From Me To You – Australian Bride
June 29, 2010
What do you do when you can’t find the perfect ring? How about design it and make it yourself. Sophie Rennard joins a couple at a jewellers in Melbourne to find out what it’s like to make your wedding rings from scratch.
Marcia and Adam wanted a personalised ring service and wedding bands with sentimental value. After struggling to find their dream designs on the high street, they decided to take matters into their own hands – literally.
Jewellery is always a sentimental purchase, but nowhere more so than when it precedes wedding bells, personal vows and the start of a happy married life together. When Adam decided to propose to his girlfriend Marcia, he knew that the most important thing was to find a ring that she would love. Feeling a little disenchanted after a few trips to other jewellery stores, Adam resorted to the internet to help his pursuit. “So far I hadn’t found anything that I though Marcia would want to wear,” he says. “I work in the CBD, so I typed in ‘jewellery stores in the surrounding area’ into Google and Larsen Jewellery came up.” Initially, it was customer feedback that made Adam decide to give Larsen a try. “ I was immediately intrigued by all the positive reviews they had.”
Once inside Larsen’s Melbourne store, secreted away in the depths of the GPO building on fashionable Bourke Street Mall, finding the ideal engagement ring for Marcia was easy with the help of Larsen’s friendly staff. But the perfect engagement ring wasn’t the only thing that Adam found on his visit: “After I had bought Marcia’s ring, I also learned that they offered an experience that involved making your own wedding rings. We hadn’t organised our wedding rings yet and I thought this sounded like something that we would both love,” says Adam.
After a romantic proposal with the magnificent new rock and Marcia’s validating ‘Yes!’ the couple booked in for an experience they would never forget. They arrived on the day with mixed emotions of trepidation and excitement. “We’d never done anything like this before – the last time I did metal work was in high school!” laughs Marcia. To ensure everything ran smoothly, they were assigned a dedicated jeweller who worked through the process with them. “Kate’s wonderful demeanour and expertise put us at ease,” says Marcia.
The entire process takes roughly four to five hours, so the couple allocated an entire day to make their rings. The experience allows each couple to choose the material and design that they desire, giving them the opportunity to really get involved in the making of their rings.
“You’re only limited by your imagination. The range to choose from is amazing – you’d be hard pressed to find something you didn’t like,” says Adam. The couple chose 18ct white gold for both their rings in a simple and elegant design. “My engagement ring is simple but beautiful, so we wanted to find something to tie in with that,” says Marcia.
Surprised by the lump of metal that they had initially been given to work with, the couple could hardly believe that what they held in their hands was soon to be a beautiful pair of wedding rings. “We had been given something that resembled tarnished silver, but it was actually 18ct white gold in its raw form. Seeing the entire process unfold was very rewarding, “says Adam.
The first step involved heating up the metal and bending it into shape with a piece of machinery called a rolling mill. Next, Adam and Marcia bent their metals into shape, sawing off any excess gold. “Trying to cut the metal in a straight line proved to be pretty tricky for me, as you needed a very sturdy hand for that part,” says Adam. Once the rings had been moulded into shape and the two ends soldered together, the couple filed and polished them to give the beautiful shine of a finished ring. All this was done under the watchful, expert eye of the couple’s dedicated jeweller Kate, who was at hand to correct any hiccups they experienced along the way.
For Adam and Marcia, knowing that they had made each other’s wedding rings gave the finished product a special sentimental value. “By making our rings for each other, our experience has become memorable and personal. At the end of the day, it’s not just a wedding ring; there’s a story attached to it.” says Adam. Larsen’s Wedding Ring Experience package also includes photographs, taken on the day and given to the couple on a CD, so that there is a pictorial memoir of the special day.
“Our rings look outstanding and we couldn’t be more excited to now exchange them on our wedding day,” says Adam. Until the big day, the rings will be kept safe in beautiful ring boxes supplied by Larsen. The couple can’t speak highly enough of the whole experience. “We would definitely recommend this to other couples, as the level of service is flawless. You leave feeling satisfied and happy with an added feeling of accomplishment,” says Adam.
Larsen Wedding Ring Experience workshops run from Tuesday to Saturday. The package includes a light lunch, beverages and a bottle of Champagne when the rings are picked up.