Your wedding rings should be photographed! You may already know that, but when I got married back in 1993, I didn’t. I had no idea that something like my engagement ring and wedding band would be so important to capture. Four wedding ring sets later, I can tell you, I wish I had gotten photos of the ring my husband chose for me all those years ago. Let my story serve as a cautionary tale.
My first engagement ring is lost forever. When we got married, we were poor college students living in a garage apartment behind my in-laws. When my husband got an infection, we needed money to pay for the right antibiotic, or he’d lose his arm! So, we started looking around our little apartment for something to pawn. The only thing of value we had–my engagement ring. Even though we swore up and down that we’d go back for it, we never could afford the cost. I wrote a play based on that experience–A Christmas Without Pawning or Plasma, back in 2010.
Anyway, I can see that ring in my memories, but I have no photo of it, so it’s blurry. The photographer at my wedding was horrible (I covered that in a blog post too– Wedding Day Coverage: Photography ). There were no outdoor shots of us, no photos of me getting ready or of anybody helping me into my dress. And most importantly, no photos of the rings–not even on the ring barer’s pillow. Wedding rings should be photographed! Didn’t he know that?
The second ring set I owned (engagement and matching band) came from Walmart. We couldn’t believe we could get both for $100. It was cute too–silver. My first set was gold, but I was more of a silver gal. One day, while taking heavily soaked clothes out of the washing machine to put into the dryer, the stone in that Walmart engagement ring popped right off! That’s what you get for $100! And–you guessed it–I have no photos of that set either.
For a while, I just wore a wedding band. Then one year, for our anniversary, I decided I wanted a new wedding ring set. We had just moved to Leander, Texas, so we went to a local business–Burt’s Jewelers–and I found a set I liked. The engagement ring was shaped like a heart–so different. I loved it! This one was white gold. . . I think. You can probably guess where this is going.
One day I was meeting friends at a restaurant in Austin for a birthday dinner. My friend and I were waiting in the van for the others to arrive. She got out a travel-sized bottle of hand lotion and asked me if I wanted to use some. I took off my rings because I hate to get lotion on my rings. After that evening, my ring set from Burt’s was gone. Without a trace. I have my theories about what happened. You probably do too. But again, no photos of the set with the heart stone.
The current wedding ring set I wear isn’t actually a set. My husband was so disappointed that I’d lost my rings from Burt’s Jewelers, that I knew I couldn’t ask for replacements. I mean, it was at least $1000, maybe more. For us, that was a lot of money. So, I started wearing an engagement ring that belonged to my mom–one that no longer fits her. I have her original set (by the way, we had to pawn that set too, but managed to get it back), but those are way too small for me. And the band I now where–I bought at James Avery for $50.
So now I wear a gold and silver combo–my mom’s gold ring and my silver band. It works for me. I realized a long time ago that I prefer the combination of silver and gold in my jewelry. Anytime I find a pair of earrings like that, I buy them!
The picture below is of the engagement ring I currently wear. I was practicing photographing jewelry with my macro lens in preparation for wedding photography. I will not let a bride suffer as I have!
Now that I’m a photographer, I realize the importance of pictures as memories. Because I’ve been studying wedding photography, I now know that it’s not just the ceremony and the pictures of the bride and groom that are important–it’s also the details. The details include those rings–those valuable rings. I don’t know how much my husband spent on my original engagement ring, but when we took it to the pawn shop, the owner said, “Give them whatever amount they want for it.” So, I know it was expensive. It was the most expensive thing we owned, and we lost lost it, forever.
Now that my 27 year anniversary is upon us–tomorrow–I can’t help but think about that ring. If only I had a picture of it to share with you! The lesson here: make sure your wedding photographer gets some great shots of your wedding rings! Wedding rings should be photographed! Tell your photographer, your mom, your bridesmaids and your wedding planner. They won’t forget to remind your photographer in case you do!