While designing jewelry is certainly a fabulous part of my job, it’s actually not my favorite. Instead, what I love the most about being the Creative Director of my little boutique is when I get to help my clients make their big milestone moments extra memorable and unique. Recently, I was honored to work with my clients Angie and Breana on their engagement rings. Then, unbeknownst to Angie, Breana and I conspired to create the sweetest surprise proposal for her…
How did you meet?
Breana & Angie: We are a Tinder success story!
It was so clear when I met both of you at the initial design consultation that you knew and understood each other really, really well. What drew you to each other initially?
Breana: Angie is the first and only woman I’ve ever been with. We first “swiped” on each other’s profiles in late April 2018; however, due to travel conflicts for both of us, we didn’t actually meet in person until a few weeks later. But we texted constantly prior to that first date. I felt so comfortable and at ease chatting with her that by the time we did actually meet it was like I already knew her. She has this innate ability to make me feel like the world and my place in it all make sense when we’re together. No one has ever understood me quite like that and I knew she was special from the day I met her.
Angie: She has a beautiful smile, her whole face lights up when she’s smiling. Mostly though, her sense of humor. Breana always makes me laugh and her jokes are so uniquely her. From the beginning, she made me laugh with her sense of humor.
What made you decide you want to get married?
Angie: The big push? Breana had a great job opportunity that required relocation. Bigger than that is how she makes me feel safe, secure, and at home, no matter where we are. I can’t remember what life was like before I met her. Unquestionably, wherever she was getting relocated to, I would be going with her.
Breana: Unbeknownst to Angie, I started mulling that concept over after we spent Thanksgiving with her family in Chicago last year. I remember I called one of my best friends after we got home from that trip, asking him, “Am I crazy? Is this too soon?” But when you know, you know. Me getting my new job just cemented to me that I couldn’t live my life without Angie in it.
Before getting engaged, did you know what you wanted for your rings?
Angie: I found rings on Etsy years ago that I loved. They had beautiful metal work that mimicked branches and leaves. I knew wanted my ring to be similar.
Breana: I knew I wanted something different yet understated, but I couldn’t quite commit to the first design Meaghan and I discussed. After a little heart to heart with myself about what exactly I did want (and some Pinterest assistance), I ended up going back in for a second appointment with Meaghan, where we designed the ring I have. This ring is perfectly me.
You were so funny at the second appointment, almost sheepish! We had started with a more traditional engagement-style ring and ended up going with more of a band style. It’s a totally natural process to go through one design and realize it’s just not right. It’s a really good way to help your brain actually settle on what it does want – by seeing what it doesn’t!
Since you originally came in together it was evident that you both knew this was moving into proposal time. Breana, how did you pull off surprising Angie when you both had already planned your rings?
Breana: My new job has required me to be in a long training program in Georgia. Being away from home this long has been hard, but it did have one very big advantage when it came time to plan this proposal- I could do it all in secret and there was no way Angie could find out! So of course I took advantage of that. Angie and I had visited Alx&Co. mid-summer and had already nailed out our designs. In August, I had my co-conspirators at Alexandria & Co. secretly mail Angie’s finished ring to me in Georgia, while also emailing Angie to let her know that, due to some “unforeseen issues,” her ring was still in production but she could come pick my ring up at her earliest convenience.
This was actually a hard email for me to write to Angie because I had to tell Angie that her ring would take an additional six weeks in order to meet the proposal date you had planned! FYI we would never have a ring take an additional six weeks and just be like, “whoops!”
Breana: Yes, I had to throw you under the bus temporarily in order to get the dates to work. I promised I would clear your name when it was all complete! I then went about planning a perfect proposal for my birthday weekend in September. Alas, plans are never meant to go perfectly… Hurricane Dorian was supposed to hit the coast of Georgia, causing me to be evacuated to Virginia the week of Labor Day. Fearing I wouldn’t get a chance to propose as previously planned, I set about covertly redoing my entire proposal for the end of that week, September 6.
So, what did you have planned for Angie?
Breana: A few days prior, I had asked Angie if we could get coffee and take an early morning walk by the water in Old Town Friday morning, something we’ve done before so it wasn’t too out of the ordinary. When Friday morning rolled around, I had to practically drag Angie out of the bed, since this was a work day for her and she was not quite sure why her girlfriend was being so weirdly insistent about this coffee date. I was so nervous I almost wrecked the car twice on the way down to the water! But when we did get down to Founder’s Park, it was a perfect early-fall morning. We were walking along the running path next to the water, when I asked Angie to hold my coffee cup. I then got down on one knee and asked her to marry me (big thank you to my other co-conspirator in this scheme, Rachel E. H. Photography, who captured our special moment perfectly!)
Angie, were you surprised? And, how mad were you at us for delaying your ring for 6 weeks? 🙂
Angie: Yes, I was surprised! And… yes, just a little mad. But, I’m so glad you worked with Breana to make this special. It made all the waiting worth it.
Any tips for those who are thinking about getting engaged?
Angie: Go into it together. Be honest and upfront with each other. Ask honest questions, give honest answers. Let each other know what you want so you can enjoy the process together. It’s still possible to be surprised!
Breana: Find companies who care about you and making your engagement exactly what you want. We did and it made this process so much the better. Be flexible with your engagement plans. Short of the actual proposal, I’m a big advocate for planning the process of getting engaged together. I loved knowing that Angie was as excited as I was to be engaged because she was involved from the beginning.
Can you describe your design process in one word?
Thank you, Breana and Angie!
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.