April 15, 2012

Wedding Ring Story

Back when I shared our engagement story, I mentioned that Matt had my ring specially made for me.

My ring replicates an antique early 20th century ring--a ring that was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean--in the Titanic wreckage. There's a little story behind how I discovered this ring and in light of today's 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking, it seems appropriate to share.

I remember one evening as a young girl, I was watching television with my parents. Whatever we were watching referenced the Titanic, which I had never heard of. My mom explained the very basics behind the history of the Titanic, and I remember feeling very saddened by this tale.

In the following years, I read short histories of the Titanic in books, always feeling intrigued by the story, especially after seeing photos of the "fancy" ship and the passengers in their period clothing.

Fast forward to Spring Break of my junior year in high school. My parents and I went to Chicago for the day {easy as the city was only 1 1/2 hours by car from where I grew up in MI} to see a special Titanic Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. {This was a few years after the Titanic movie sensation--stay tuned this week as I share my thoughts on the film itself.}

My parents and I had just finished going through the exhibit and entered into the {inevitable} gift shop at the end. As I was browsing around, I came across some jewelry for sale. There were pieces designed in the style of the time period, but then there were a few select pieces that were replicas of actual jewelry recovered in the wreckage. That's when I saw it. This:

This is the actual ring from the Titanic. {via}

In a mere moment, I had fallen in love. It's strange to say, I know--but in that first moment I saw it, I knew. I just knew that was the ring for me, the ring I would hope and pray to one day be my engagement and then ultimately my wedding ring. Even though I had never even began to imagine what I'd one day want my wedding ring to look like, I knew I'd never have to. This was it.

The fake replicas the gift shop was selling of this ring were reasonably priced. I pulled my mom over to the jewelry case and gushed over how sincerely I adored that ring. {I decided to leave out the part about possibly modelling my future wedding ring after this...} I then promptly directed the sales clerk to pull the ring from behind the case and so I could purchase it. I paid for it with my hard-earned-cash from my after-school and weekends job.

I kept this Titanic ring carefully nestled in my jewelry box over the next many years, where it sat quietly and waited. In my heart, I knew it might only ever be a dream to think that I could get this ring replicated as my engagement ring, but I still held onto my hope.

Enter: Matthew Perry. Six months into our relationship, we both knew we wanted to marry one another, though we had never openly discussed it. We were stopped at a restaurant on the way home from a friend's wedding, casually discussing weddings, when I saw the opportune moment to inform Matt, in the most casual manner of course, that I already knew exactly what I wanted my one-day wedding ring to look like.

I told the little story about how I found this ring, of it's Titanic-background, and how I had bought the replica in the gift shop hoping to one day use it as a model for my wedding ring. I deliberately described this ring as my "dream ring" because I was fully aware that it would be a really, really expensive ring to have made. I added that I most certainly wasn't "expecting" that this be my future wedding ring because that would be a lot to ask. I made sure to reiterate that I would be the happiest girl in the world to receive any ring from the man who was to be my future husband. But in any case, now Matt at least knew of my "dream ring."

Fast forward another seven months, and there presented before me at the words "Will You Marry Me?" was my dream ring! And indeed, the first thing I said to Matt after saying, "Yes of course!" was "I can't believe you got me this ring!"

We had the wedding band fashioned to "hug" the contours of my ring and we will one day add a second band of tiny diamonds to "hug" the other side. It is the perfect touch to make this ring a one-of-a-kind personal piece.

Now I wear this beautiful ring on my finger with such pride--every time I look at it I am reminded of how much Matt loves me. He worked so hard to save up all that money for my "dream ring" to make sure that my dream of having it came true. But of course, it is Matt and Matt alone that is my dream-come-true!

I love the story behind my ring--how I saw it and instantly loved it, and how Matt was determined to make sure I did get my "dream ring." But I also really love that my ring is linked to the Titanic's history. I sometimes sit and try to imagine who owned it, what her life was like, what her fate was. I feel that in some small way, I am sharing in someone else's history and helping to carry it into the future. I don't take that honor lightly, and it is one I am proud to bear.

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