Giving Up My Name and Other Wedding Traditions

So firstly, I am a feminist I am not sure who doesn’t believe in equality. That is what feminism is, wanting to be accepted with respect, as equals. I am struggling with giving up my name and other wedding traditions.
I am going to be truthful with you, I find lots of things about a wedding old fashioned. But I also like some of the traditions. This doesn’t mean I judge you for keeping the ones or all of them if that is what you want. I believe a wedding and the start of your marriage should represent you both not what others think you should do. If traditional suits you, do it. If you just want to do it your way, do it.
A marriage is a tale of two halves coming together to create a whole. Two equal halves coming together. Sounds like harmony and feminism to me.
Some might say that it’s just words “giving away” “Honor and Obey”. That these are just traditions you don’t have to put any power into them. But I am betting a few of you rolled your eyes at my self-label of Feminist. Some may have  stopped reading.

I never really looked at it from this point of view till I got engaged. I maybe overthinking somethings and also American traditions like the garter toss (never happening)  and bridesmaids buying there own dresses (WTF) have influenced lots of weddings in recent years.

So you may be questioning my engagement?
I had to be asked, because he would have said no to me.
I also wanted to be asked. I want to be his wife: his partner in life and love.
Wedding traditions I have issues with:
• Dad giving me away
• Asking my dad’s permission
• The term maids (come on!!!!!!!)
• Giving up my name
• That humanist ceremonies are not lawful weddings but they are in Scotland (come ONNNN)
• That mothers don’t appear to have apart in the ceremony? Think about it….no role at all.

 

My Father giving me away

My Father will be walking me down the aisle. I need him to calm me down and to hold my hand. I can’t wait to share this moment with him. He won’t be giving me away he doesn’t need to. I have been independent since I moved out of home when I was 18 but that doesn’t mean that my parents haven’t been there for me. If my Oncle was still alive he would also be walking me down the aisle with my dad. But that won’t be happening.

 

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Asking for my father’s hand

I love my dad, I am a daddy’s girls. When my brother in law asked my dad for my sisters hand in marriage his reaction was amazing. Brad was so nervous, I mean shaking. My dad’s words were
“Why are you asking me for, I am not marrying you”

 

 

 

 

Brad went white………… watching it was so funny, I kid you not. My Dad is a feminist too, although he never talks about it.

He has raised two independent daughter and a son who treats women with respect.
Brad had asked my sister first. He also asked my mum for Vicky’s hand. He was just as nervous asking her, my mum was so overwhelmed she didn’t really hear Brad, so he had to repeat himself.
He turned bright red at this point.
My mum loved it but she had a massive cry and my Oncle asked us to give her a minute as this was a big moment for her.
Gavin didn’t ask my dad for my hand, but he did let him know he was going to ask me. My dad told him he liked him and he was happy for us. I am glad he told him.

 

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The term maids

Bridesmaids just doesn’t sit well with me and tradition behind it sucks, I am sorry but come on. Just call them spinsters and get on with it. Maid of honour, yuck. I am not having a maid of honour. I am having 5 amazing women stand next to me, and I know I have called them bridesmaid in my previous blogs but that will have to change. I just don’t like all the alternative names out there. Tossing the bouquet to other maids…… okay I have caught 3! It was silly and fun but still. Don’t think I will do it. I think the maids will just have to get married without the lucky bouquet.

 

Giving up my name

 

Okay so this is an easy fix, I don’t have to. The majority of my friends who have gotten married in the last 5 years haven’t done it. A few just didn’t get around to it and now don’t care that much. I am a Payet through and through. I love my heritage, the light with the dark. I am proud to be a Payet and I always will be. But should I be a Townsend…. This I am stuck on. So, I am thinking that I will take it on. Not a double barrel just as another name.

 

I like it.

 The Law

That humanist ceremonies are not lawful weddings but they are in Scotland
This truly makes my blood boil.


Mothers don’t have a part in the ceremony

Its all about the men, think about it.

