Being a part of clients’ most intimate and treasured moments comes with the territory in the jewellery business. It’s something York takes great pride in, and we’re pleased to say that we’ve had the honour of elevating countless engagements beyond the ordinary through our exquisite designs and personalised service.
The past 12 months were no different. Despite the various challenges that presented themselves our team has remained committed to providing the utmost in-person and virtual service. By truly getting to understand our clients we’ve been able to craft stunning, meaningful jewellery that they can treasure for the rest of their lives.
When we see the fruits of this dedication in the form of smiles, stories, and gratitude, it further inspires the art we create. These heart-warming moments are simply too precious to keep to ourselves, and so over the coming weeks we’d like to share some with you through our Engagement Ring Love Stories series.
As we update this blog you’ll witness some of our clients’ tear-jerking tales, gain some insight to the ring buying process, and might even pick up an idea or two for your own engagement.
Be sure to also read last year’s stories, and peruse our extensive range of engagement jewellery via the links below.
Love isn’t always on time. 70’s rockers Toto knew it, and Lucy and Michael can certainly attest to it.
Despite having known each other for over a decade it wasn’t until recently that the Penrith couple’s love for one another truly clicked into gear.
“We were in the same group of friends for about 12 years,” Lucy explained.
“A lot of people said that we’d be great together and that we should be together, but the stars just never really aligned.”
Proving the old adage ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’ true, the pair become an item only after Michael returned from a six year stint in the UK.
“I realised I'd always had a little bit of a thing for Lucy, and when I came back our connection blossomed,” confessed Michael.
“It blossomed and didn't need anyone's encouragement. I had always thought he was a bit of a class clown, but I saw him for the great guy that he is,” Lucy added.
Amongst a whirlwind romance they soon realised they were with ‘the one’, and Michael found himself in the market for an engagement ring.
Armed with the knowledge of her preferred style, he turned to York Jewellers to find one that she could cherish forever.
“I’d been looking for a while online, but when I walked into York I discovered a ring that was perfect.”
“It’s a pretty big investment in life but they made it feel comfortable.”
With confirmation from his sisters-in-law that Lucy was bound to love the ring, all that was left was for Michael to get down on one knee and pop the question.
Rumours were swirling that the proposal was imminent, but when it did happen Lucy was still left speechless.
“I just said wait, what!?,” laughed Lucy.
“I eventually answered, of course, but I was very much in shock at this beautiful surprise.”
“He did so well. I was very impressed.”
When a relationship is built on respect and understanding for one another it’s able to withstand any challenge.
These shared values have allowed couple Shannon and Mitchell to keep their romance blossoming for over four years despite busy careers.
“I was working away and the start of a new relationship is obviously always a bit rocky trying to adjust to each other and building the foundation to move forward,” explains Mitchell.
“But I definitely knew I wanted to propose because she was always so happy and bubbly whenever I'd be able to communicate with her and when I came back home. So there came a point where I just knew she was the one. I just knew,” he says.
For Shannon she knew Mitchell was the one the day she saw a photo of him at a family wedding.
“Let me explain. This may sound weird and a bit cringy, but he was at his family members wedding and he sent a photo to me of him holding a baby.
“I was like wow, wow, wow! He looked really good holding that baby - and I just knew,” she laughs.
“The suit I was wearing also helped,” jokes Mitchell.
“Yeah, it was a really sexy suit, and you looked really good holding that baby.”
When it came to the choice of ring, Mitchell and Shannon said they had some funny stories that led to them choosing York Jewellers.
“Technically, I proposed first with a foil ring I made one night when we were out having drinks,” recalls Shannon.
“I didn’t know if she was serious, so I said why don’t we do it properly?” added Mitchell.
Then around Christmas Mitchell started doing some homework on what was needed to choose the perfect ring and how to get the size right.
“It’s a funny story, but we were popping Christmas crackers and a ring fell out of the cracker and she put it on her hand and said ‘Ooh, I guess we’re engaged now’''.
“I actually kept the ring and started looking for something that was the same size as the plastic one.”
Mitchell says he took some time with the actual purchase, and is glad he did because Shannon changed her mind a few times on the style and colour.
“She went from silver to gold. So luckily I held off on buying it straight away. I had also gone to a few jewellery stores but I couldn’t find the perfect one,” he says.
“Eventually, I went into York Jewellers and it just felt like the right moment - the right time, the right day.”
“At first I had my heart set on one on display, but then Kellie showed me this beautiful lab-grown diamond. I'd never thought about getting a lab-grown diamond but I couldn't stop staring into this one because it was just so perfect.”
“I knew a few designs she liked but I wanted the ring to also be something I picked that would match her style - it was just sensational,” he says.
“From the get go, I knew this was going to be the right choice because the staff were so friendly and welcoming,” says Mitchell.
