By Angela Caraway-Carlton-
Ready to pop the question? Call your “ring bearers.” From unique shapes and settings to colored stones and custom designs, jewelers open their cases to show off the latest swoonworthy wedding and engagement trends. (Plus, a few shiny gift ideas for the wedding party.)
Take a cue from Prince Harry; who gave Meghan Markle a custom ring flanked with two round diamonds from a brooch that belonged to Princess Diana, and create your own exclusive ring. “We customize jewehy from scratch. People now bring in estate jewelry and family heirlooms, and we redesign it for a special one-and-only ring,” says Rudy Santayana, owner of Santayana Jewelry, a family-owned store in Coral Gables and Miami that specializes in custom designs.
A Cut Above The Rest
Looking for the right cut-choose something with a softer side. “Cushion-cut stones are hot right now, and of course, round is still traditional and popular,” says Tracey Dikes, president of Weston Jewelers. “Although some brides-to-be are still choosing to use a halo around the diamond to enhance the size of stone, those halo stones are now becoming smaller. Most brides are looking for clean lines and want to truly feature the stone.” 1728 Main St., Weston, 954.389.7990; westonjewelers.com.
Black Is The New Bling
When it comes to men’s bands, Dikes says, “Modern men are choosing a black carbon center that are pieces of art, with a stripe on the side or a wave design throughout the ring.” 1728 Main St., Weston; 954.389. 7990; westonjewelers.com
It’s also OK to be rough around the edges-in a good way. “I now have customers who want raw, uncut diamonds for a more natural and earthy feel,” says Santayana. “Raw diamonds are not as clear and perfect. I think with the onset of Etsy and Pinterest, brides are becoming more open to other types of designs.”
Brides are also breaking the customary color code. “While white is still the prevalent stone color, some women are choosing yellow diamonds, but that’s usually for an upgrade, not for the first ring,” says Dikes. “If a diamond is out of their budget, they’ll choose their favorite stone, like aquamarine or sapphire, and set it with smaller surrounding diamonds.” 1728 Main St., Weston; 954.389.7990; westonjewelers.com
Petal to the Metals
“Usually brides look for an engagement ring in classic metals such as platinum or 18K white gold because it gives a timeless look. However, recently, there has been a preference for colored metals such as 18K rose and yellow gold, which add a modern twist on the traditional engagement ring,” says Melvyn Kirtley, chief gemologist and vice president of global category marketing for Tiffany & Co. tiffany.com; 800.843.3269
Like fashion, brides aren’t afraid to mix it up when it comes to band styles and color. “Instead of matching wedding rings and bands, brides are mix-matching their bands with different settings in tri-colors like white gold, yellow gold and rose gold, which adds a more unique look and texture to the design,” says Santayana. 4100 Salzedo St., Coral Gables, 786.801.01 l l; 917 SW 122 Ave., Miami, 305.559.8565; santayana.com
Infinity and Beyond
Of course, blinged-out bands never go out of style. “Couples who can afford it are choosing infinity bands with endless rows of diamonds that can be intertwined or in double rails,” explains Dikes of new band trends.
East Meets West
When it comes to ring settings, think outside the proverbial [ring] box. “Often times, brides want something unique to represent their personality, so they’re setting an emerald cut or rectangular stone in an east-west direction instead of the traditional north-south direction,” says Dikes of setting the stage for something different. 1728 Main St., Weston, 954.389.7990; westonjewelers.com.
Don’t Forget Your Besties
Whether it’s your ride-or-die bridesmaids and groomsmen or your forever family, here are some ideas of how to thank them for being part of your big day.
I . Gift custom cuffiinks, which can be personalized to match the wedding’s theme or the coordinates of the big day, and even feature your best bro’s favorite activity from fishing to boating. 4100 Salzedo St., Coral Gables, 786.801.0111; 917 SW 122 Ave., Miami, 305.559.8565; santayana.com
2. Give your “heart” to your maids or flower girls with a fashionable Gucci heart necklace, or a make a statement with a diamond initial necklace from Roberto Coin. 1728 Main St., Weston, 954.389.7990; westonjewelers.com