 

Father of the bride, best man and groom all do speeches. Women sit there looking pretty. Now I have no issues with you keeping it that way with your wedding.
None, nada.
You may hate talking or have nothing to say but the roles of a wedding party are old fashioned and outdated. I think my mum would kill me if I asked her to do a speech but if my friends wanted to say anything or my mum did, I would encourage it.
Both my mother and mother in law are creatively helping us out with our wedding. They are both strong amazing women who have been through a lot. They are role models to both me and to Gavin and have already talked us through lots of wedding plans.
So traditionally they will have huge role in helping us with the planning but absolutely no role on the day?
I find it baffling, I also had never really considered it before I got engaged.
Will I say anything at my wedding?
The answer is yes. You know it.
The wedding is the start of our marriage. I feel it should start of as we mean to go on. Equally. Humanist ceremonies mean that we can do it however we wish so we don’t have to OBEY anything.
What are your views on traditions in a wedding?

Wedding Planning; It’s all in the details

I know that my guests don’t really care that much about the details. They wont care that I have made all the table clothes and hand dyed all the napkins. They may think me brilliantly talented or absolutely stir crazy! But I love details at a wedding. Love them.

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To me, wedding planning, its all in the details

When my friends Sam and Keith got married they had a travel theme. Bunting was made out of maps as well as the boutonnieres. We had mini suitcases filled with boozy sweets as favours. The table was made up of travel books and tiny travel origami. It was all pretty perfect. The amount of effort they went to and yes, half the guests probably didn’t notice but I did. I loved it all!

Details are all about effort, creating a perfect space

I am not making everything because I am a control freak. I am doing it because it is going to save us an absolute fortune in renting and money. I can resell the napkins on as well as keep a set for us to use all the time. Table runners can also be resold, I am looking forward into curating this wedding.

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Plus, I am creative. A wedding day designed by you is a creative person’s dream.
I want it to be bright and colourful with nods to things we like.
I want our guests to eat and drink and be really for happy for us.
I also want it to be semi original (not going to happen) Pinterest has too many inspirations and at the end of the day I don’t want it look like everyone else’s.
It is easy to get lost in the details.

Planning

I use my bullet journal, I have lists upon lists in it. It has a time line, budgets, ideas, sizes, savings, due dates. You name it. My life is in that planner. I have a lot of lists of things I cam going to make and things I am going to source.
Which means I have a lot to do, a lot to make.
I am going to continue to put a lot of effort in the details because it is what I am interested in.
When I read wedding blogs I scour over the tables, what flowers they have used. How full the table is, what are the favours? I look at the table numbers and how everything is arranged. To me there are never enough photos of the little bits.

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Promises to myself

It really is my favourite bit and I know that I sound a little crazy. Weddings where the tables are jam packed full of details fill me with such pleasure.

So, at the end of the day I will make a few promises to myself.
• I will have a cut off date when the details have to stop
• I will buy if it is cheaper
• I will not worry if people don’t notice it
• I will try not to overwhelm our wedding with details!!!
• I will not stress if some of my projects don’t turn out right and I can’t use them

Well we will see if I can keep my promises to myself.
If you are doing a lot of DIY, Good Luck.

We can do this!

Wedding Debate: Do we need a Videographer?

 

I am stuck when it comes to this debate. If you had asked me if I wanted a videographer at my wedding I would have told you nope, not in the budget. Don’t want it, don’t need it. But here comes the advice, I keep getting told that my bride friends wish they had had one.

So, do we need a videographer?

Do we? Well if money was no option I would get one in a heartbeat.

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Image from Pixabay

But we have a budget. It is not in the budget, so do I have work extra days so we can have a wedding videographer as well.

We are spending more than I had planned on this wedding. Gavin and I had different budget ideas and we are paying out of our own pockets. But because we are spending a lot maybe it will be worth the splurge to get a videographer to capture these magical minutes.

I almost didn’t get a photographer

I kid you not. I reasoned that you get married and for the first year you do look at them, then they get put away. I am not the sort that has a lot of photos up on display. I won’t have a canvas of us printed. But I was told that a photographer was important. Like most brides to be I have read a million blogs and scrawled through there photos with a fine-tooth comb.

I do need a photographer. I found her and I love her. She is really sweet and friendly and her work is natural and amazing.

But now I want a videographer. I do watch wedding clips on YouTube and think, yes, I want my wedding to be like that. I truly do, so maybe a wedding videographer is going to capture those moments my photographer wont.

