does this ring make me look engaged?

One part I love most about being a bridal makeup artist is listening to my client share their engagement story and gush about their ring. A common thread between all brides is the symbolism of their ring. It is not just a piece of jewelry, but a representation of the love and commitment they're making to another person. 


bianca + kim

Some of you may already know that I was the one to propose to my wife. Despite my love for planning, proposing was not my best execution. How do you surprise someone you tell everything to and often use one another's phones? I tried getting someone there to take photos. No go. I tried making reservations for dinner post proposal. Fail- we waited 90 minutes to be seated. But this is life, right? The perfectly imperfect. And what truly matters, especially looking back, is that I am now married to my favorite person. 

Sometime in early 2014, Bianca and I made a trip to Joe Escobar to see what rings we each liked. By chance, Bianca chose a ring for me, and I hers. Later that year in December of 2014, I made a visit to R&J Jewelry. A shop owned by one of Bianca's cousins. I love giving my business to friends and family when I can. Everyone was so helpful, especially when I decided to make a custom ring for Bianca. I quickly chose my own ring and spent several weeks working on Bianca's from choosing the diamond to the design and metal. Her dream ring was a compression style, but due to the price and possibility of the stone falling out, we quickly tossed that idea out the window. 

As soon as I got an email that the rings would be ready, I put my plans into action. Another little tidbit about me: I love giving gifts so much that I really can't keep them for long. I just love seeing someone's reaction to a gift that I picked just for them. That being said, I had to propose right away. I picked up the rings right from work. Told Bianca I was taking her out. We cleaned up, got our nails done, and then I took her to "our bridge". I had her close her eyes while I wrote "marry me?" on the bridge. When she opened her eyes we both giggled like little girls. We had talked about marriage for so long, but the fact of it being reality made us giddy with excitement! Three year of wear our rings and we still stare at them regularly. 


nina + eric

"Eric and I had been dating 2 years when he proposed, and living together one of those years. We had talked about marriage over the last year prior and he asked me what my ideal proposal would be. I told him that I wouldn't care how or when, as long as it came from his heart and it was something he wanted. He said that he would propose in the year 2016. Well, New Years was approaching and I had almost completely forgotten about his promise. I love New Years Eve. Eric planned this whole event: got us a huge suite at the Hilton in Downtown San Jose, tickets for Haberdasher (the old Single Barrel) a small underground bar also is DTSJ. This tiny little bar was my favorite but only had like 8 tables, and tickets were gifted out on a raffle. And all of our friends were going to come hang out with us and spend New Years with us. So, I knew the entire plan. Eric even paid for me to get a blow out and my nails done- now I know why. So, we are in the hotel room with all of our friends just talking and hanging out, its about 9:45pm/10:00pm and because I am the bossy pants I am, I was suggesting that we all get down to Haberdasher and enjoy our free appies. No one would get up! So I tried to herd them harder and now everyone is silent and staring  behind me- I turn around and there Eric was on one knee with the ring of my dreams. No idea what he said, he can't remember either, but I said yes!  We got to ring in the new year as an engaged couple and every day since then has been just as magical. 

I love how unique the ring is. Eric spent a long time looking for the ring. He was originally going to have it hand made. I have never been into diamonds much. I had told him that I want something that no one has, but please don't break the bank. Our life is not built around money, so the ring shouldn't portray that either. So he found something that represented me and our love, something that no one else shares except us. The band was then handcrafted by one of my moms closest friends, which is very personal to me."


shannon + andy

"We got engaged after being together for 10 years. Our first date was Brokeback Mountain and, NO Andy had no idea what the movie was about. His friends had told him it was 'an artsy film that would impress a girl.'  After that movie, he was certain I would never see him again. But I stuck with him for the long haul, and it became the running joke in the family. Andy ended up proposing to me at the end of seeing Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters on Valentine's Day. He said he had to top our first date some how! He used all my favorite lines from our favorite movies and ended it with 'I'm with you till the end of the line' which was our wedding theme. 

I love my rings because they are custom. I get very Gollum like when I don't have them on! I had jokingly sent Andy multiple links to rings I liked over the ten years. I didn't know that he had saved every single one. So when he was finally ready, he printed them all off and took them to Dynasty Jewelers in Oakridge Mall. They had done all our previous jewelry for us! They made me a custom engagement ring that was everything I dreamed of. It's incredibly detailed and very princess like. Andy's ring is also custom. He lost his dad the first month we started dating. So I had a copy made of his dad's ring in white gold."

