‘Sometimes doing the most practical thing turns out to be the most romantic thing, too.’
Meet Vicky and Helen: two nurses who met on the job ten years ago and, over the past year, slowly made the transition into their engagement.
During her training, Helen’s mentor was friends with Vicky. ‘I definitely noticed her first’, Helen recalled. ‘We were friends for a while before we started dating. I remember I kept thinking, “god, she’s so great, she’s so cool, I need her in my life.” Turns out I just had a huge crush on her.’
In her words, meeting Vicky helped Helen realise what she wanted from life and what she needed in a partner.
Being in love with the right person can give you a lot of clarity on those sorts of things.
This sense of integrity and mutual care went on to find a way into every aspect of their design journey.
‘We went to some high street jewellers and did a bit of hunting around in-person, but we actually did most of our searching online. It’s an easy way to get inspiration’.
They eventually came in for a consultation and found that working with a designer allowed them to pinpoint what types of design spoke most to them.
Same sex or queer couples are making new traditions when it comes to wedding jewellery. When both partners opt to wear an engagement ring instead of just one, this break from convention leaves couples the opportunity to do things their own way. Vicky and Helen chose not to design each other’s rings, but rather to design their own respective engagement rings at the same time.
‘I would never design an engagement ring for Vicky!’, Helen said with a laugh. ‘At the end of the day this is something she’ll be wearing her whole life. She needs to love it and it has to be exactly what she wants.’
I knew that her design would be made with us both in mind, I trust her to do that, so why shouldn’t she design her own ring?
‘Sometimes doing the most practical thing turns out to be the most romantic thing, too. I guess we really are just that sensible!’ — Vicky
And given what it’s been like to work in healthcare over the past two years, a sense of groundedness has had to be at the heart of their relationship. ‘We’ve seen a lot of sadness in our jobs. You see how fast your entire life can change’. As they navigated a difficult world of loss and uncertainty at work, Helen and Vicky found the romance in sitting down to practically and rationally plan the next phase of their lives together.
Getting engaged wasn’t a grand romantic gesture, it was how they could ensure the other was being cared for. ‘When I told my grandma’, Helen said, ‘she agreed, and told us that caring for and protecting one another should always be at the heart of getting married’.
They both opted for diamond solitaire engagement rings in the end. For Helen, rich rose gold. For Vicky, a classic platinum setting. ‘When we were in our consultation one design that kept coming back to me was a ring we’d seen in an antique shop. It had a crown shaped basket that I loved and the rest of the design evolved around it’. Once Vicky saw Helen’s crown-inspired setting taking shape, she decided she wanted the same.
Helen’s current role in nursing means she has to take off her ring when she leaves the house each day. ‘But I swear, as soon as I walk in the door I’m immediately reaching from my ring to put it back on my finger. It feels like a part of me, and a part of Vicky too’.
With a wedding planned for next year, Vicky and Helen have already started to think ahead to their wedding ring designs. ‘Because we have different metals for the engagement rings,’ Vicky said, laying her hand on her fiancée’s, ‘we’re probably going to do our wedding ring in the metal of the other person’s engagement ring. So I’ll have a rose gold band and she’ll do platinum. So that we can give a little something to each other’.
Vicky explained that while the designs themselves may not be loaded with symbolism like other people’s rings might be, ‘it was the design experience that was symbolic for us’. Being able to sit side by side and plan the next chapter of their lives together felt authentic to how they do all things in love.
Being together, having fun, working things out—that’s who we are, and that’s what it was like making these rings.