As anyone who has been in this situation knows, it can be an overwhelming process.
“I was sweating and it’s really hard seeing so many big fancy diamonds, but the one she showed me was actually very affordable, so I was like ‘Phew’!'' laughs Mitchell.
“The whole process was perfect. They don't rush you, they don't push you. They give you plenty of variety to look at and help you make the perfect decision.”
It’s easy to overlook your own love story when your job is to celebrate others’.
Professional wedding singers Kate and Tom know this all too well. Performing at countless ceremonies, receptions, and parties, they spend a lot of time focussed on their clients.
“We were caught up in the romance of everyone else's weddings,” explained Kate.
“We've been wedding singers now for about eleven-ish years and we were so involved in planning these beautiful days that we put ‘us’ on the back-burner.”
Life may have gotten in the way temporarily, but ever since they met it was clear they were destined to be with one another.
“We started singing together at uni before anything happened,” reminisced Tom.
“We just realised that our voices sounded really nice together, and we thought ‘This is cool. This is a good little thing we got going on’.”
“When you spend time with each other, singing love songs to each other, I guess something's bound to happen.”
What followed was a romance ripped straight from the screenplay of a rom-com. Their relationship flourished thanks to healthy doses of laughter, impressive musical talent, and formal wear.
“I think I knew Tom was the one when he said ‘I will sing weddings with you for the rest of my life’,” confessed Kate.
Their intentions were clear and their connection undeniable, so despite busy schedules, they decided it was time for their own love story to take centre stage.
“There's the tradition that the guy should propose. However, it's a joint decision. You should talk about marriage before asking the other person if they want to officially. We made that decision together,” said Tom.
“We had run into York Jewellers previously at bridal expos and always had a great rapport with them. As soon as we discussed getting married we knew that we'd be looked after well there.”
“We met with Doug and he explained how everything worked,” added Kate.
“He showed us different diamonds, talked about what we'd like, and sketched out a ring for us. Because of the weddings, we'd seen so many rings but didn't know the mystery behind how it was all made and sourced. He clarified that for us and talked us through the process. That was really lovely.”
“I wasn't sure when Tom was going to propose. He kept saying, ‘Let's go to this nice restaurant’, ‘Why don't we go to drive-in movies? Why don't we do all these fun, beautiful things?’,” said Kate.
“We were travelling all over the place to go to these amazing weddings, everything was always beautiful. I’d think ‘Oh, we're on the hillside, doing a site inspection. Everything's covered in flowers. Is this the moment?’ And he'd be, ‘Okay, now let's go home’,” she laughed.
Though suspicious, she was certainly caught off-guard when the moment finally did come.
“We took some time off between some weddings and went down to the beach in Callala Bay,” explained Tom.
“Kate didn't realise what was happening and just sat down in the sand. I had to get down lower and be on both knees. Like I was begging.”
“It was ridiculously cute,” said Kate.
“The sun was setting, and everything was pink, but the moon was already out. It was so romantic.”
“It was so nice that I had to ask if it was real. Then I said ‘yes’ straight away.”
Their connection has only grown stronger as they’ve come to celebrate theirs and others’ love in perfect harmony.
Being ‘set up’ on a first date is never a comfortable experience. With nerves frayed, flip-flopping expectations, and a general air of ‘awkwardness’, things can quickly go awry. That’s why it’s so special when people in this situation defy the odds and ‘click’ like Steph and Jake did.
Having been paired through their newlywed friends Ryan and Rachel, things got off to a slow start, but they soon found their footing.
“The first time we met it was a situation,” explained Jake.
“With my nervousness I just played it off as a bit of a joke, and nothing really went from there.”
“A few months later we went out on a double date, which isn’t really my thing. But I enjoyed hanging out with Stephanie so that day I messaged her and said, ‘Hey do you wanna hang out and go on a real date?’”
The two did just that and their relationship quickly blossomed into an effortless romance. It was in these early stages that their feelings for each other were confirmed with one very important ‘test’.
“We knew it was love when we went camping for the first time,” said Jake.
“Steph wasn't much of a camper. So we went camping and she took a liking to it. Once I realised I could get her to sleep on the ground and-”
“The swag,” added Steph.
“That’s when I knew I had the one,” continued Jake.
Sharing undeniable chemistry (and a penchant for finishing each other’s sentences), it wasn’t long before a proposal was on the cards. Discussions about wedding venues, guest lists, and starting a family all became commonplace.
When it was time to actually pop the question the pressure was on to produce something special.
“I didn’t send any photos. I didn't tell him what I liked. I said, ‘This is on you’,” explained Steph.
“Going in for the first time to see Doug [from York Jewellers], I was probably more nervous than actually proposing. I had no idea what I wanted. It's not something I've ever done before,” said Jake.
