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Behind The Design: Joe & Deirdre


In a serendipitous twist of fate, Joe and Deirdre’s love story began at the University of Richmond in 2016 despite living just 20 miles apart for the first two decades of their lives. It had taken travelling 350 miles south for them to finally meet.

Introduced by mutual friends, the pair started as friends, but after some self-confessed not-so-subtle hints from Deirdre, they began to explore dating. Fortunately, their sound friendship became the solid foundation for what turned out to be a near six-year relationship and the start of a lifetime together.

After a couple of proposal plans that hadn’t originally gone to plan, Joe stayed positive reaffirming that everything happens for a reason. Fast forward to a rainy Friday evening, and Joe had meticulously planned his proposal at a scenic taproom and brewery in the Richmond countryside. Unbeknownst to Deirdre, she was about to step into one of the most memorable moments of her life and coincidentally wearing a long white dress she’d just finished as a result of her sewing hobby.

As they crossed a creek, Deirdre stumbled upon a series of photos strung up between the trees, showcasing the cherished memories they had created together over the years for them to remember, entirely free from distractions. Joe gushes that the moment “allowed us to just be, something that’s hard to come by today. It couldn’t have been more perfect.”

With a heart full of love and excitement, Joe took her hand and knelt down to ask Deirdre to marry him with a ring that was truly one-of-a-kind.

When Joe knelt and opened the ring box, I couldn’t have imagined seeing anything more perfect. His eager, charming smile and a ring like none I had ever seen. It was, is, and will forever be, perfect.


They returned to their friends who were eagerly awaiting the celebration to follow and had a beautiful evening just the six of them before sharing the news with the world.

The engagement ring that now adorns Deirdre’s finger is a work of art, carefully designed by Joe with the help of the his design consultant, Julie. Inspired by the timeless ‘Toi et Moi’ style, the ring features a captivating blue sapphire and diamond pear duo, symbolising the unity of two individuals becoming one. Speaking about the process, Joe explains that “buying something for someone with the intention for them to wear it for the rest of their life is a daunting task, so we certainly had some conversations about general style over the last couple of years.”

We are so much the same but also so very different. Themes of yin-yang have been prevalent in our relationship as well.

I wanted the two stones enveloped by the bands to symbolise the people in our lives that hold us close to each other, because we will not be alone in the promises we make to each other on our wedding day.


Exploring the engraved inscription visible on the inside of the band, the couple explain that “music has always been an incredibly important part of our relationship” and that Jon Bellion, the artist who sings “Blu” has always written songs that “explore the peculiarities of love like appreciating your partner even when they don’t appreciate themselves or embracing the feeling of being overwhelmed and afraid of love.”

When the couple first heard the acoustic version of this song, they explain “we paused and looked at each other, quickly realising the significance of the song to us and our relationship.” So it made sense to include the lyric in their most treasured jewellery piece–perfectly encapsulating the couple’s sentiments about embracing love, vulnerability, and the desire for a lifelong home within each other’s hearts.

And when you thought this design couldn’t get any more personal, the ring features an aquamarine signature stone thoughtfully added as a nod to Deirdre’s birthstone.

When asked about her favourite aspect of the ring, Deirdre couldn’t help but express her love for every detail.

Candidly, I love everything about it. I love the uniqueness and timelessness of the sapphire stone, the continuity of the double bands that encompass the centre stones but join in one solid band at the base, the placement of the two pear stones in opposition but nesting in one another, all of the thoughtful touches Joe included in the engraving and signature stone, and, of course, how sparkly it is.

All of that said, what I love the most is the cohesion. The design of a toi et moi can very easily become busy and muddled if the design goes beyond a simple band with two stones. Joe and the design team were able to combine such unique design elements that make the ring stand out from a standard toi et moi while maintaining the elegance and harmony of the style.


From the lustrous sapphire and the ring’s meeting diamond pavé bands, to the overall cohesion of the design, it was the perfect representation of their love story – a love that was both timeless and unique, just like the Toi et Moi engagement ring style itself.

Each element of the ring beautifully mirrors the yin-yang balance of their personalities, their shared experiences, and their promises for a future filled with joy and abundance. As Joe and Deirdre embark on the next chapter of their lives, their custom engagement ring serves as a constant reminder of the love they share. A love that was carefully crafted, just like the ring itself, with charm and wonder, and inspired by the true essence of their love story.

If Joe and Deirdre’s story and their custom design has inspired you, get in touch to see how you can capture elements from your very own love story into an engagement ring design.

Proposal photography by Kat Jones Creative

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