Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Green and Frugal Wedding Guide : The Bling!

To kick off the Green Wedding Guide I wanted to start by sharing my bling with you!  Since most engagements begin with a ring, I figured this was a good place to start.

What I DIDN'T Want:  A diamond.  There are many reasons for this.  Conflict diamonds and the diamond trade in general being one of them, and a big one at that.  But also the frugal side of me just couldn't justify spending a lot of money on a stone that held little to no meaning for me.  Diamonds are pretty, I'll give them that.  But I already have a diamond... on the is very meaningful to me... my Grandmother's wedding ring (which I will wear once married and then wear the engagement ring on my right hand).  For this reason I asked for no diamond, or, if he insisted on a diamond, a lab created colored diamond.

What I DID Want: If it has been possible, I would have been thrilled to have him propose with a ring worn by his great-great-grandmother that's been passed down for generations.  I LOVE stuff like that.  That wasn't possible this case so what I wanted was something different and meaningful to *me* as well as something eco-friendly and conflict-free.  Aquamarine is my birth stone.  Amethyst is my Zodiak stone.  Blue and purple are two of my favorite colors.  So when giving my fiance some ideas on rings I sort of tried steering him in that direction.  I like antique settings so even getting a ring from a pawn shop or antique store would've been OK with me!

What I Got:  A beautiful three stone aquamarine white gold ring with an antique setting.  I really honestly could not be happier!  Here's some pic porn to feast your eyes upon:

The Eco-Friendly Side Of Me: I'm happy.  Unfortunately, we aren't able to trace *where* the aquamarine comes from and that's a little disappointing to me, otherwise I would be extremely happy!  It's a practical ring, a beautiful ring, and a meaningful ring.  And it's a ring I would love to pass on someday.

The Frugal Side Of Me: Very, very happy!  We did buy this ring together.  My fiance found it important to get my input and for me to be 100% happy with my ring.  I'd actually spotted this ring weeks before, but hadn't given it much thought until we went ring shopping.  It was in the clearance area (yup, it was on clearance and I am not ashamed to admit that!) and originally I circled the regular jewelry case trying on other rings and just wasn't finding "the one".  Then I remembered seeing this one and went over to see if it was still there.  To my amazement, it was!  I tried it on and it fit me perfectly.  It was a sign.  It was my ring.

Other Places I Looked and Like: 

GreenKarat- A great option if you are looking for non-diamond ring.  They have a small but beautiful selection of Gemstone rings as well as lab-created diamond rings.  They also do custom designs.  Great for engagement and women's wedding rings.  Prices were a little too high for our budget.

BrilliantEarth- A great site for conflict-free diamond engagement and wedding rings as well as sapphire rings.  Mens bands, custom designs, and even a section to create your own ring.  This site really has it all.  Unfortunately, while they are very eco-friendly, they aren't very frugal.

SimplyWoodRings- Just like the website name suggests, this is a website for wood rings!  From simple wooden bands to rings with bling, this site has it!  The prices are excellent as well, and were well within our budget.  My decision to not buy a wooden ring ultimately has to do with my horrible habit of not taking care of my jewelry very well.  I'm not a big jewelry person so my rings are lucky if they get cleaned once a year!  Wooden rings require a bit of maintenance, but if you already put in effort to clean and maintain your jewelry collection this will fit right into that routine!

Etsy- Like everything else, you can find some amazing rings and deals on Etsy!  In fact, I was leaning toward a ring I found on Etsy but my fiance wasn't a big fan of it.  I love the ring I got in the end, but if I hadn't found my ring I am sure I would have eventually found one I love on Etsy.  There are rings of every style, for every personality, and every budget.

Do you have an eco-friendly wedding or engagement ring?  If so, I'd LOVE to hear your story, learn of the website or store you bought yours from, and maybe feature your ring on the blog here!  Comment below or email me using the Contact/PR link just below my header.

1 comment:

HomemadeBaby said...

Love love love your ring! So beautiful - the stones and the setting too! Congratulations!

I have a ring from BornFromAStar.com. I don't usually tell people that it is moissonite (think I spelled that wrong), but I wanted something eco-friendly, conflict free, and that would fit our lifestyle (I'm active and busy - I didn't want to be devastated if something happened to my ring - don't get me wrong, I would be upset, but it wouldn't be the end of the world financially, to replace it). It is a gorgeous ring and I feel good that it is eco and socially responsible :)