With this ring…

When our lovely photographers, Suzy and Alex, worked some super speedy magic to give us a selection of sneak peaks of our wedding pictures less than 24 hours after the wedding even finished (?!), I knew I had do another wedding-themed post this week. And, because this is Tiding of Magpies, I’m sharing all the photos of the wedding jewellery…

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So the other week I wrote about the jewellery I was going to wear, and this is what I ended up in:

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My mum’s pearl and haematite bracelet
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Wedding rings made by us
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Headpiece by Ayansi Wedding Designs on Etsy
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Delicate, gold love-knot ring, Tiding of Magpies

As you can see, I decided against the cluster ring I originally made to wear on the day, since I was worried it would look a bit fussy when combined with dress and flowers. This design is an adaptation of my popular love-knot stud earrings, and will be available online just in time for Christmas, so watch this space… (I also wore the heirloom butterfly brooch on my bouquet – I’ll add a picture when we have the full wedding album, as I know Suzy took the accessories for a photoshoot while I was getting ready!

I also made the jewellery for my gorgeous bridesmaids (but of course): rose gold lariat necklaces with amusingly-named pearl potato beads (unevenly-shaped rather than perfectly round), and a rose-gold version of my pearl chain threader earrings:

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You can also see my mum’s earrings here (something borrowed!)

I couldn’t leave the mums out of the wedding party jewellery bonanza, so I made sure they had thematically-matching pearl jewellery of their own. For my mum, pearl threader earrings in the original silver, and for The Goblin’s mum, a pearl brooch, since she doesn’t wear earrings and already had a string of pearls she wanted to wear:

I’m sure I’ll post more about the wedding at some point, but for now I’m just enjoying lying on the sofa and doing honeymoon prep with a glass of prosecco in hand, so I’ll leave you with one of my favourite shots from the day so far…

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Who says rain on your wedding day is a bad thing?

What, where, who?

Photography: All wedding photos by the lovely and very talented Suzy and Alex of Suzy Wimbourne Photography (if any brides-to-be are looking for a photographer I can’t recommend these guys highly enough)

Dress: Starlit Gown, Needle and Thread

Bouquet and buttonholes: Silk flowers and berries, bought individually online and hand-arranged by me

Suit: Ted Baker

Tie and pocket square: Etsy

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Phase Eight

Mum’s earrings and bracelet: Cellini, Cambridge (many years ago)

Wedding ring and love-knot ring: By me @ Tiding of Magpies

Bridesmaids’ jewellery: By me @ Tiding of Magpies

Bridal hairpiece: Ayansi Wedding Designs, Etsy

Ceremony: Shrewsbury Catholic Cathedral

Reception venue: Rowton Castle

Busman’s Holiday: Making our own wedding rings

You may not know this, but I’m getting married in three months. I mean, I never talk about it in minute detail, because it’s definitely not a huge logistical undertaking I should be allowed to put on my CV to show my organisational skills…

Since we got engaged last year, I knew I wanted to make our wedding rings. There was just one problem: I’m a silversmith, and we wanted gold rings. Silver and gold don’t behave that differently, so I did consider just giving it a go, but there’s one big problem with gold compared to silver: it’s a lot more expensive if you mess it up.

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Imagine the scene: ‘Honey, I’m home! Say, what’s that melted lump on your workbench?’ ‘Oh, that? That’s the £300 of gold that was going to be your wedding ring – oopsy-daisy!’ Not ideal. The Goblin is also the fussiest human alive, and the risk of him having hitherto-unknown very strong feelings about the particular hammer pattern I’d used once the ring was done wasn’t really worth it.

Luckily for us, the JQ struck again in the form of The Quarterworkshop, where couples can make their own rings under the supervision of a professional jeweller, Victoria Delaney. I also thought it would be cool for The Goblin to see what I do and have a go himself (and hammer his own ring to his liking – wahey).

The first thing to do was decide on colour and size for our wedding rings, as well as come up with ideas for styles. Our engagement rings are cheap (albeit much-loved) place-holders for the real thing…and it shows. They’re 9ct white gold, with mine measuring in at 3mm wide and The Goblin’s at 5mm. Because of the composition of the metal, they were seriously dinged about within the first month of wearing, so we knew we needed to go with something a bit more permanent and lasting for our wedding rings (how appropriate!).

I decided to slim my ring down to 2mm whilst The Goblin stuck with 5. We both liked the D-shaped profiles of our current rings, so those stayed, meaning that when we got to Victoria’s (adorable!) workshop, this is what was waiting for us:

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Seriously, though, how cute is this workshop space?!

After some coffee and a chat about designs, we got stuck into annealing, cutting and shaping – all just another day for me but really fun to have an experienced goldsmith directing the process and giving hints and tips.

Victoria also introduced me to a method of shaping and cutting through the seam (the bit where you make the ends of the ring line up so you can join them together) which was waaaay simpler and quicker than the one I was taught. Definitely going to be using that on my pieces in future! The Goblin had a lovely time shaping, soldering and filing his ring, and took it all very seriously. Look at this concentration:

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Then came the really fun bit: playing with hammers. The Goblin knew he wanted a subtle hammered effect, but I was torn between hammering and engraving, so we both spent a fair while whacking aluminium with the huge range of hammers in the workshop to find the right pattern.

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I decided to go with engraving in the end and am having a bramble pattern engraved on mine, so I started polishing it ready for engraving whilst The Goblin started beating his up with great glee.

After a lot of hammering (probably The Goblin’s favourite part of the day) and getting covered in polish, we admired our creations:

The rings are now off to be hallmarked with the Brum Assay Office anchor mark, which we love – wherever we move in the future, we’ll always be wearing a bit of the JQ! I can’t wait to see mine once it’s all hallmarked and engraved (I’ll post an update picture here when it arrives). We had a lush day making our rings and would definitely recommend it to anyone else looking for something a bit different for their rings. As The Goblin’s ring shows, no prior knowledge is necessary!

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All pictures are by Victoria Delaney © The Quarterworkshop, apart from the ones of our engagement rings.

Update: the rings are ready! How amazing is the engraving on mine – I would kill for that level of skill…