Darren and I are the most indecisive people that ever roamed the planet, so when we both started talking about marriage it was a sign that if it’s one thing that we are sure of, it is our love for each other. My parents weren’t surprised when I moved in with him after only knowing him for a few months. When we announced the date of our wedding, a mere year and 1 month after our dramatically bad first date, they welcomed him with open arms.
The thing is, weddings are so damn expensive but my dad – the true gent that he is – offered to give me the day of my dreams with the consideration of a budget. I can never put down in words the emotions that I felt, when my dad first saw me get out the car in my dress – he beamed with pride! I fight back the tears just thinking about it. But I digress, budget… yeh! Mention the word wedding and people add another R25K to their usual pricing. It’s insane! I was lucky enough to find my dress for under R1K which is usually the item that throws your budget but with the help of my mom, we did a lot of things ourselves and found really good offers, enlisted friends, family and pulled it all off with only 3 months to plan my entire wedding.
The first thing Darren and I looked at was wedding rings. We didn’t have much money but that never deterred our spirits, we spent many hours deliberating and eventually settling on what we liked and could still afford. My rings finally arrived and while I loved my engagement ring, the wedding ring that we picked looked nothing like the one in the picture and what was meant to be a ruby stone (D’s birthstone) looked more pink than red. My husband-to-be still hadn’t picked a band either, so we started looking for rings that were almost matching bands, again trusting online stores to deliver our rings. The rings arrived a week before our wedding but they were a lot more chunkier than we had hoped and it looked cheap. We ended up using the bands for the ceremony but shortly after, I settled on only wearing my engagement ring and replacing Darren’s wedding band with a much nicer one.
In July, we will be married for 3 years already and Darren has been very determined to replace my el-cheapo engagement ring from Bid-or-Buy, with a ring that makes me ooh and ahh. Honestly, it’s not something that has ever bothered me as I fell head over heels for the twists in the silver of my original engagement ring. I liked what it symbolized: the young couple who didn’t really know what to expect from life, confident to take the next step in our journey, just as long as we have each other. We found comfort and healing in each other’s hearts and together we show love, support, respect and encouragement for each other’s dreams and ambitions.
Thinking about my first ring takes me back to when we moved back to Darren’s parent’s house. Our very first flat had a mold problem which caused me to have chest infections and when the owner’s dog attacked our own for the second time, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Within 24 hours, I packed up our entire house and we went from having a home to having a room. We so much wanted to be independent but life didn’t work out that way and instead of being defeated, we would spend our Sunday afternoons watching marathons of wedding shows like ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and ‘Four Weddings’ dreaming of one day having our own wedding that would look like the ones that we watched on the TV. We would joke about our vows, and tease one another about doing embarrassing dances on the day. Within 2 months, we had found our dream home, I remember walking around the quaint farmhouse, we excitedly spoke about the potential of each room and had already chosen the room for a nursery, a place to have chickens and maybe evena pig or two. There was enough space for all our dogs and it was home… our home. A few months later, we had our dream wedding at the cottage on the same property as our new home. It was rustic and simple and every bit us. Our cake had zombies, our vows spoke of the apocalyps e and there was no way anyone would forget our wedding day, a mere two weeks after learning that we’d be parents.
Alas, I gave in and we decided to go and choose a new ring. I was already frustrated by the humidity, Axl’s many meltdowns; his molars were cutting, he wanted ALL the toys and the shops were over packed with people doing their last minute Christmas shopping. After almost having my own break-down in the family bathroom, begging Axl to just feed so that he would go to sleep, we eventually braved the jewelry store, with a miserable toddler in tow. I had already viewed their online catalog and knew which ring I had in mind, but the sales people were all already busy hiding from the crowds that streamed the stores, so Darren encouraged me to look at the other rings. He pointed out a pinkish stone in one window but right next to it stood everything I could ever imagine in a ring. It was elegant, pretty, unique and definitely made me ooh-and-ahh. When I asked to see it, the sales rep made a comment that everyone who liked it, ended up not being able to take it as it was either too small or big. I took off my own ring, and slipped it on and ta-da… 5 minutes in, and I found a ring that only princesses dreamed of. Darren laughed and asked if I wanted to look around, but I didn’t need to. It was a Cinderella fit and gorgeous as ever.
We had chosen to Uber to the mall but as luck would have it, they were experiencing issues with their signal on that particular day and with only 30 minutes to get home in time for work, Darren called his mom to rescue us from being stranded at the mall. My ring sat packed away safely in it’s little box, in my handbag, as we rushed between people and eventually making our way out the mall and into their court yard. Darren took Axl from me while I tried to eat the lunch that I never had the chance to eat, due to our little mister insisting that we stay in the arcade while dad eats on his own. Darren eventually came up to me and asked if I wanted to put my ring on, I smiled and said yep – I sure do! He joked and asked if he should ask one of the mall security guards to record him standing in the fountain, proposing to me as he never had the chance before we got married. HAHA- What a dork!
My old ring held so many memories but my new ring signifies so much more. It reflects exactly where we are as a couple, right now. The events leading up to choosing my ring, the current phase in our lives, everything. My ring is the diamond in the rough, it’s the reminder of where we’ve been but gives me hope in where we’re going.
“Sometimes you think everything is wrapped inside a diamond ring
Love just needs a witness and a little forgiveness
And a halo of patience and a less sporadic pace and
I’m learning to be brave in my beautiful mistakes.”
-PINK, Crystal Ball