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Our Love Affair With Shiny Things

Happy Monday everyone! People have always been attracted to shiny things - searching for them, collecting them, and showing them off (*cue Gollum’s “my precioussssss”). Especially in the form of jewelry. They sparkle, they make us feel pretty (or handsome!), and they are often seen as a mark of wealth and privilege. The first diamond engagement ring dates back to the 15th Century; but back then, wearing diamonds and other gemstones was exclusive to the world of aristocracy and nobility. Thankfully, the world of precious gems has become more affordable and accessible for most people, and the diamond industry has tackled a lot of the fair trade issues it faced in the last few decades, so we are firmly entrenched in a love affair with these super shiny stones. Precious gems come in round, square, oval, diamond, emerald, and princess cuts, and - adding to the stunning array in white - diamonds are also available (and often much more rare) in yellow, pink, blue, and even chocolate variations to symbolize the commitment between couples in love.

Long before we forged such a strong connection between these breathtaking "stones" and romance, people used rings as an external reflection of their unions, their marriages, and their commitments. This stems from the use of a circle to symbolize sentiments such as: endless love, infinity, and two lives becoming one. And the best part about these emotionally-charged circles is that most are made from elements and other materials which are naturally occurring. The Earth produces the strongest, longest lasting, and - without a doubt - the most beautiful things on the planet – all by itself! So the choice to display a piece of the Earth as a symbol of forever love is a wonderful tribute to the amazing world around us.

Designs for engagement and wedding rings have expanded into a much wider variety of natural elements in recent years, allowing people to expand their options for engagement and wedding rings into totally unique looks to cement their individual relationship. Titanium and tungsten have become big players in the wedding ring arena, joining the long-standing materials of silver, gold, and platinum. And the creative options for incorporating different gemstones into rings is endless! Finding or designing rings which are particular to your love and your commitment to each other makes them even more special. That extra effort is definitely worthwhile for something that you will wear every day for the rest of your lives!

When we decided to get married on Maui, we knew that our rings had to literally be part of the islands, symbolizing the Hawaiian culture and its commitment to sustainability and using the resources around them. So we chose to work with an amazing company located on the “Big Island” to design and make our rings. The result was matching bands of titanium, embellished with alternating Koa wood, Australian “Lightening Ridge” opal , and blue diamonds. 3 of each because we met on January 23 (“1, 2, 3” – the only thing easier to remember is our wedding date of 11-11!). And the best part is that the Koa used in both of our rings is from the same piece of wood so the grain matches exactly. Koa wood is considered sacred in the Hawaiian culture, so the trees are protected and the wood can only be harvested once the trees have fallen naturally. In the Hawaiian language, “koa” means “brave, bold, fearless, or warrior”, which I think are great words to support the foundation of a marriage! And both "Lightening Ridge" opal and real blue diamonds are very rare, together forming the colors of the ocean, so this beautiful, shiny trio was the perfect permanent addition to our story! (*side note: There is a very cool story about how "Lightening Ridge" Australia got its name if you enjoy learning about local legends!

Those of you who have been following me for awhile know how much I love showcasing the details which make each couple's story unique. How those details all fit together make each wedding so incredibly special to capture as a wedding photographer, and they always begin with a couple’s engagement and wedding rings. So here are some of the incredible, shiny circles of love that I have had the enormous pleasure of capturing recently!

I hope that everyone's week has started out on great note! Stay warm out there if you are in the grip of the wintery Snow Miser!

~ Deborah

* Bamboo Dreams Photography offers wedding and portrait photographer throughout Michigan, Florida and Worldwide!

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