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Image from Pixabay

My bridesmaid advised us to get one! She said we will regret it, hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Plus I cant wait to hear the speeches and talks. We have a budget in mind and we won’t go over that but I was considering buying a drone anyway (I am a mentalist I know) so we could have some cool over head shots.

Hunt for a Videographer

So we have started the process of finding out rates and availability. Our first step was to contact our Photographer and ask if she had any recommendations, after all if she has worked with them before she will have a good rapport with them.

If you are having a videographer or have had one do you have any regrets? Please let me know as I would love to hear your views on it.

I am still undecided…..

Dana

Wedding Fitness, Calorie Counting: Can I drink and diet?

I need to focus on my wedding fitness and calorie counting is helping. I know what you are thinking, I don’t have to diet for my wedding. I should just be happy in myself. My body isn’t terrible but I don’t like it.  Body confidence only works if you like what you see. I can’t convince myself that I look good because I don’t.

I don’t.

I thought I would share with you things I have changed. My drinking habits and how I have had to improve with my diet. Wedding fitness is not just for that one day, but the years after it.

I want to be healthy!

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Pints of Larger in Val D’ isere, Apres Ski

Drink

When the cooler months glisten at our doorstep I love a large glass of red in winter (204 calories). In warmer months it is a large glass of cold white wine in my hand (214 calories). But I don’t have one glass, nope, I will have three which is roughly 600 calories…. Your average intake for a woman in 2000! So 600 may not seem so bad but if like me you are a little overweight then those calories add up.

I am less active in the winter, I don’t run or walk as far. So those calories easily turn into pounds.

But I don’t just stick to wine, no.

Not sure there if there is anything better than sitting in a pub, next to fire, puppy at your feet big roast dinner on its way and a lovely pint of ale. You will find me with Doombar (203 calories) and Wandel (185) with a great big smile on myself.

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Favourite Place in London, Holborn Dining Rooms they are all gin!

I like a drink,I like to eat. I don’t like moderation so much.

This doesn’t mean I drink all the time, just when I want to relax.

We have a wine rack, it is rather large. Gav bought it online, it is half a champagne rack and holds 60 bottles. It is completely full. We have wine bottles on the floor stacking up, when we have dinner parties we rarely touch it, which is crazy.

Do you do that, buy a new bottle rather than open one you already have?

If I meet up with my friends we will meet for drinks, we have dinner with food and then a few drinks before we hit the road.

If I am travelling by myself then I generally don’t drink too much. I like to have glasses of water when I drink so I stay hydrated. Not a fan of hangovers so I am also not some one who drinks right up until I go to sleep.

I like a drink and I am not going to change that

My friends like a drink too.

I had to cut back, because it is better for my skin and the number of calories are in alcohol is ridiculous.

My main weight is on my belly so that’s food and booze. My beer belly!

My drinking habits had to change… bye bye ale.

Not including holidays and festivals, I have had about 10 beers this year. Wine I have just monitored but prosecco is just a waste of calories!! 80 calories in that tiny glass!

Hello Gin

A single gin and tonic is 59 calories and because my dad taught me how to pour gin and tonic I have always had doubles which contains 112 calories as long as you use slim line tonic. This is one of the best drinks for calorie control. I can plan a few drinks or just burn off the calories.

My gin has gone from Bombay Sapphire to about 30 different gins. I love trying them I even organised a gin tour in London with my best friend and it was brilliant.

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Gin pamphlet I made for Becky’s Epic Gin Tour

I love gin but I don’t care for fancy tonics I am not a gin snob. Schweppes or generic brands are fine, I want to taste the gin! We have super expensive brands and also unusual ones we find in the supermarket on offer or on holiday.

I get a lot of gin for presents and I love it.

Except for the Ferdinand (Gavs Gin which is my absolute favourite) we just open a bottle and drink it. This picture of my gin trolley was when I first bought the trolley. Now I have so many gins they are on both trays and now on the floor under the wine rack.

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I think the most important thing about being healthy is not denying yourself the things you love but understandingwhat you are putting into your body.

When you find out how many calories are in a delicious premade pizza (2000) you start to realise that it really isn’t worth your daily intake.

