When you’re shopping for wedding rings, whether from a national chain, a local jeweler, or an artisan online, you’re probably thinking you’ll do just that—shop. Chances are, it’s never occurred to you to that there’s another, super romantic, option: Make your rings yourselves, with each other and for each other.
That is exactly what couples can do with the help of With These Rings. Instead of sifting through rings in a shop or in your web browser, why not escape to a quiet, coastal town and handcraft your very own bands yourselves at a private ring-making workshop? (Not that into making your own rings? Skip right to the ones you can just buy.) With These Rings is located in Port Townsend, Washington (a hop, skip, and a jump from Seattle), and is run by Stephanie Selle, professional jeweler, APW wedding graduate, and all-around lovely lady who will guide you through handcrafting your very own wedding bands. See for yourself:
HOW IT WORKS
Curious about how this all works? Here’s the process: First, you can check out some designs of rings made by couples or the collection offered in With These Rings’s online shop. Once you’ve got a sense of what you’d like, you’ll want to contact Stephanie to talk about your designs, your trip to the studio, and of course pricing.
Pricing depends on the type of rings that you’d like to make, which metal you want to work in, and if you want to add any custom work such as stone setting or engravings. The average price range for a set of 14k gold rings is $900 to $1,700, which includes the cost of the private workshop and the metals used to create your rings. Stephanie is all about transparency and helping you make an informed decision, so a breakdown of the prices to help you estimate can be found here.
Next, you’ll plan your trip to the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, which let’s be real, is where I get extra jealous. Stephanie has listed tons of local recommendations—from beach cabins, to Victorian hotels, romantic restaurants, brunch spots, cideries, wineries, and local festivals (um, kinetic sculpture race?!)—for you, whether you’ll be visiting on a day trip from Seattle or a longer stay from farther afield. In fact, some of her couples have fallen in love with Port Townsend so much that they decided to elope or get married there, so Stephanie’s got a whole list of resources for that too.
(Fun fact: The photos of the adorable couple making their rings in this post? That’s Mark and Amy, who recently eloped with Stephanie’s help. They started their day at a flower farm to pick Amy’s bouquet, worked together all day with Stephanie to make their rings, then headed to a local park where a newly ordained Stephanie officiated their actual wedding ceremony.)
When you arrive at With These Rings to make your rings, Stephanie will be there to guide you through the process of bringing your chosen design to life, either through fabrication or casting, in a private (for two people) workshop. Then y’all will make your rings right there on the spot. Basic rings can be made in as little as three to six hours, and many couples leave with their rings on the day of their session.
Finding it hard to believe that you can just show in the morning with zero jewelry-making experience and leave in the afternoon with beautiful, heirloom quality rings you made yourselves? With These Rings client Samantha promises you can:
My husband and I made our wedding rings with Stephanie and we absolutely love them! Stephanie is a joy to work with, is supremely talented, and provides a truly personal, customer-oriented experience. My husband created his actual ring at the studio, while I carved mine out of wax (to cast the metal) to fit my engagement ring. My husband also had an engraving added, after the fact, before Stephanie sent our rings back to us.
Stephanie’s studio is located in Port Townsend, which is a super cute, Victorian town that is great for a romantic weekend getaway, just two hours from Seattle!
We highly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to have a truly unique, fun experience, to create a one of a kind item/heirloom.
ON MAKING ETHICAL HEIRLOOMS
There’s something pretty magical about knowing that your own two—or four!—hands created the ring that you’ll wear, um, forever. And if you’re going to wear something that long, you’ll probably want to feel good about what it’s made of and how it’s made. Thankfully with With These Rings you’re not sacrificing ethical for meaningful. As Stephanie explains:
Coming to my studio is very different than going to a jewelry store in just about every way. Instead of trying on rings from display cases you are picking up a hammers and a torch. When you make your rings that in itself makes them so special. Even the simplest bands become unique and meaningful.
I don’t really think of myself as being a wedding business, more an heirloom business, so I want my clients feel good about making decisions that will last a lifetime. I try to keep everyone as informed as they want to be, from answering why I only use 100 percent recycled metals and how the refiner makes them, breaking down the different colors and karats of gold and talking about the history behind wedding bands. I totally geek out on all of this stuff, so if you have a question just ask!
Want to find out even more? Stephanie’s wedding post here on APW will give you the story of how With These Ring got started. Her website is also full of answers to frequently asked questions and beautiful handmade rings you can just buy, but making your own rings is really the best kind of wedding DIY. Long after the wedding day is done, you can still look down and think: “My partner made that.” (Or, “I made that, talented rockstar that I am!”) So if you’re in the Seattle area (or don’t mind spending a weekend in the PNW), you can reach out right here to start planning your own romantic wedding ring–making workshop experience with With These Rings.