It All Started With a Shared Passion for Beautiful Gemstones
March 20, 2018
GlamorousAl FrescoSpring Weddings
When the Bride is a jewelry designer and the Groom is a gemologist, you just know that ring is going to be bananas. And it so is. This love all started over a shared passion for beautiful stones and culminated in a stunning hilltop celebration planned by The Elegant Ninja, along with all white florals by Eric Buterbaugh. It's a party layered in neutrals and dotted with pretty gems, of course. See the full day in all its sparkling glory through the lens of Trent Bailey.
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From the Photographer...We absolutely adore when couples come together to create absolute magic on their wedding day - Melissa & Robert did just that in the hills of Malibu.  This couples love of jewels brought them together, and what a treat it was to see them incorporate different gems in their wedding day looks and also the tablescapes.  The way the light of southern California bounced off the gemstones was magical.

From the Groom... Melissa and I met at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Party in Tucson 2015. The trip was my first time in America. As an Alumni, I was aware of the party for months, and after working in the Tanzanite and Emerald gemstone mines in East Africa for 13 years, I was prepared to have a GREAT time! We both arrived early to sign in that Friday evening, and noticed she was wearing a large yellow (cocktail) ring on her ring finger. 

After Susan Jacques (GIA CEO) completed the thanks to all and celebrated another successful Tucson event, the Silent Auction was opened…as well as the dancefloor! After a couple of dances, I went to look for Melissa, as all women love to dance…single or spoken for!

There was an immediate connection, like the stars and galaxies aligned. One dance became 3, and when we stepped off to get a drink, I had to ask: “On such a fine evening such as this, where is your husb…?” And whoosh, off came the ring! Melissa replying that she was not married and that the ring just represented one of her favorite designs to impress fellow jewelers! That was all I had to hear. We spent the rest of the night on the dance floor together! As the evening drew to a close, I leaned in for our first kiss on the dance floor that night. Our meeting changed our lives. I was being groomed for General Manager of Gemfields Emerald Mine, but once I returned to Zambia the following week, I resigned. When you know, you know. I proposed with a blue Sapphire one year later, and we got married in March 2017. I lost my heart at the party that year, and Melissa is taking wonderful care of it.

From the Bride...The jewelry I created for our wedding was inspired by many personalized and sentimental choices. Robert's birthstone is Emerald, and mine is Ruby, so we incorporated these gemstones into each evening, all sourced by Robert’s Gessner Gems. Our rehearsal dinner was on St.Patrick's Day, so I created a four leaf clover Spencer Portrait ring with two pear-shaped Emeralds accented with Diamonds in 18k yellow gold, and matching Spencer Portrait earrings with our monogram framed with Emeralds. After 6.5 years as a Geologist in the Gemfields Zambian Emerald mine, I love the idea that Robbie could have actually mined these gems!  

For the wedding, it seemed a natural fit to wear rubies to symbolize passionate, true love. I designed a three stone Burmese Ruby ring, framed with Diamonds, and Ruby and Diamond hair pins, accented with round diamond studs to complement the show-stopping Million Dollar Ruby and Diamond necklace – as my Something Borrowed.

As a wedding gift, I made Robert a custom Spencer Portrait jewel using a photograph he had taken of me in black and white, and adorned the frame with a Sphene and a Tanzanite, which we collected in our travels together while dating, finished with baguette cut Diamonds in 18k white gold for an Art Deco style.

I created the 18k yellow gold brooch of our monogram, which I wore on my bouquet - and removed before the bouquet toss, which was caught by my sister!

Our favorite moments from the wedding include our first dance as a married couple to Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, the Sabre by a dear friend Champagne tower to spark the celebrations after the dance and ceremony, climbing onto the rocks for that stunning sunset photograph surrounded by the mountains and sky, and the heartfelt toasts from both of our families.