Grazia's Features Editor Laura Atkinson is getting married in…well, not the morning. More like a year’s time. But still; as someone who never thought they would walk down an aisle and has never dreamt of a dress/veil/first dance in their life, it’s a big deal when you have NO idea what you want from your big day. Welcome to Grazia Daily's brand new blog, The Fash-Bride...
It’s Friday night and I am drunk. Normal topics of conversation would normally be: Pencil skirts (can I wear one without looking like a 90s working girl?), PVC (can I wear it without looking like a deviant?) and: is it really acceptable to fancy Gary Barlow now? (answer: yes). So far, so Friday.
But this Friday is different. This Friday, I am sat at my friend’s house, frantically ripping pictures from magazines and shouting things like ‘this is AMAZING!’ and ‘Ooh! Texture!’. I am a woman possessed, having lost all sight of the fact I normally ROFL at girls like me, girls who MAKE MOOD BOARDS FOR THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING. Yes, that’s right - my name is Laura Atkinson and I am spending my Friday night creating a mood board.
I mean, who do I think I am? Kate Middleton? (She made a mood board for her wedding cake. Makes me and my ring mood-board seem normal. Almost.) Whatever I have become, one thing is certain - I am on a roll. I am creative, I am full of ideas, I am inspired, I am... drunk.
Only when I wake up the next day do I stumble across the totally random pictures I pulled to inspire me (a picture of some grass, because ‘I like the way it wafts’; a polka dot skirt) and a page of notes that say things like ‘NOT WOOD’ (underlined five time, three exclamation marks) because, of course, wood engagement rings are like, totally normal.
So how did I become this person I barely recognise? A person who writes things like ‘Strong...yet feminine’ on a piece of paper? (I know; I really, really, hate myself too). Blame my boyfriend, who recently asked me to marry him. He did it without a ring because, as he put it, ‘I knew you’d want to choose it’ which he was, of course, totally right about. But instead of happily skipping off to buy My Dream Ring, I suddenly realised that there is No Dream Ring, as I have never, ever, thought about engagement rings in my life. (Do girls actually do this? I get the dreaming of the dress, the party, the speeches where everyone says how AMAZING you look, but the ring? Really?)
The more I look into rings, the less of a clue I have. I go to Hatton Gardens, the diamond ring ‘area’ in London where everyone tells you to look, and it just freaks me out a bit - people throwing phrases like ‘bezel settings’ at me and trying to drag us into shops like we’re on the main stretch in Ayia Napa. I see some lovely rings, of course, mainly vintage ones, like this:
...but just not anything that says ‘Hiya! You’ll want to wear me for the rest of your life’. Then there’s the fact that I want something ‘a bit different’ (which I realise is what everyone says, and therefore not different at ALL) and something which won’t cost a ridiculous amount of money (we have a wedding to pay for, who knew?). So I have an idea what I don’t want (big, flashy, blingy, a ‘traditional’ engagement ring) but what I do? Yeah, right.
Step forward jewellery and accessories designer extraordinaire Katie Hillier (Katie consults for - deep breath - Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham, House of Holland, as well as running her own label of fine jewellery, Hillier London). I’m not a huge jewellery girl, but the one thing I do wear every day without fail is my Hillier London bunny necklace - which looks like this:
A 30th birthday present, it is pretty much my favourite thing in the entire world. Which was when it hit me; why buy a ring I’d never normally choose? Wouldn’t it make more sense to get something I really, really love by a designer I really, really love? I know, I know - I am a GENIUS and NO ONE has ever thought of this before. (I am also going to apply this amazing, ground-breaking rule to my dress, but more of that at a later date).
So Katie is making my ring. She has a selection on her website already but we decide she will design a special one-off for us, which is how we come to me drunkenly creating a mood board one Friday evening (Katie suggested we pull some ideas together). Thankfully, Katie knows me well enough NOT to rely on my shitfaced ramblings, so I won’t end up with a ring based on a piece of grass/polka-dot skirt. Instead, she listens to what I don’t want, throws in some amazing suggestions, and this is what we (me, Katie, husband-to-be) come up with:
A rose gold band, studded with white diamonds and pink sapphires all the way round. I love everything about it; the nod to tradition (diamonds), the girlie pink, the sapphires. Basically, I think it’s the best thing EVER, which is fortunate, as until it arrives, I am wearing a plastic, free-with-a-magazine Disney Princess ring, as worn by your average seven-year-old. HOT.
- Laura Atkinson