photo by Royce Dove of Blurred Line Photography

photo by Royce Dove of Blurred Line Photography


angie + marquisa

"Marquisa and I had only been dating for a month when she asked me to go shopping for diamond earrings as a present to herself for her birthday. While at the jewelry store, one of Marquisa’s friends (who was getting married in a few months) called and asked if we could scope out rose gold wedding bands for her while we were there. Never one to turn down looking at shiny things, I quickly agreed and started perusing the store’s offerings. Looking at wedding bands naturally led me to looking at engagement rings, which led me to trying on engagement rings (while Marquisa unknowingly was shopping for her earrings). Once she had picked out her earrings and realized what I was up to, we had a quick sidebar about if we were serious about looking at rings. We had briefly broached the subject of marriage, but given that it was so early on in the relationship, both of us were a bit trepidatious. We decided that looking couldn’t hurt, so we immediately drove to the mall to check out a different jewelry store. Once there, we actually found rings that we both liked and put them on hold. This bought us a few weeks to decide how we wanted to move forward and to talk about what we saw for our future together. It also gave us time to do online research about rings, diamonds, styles, etc. We visited a third store, Jared, about a week later and ended up both buying our rings on the spot. It was a huge leap forward in our relationship, but one that we both felt ready for and comfortable taking with one another. 

Fast-forward 2 months later... 

We got engaged on June 24, 2016, which was quick by some standards, but it just felt right. I surprised Marquisa on the weekend of SF Pride with a secretly decorated hotel room that overlooked the city. The hotel was even in on the surprise and provided us with free champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries. After a private proposal full of laughter and tears (Marquisa said yes!), I had one more surprise waiting for her the next morning--a fancy brunch in Saratoga with a bunch of friends. Then, we both wore custom-made tshirts that said "Just Engaged!" to the SF Pride Parade where we were congratulated by drag queens and parade-goers alike. It was a perfect weekend and a perfect start to building our new life together."

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color factory.

"Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide."

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With an alarm pre set and phone glued to hand, I repeatedly refreshed the browser. Forty five minutes of not so patiently waiting and then, BOOM! I was in. I felt immediate pressure to pick a date and time before getting the boot. Inspiration struck and I booked our tickets for my birthday weekend. 

But then the outfit planning. Oh the outfits. 

Once we decided on black and white I started planning an outfit around my rehearsal dinner striped dress. But I must inform you of a rule in our home: if you call an outfit, then it's yours. 

And Bianca called that striped dress first. 

But I think everything ended up quite nicely. Plus, I got a new dress out of the situation that is perfect for makeup jobs too. Not to mention that it was under $40 on Amazon

The makeup choice was easy. I knew a bold pink lip was necessary and the rest just came naturally. I had gotten some Charlotte Tilbury skin prep samples, and HO-LY MO-LY this stuff is good! 

With a little bit of research, I found a nearby restaurant right up our alley. I chose Aliment for one reason only: the brussels. We are obsessed with brussel sprouts. Our favorite were some we had on our honeymoon in Portland, Oregon at a restaurant called Tasty and Alder. Caramelized fish sauce. It may not sound appetizing, but it is all that and a bag of chips!

Second item on the Aliment menu: Brussels Sprouts // caramelized fish sauce, toasted nori.

YES!!

And they brought me right back to Tasty and Alder! 

We also ordered the beet salad, which was so beautifully displayed, cauliflower saute, and a main course that neither of us can recall. Everything was delicious and we were tempted to order a second serving of the brussels. 

A short walk down hill, and we arrived at the most colorful building.

Upon entering, they give you a card to use with their cameras so your photos can be emailed directly at no additional charge. The first image above was taken upon entering the museum. 

After taking the photo, there were several small circles on the wall with writing next to them. Upon getting closer, you see a description of a smell. And wow did they get the smells just right!

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And then the tastings: Smashmallow (I got root beer and Bianca got strawberry and cream) in the rainbow room and Pressed Juicery charcoal cleanse in the black and white room.

And, let's be honest here. The black and white room was the picture I had been planning for.  

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Next we came upon the orange room. Although interesting with its eclectic array of nick nacks and do dads, we weren't very much interested in taking any photos. 

Then came the blue room and an instant rush of balloon scent. The room felt like a dream or as if I were floating in the night sky. This room was smaller, and more difficult to get a photo without others in it, especially the photo take with their camera. However, Bianca did manage to get one cute photo of me. 

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The disco room. A holographic floor! Disco balls and music. We HAD to dance!

And who remembers playing with a Lite Brite as a kid?!

But we came upon what I believe is my favorite of all the rooms: the Ribbon Room.

Holy moly! I did not even ever imagine that I could love walking through thousands of ribbons as much as I do now. Bianca and I even spoke of how and when we could make one of our own. Maybe one day our child will need a corner of ribbons in their room. 

Ok. Enough with the ribbon obsession. 

After a quick break into the completely pink bathroom full of jokes we went up some very happy stairs...

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and found ourselves down a hallway of even more color! 

This beautiful hallway led us to the most anticipated room. 

CONFETTI! 

If you have been with us through our wedding planning, you saw our series of confetti photos. So, this room felt like it was made for us. And my sweet sweet wife bought the cutest crowns for my birthday and this was the perfect room for them. 

And finally, the yellow ball pit. As a preschool teacher, I was quite excited to jump into a pee-less pit of balls! 

And finally, a sweet yellow treat to send us on our way!

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Thank you Color Factory for a fun filled evening!