Highway to Happiness: The Rings and the Rest

Wedding Recaps

Since the vows were, of course, the only thing we didn’t go over as part of the rehearsal, after they were said the rest of the ceremony felt like a downhill slide all leading up to the kiss.

All images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

All images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Jennifer and Todd will now exchange rings to symbolize their commitment. Rings are derived from humble beginnings of imperfect metal to create something striking where there was once nothing at all. It is customarily worn on the ring finger as it was believed that a vein ran straight from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart. The wearing of the rings is a visible, outward sign that they have committed themselves to one another.


We each, in turn, took our ring book, untied the ring and placed it on each other’s hand while repeating the following:

I offer this ring, symbol of unity and eternity,
as a token of the love I am declaring here today.
I offer with this ring my own commitment to you,
my loyalty and my love.
I promise to be a good partner for as long as love lasts.

Thanks to some very helpful commenters when I last posted about the wine blending, I’d stumbled across the perfect song for this part of the ceremony: Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, the biggest challenge was deciding which version to go with. There were several instrumental and choir renditions out there, but the one I was most charmed by was by Johnny Cash. We’d put an explanation in the program about the ceremony, rather than have Friend-ficiant L have to narrate what we were doing, and it was a nice little pause.


Then it was time for the final piece of the ceremony puzzle: the handfasting. Even though this is becoming more and more popular among today’s couples the majority of our guests had never witnessed it before. Everyone found it fascinating, though, so I guess that’s point for us for putting on a good “show” for our guests.


Jennifer and Todd have chosen to conclude the ceremony with a handfasting. In centuries past, when towns were spread out and priests would travel from place to place, there wasn’t always an official handy when a couple wanted to be wed. Necessity being the mother of invention, couples would bind their hands together in a simple ceremony to declare their intentions, with the community as witness to the new union. This is where we get the phrase “tying the knot.”

In a collaborative effort not unlike the marriage we are here to witness, both Jennifer and Todd have had a hand in creating elements of this rite. Jennifer created the cord in the style of three intertwining vines, one each for the past, the present, and the future. Once tied these cords will reside in a wooden box Todd made specifically for this purpose and will have a place of honor in their home together.

Jennifer and Todd, please join hands, right to right and left to left, forming the symbol of infinity. Like a stone may your love be firm; like a star may your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Enjoy closeness, but retain your individuality. Support one another with patience and understanding. Freely give of your affection and warmth.


May this cord draw your hands together in love, may the vows you have spoken today remain sweet in your mouths.

As your hands are joined, so are your lives.

By the power vested in me, and by the love you both possess and profess, I now pronounce you husband and wife. It is my great honor and privilege to be the first to present to you Todd and Jennifer [Road Trip].


You may start your marriage with a kiss.

And there we were: married!

And there we were: married!


The Road Trip Wedding Recaps:

Crafting the Ceremony: Vows and Rings

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Speaking of pomp and circumstance, does anyone remember the over-hyped train wreck that was the Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries wedding spectacle? I admit to watching it (though a few days later–I was curious, not devoted) and Mr. RT was in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. When they got to the obligatory “til death do us part”, T guffawed and said, “yeah, or until divorce.”

Not witty so much as prophetic–though it didn’t exactly take Carnac to see where that one was heading.

But it did open the discussion on vows, and what we did and did not want to include. Namely, I wanted “til death do us part” no where near our ceremony.

  • For one thing, we Road Trips are each divorced, so there’s that specter of ‘yeah, right’ with those words. Tempt fate much? Not that we’re going into this marriage with anything but the utmost faith that we will live out our days in happy, silly, geeky, love, but I just don’t want to go there. I don’t want to put that same ‘yeah, right’ thought into our guests heads.
  • For another thing, who says death has to part you, really? I’m not sure if I’m 100% on board with reincarnation or anything, but a wise woman once told me about soul contracts and soul groups. About how we keep bumping into the same souls, spirits, life essences time after time and, well, we’ll never know for sure, but I think it’s a pretty cool concept.
  • For a final thing, death is a bit of a bummer. Sure, sure, it’s impossible to have true happiness without something to compare it to, but I just would really prefer to keep things as positive as possible. Not only the vows, but the readings, the music, everything we can point in that direction–it’s really important that everything reflect forward movement and a hopeful attitude.

