Lucia Simpson and Brian Hickey tied the knot in May 2017 at a beautiful farm in Virginia. As friends and clients of Alexandria & Company, they sat down with me to talk about their engagement story and how they came to design an absolutely gorgeous blue star sapphire ring for Lucia…
Meaghan: First thing’s first. How did the two of you meet?
Brian: We met online! We dated for a while, then didn’t, then reconnected and here we are.
Meaghan: Lucia, this question is for you: What drew you to Brian initially, and what made you decide he was the one for you?
Brian, interjecting: I can only assume it was my rugged good looks, witty sense of humor, and charming personality. I turned into a keeper through sheer, dogged perseverance.
Lucia, laughing: Everything he said, of course. But also, he is the most genuine person I have ever known. Everything he says, he means. He just cares so much.
Meaghan: Knowing you guys, I can definitely see this. Brian is an incredibly thoughtful person. This actually leads really well into talking about your ring because I think what he designed is one of the most beautiful rings we have created, and I know you love it.
Lucia: How could I not! It’s gorgeous. But yes, Brian really did all of the leg work on it. We had talked about wanting to get married but didn’t really discuss details, just that we both were looking forward to moving forward in the near future. We definitely never discussed rings so Brian designed the entire engagement ring based off of what he thought I would like, and he was just so right.
Meaghan: So what did he have in mind for the ring?
Lucia: I know he reached out to my sister Marjorie and she gave him some pointers, but one of them was that she thought I wanted an emerald (my birth stone) which wasn’t quite on track. Brian knew I needed something durable and that I could wear every day without worrying about it. He knew from meeting my grandmother that I admired her engagement ring — my grandfather bought it during the war and it meant a lot to her — that had a star sapphire in it. He also knew that I liked more antique-looking rings with a muted art-deco style. Tim sourced an amazing star sapphire and then the two of them designed the ring around it. It’s so beautiful.
Meaghan: The star sapphire was such a great choice — it has a beautiful color, it’s interesting, but it’s not flashy.
Lucia: For sure. I can’t believe he pulled my grandmother’s ring from memory, but he did it.
Meaghan: Tell us about the engagement. How did it go down?
Brian: The best laid plans…
Lucia, laughing again: Yes, Brian had a whole dinner planned but barely made it through the door before proposing. I was at home doing work on the computer and Brian was weirdly anxious to eat outside that evening. He kept rushing to finish making dinner and get us to our patio where he had sneakily lit candles and set a whole scene. But, he just couldn’t keep it in and ended up dropping to one knee while I was still sitting in front of the computer in our living room. The first thing I said was, “You proposed on a Thursday??”
Meaghan: Ha! I hear this a lot. It’s so hard to keep it in once you have the ring ready and the plan set!
Brian: Indeed. My only tip to people thinking of getting engaged is, pick up the ring the same day you plan to propose. It will burn a hole in your pocket.
Meaghan: Sound advice. What about your wedding bands? Tell us about those.
Brian: I knew I wanted something that would “age” well and I liked the idea of a silver ring with a good patina to it. Tim created a hammered sterling silver ring that looks nice and rugged, and continues to age better and better.
Lucia: I wanted a wedding ring that would curve around my engagement ring, something that would accent it well. Tim custom designed the band so that it sits snugly around it and they pair perfectly together.
Meaghan: Can you describe your design process in one word?
Lucia: Easy. It all went so much more smoothly than I ever could have thought possible.
Meaghan: Any final tips?
Lucia: If you’re going to do it, jump in feet first. Go all or nothing!
Meaghan: Thanks, Lucia & Brian!
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.