I first met Paige many months ago when she and her best friend stopped by our little shop to chat about engagement rings. They came in expecting to take a quick look around and scope out ideas while strolling through Old Town, and a very chatty two hours later we had Paige’s ring basically mapped out for Dan, her not-quite-yet-fiance, to come and complete.
Within the few hours I initially spent with Paige I quickly came to appreciate her sense of humor and overall candor. She is very down to earth but knows what she wants, while Dan perfectly complements her personality and clearly aims to make her the happiest girl in the room — a solid groundwork for a lasting marriage if there ever was one. I sat down with Paige and Dan recently to learn all about how they met, their design process, and how Dan proposed with a huge surprise for Paige…
Can you tell us about how you and Dan initially met one another?
Paige: Dan and I met like many other modern day hopeless romantics out there: dating apps! We met on Hinge, which is an online dating app that, at the time, required you to have a mutual Facebook friend to “match.” Our mutual friend was a coworker of mine who had gone to high school with him in the area. I swiped right, threw out some cheesy pick up line about the weather, and we went on our first date shortly after that. Our first date was at a Mexican Restaurant in Arlington, Fuego. We ate chips and salsa and overindulged on Margaritas, and the rest is history!
What drew you to each other initially?
Paige: Dan’s smile drew me to him initially. He is the most genuine and loyal person you’ll ever meet, which is apparent in one short conversation with him.
Dan: She is the sweetest person I have ever met. Silly, kind, and caring. She is driven to succeed, intelligent, and headstrong. When she needs to get something done, she gets to it (opposite from me in that regard). I am always excited when Paige is around family and friends. She lights up a room.
What made you decide that you wanted to get married?
Paige: There is no specific moment, in my mind, that we decided to get married. I think, overall, the comfort and joy we feel when we are with one another continued to grow. I think we are both at a place in life where we have accomplished a lot for ourselves, and we are ready to share that. I remember being on a trip to my hometown with Dan and watching him interact with my family and friends and thought, wow, I want this to be my future.
Dan: She’s perfect!
Before getting engaged, did you know what you wanted for a ring?
Paige: The three things I knew regarding my ring is that I wanted a yellow gold band, classic setting, and I wanted Dan to be a big part of the design process and to make the final decisions. I wanted it to be a specialized experience for Dan, and I wanted him to feel proud of the final product.
I loved your take on the design process: plan out what you want, but let him make the final decisions. Tell us about how you coordinated your design goals with Dan.
Paige: One day a few of my girlfriends and I had brunch in Alexandria and went into a few jewelry stores in the area. We stumbled upon Alexandria & Company, not knowing what to expect. We sat down with you and chatted for hours about more options that I knew existed. Two hours later, like every crafty woman, we had mapped out tons of options that Dan could choose from when it came time for him to buy a ring. I had planted the seed and selected my detectives carefully. I felt 100 percent confident that you would use my input and steer Dan in the right direction, while also encouraging him to be creative and make the final decisions on his own. All I had to do was get him to the right jeweler! [enter sneaky girlfriends who came with me!]
Tell us about the design process.
Dan: I wanted Paige to have input, yet not be aware of ultimately what to expect regarding the ring. She provided me with the essentials and I had the flexibility to experiment in certain areas. It took a few visits to finalize the final product. With help from family, friends and Tim and Meaghan, I was ecstatic with the results.
[Side note from Meaghan: Dan actually brought his parents to a couple of the appointments, which I thought was so sweet. They clearly loved Paige and were thrilled he was preparing to propose. Including them in the consultations made it fun for them and got the whole family involved, which was lovely.]
Once you designed your ring, how did the proposal happen?
Paige: Last year, Dan had planned a trip for the two of us in September to see my family in my hometown, Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The first day we got there we went on a beautiful morning beach bike ride to the local coffee shop and packed a beach wagon to walk down to the beach. We set up camp on the beach, and my family joined us with the dog several minutes later. When they walked up, Dan took the dog from my mom and the ring was tucked into a pocket around his collar.
I SAID YES!
Later that evening, we went to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. Little did I know, both of our families and my best friends had all traveled to Florida to celebrate with us for the weekend. It was easily the best weekend of my life, and I still cry thinking about how lucky I am to marry this man.
Any tips for those who are thinking about getting engaged?
Paige: Do it! Whatever you do, see Meaghan and Tim. They are a joy to work with, and I could not be more grateful that I stumbled upon their store that one day with my friends.
Dan: Involve your family and friends. I am lucky to have met someone extraordinary. It is beautiful to experience the fruits of those efforts with those dearest around you. Communication is also key, of course.
Can you describe your design process in one word?
Thank you, Paige and Dan! You were so fun to work with!
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.