I said previously that I am using Lose it App. I get to monitor everything. Although it sounds crazy to be like that I actually like it. Scanning in my food, seeing if I have gone over my calorie allowance. It also lets you set an achievable goal. You can adjust it if you want to be more proactive which is what I have done.

My daily allowance is 1376 calories a day.

You can break it up however you like they have suggestions etc. I also put my weight now and what I have lost. It tells me that in 4 months I will lose another stone.

I don’t drink during the week now. I wait till the weekend now and mainly only if we eat out or if it’s a special occasion.

My gin sits expectantly on its shelf, tonic chilling in the fridge with the limes.

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Dalloway Terrace, London

So can I diet and drink?

Absolutely. Moderation is key and not punishing yourself if you do go overboard. I don’t miss it, and I really enjoy my drinks at the weekend.

I am not 20 anymore, I can’t drink without hangovers and I can’t eat without gaining weight.

With exercise and portion control I can do this.

Looking after myself isn’t a chore but it is a challenge, hopefully someday soon it will be second nature.

I see women running, sweating and trying and I just want to high five them all!

If you are trying to lose weight you can do it!

We can do it

Dana

Will I be an emotional mess: Ugly crier

Since we have gotten engaged I am an emotional mess, plain and simple.

I cry pretty much every time I think about our wedding. From reading my blogs you may think that I am a mess all the time, what with waiting to get engaged. I appear to be crying constantly. I want to be able to control it or risk having photos of me, an ugly crier.

When I think about…

…My dad walking me down the aisle

…My mum seeing me in my dress

…Seeing Gavin for the first time

…. reciting our own vows

Writing this, tears are filling my eyes. (come on Dans grrr)

I don’t want to cry… is this a bride to be hormonal issue?

Do lots of brides feel this surge of emotion?

When my sister in-law got married we could see her getting overwhelmed. She looked so beautiful and was so happy but we could see the emotional tide surging against her. The photographer told her to take a big breath or she was going to miss it and get swept away with her very real emotions. She would miss the little bits, the joys the laughter she needed to focus. So she took a big breath and had pretty happy tears in her eyes for her first set of group photos.

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My brothers wedding

She looked stunning

I don’t want to miss my wedding because my face is all scrunched up and on a purely selfish not I don’t want to mess up my makeup.

So I am trying a few steps.

Pinching my fingers, tilting my head up and trying to smile through it.

Plus, I will be wearing waterproof mascara and hopefully as light a makeup as will make me look good.

The thing is this emotional nonsense means that is not just my wedding I cry at but adverts, old couples holding hands in the street, the news at ten drowns me in tears the Huffington post kills me. It seems I have changed to a weeping wreck from happy go lucky person.

I probably wont cry at all, I will be one of these brides that laugh at their partners as they weep. But it is still freaking me out.

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I, like most women am an ugly crier, blotchy , scrunched up face my eyes completely disappear and I generally resemble a butternut squash. Maybe my mantra should be Pumpkin face and then I can just focus on that. I do not want to become and emotional mess.

Its like Gav has flipped a switch in me and now I cry at everything.

I have been thinking about walking down the aisle and I think an upbeat song may get me through. I have 3 I am thinking about, two are romantic and one is upbeat but means a lot. Maybe I just need to stop focusing on guessing how I am going to react and just go with the flow.

I am British, I believe in pulling up your socks and just getting over it.

Try not to cry and just enjoy the day I have waited so long to enjoy.

If you have any tips on not crying then please let me know I would love to hear from you.

Dana

#Pumpkinface

 

Planning and Organising 3 Hen Dos

 

Have you ever tried to plan a hen do? A group of relative strangers who are all linked via one person. It is not easy.

The older you get the more difficult it is to plan things.

To organise x amount of people with different things going on in their lives, sometimes it is practically impossible.

I have about 6 Whatsapp groups where we all try and meet up. Most of the time it is a text from Jess saying are you still up for Saturday. I have completely forgotten that I had plans but then I just end up going.

I used to be worse!

Completely dysfunctional; I forgot everything. But this isn’t anything this is my hen do.

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Snow Boarding group!

 

I am having a few: one in Madrid (my favourite city at the moment), A Hag do in London/France Skiing and another Hen in Essex. This way all mine and Gavin’s friends can attend the ones they are available for and can afford.