So with that in mind, we knew that we’d write our own vows, and proceeded to look through various ceremonies for ideas and inspiration.

I came across one ceremony that included a set of elemental blessings that we thought would be great as readings:

These are the blessings of the elements of air: may you always share ideas, tell each other your dreams, appreciate each other’s intelligence. The gift of air is communication.

These are the blessings of the element of fire: may you always find inspiration in each other, find the energy you need to support each other, and have faith in your relationship. The gift of fire is passion.

These are the blessings of the element of water: may you offer each other compassion, may you wash away hurts and share each other’s joy. The gift of water is love.

These are the blessings of the element of earth: may you never want for food or shelter, may you thrive in health and enjoy the good things of the earth. The gift of earth is the material world.

Of course, this means we have to decide on four people (one for each blessing) to ask to read them, but I suppose that’s something we’ll wait to do until we get closer to the actual ceremony (and know who, for sure, is coming).

The other part of the sample ceremony I loved was the ring vows. They speak to the usual symbols of the ring but end with the awesome words “I promise to be a good partner for as long as love lasts.” Isn’t that all kinds of perfect?

Sure, it could be looked at as saying that we’re in this as long as we love each other, but it can also be looked at as the larger concept of love being eternal, which is the side I like to look at.

Of course, we still have to decide on our personal vows to go between readings and the rings. After originally thinking that we’d each write our own vows in secret and be surprised on the big day, I remembered that I don’t do well with surprises, even the good ones, and was rather concerned that Mr Road Trip would bust out with some supremely sweet and heartfelt vows and I’d go more lighthearted and they just wouldn’t go together very well. Hence, we’re going to write our vows together, and attempt to mix a certain amount of sweet and sappy with just enough lighthearted fun to keep it real.

Because there seems to be a line to walk, at least in my mind. Go for too much of the funny and we’re not taking it seriously enough, go strictly solemn and I’m fighting the urge to roll my eyes during the entire ceremony. I think it means we need a vow-writing-date sometime in the very near future.

How did you come up with your vows?

Rings On Our Fingers

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Choosing the engagement ring was a collaborative effort. I had certain things in mind that I let Mr. Road Trip know about (like the fact that I wanted a square stone or setting and that I really liked the halo look over a solitaire, for instance) and then he went out looking for something he liked that took those parameters into consideration. (I also told him I was not interested in him spending 2 months salary on a ring, or even 1 for that matter–I love a good deal and didn’t mind at all if my e-ring fit that bill!) When he was pretty sure he’d found the right one, then he took me to see it just to make sure I’d like it.

Hello, Pretty! | image via Pink Shutterbug Photography, cropped by Miss Road Trip

Hello, Pretty! | image via Pink Shutterbug Photography, cropped by Miss Road Trip

All was not perfect in jewelry-land, however. Within a couple of months I was bringing it in to have the setting tightened and had to bring it back several times that first year before they finally fixed it semi-correctly (it no longer rattles or swivels in its setting, but the last fix was a bit sloppy, if effective). Mr. Trips suggested we just get me a new ring altogether, and I could wear my e-ring as a right-hand ring if I wanted. (And while some of the issues are definitely a fault of the original setting, it doesn’t help that I’m a big ol’ klutz and often misjudge doorways and such, but only one of the repairs was due to my klutziness–thank goodness for the Care Plan!)

By this time we’d also determined that the “basket” of the ring wasn’t of a size that was going to fit in the standard wraps, and the blue and white sapphire stacking bands I’d been eyeing would leave a definite gap–a look I was not fond of. So while a part of me was sad to give up that traditional stacked-ring looked, another part of me was anticipating the possibilities of a stand-alone band, too.

Sterling Silver & Diamond Band via Kay Jewelers

Not specifically this style, but something along these lines. | Sterling Silver & Diamond Band via Kay Jewelers

In fact, it didn’t take me long to have a new ring-vision in mind, a wider band with openwork/filigree details, millgrain edges and a bit of sparkle. Yup. I could be good with that.

There were a few rings I kept going back to, and since none of them were considered wedding jewelry, they were much more budget-friendly which was also nice. (For the record I did try that sort of ring from the Scott Kay line and while it was pretty, it felt horrible on my finger–big and clunky, even though it had a smaller footprint than the others I’d tried.)

