If you’re a bride, this scenario is probably familiar: You’re sharing your happy news with a friend, coworker, family member, shoe salesgirl, whoever, and they interrupt excitedly, “Let me see the ring!” They can’t wait to see the bling, but their faces sometimes shift to disappointment, pity, confusion, etc. when you hold up your hand.

I imagine many of you have gotten this reaction, no matter how beautiful your ring is or how much you adore it. Everyone has different tastes and ideas of what an engagement ring should be. 

My engagement ring usually comes with an explanation.

When Zach and I started looking at rings together, I tried on some gorgeous varieties—stunning stones, breathtaking settings, the works. It was like playtime, dressing up in mom’s (very expensive) closet. But none of those rings felt like me. I was a little girl stumbling around in an adult’s high heels.

So we tossed around other ideas: my artsy fiancé tried designing the perfect ring and he searched for interesting estate jewelry. Still, nothing felt right. I didn’t want the ring to matter so much—after all, it is just a material symbol—but when you’re picking out an item that you’ll be wearing every day for the rest of your life, it suddenly becomes a big deal.

That’s when he found it…on Etsy. The site is full of professional artisans who make incredible things, including engagement rings. My ring was handmade in Vancouver, Canada by Laura Treloar, who runs the shop Specimental. She works with raw, uncut diamonds that are sourced from conflict-free countries. My band was made with recycled white gold, and has a hammered finish.

I’ve never seen anything like it, and I love it. It’s worth every confused look and every explanation.

Does your engagement ring have an interesting history? If so, tell me--I'd love to hear it.

I’ll be back next week chronicling more of my wedding adventures. See you then!

Bride-to-be Blair Tidwell, a Malvern native and NYU journalism graduate, is the associate editor of Little Rock Family magazine. She'll be blogging about her adventures in wedding planning for Arkansas Bride right here, each week. She welcomes your comments below or via email at BTidwell@ABPG.com.