It sounds excessive but my sister lives in New Zealand so won’t be there until a week before the wedding. She is a bridesmaid so that’s why I am having an Essex Hen Do. Plus, the elders can attend that one.

Hen Dos are expensive

We are having a few, goodness knows how I am going to save for them.

I don’t really believe in your hens brunting all of the cost. I don’t mind them paying for drinks and the odd meal but not flights and accommodation.

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Becky’s Hen do Edinburgh

I have organised one hen do, been part of the creative side of my sister in Law and attended a fair few myself.

My best friend gave me a list of 44 people.

I was freaking out about what that many people could do and stay. Luckily it was a small group of us that went away and a larger group that attended the London hen do.

Still there were cross words, tears and I am pretty sure one hen never paid me. Guess that’s my fault for not being more organised.

One of the biggest issues is people not getting back to you. Dongle the organiser was a great help for picking the date but still I only had people’s emails to deal with.

Nightmare

My dyspraxia means that I tend to read an email and answer in a very straight forward way. Which can come across as abrupt, blunt sometimes rude. I don’t mean it. I read emails at face value, without a tone and certainly not between the lines. Some of the hens didn’t understand this.  I had to explain myself to them and as soon as I talked about my dyspraxia they understood my reply’s.

All in all, we had an amazing Hen do in Edinburgh, caught up with old friends, drunk lots of booze in our old haunts. Walked up Arthurs Seat! Had afternoon tea at the Dome (you have to do this) did some touristy bit too. Scotland rocks!

But I made a lot of mistakes.

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Abi’s Hen do Munich

So, with this info I am going to aid my organiser

Becky told me where she wanted her hen do one drunken night so when it was my turn, she asked me where I wanted to go. First place I thought of was Madrid.

Hot, sunny, beautiful Madrid. I loved it there and can’t wait to go back. Gav is off to Krakow which I also adore but there is something magical about Madrid.

Flights and accommodation can be sorted out for less than £200 so it would be the same price staying in the UK.

Things I learned from hen Dos I have been to

  • Organisation is Key
  • Let people pay for themselves
  • Respect people budgets
  • The hardest part is finding a free weekend
  • People don’t respond to people they barely know
  • There is a lot of pressure on the person organising
  • We are adults, let people be

 

Organisation is key

in planning a Hen do it doesn’t matter if you have 3 or 44 people leaving things to the last minute doesn’t work.

Let people pay for themselves

I get that sometimes people find it easier to pay on one credit card and then people can pay them back later. But that puts the stress on one bank account. I couldn’t afford to do that so why should other people.

Respect people budgets

We all have different pay check and budgets, respect that some people can’t afford everything. You invite them because you love don’t make them feel bad if you can’t afford it.

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Sam’s Hen Do, Penfest, yes those are dark clouds!

Finding a free weekend

I have set the date and given everyone 11 months’ notice. If they can’t make it I understand but almost a year should be plenty of notice especially for dates and also to save.

People don’t respond to people they barely know

I have also taken it upon myself to invite the guests on my Facebook account. I have done this so Becky doesn’t have the hard task of chasing everyone up. After collecting money, I found this the hardest. The yes/no’s the last-minute cant makes it’s made me book a place, then cancel it loosing my booking fee and paying for a cancellation.

The person organising is gold

Becky is just looking after one hen do. She is then organising with the girls to see do the final details that I am not allowed to know about she has two rules, no strippers and no penis anything!!! She is a super star but I know it will be work for her.

 

Sorry Becky.

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Sam loves Tennis, Penfest

We are adults, let people be

I mean it. If you can’t make, I totally understand. If you can’t afford it, I really do understand. If you just don’t fancy another hen do then don’t come. If people want to go to bed early, let them. If they don’t fancy dancing till 3am I don’t blame them.

 

My bed time is normally 10pm.

 

I am not getting involved in my hen do anymore. I will leave the planning to my bestest.

All I want is lovely wine, great food and my friends.

That’s it

A perfect hen do for me.

Have fun with your hen do and treasure those who are helping. They are gold.

Dana

Jess and Crispin’s Hag Do, Drink Shop Do

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Madrid and Engagement ring shopping

I honestly thought this would be easy, I mean it is shopping for my engagement ring?

