give it an honest effort to try getting used to wearing the ring.  If he still hates it after a while, I think I'm okay with him not wearing it. So, the next step is:  we need a ring!  Knowing that there's a good chance it may not get worn often, we don't want to spend too much on it.  We've done some browsing on and think the four styles below might be worth trying.  Bonus:  They are all priced well under $100.  It doesn't get much better than that!


An added bonus is that our photographer, Trevor Dayley, takes really gorgeous ring pics.  We definitely want to have something for him to shoot, even if it ends up being mainly for show. A few of my favorite ring shots of his are below...aren't they fabulous? I can hardly wait for ours!

One part of me doesn't care if Christian chooses not to wear a ring.  I don't believe that it will make us any less married or that it means he is not committed to our relationship.  If he doesn't like wearing a ring, why should I force him in to doing something that he is uncomfortable with?  However, the other part of me thinks it would be really nice to have an outward symbol of our love and unity for all the world to see.  I am not one of those girls that thinks any random guy with a wedding ring is sexy but I can imagine getting butterflies when looking at my hubby with a ring, THE ring, on his finger :)

So ladies, what do you think?  I've read some pretty emotionally charged posts on forums about this issue and it seems like many girls have struggled with the same thing. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Real Wedding by Colin Michael

Today's wedding comes from Colin Michael Photography. There were so many little details in this wedding and I love the way she pulled them all together. My favorite part would have to be her use of wildflowers! They are just stunning.

Everyone needs an amazingly gorgeous ring pic.

I'm loving the simple ceremony setting.

It's hard to pick a favorite shot in this bunch, but I have to say that I am a sucker for twirling dresses, so this one might just take the cake as my favorite pic of the bunch!

Not often do we see pictures of the food, but these pieces happen to be a work of art in themselves.

There are those wildflowers I was raving about earlier! Just darling :)

Thanks again to Colin Michael Photography for this super fun wedding feature! I just love it!