Of course I wasn’t the only one getting a ring, this time, and on our 5th anniversary (which was also T-1 year til the wedding) we did a little ring browsing to see what he might like.

Tungsten Carbine Band from Kay Jewelers

Tungsten Carbide Band via Kay Jewelers

While I didn’t expect him to go for something ornate–that just not Mr. Trips’ style–I did sorta expect him to prefer a brushed finish or maybe a dual finish, and he thought he would to. Surprise, surprise, in person he was drawn to the the high-shine of a Tungsten Carbide band and it looked really nice on him, too.

We mostly knew what we wanted (thought I was still dithering between a couple of designs) but hadn’t pulled the trigger. Come February I was antsy to cross something off the massive to-do list, and since we’d just come off the holidays and were entering birthday season for both of us, I proposed (hah!) a practical solution to Valentine’s Day: why not gift each other our wedding bands?

Of course, when T selected a tungsten band I knew there was no way we were paying jewelry store mark-up when there are other options. Like many a Bee before me, I headed to Amazon.com to purchase his band and it arrived on February 13th–just in the nick of time!

Unfortunately, work had been more than a little hectic for Mr. Trips (winter is always a bad season for accounting departments, it is what it is), so we didn’t go pick up my ring until that weekend, but that was just fine because the sales associate at Marks & Morgan reminded us of a slightly different ring, one that included sapphires as well, that I eventually decided would be more to my liking.

Hers & His wedding bands

Hers & His wedding bands

So we each have our rings, now, and even though they spend most of their time in their boxes I have it on good authority (straight from the engine himself) that Mr. Road Trip takes his out and tries it on just as often I do mine.

How often do you (or did you) try on your ring before the wedding day?

Nature Is Your Rock Tumbler: Beach Glass Ring

64 Arts

If there is anything positive in littering (and, really, there isn’t–let’s just make that clear here) it’s that nature can do some amazing things with what she’s given.

Some of my beach glass collection.

Some of my beach glass collection.

Case in point: Sea Glass

What starts off as glass bottles, plates, or other glassware and ends up in the oceans or bays gets tossed and tumbled by waves and sand and a worked on by the salty waters to wash up on shores as beautifully frosted bits and pieces, ready to fuel creative daydreams.

Sea (or beach) glass is getting tougher to find in many areas–and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it means there’s less littering going on–but in the scarcity some folks have stepped up to manufacture imitation beach glass for crafters. You can also achieve a similar look by using a frosting or etching medium on whatever glass you like, and even spray paints are out now that will do the trick in a pinch.

If a recent trip through both Crate & Barrel and West Elm is any indication, those frosted blues and greens are going to seen a lot this summer. If you’re not interested in a room makeover, how about adding something new to your jewelry wardrobe instead?


Many years ago, I traded a fellow creative some stuff I had that I didn’t need (I couldn’t even tell you what it was, it’s been so long) for a small box of sea glass. I’ve carried it with me through several moves, always wondering what I might do with it. I think I used a few pieces in my mosaic project a while back, but mostly I just like to run my hands through it and enjoy the frosted finish and water-worn edges.

"dry-fitting" my chosen piece of beach glass on my hand

“dry-fitting” my chosen piece of beach glass on my hand

Except this one particular piece of green sea glass that fits perfectly along the curve of my index finger. That piece I’ve always wanted to turn into a ring.

And today’s the day I do that. Wanna see how?

To make a similar ring you’ll need:

  • Beach or Sea Glass
  • Jewelry Wire
  • Pliers and Wire Cutters
  • Ring Mandrel (optional but useful)
The twisted beginnings of a wire-wrapped ring.

The twisted beginnings of a wire-wrapped ring.

Start with 4 pieces of jewelry wire (I’m using 24G Sterling Silver round wire) about 9 inches long each and sort of weave them together, 2×2, in the center or as close as you can manage.

If you’re using flat or square wire, this might be a smidgen easier, but I’m using what I’ve got in the craft stash, so mine wanted to roll around a lot. To stop the rolling I twisted each pair of ends 1/4- to 1/2-inch or so (not much wider/taller than your beach glass) to lock everything into place and then gently pushed the centers down with my pliers to set them into place.