“He took me through everything and made it very easy. He gave me a lot of ideas and showed what he could do with different styles.”
“When I went back in and saw the finished product, I felt a lot better, a lot calmer about it. I knew that she was gonna love it. It took a lot of the pressure off me because I could give her something that she could enjoy forever.”
With the perfect ring stashed away it was time for Jake to enact his master plan.
“One day he just looked at me and said, ‘You have to be ready by two o'clock, bag packed, be ready.’
“Seeing the ring, it was awesome. When I had time to really look at the setting it was so nice. It was what Jake wanted as well. It wasn't just what I wanted. He loved the setting. He loved everything about it. It was a beautiful moment.”
Sometimes you just know when a person is right for you. It can be difficult to describe, but when you feel that unspoken, intrinsic connection, it’s undeniable.
Having fallen for each from the moment they met, Sydney couple Jake and Jaimee can attest to that.
“We pretty much knew straight away that we were made for each other. No words could explain it, we just knew, straight away,” confessed Jake.
After meeting in person only once they were bound to forever remain in one another’s hearts.
“I remember going home after the first date, talking to my mum on the lounge, and saying ‘I think I'm in trouble. This is big trouble,” joked Jake.
“I was pretty nervous about seeing you again, because I knew that this was serious,” agreed Jaimee.
With their obvious mutual bond, their relationship blossomed at a rapid pace. In only two short weeks they were officially a couple, and a few months after that they had moved in together. Things were moving fast, so it came as no surprise that there was talk, or rather, hints of a proposal in the years that followed.
“Yeah, I was getting hints the whole time,” said Jake.
“If it wasn't ‘check out this Instagram feed with all these diamond rings’ it was pointing out wedding jewellery she liked at the shops.”
“It was loud and clear. I knew what she wanted, we both wanted that.”
To get the ball rolling on the proposal, Jake enlisted the help of his sister, who went ring shopping with Jaimee to get a better idea of her sizing and preferred style.
Though Jake now had all the intel he needed to find the perfect ring, there was a problem. They had a trip to New Zealand coming up in just two weeks, and due to the nature of his planned proposal, Jake needed the ring beforehand.
With the clock ticking, other jewellers said they simply couldn’t get the ring he wanted in such a short timeframe. Thankfully, he decided to consult with the team at York Jewellers.
“I was working in Queensland at the time and spoke to Kellie from York on the phone,” Jake explained.
“They had what I was looking for in stock, but I needed it a little bit bigger. Luckily, they said they could get it done within a week or two, and they did. It was a miracle really, because other places had told me it would take three or four months.”
“The team seemed really invested when I told them how I was going to propose. Kellie was wonderful. She almost made me feel like I was talking to a really close friend the whole time, and she was so excited. She was almost more excited than me.”
“They also put together a package with a few gifts in it, which I didn’t expect. That was a really nice touch.”
The lead-up may have been a little bit rushed, but the proposal itself was well worth it.
“I set up a bit of a game of hide and seek around Sydney. Which involved me leaving the house early in the morning and my sister just giving Jamie a letter,” said Jake.
“It had clues leading to different places that meant something, like our first date, the first place we met, where I said ‘I love you’, everything like that.”
“She went on this four or five hour goose chase around Sydney while I was getting ready to pop the question.”
“Eventually, it led her to Strickland House by the bridge, where I had a picnic set up. I gave her one last clue which had a rhyme and a poem in it, and then I went down on the knee and asked the question.”
The answer? An emphatic ‘YES’ of course.
“Going through every spot brought back so many memories of moments that were special to us,” said Jaimee.
“The picnic was beautiful, especially because we hadn't seen the sun in Sydney for a couple of months. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Many view workplace romances as a risky pursuit. For Brisbane couple Katrice and Bec it was a risk well worth taking.
The pair crossed paths when meeting for work at a local train station. They planned on helping each other out in their careers, but what they hadn’t planned for was the undeniable connection they felt towards one another.
From the moment they met they were simply inseparable. Even after spending lengthy shifts together they would speak for hours online the moment it was time to clock off.
“For two weeks after we first met, we talked every day on FaceTime for like four to five hours,” Bec confessed.
“We Just had a connection straight away,” confirmed Katrice.
“We didn't even know what it was at that stage, but we just knew that we couldn't not talk to or see each other. I never really understood ‘love at first sight’ before, but looking back it’s clear that’s what it was.”
With their relationship barrelling full steam ahead it wasn’t long until a proposal was on the cards. Thankfully, open lines of communication meant both were on the same page about tying the knot.
“We had spoken about it so much that it just became a natural thing in our conversations,” Bec said.
After learning of the general type of ring she wanted, Bec enlisted the help of an old friend to design the perfect piece for Katrice.
