How to Design a Custom Engagement Ring : the story behind my one-of-a-kind sparkler

ringrosesGuys, I haven’t mentioned it on the blog despite making the big announcement on social media, so just in case..

I’m ENGAGED, y’all!

I figured we could skip how Jon asked and all of the juicy, romantic details for now (post coming soon!) and cut to the sparkle for today.  Is my ring beautiful and do I find myself staring it *all* the time? Yes. But I’m mainly sharing this because I was a researching MONSTER when we started looking into this option, and I hope this might help others in the same boat!

Alright, first things first.

I gotta be honest. A LOT, and I mean basically all, of my friends thought it was weird I was in on designing my ring. Jon and I have been together for three and a half years and we’ve always been the couple that people have assumed would get married sooner than later – so I can’t say I had zero idea that maybe we were getting closer to wedding bells.

This being said, I did give him a list of a few friends to consult when the time came. We’re really open about things, and he knew part of marrying me is to marry my perfectionism, so he definitely wanted to make sure he got the ring just right.

So, a lot of time went by – (okay, probably like a year-ish?) and Jon told me to ignore any texts on his phone because it was “top secret business” 😂. I didn’t want to ruin any surprises for myself, so I let that terrible lie slide! Still – in the back of my mind I had already started thinking about custom engagement rings, and how special it would be if him and I actually designed it together instead. Luckily, we’re nothing if not open – so with as little as a smirk and a knowing look, he knew I had him figured out and basically said “go on then” when I wanted to show him the rings I had saved on a mood board.

And essentially, that’s where it began! It was super exciting to kind of lift the veil of mystery and sit down together, look at all of our options, and think about any special additions we might want to add since we were starting from scratch.  When you’re going custom, I really recommend going on the Wedding Bee Boards and looking at the rings others have had made to find a designer that matches your needs.

For me, I knew I wanted less of an “artisan” and more of an impeccable constructor who uses great quality materials – so when looking at other rings, I looked at the reference photos girls had given the designers and how close their rings resembled them once made.

Jewelry designers are so, so talented – but honestly, I just wanted what I wanted and I did not want to make any compromises to support someone else’s vision. Save the wood grain and boho details for future Mrs. Mother Nature, queen.

With that out of the way, the consultation process began with an email.

If I had to do it all over again, the best advice I could give is this:

1. Don’t concern yourself with finding examples of what you want on the designer’s website. If they’re willing to make your ring custom, take FULL advantage of that and pull inspiration from everywhere and anywhere – from a pencil sketch to Cartier. Never be afraid to ask for something that you haven’t seen, because I’ve found that if they’re reputable – they’ll be able to handle the details, no problem.

2. Measure, measure, measure. A lot of the ring designing process is done in millimeter measurements, and it’s honestly kind of hard to envision the size of things unless you take out a ruler. This is especially important when it comes to the size of your band and halo.

3. Do you have any concerns about irritation from pave, scratches to your desired metal, or stones potentially falling out over time? Ask, then ask again. Personally, I have had issues with pave causing dryness on my fingers – so I went ahead and confirmed that it would be baby’s butt smooth (and it is!). We went with a company that offered a lifetime warranty on missing side stones and polishing, so that also helped put our minds at ease.

4. Design together! While we ultimately knew I’d be wearing the ring, it was just SO much fun to look at options with Jon and discuss all the developments in the design process. I let him pick the center stone as I really cared the most about the setting, and he added a special inscription on my wedding band that I’ll get eventually because we ordered them as a wedding set. 🙂

Long story short : if this is something that you know in your heart you’d like to do – don’t be afraid to broach the subject with your partner. I can say from experience that it didn’t diminish the “surprise” of our engagement at all! I knew absolutely nothing about the proposal – when, where, how – and it was perfect.

Good luck!


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