Centering the wire bundle is relative--you could offset it in any direction, as long as you're comfortable with where the band will end up.

Centering the wire bundle is relative–you could offset it in any direction, as long as you’re comfortable with where the band will end up.

Fit the center of your wires to the center of your glass (more or less) and then fold the top and bottom “arms” over the top and bottom of your glass. If the arms out to each side are twisted beyond the edges of your glass, gently untwist them so that they separate right where the glass ends.

After you separate the top and bottom pairs and move them over to the sides, the back of your ring will look something like this.

After you separate the top and bottom pairs and move them over to the sides, the back of your ring will look something like this.

To secure the glass in place, we’re going to take each wire from the top arm and pull it over to the opposite side, snugging it where the twists stop. Then do the same for the bottom. This really makes it look like some sort of spidery thing from the top, and from the underside of the glass your wires should be forming a diamond shape, locking the corners into the place.

The translucency of the glass makes the wires in the back visible, so try to keep things neat and tidy.

The translucency of the glass makes the wires in the back visible, so try to keep things neat and tidy.

Twist the wires at each side together, 2 at a time and very close to the side of the glass, to secure each corner, then twist all 4 wires of each side together to the ends. It may not look perfect but, hey, neither does the tumbled glass, right? Go with the wonky, tilted, organic swoopy flow of things. Now you have a wrapped piece of beach glass with two twisty arms.

The mandrel makes it easier to snug things up, unlike your finger which could end up pinched!

The mandrel makes it easier to snug things up, unlike your finger which could end up pinched!

Forming the twisted arms into the band is, I admit, one of the more fiddly bits of this process. Start by bending each arm around the finger you plan to wear it on to get the best fit possible. This is where having a ring mandrel comes in handy, by the way, as once you know the size you can use both hands to finish the ring rather than only one. Wrap the end of one arm around the beginning of the other, right where it meets the side of the glass, and crimp well with your pliers. Do the same with the other arm on the other side, trying not to twist the bands together for a gentler fit.

That’s how it’s supposed to go at least–it took me a couple of tries to get this one right but with patience I prevailed. When working with twisted metal wire you have to be careful  not to work the wire too much or it will break on you.

Once finished, slip it on and admire your handiwork!

I think I might just need to wear green tomorrow to have an excuse to wear my new piece of jewelry!


Thanks for your patience while I finished up a rush design order and my posting got a bit spotty. I’ll be doing my best to catch us up to where I wanted to be over the next couple of weeks.

Confessions of a Natural-Born Klutz

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
White and blue sapphire engagement ring missing a prong

Poor ring, it wasn't her fault I'm a klutz

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

So, there: I’m a klutz.

In my head I’m always striving for grace, moving fluidly, like a dancer. In reality I’m misjudging distances and regularly slamming my shoulder into my office door frame, my wrist into the doorknob and my hands into anything around.

While annoying, this wasn’t a big deal. And as long as it’s been, maybe it’s even grown to lovable quirk status?

But with the addition of a very special piece of jewelry to my daily wardrobe, I started to become more aware of just how much danger my new, somewhat delicate, ring was in.

I love the fact that my center stone is set above the halo, but that also means the higher profile is more prone to catch on things.

And catch it did just the other night! I reached into the fridge (my right hand was already full) and one of the prongs caught on the shelf above and snatched it clean off!

Sadly, this was not the first time I’d had to take my ring in for a repair–that happened after only a month of wear when the center stone became very loose in it’s setting. I’m still not 100% sure what cause that, but I have a feeling my poor work posture might have contributed (I have a bad habit of leaning over the edge of my desk with my hand tucked under, just at the edge. I have no idea when I started doing it, but I’m trying to break the habit, fast!)

The upside to this tale is that Todd very smartly purchased the protection plan for my ring which covered the resizing, regular maintenance and any repairs it may need over its lifetime. I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t have to use it but for the occasional cleaning but, yeah. At least we’ve got it.

As a result of these incidents, I’ve become more and more aware of my actions. I may never achieve the grace I’ve always longer for, but if only for the safety of my pretty, precious ring, maybe I’ll manage to flail a bit less.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


Have you had to break some bad habits to preserve your jewelry?