Work One-on-One with This Artisan to Create Your Dream Wedding Band

Working with Kendra Renee Jewelry feels like working with a friend

by Keriann Kohler, Advertising Manager

stack of Kendra Renee wedding bands Most of us do not enter into the planning process with much, if any, knowledge about, you know, how to throw a wedding. But many of us do have a sense of what our personal style is when it comes to jewelry. It’s figuring out how to find or design jewelry that we want to wear for the rest of our lives that can feel completely overwhelming… sometimes in a “teetering on the edge of financial oblivion/oh my god is this crap and am I getting ripped off” kind of way.

This is why featuring vendors with top-notch customer service is a big, big, big deal to us at APW, and why my heart grew three sizes when I learned that in addition to drop-dead gorgeous designs in an organic-but-modern aesthetic, Kendra Renee Jewelry also offers clients heartfelt and personalized service like it’s NBD. Kendra Renee Jewelry’s pieces are available online, in stores, or straight from her cozy studio on a tree-lined street Oakland, California. Plus wedding band prices start at $400.
Kendra Renee Hands with RingsKendra Renee Wide Band Stack 2Kendra Renee Ring Stack 3

Love those subtle textures? Founder and jeweler, Kendra creates them when carving each ring by hand, so yours will literally be one-of-a-kind and immediately feel like you’ve had it forever:

While each ring is crafted within my specific design aesthetic (clean, rustic, textural), each ring is customized to the finger of the wearer. My goal throughout the process is to make my clients feel like they are receiving a ring that’s as unique as the love it represents. Why are my rings so textural? One of my goals as a designer is comfort. I believe your wedding ring should feel like an extension of you. It should fit effortlessly into your life. From the moment you put it on, it should feel like an old friend. You should not be afraid to wear it, lest it scratch or break. To that end I design my rings for real life. For adventure. To look better over time, which each little scratch or mark becoming a part of the story. Nothing in life is perfect, and I believe it is the flaws that make it beautiful. That save it from being boring. That give it character and personality. This belief informs all of my design decisions.

Rings in the Studio 2

Kendra Renee Jewelry‘s bands are priced from $400 to $2500, with prices varying based on type of metal and how many diamonds are used. All of the diamonds Kendra uses are ethically sourced post-consumer (recycled) stones, and all of her vendors are located in the United States (with most of them based locally in Oakland). When you’re supporting Kendra, you’re also supporting other small businesses.

You can browse the site to get an idea of the different styles and pricing for ladies’ and men’s bands, and place an order for an existing design right from there.

See something you love but aren’t sure which metal is right for you? Wondering if it’s possible to tweak a design? For Kendra, customer service goes beyond just answering emails promptly. She will listen to your needs—in person if you’re in the Bay Area or via Skype if you’re not—and personally walk you through everything you need to know about selecting and purchasing wedding rings:

I find that many couples need guidance with the wedding band buying process, and I use my seven years of experience in the industry to educate them about metals and durability, measure their ring size correctly, and help guide them through design and style choices. I do this from a consumer perspective—as a consumer myself I am always looking for value, so I guide my clients through the process in the same way. Want diamonds but need to keep the price down? I know exactly how to choose a stone so that you’re only paying for what matters to you. Care about price more than gold karat? I have a metal to recommend. I guide my clients through decisions that will maximize the value of their ring, while staying within my own strict quality and durability standards.

Consultations in-person at the studio (where you can look at and try on all the different styles) or via Skype are free, and small tweaks to existing designs are included in the price. (Each ring also comes with one free size adjustment over the lifetime of the wearer.)

Kendra Renee Trying on rings

Kendra also takes on completely custom work, which is perfect if you have a family stone you’d like to use. And when you work with Kendra Renee Jewelry, you get the kind of intentional ring design experience with a single artisan you don’t find most places:

Buying a wedding ring from me is an extremely personal and intimate experience. I love getting to know my couples: I want to hear about their wedding plans, their hobbies, their lives. Knowing them a little better helps me understand exactly what they’re looking for so I can craft their perfect ring. Do they work with their hands? How much texture is too much texture for them? What colors of metal look good on their unique skin tone?