I kind of knew what I wanted, something vintage or unique? I thought I would love shopping for jewellery, I didn’t expect it to be filled with pressure.

 
Having to pick a piece of jewellery that sits on your finger forever is hard.

 
With every ring I tried on I felt the price tag and the weight of my decision.

 
I have a new respect for partners choosing the ring. This isn’t my favourite necklace or bracelet. This is something that will stay on my finger permanently. And with that come a massive amount of pressure to get it right, so I will be happy forever, without regrets.
When Gavin asked me to marry him, those words were all that mattered but still.

 

I would like a nice ring on my finger at the same time.

 

We won a competition to Madrid through Brockman’s gin, see being a gin drinker really pays off! So we decided when we were there we would do a bit of ring shopping. Madrid has a lot of emeralds and I knew I wanted a green stone.

 

The first ring I tried on was a beautiful emerald cut emerald with two diamonds at the side on a gold band. It was expensive and beautiful and when I looked at it, it really wasn’t me. I felt strange knowing that this expensive ring wasn’t me and Gavin looking at me with his big beautiful eyes.

 
He just wanted for me to be happy and a drink.

 
We were in glorious Spain.

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Engagement shopping in Madrid this was google maps helpful reminder

 

We all wanted a drink!

 

This continued in about five shops, the green was too green. The gold was two yellow.
Then we found a street filled with antiques… oh if I had a bigger suitcase!

 
I doubted my decision and my preference. We walked a minimum of 16000 steps a day. This was broken up with wine cheese and a bit of site seeing so I am not complaining. I really fell in love with Madrid a little bit.

 
We eventually found a gorgeous 1920 diamond ring. It fit perfectly. Was an unusual shape but I just wasn’t sure?

 
I couldn’t commit to it.

 
We were in Madrid not in London and leaving the next day it was not as though I had a lot of time to think about it.

 
I felt pressured to make a big decision

 
At first, I was grateful that I got to choose but then it started getting stressful and I started resenting the options out there.

 
So, I had a think.

 
Looking around shops was getting crazy.

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We had eaten a lot of churros!

My plastic ring was broken due to its fragility.
If you havent read about my proposal please find it here  Gav bought me a replacement in Sainsburys for £6. Yes, it turned my finger green, then black but after that it was fine. It was simple and pretty and I had lots of complements on my sparkling £6 ring.

 
Finding the real thing was proving tricky and stressful. I couldn’t commit to what I wanted.

 
I now admire men who go out and see the perfect ring for their partner and buy it. There is a reason that so may people just like a diamond solitaire.

It is simple and elegant.

 
Green is my favourite colour so I knew I wanted green stone. We have a running joke that my favourite colour is purple when it is green, Gav constantly tells me it is purple. So, when I was looking at stones I came across a green amethyst. It suits us! It should be purple but it is green.

 
I have a Pinterest board called hint, hint Gavin. Filled with pale green rings on white gold.

 
So, we planned a trip into London’s Hatton Garden.

 
I popped into a shop in Romford and they had some nice stones in the window. I had a two-minute chat with the girl who was working there and was told to come back when the manager was back at the weekend.

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We were busy that weekend so didn’t come back for two weeks. Hatton Garden was waylaid due to birthdays and parties that kept getting in the way. I took Gav with me and as we approached the window there it was. A pale green cushion cut amethyst with a white gold band and little diamonds on the side.
She had got it.
It was perfect.
How was it possible. It even fit me. They had made it so easy, I thought it was going to take forever. She had even found me some matching earrings and a pendant. The woman was a genius!
And that its.
A two-minute chat and a lady who knows what she is doing and I have my beautiful engagement ring.

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My Green Amethyst Engagement Ring

It’s probably not your cup of tea.

 
I love that it is not traditional. This little beauty is going to sit on my finger for the rest of my life. It wasn’t lovingly selected by my fiancé but we did pick it together.

 
Finding it was a journey, in a stressful first world problem kind of way. Our trip to Madrid was heavenly, I have never felt so at home in a place I have never been to before. So although we didn’t find my ring there it we cant wait to go back. I did start to think that my £6 ring was in it for the long haul.

 
But nope, here is my ring. In all its simple elegance.
Now to find the band!!!
Dana