Do you remember the Sex and The City episode where Carrie takes a peek at the small black box in Aiden’s gym bag, only to find an engagement ring she feels says he doesn’t know her at all?
For $500, she provides you with a cubic zirconia solitaire set in sterling silver to propose with. The fee acts as a down payment for a custom ring the couple designs as a pair. In addition to the substitute ring, the price also includes a ring box, small bottle of Prosecco, two champagne flutes, a box of champagne gummies and a card explaining the custom design process.
“Sometimes a proposal can’t wait the six to eight weeks it takes to create a custom engagement ring,” says Abby. “Can you propose without an engagement ring? Sure, but it’s not ideal engagement etiquette. The loaner ring acts as a placeholder engagement ring so that you get the fun of a unique proposal without settling for anything less than the ring of their dreams.”
Abby says the inspiration for the program came as a result of meeting with several clients who were stressed and struggling to pick the perfect ring. They had general guidance but not enough to feel completely confident with their decision. “Engagement rings are a lot of money!,” says Abby. “Naturally, they want to make sure they get it right.”
After the proposal, Abby says couples return within 30 days to begin the design process (but she’s flexible with timing). And don’t fret if you’re nowhere near Denver, Abby’s clients are as far-reaching as New York and Italy.
If a couple loses or grows attached to the loaner ring, the $500 fee is split, and half ($250) goes towards covering its cost, the other half is applied to the cost of the final engagement ring.
The loaner ring is returned when the final sparkler is delivered. For those couples who fall in love with (or lose) their placeholder ring, they’re given the option of purchasing it for $250 and the other half goes to the final cost of the engagement ring (which starts at $5,000).
“Designing a custom ring might not be your thing, but you get points for knowing what your partner wants,” says Abby. “Let them design the ring while you pick up the tab. We are discreet and work with you to create the perfect ring with your budget in mind. You get the brownie points for a memorable proposal and they get their dream engagement ring.
I’m sure that’s something that even Carrie Bradshaw can get behind.
Ximena N. Larkin is a writer and publicist who lives in Chicago with her husband and dog. For more of what she writes about visit ximenabeltran.com.