Welcome, spring!

As a native New Englander, I’ve grown up in a world that revolves very much around the seasons. We slog through tough winters, squelch through wet springs, sigh about humid summers, and stumble around the leaves of fall. Seasons also have nicknames — “mud” or “tourist” or “black fly” — that often describe the shared misery of the region in its respective states.

May typically brings with it the transition out of our winter boots and hats, and into shorter hemlines and brighter colors. It also brings another round of gift-giving occasions: Mother’s Day, graduations, weddings, showers, and of course birthdays (ahem, like mine!).

I’ve been asked more often than I can count to recommend a gift, and typically I’m happy to oblige. But lately it seems that my gentle questions — how old? style? hair length? current or dream profession? hobbies? — go unanswered, simply because the buyer is totally unprepared for them. One notable interaction ended when a customer realized she wasn’t entirely sure if this was for a high school or college graduation, and left to call her sister for more information.**

So if I may, a little advice from one who truly wants to help you select a perfect present, but needs a tad more information in order to do so:

1. Know the basics. Gender, age, and basic physical description help. Bonus points for hair & eye color; double bonus for skin tone.

2. Know (at least one of) the specifics. Favorite color, preferred metal type, ear piercings, lefty or righty, birth month, sports team, degree, hobby, pastime, career.

3. Know the occasion. While it doesn’t always dictate the gift, it can help with direction (and, to a certain degree, price point). Bonus points for details like wedding color(s), school colors or mascot, religious symbols, family traditions, etc.

4. Diamonds, pearls, watches. Repeat this, mantra-like, to yourself as you shop during this time of year. You’ll see these items placed front and center in advertising due to their immense popularity and widespread appeal, so you might as well consider them. Lockets, charm bracelets, and money clips are all great options as well, and often customizable to boot.

Friends and family (and perfect strangers), do you have a gift-giving conundrum? Ask away, free of charge! 🙂 Also, feel free to share a story of a memorable gift you’ve received — everyone loves a good tale for inspiration.

**As it turns out, it was neither: the giftee had been cast in the leading role of her school theatre production. The gifter returned just to tell me this and promptly left, saying she “didn’t feel it merited a gift” after all. Break a leg, kid!

Ring, Ring!

Clients often ask me when “engagement season” is. I’m not sure why they want to know (it’s usually not an engagement customer doing the asking), but my answer is the same: it’s always engagement season.

While it’s true that more proposals happen during the winter holidays, the rings themselves aren’t necessarily purchased between November and January. We simply see an uptick in foot traffic during that time, so it sometimes feels like the diamonds are flying fast and thick.

On the other hand, I can say with some authority that there is a “wedding band season,” and it’s starting right about now. The most popular months for marriage are June, August, September, and October, which means we’re 3-6 months out and the checklists for the intended couples are getting their boxes ticked bit by bit. Couples often want to wrap up what they perceive as important or expensive (or both), to reduce stress and long-term financial burden. It’s a winning strategy, and one that’s encouraged by the multitude of published and online planning tools that are so ubiquitous today.

If your style is simple or popular and your finger is stock or sample size, you could walk into and out of a jewelry store with wedding band in hand after about twenty minutes. You’ve probably also never missed a flight, always get green lights when you’re in a hurry, and should purchase a lottery ticket immediately — that is to say, you’re one lucky duck.

For most, the wedding band search is a slightly longer process. Try them on, price them out, and then purchase or order with a minimum of one month until your wedding.*** We’d prefer two to three months, because we like tight and important deadlines even less than you do (trust me, the idea of combining a special rush order and a bad hurricane season is not an appealing one).

I want your wedding band to be perfect, and that can sometimes mean a custom creation to accommodate an estate setting that won’t allow a straight band to sit comfortably on your finger. This is probably going to take longer than a month, and we’d like to take our time to get it exactly right.

Take this as a pleasant PSA, from our beautiful industry to all you soon-to-be-newlyweds: if you’re getting married in the near future, come in and see me. We’ll talk wedding plans and weddings bands, and get one of thing checked off that lengthy to-do list.

*** Cautionary tale: a client once told me she had two months until her wedding, but neglected to mention she’d be leaving for Mexico — her destination location — three weeks prior to the actual wedding date. We got the rings completed on time, but it was a pretty near thing. Keep in mind your actual plans, not just the wedding bubble. Please.