that ring tho

by Brittanny DeRaffele

so obviously the ring.....the RING! I am a designer of jewelry, a maker of jewels, I make rings for a living!  And people ask me all the time: "did you make it?! it looks like something you would make!". No, I didn't make it. So, when our chatter of getting married started his first question was, so... do I like, buy you a stone, and you make it? How does this work? I thought about it too does this work? I mean ideally I would love to make it, but then its like, not a surprise. So, he told me, let this be the one piece of jewelry I buy and after this I'm done. HA! Perfect, I trust his judgement, I mean I gave him guidance and showed him pictures, lets be honest. I told him, go on Etsy, please, and support another jeweler who is doing what I do. It's everything, a simplistic, dainty 14KT yellow gold band with a bezel set trillion cut mother of pearl. It's SO beautiful. Like kind of magical looking. It catches the light and changes color when my hand moves. And it definitely fits me and my design aesthetic without my jeweler's mind thinking of "ugh none of my jewelry is going to match now". It goes right along with my design and style but still stands out on its on. And when I look down at it, I feel like its glowing, like it has this magical power and I can see into our future. This tiny crystal ball on my hand and I see him every time I look at it. It couldn't be more perfect. I didn't want -nor need- a big ole diamond ring with pave diamonds all over the place in an elaborate setting, just not me. Not knockin' em, just not for me. As for the wedding bands however, I WILL be making those! That's my favorite part of this whole shabang, I get to create our rings that will we exchange on the big day and wear forever. And of course I already know exactly what theywill look like. Stay tuned ..... ♥ 

is this how you blog?

by Brittanny DeRaffele

Ok I've never done this no judging. I've always wanted to but I just never *got around to it* so I thought, omg, I'm getting married. I'm gonna start a blog. Which I still think is such a weird word for an online journal but I'm not hatin'. Im bout to blog it up. Mostly just a space for me to write, and to share my planning process, and post pictures of my very carefully organized wedding notebook, and maybe vent if I have trouble finding the perfect dress...but mostly for me to look back on after all this is said and done and we are happily married and we are toasting on a beach and Stephen's all like "remember that day you freaked out because we couldn't find the perfect ______?" (we will fill in that blank later). That's what this is for. A good laugh after the big day, and a little journal (blog, i know it's a blog) documenting this once in a lifetime process. I'm getting MARRIED! I've dreamt of this day for years, I've basically had it all planned out since before I can remember. And here it is. And I'm gonna write about it ALL. 

So real quick, here's the semi-short story of us. Britt & Steve. I feel like that's the best way to kick this off right? 

I was a bartender, slingin' drinks at one of the busiest restaurants downtown Richmond, and one day this tall dark and handsome Italian fella from New York gets hired to make salads in the kitchen. I didn't know why, but I remember walking through the kitchen and I caught eyes with the "new guy" and I just immediately new.....something was really (really) special about him. All in his eyes. Like I'd seen them before. per ritual in the restaurant biz, we took the new guy out for drinks and that entire night, I was embarrassingly giggly and seemed to be the only person at the bar getting his hilarious jokes. Like, was no one else listening?? This guy is FUNNY! And he knew it. He saw me laughing, and I saw him see me laughing. That's when I knew. 

Fastforward >> he became kitchen manager of the whole place in about a year and a half, we spend all of our nights up til the sun talking and laughing, Thursday nights were for going out dancing at our favorite bar around the corner, mini vacations when we could (because, restaurant life. but it was both of our lives so it worked), meeting each others families and falling in love with each others families, apartment hunting together, quitting my job to pursue my jewelry, and then one day....he came home with a perfect dinner he'd made at work, two bottles of my favorite red, and pulled me outside on our balcony (in the rain!) rockin my comfies and no shoes on. He told me he wanted this forever, me in my comfies, in our paradise, and he asked me to marry him. And I said yes. And here I am. Writing this blog, now with tears in my eyes, because I love reliving that moment and all of our moments. And I can't wait to have so many moments with my favorite person in the whole world.

May 21st, 2016. We will be wed in the Italian Gardens of Maymont, right here in Richmond where we met and fell in love. Quite fitting seeing that I'm marrying my Italian dream man. No really, as crazy as it sounds, I've always had this fantasy (since when I was maybe...13?) that I'd meet a lovely Italian, who is going to cook for me, and take me dancing and be the man of my dreams. Not kidding. That's the man on paper I dreamt of years and years and years ago. It's like he knew I was waiting for him. And I can't wait to be his Mrs. DeRaffele. ♥