And if you want to really get all up in the process of creating your rings, Kendra offers a special experience called Double Pour for couples who have commissioned her to make their wedding bands. At the event, couples join Kendra and her casting artist in the studio to alloy, melt, pour, and cast their wedding bands in gold. You get to become a part of the creation of your rings and experience the process that goes on (complete with fire, gold, and champagne!) behind the scenes. It makes a great date night in the midst of wedding planning and adds a whole new layer of memories to your wedding rings.

Kendra Renee Double Pour

With every ring, Kendra Renee Jewelry aims to provide a unique piece of jewelry as the symbol of a unique relationship. She wants each person who receives one of her rings to feel the warm-fuzzies, which clients like Casey send right back to her:

Working with Kendra was such a fun, collaborative, and easy-going experience. My now-husband worked with another ring maker to design a gorgeous and unique engagement/wedding ring for me, and I wanted his ring to be equally beautiful, awesome, and representative of his personal style. He is an artist and can be picky, so I was somewhat nervous to find a ring that he will wear every day for the rest of his life. When I met Kendra, I knew she was the person to trust with such a task. She was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and open. It felt like working with a friend (who happens to be an incredible jewelry designer and maker). She was completely welcoming and excited about incorporating my ideas, and she knew exactly how to merge those with her own craftswomanship and experience—for a reasonable budget to boot. My husband absolutely loves his ring, and every day I see it I couldn’t be happier. I highly recommend Kendra Renee Jewelry Design!

Kendra Renee Trying on Rings2

When you work with Kendra Renee Jewelry, instead of trying to fit a ring that exists, you can have a ring built to fit you and your future. And since your ring is the one element of the wedding you’re going to have to look at every day (besides your partner… and sometimes they go on business trips), I think that’s worth its weight in gold.


Keriann Kohler

After spending her formative years in a monastic pursuit to become a professional ballet dancer, Keriann has since embarked on a mission to make up for lost time by doing All The Things. A reader since way back, the APW community has taught her wanderlusting, commitment-phobic self that while exploration is good for life experience, marriage isn’t so bad for a relationship, and she’s been happily married since 2011.

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  • June

    it’s funny you wrote “working with Kendra Renee Jewelry feels like working with a friend” because I just came to APW to look for advice on working with a friend on wedding rings. We have a friend who is an amateur jewelry maker who offered to make our rings for us. She showed us a photo of some she had done that looked pretty. I’m hesitant to give a friend hundreds or maybe a thousand dollars worth of gold and diamonds, though. What if she makes something we don’t like, or it’s the wrong size or it’s not done in time? With a professional, they would have more experience so those problems would be less likely, and also I assume we’d have some sort of agreement with them regarding refunds in the case that we are not satisfied. I have always been cautious about mixing friendship with money, or at least with large sums of money. Has anyone done this? Did you have an agreement in writing about what happens if they mess up? I’ve been the friend volunteering to provide services as a wedding musician, but I’ve never had a friend transaction with such a high price tag.

    • Kendra Renee Bryant

      Hi June,
      I’m Kendra (from the article above!) I have navigated this tricky situation a few times, and I think when working with friends it’s best to have a very simple written agreement in place before your friend gets started making the rings. The agreement is just so that the two of you are on the same page- it should actually make you both feel a lot more comfortable working together by eliminating any unknowns. Your friend is probably just as nervous as you are- and she likely wants you to be happy with the rings more than anything else. In the agreement, include the delivery date, price, and design of the wedding bands, as well as the payment schedule and what happens if the sizing needs to be adjusted. It doesn’t have to be super formal or stiff- you just want to make sure you both have the same expectations going in.
      If you still feel unsure, maybe having a friend make your wedding rings is not the best choice for you. It’s definitely a delicate relationship to navigate and should be approached carefully. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out!

      Good luck!

      Kendra Renee

  • brakell-basicinvite

    These wedding bands are so gorgeous! Obsessing!

  • thepointcollective

    Kendra is absolutely amazing! She took some of my grandma’s old jewelry and made my wedding band. I loved every part of the process and of course the outcome. She clearly loves what she does and the quality of her work is unparalleled.