My boyfriend and I are planning to get engaged soon, and were about to begin wedding ring shopping, when his mother graciously offered her diamond wedding ring to us. I absolutely adore his mother, but I'd had my heart set on something a bit different. Is there any way I can turn down her offer without ruining our relationship or worse, offending my soon-to-be fiance?
This is definitely a tough one, and a time to tread carefully. You should confide your feelings in your boyfriend first -- but rather than emphasizing that it's not your style, make it clear that you're extremely flattered by her offer (and oh yeah, you're not in love with the wedding ring). Talk about your options. If the wedding ring is truly a family heirloom that has been passed down for generations, you may have to suck it up and wear it, at least for family gatherings (you can always save up for a diamond right-hand ring in a style you prefer down the road -- or, hint hint, toss it out as an idea when you have a big anniversary coming up). Another option may be to take the center stone from the ring and reset it in a setting you'd prefer. If this seems like it would work, just be sure you have your reasons straight: You don't want to say you simply find her ring ugly or demand a wedding ring that's yours alone, you need to think practical. Will it work with the wedding bands you're planning on? Does it flatter your hand? Whatever your reason, you need to make one thing clear -- that you're tremendously honored by her offer. But if your fiance says you'll be on thin ice with this one, well, try to find a way to learn to live with it (there are worse gifts than a diamond ring, after all).
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