Getting Married? Consider Wood Rings

Rings of Love, Not Pain

Would he gather the courage to officially, “traditionally” propose to me? I wasn’t sure. It seemed that a natural spring reflecting our wedding color, teal, would be a perfect spot for a proposal – even one about seven years late. But we had walked passed the spring, shivering slightly in the autumn evening, and were now driving away from Blue Springs Heritage Center. 100_5812It was a surprise vacation from Ryan, on the weekend before his vacation days were about to expire. He’s a hard-working man. Yet despite the hard work, we both realized this past year that celebrations, traditions, romance and holidays really mean a lot to us. It’s not just a break from work. A special day is the essence of life’s best moments, spent with those we love. The only problem was: American cultural traditions can be less than enlightened. So we skipped many traditional wedding preparations, skipped the husband-and-wife train to divorce, and began a brand-new culture of our own in 2007. Check out what holidays we’ve recorded so far.

At some point in our marriage, I got very tired of not having a romantic “when we met” story, and even more disappointed that our proposal story was about as romantic as liberal policy-making: we sat down on the faux leather couch and discussed the details in a PC manner any feminist would be proud of. It was very modern, with all the heartfelt appeal of a skyscraper. And then I realized: I actually wanted some sort of celebration surrounding our marriage, including a proposal. But neither of us can even tolerate most jewelry, let alone get excited about daily wear.

I didn’t want the symbol of our love to be a symbol of global issues that I had a hand in, or were on my hand, literally.  According to the Green Wedding Guide: “Women are getting raped, kids are getting their hands hacked off, and people are getting killed all over the diamond trade in war-torn African nations like Sierra Leone, Angola and Congo. Without getting into too much depth about the moral issues and gritty details of it all, watch Blood Diamond and you’ll get the glimpse of why it’s important to buy your rings responsibly.”

100_5804Unbeknownst to me, Ryan bought the rings in April and held onto them, waiting for the perfect moment. And so there we were, driving back towards Eureka Springs under a darkening sky. The sunset was an extrovert, trying to get our attention with flaming colors.

“Where is that overlook?” Ryan asked.

“What overlook? What’s it called?” I questioned.

“I don’t remember, it’s just somewhere in this area on one of these roads,” he replied, once again defaulting to memory over map or guide. Suddenly he pulled off the road, not at an overlook but just at a clearing, navigating our car onto the shoulder without sending it over the hill. It was getting pretty dark, and the lights of houses could be seen in the river valley below. The chilly night air wasn’t too inviting, but I got out of the car again anyway, hoping to see deer (or elk, as my imagination suggested, which are only found in the Boxley valley in our state).

100_5819Enveloped by the sunset and the emerging stars, I didn’t quite realize what he was doing until he said something along the lines of “this seems like the right time for something special…” and pulled out a small box. My heart became a hummingbird for a moment, waiting for him to speak. But he didn’t; all that came out was “mrrrrow, meow meow,” while he nuzzled my arm. Not the most eloquent proposal, but I’ll take it! For us, in fact, it was rather perfect. And so were the rings –

Inexplicably, while I greatly dislike metal jewelry and especially avoid rings, I am crazy about wooden rings!  There are many fine artisans of wood rings, including Bojt Studio, where Ryan purchased these maple bands. Two other options that had me drooling over their gemstone inlays: Beautiful Wood Rings and Simply Wood Rings.  You may want to browse the collection and learn from Touch Wood about How to Care for Wood Rings.  But don’t assume your ring needs as much care as Touch Wood suggests.  “These rings need a lifetime warranty like a fish needs a bicycle,” says Chris Fondell of Alaska Jewelry, Inc.  “Our wood inlay scoffs at the elements, and routinely relieves lesser mortal wood of its lunch money.”

For more metal-based eco ring options like Cultured Diamonds and recycled materials, visit GreenKarat, one of the most popular and well-known suppliers of conflict-free and environmentally-conscious jewelry.  And no, Ripples doesn’t get any bits of metal – not even a dime – from any of these websites.  I suppose we could get advertising revenue, but I’m always too busy making ripples in a world that doesn’t make it easy to choose a sustainable wedding band.  And there’s always Ryan to distract me from earning money in this way. 🙂 May love light all our lives.

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