When I met “Tomily,” it was my first experience with a couple that is so close that they had merged their names into one for correspondence. I knew immediately that this adorable pair would stop at nothing short of stunning for a ring to commemorate their romance of ten years (and counting).
Pictionary: the next match.com?
Tommy and Emily first met in college after their two best friends started dating. They were introduced at a house party that Tommy was throwing where partygoers were encouraged to draw on the walls in the basement. They found themselves in a drawing competition where they took turns drawing themselves as famous duos.
The jury is still out on who won… ;)
Wiser than their years
Tommy and Emily knew it was love almost immediately, but were very young when they met. After dating for three years in college, they decided to pursue their futures in different states. They spent two years apart, learning more about themselves and growing individually, before deciding to move to the same city. They fell in love all over again, the timing was right, and they knew it was truly meant to be.
Weather vs. sentiment
Tommy originally planned to propose in Ann Arbor, where he and Emily first met, but he couldn't convince her that going to Michigan in February would be a fun vacation. (Have to say I agree with Emily on that one.) They wisely chose Maui instead.
Tommy planned a 3AM trip to the top of Haleakala to witness the famous sunrise from above the clouds, as it would be the perfect moment to pop the question. Mid-vacation they made their journey up the ancient volcano and watched an amazing sunrise (along with 100 other tourists) as Tommy fingered the ring box in his pocket.
With early morning temperatures at around 40 degrees, one by one, the other tourists headed down the mountain for warmth, but Tomily’s Michigan weather training allowed them to be the last couple standing. Suddenly, Tommy dropped to one knee and proposed with a speech he admits to having practiced more than a few times in front of a mirror. He presented Emily with a gorgeous diamond (in a temporary setting) and Emily said yes before they both burst into tears of joy!
Will the REAL ring please stand up?
Soon after returning from their romantic excursion, I received a message from Tommy asking if I would meet with him and Emily to design her dream engagement ring. In Emily’s words: “I had some anxiety because I had a vision in mind and wasn't sure how it would translate. I had admired Kate Middleton’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring, but wanted to reverse the color scheme (i.e., have a diamond center stone with a halo of blue sapphires).”
Together we explored their idea further and determined that reversing the color pattern just didn’t look as good as they had hoped it would.
A few weeks into the process, they decided to switch course and chose an all-diamond ring set in platinum.
Although the halo-style ring design was fairly straightforward, there were still many decisions to be made along the way. What size would the accent diamonds be? What would the “basket” of the setting look like? How high would the diamond be from the top of her finger? And so on.
We played with the dimensions of the piece so that it looked perfect on Emily’s finger and put the main focus on her gorgeous 2+ carat center diamond.
And they lived happily ever after…
Once all of the details were decided, it was time to turn this image from ink and paper to metal and gemstones. The excitement, and nervous energy, was palpable as we waited for my goldsmith to work his magic. In what seemed like forever, but was actually only a few weeks from that point, I was able to present Emily’s finished ring in all its platinum and diamond glory.
Here’s Emily again: “Gigi was so exceptionally patient, open, and helpful at every step of the process. Her ultimate goal was clearly to deliver a ring that we would be thrilled with, and we had a great time collaborating with her. The finished product was more beautiful than we ever could have imagined. I have never been so smitten with a piece of jewelry in my life.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Photography by Kien Lam