“I had met Doug from York on a Contiki tour in 2014 and I’ve been following his work since,” Bec explained.
“I gave him a call and he helped guide me through the designs that Katrice might like. We agreed on a style and once he drew it up and sent it I was like ‘Yep, that’s perfect!’.”
“I think Doug is very thoughtful in making sure it’s special and individual for each person. The process was so easy, and he sent me pictures of it getting made.”
“When it arrived I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is amazing’. Even my parents were like, ‘Wow, this is beautiful’. It was perfect for Katrice.”
With the ideal engagement ring in hand all that was left to do was pop the question. Bec chose to do so where their love had first blossomed and set up a picnic by the train station.
Coinciding with Katrice’s birthday, Bec first presented her with a gift from the heart; hand-written notes reflecting on their history and all that they had achieved together.
“It was our story, starting from when we first met,” Katrice said.
“It was beautiful, and heartfelt, and I was reading them really slow 'cause I wanted to take them in.”
While Katrice’s attention was on the notes, Bec palmed the ring box and waited until Katrice opened her next present - a wooden carving of their dog sporting the words “Will you marry my mummy?”.
Both now crying and shaking, the answer was clear. The two celebrated with champagne in what Katrice described as their “own little bubble.”
Love can be many things - exciting, confusing, elusive, and to a select few, easy.
With their love blossoming effortlessly from the moment they met, ‘easy’ is exactly how newly-engaged couple Neyha and Ben describe their relationship.
They fell into each other's lives by happenstance when a camping trip amongst mutual friends was being organised. Despite these plans eventually falling through, Ben was smitten, and asked for Neyha’s number.
While Ben lived in Sydney and Neyha Coffs Harbour, a mid-way rendezvous confirmed that no amount of physical distance could quell the growing feelings they had for one another.
The pair met in Forster after only a couple of weeks of conversing (on Valentine’s Day, no less). It was from this moment that everything clicked into place.
“Honestly, it's just been so easy with Ben,” Neyha confessed. “I've never felt so happy, even during the long distance stage.”
Though they managed well the challenges of living apart, they were destined to be together on a more regular basis.
“Ben had to travel up, I had to travel down. Six hours [of travel] can be tricky to organise over a weekend to see each other,” Neyha said.
“I never wanted to leave Coffs Harbour, but I pretty much knew Ben was the one when I was like, ‘Okay, I could move to Sydney’. That was a big thing for a small town girl. I was like, ‘Okay, I could do this. Definitely for Ben’”.
“I knew she was the one when she moved down here,” explained Ben. “She gets along with my mates, I get along with her friends. Our families all get along.”
“It wasn’t hard. We weren't working to make it happen. It just worked.”
Becoming closer with each other than ever before, both physically and emotionally, it didn’t take long before the topic of proposal came to the fore (thanks to a little encouragement from Neyha).
“I would joke and say ‘Come on mate, I moved down here, where's my ring?’ and Ben would say ‘Yeah, yeah, it's coming, it's coming’,” Neyha laughed.
With the help of Neyha’s close friend, and her jewellery-laden Pinterest board, Ben approached Doug and the team at York Jewellers to devise the perfect ring for his adoring partner.
“From the initial discussion to finalising the design, everything was so easy with York,” said Ben.
“It’s like he reads your mind. You start talking about what you want to do, and the next minute he’s got what you want in front of you.”
Armed with the stunning pear-shaped diamond engagement ring, Ben got down on one knee and popped the question on a long-awaited trip away for Neyha’s birthday.
The proposal completely caught Neyha by surprise, and elicited an emphatic “Yes!”.
Since then, they’ve returned to York to select their wedding bands.
“If a friend was asking me where to go and why, I'd put him straight to York,” Ben said.
“Doug was awesome, the other staff were awesome, everyone was easy to deal with. Simple as that.”
It’s not often you get a second chance at a missed connection, but for young couple Maddi and Lachlan that’s exactly what happened.
“We met through friends a few years ago and started talking, but it didn’t really work out at the time,” explained Lachlan.
“After going our separate ways and delving in and out of other relationships, we were fortunate enough to find our way back to each other.”
With fate guiding their paths together it didn’t take long for their spark to be rekindled.
“I knew she was the one pretty much straight away. It was completely different to my past relationships, and I was a lot more content. It just felt right,” confessed Lachlan.
As their love blossomed Maddi soon found herself sharing Lachlan’s sentiment.
“For me, it wasn't much later, probably just a few weeks in. I had a couple of really bad nights, and Lachlan was always there for me. That’s when I realised ‘He’s the one for me’”.
Certain that they wanted to spend their lives together, Maddi had her ‘eyes on the prize’ when it came to the proposal.
“I didn't really have a choice in most of it. Maddi pretty much gave me the idea for the ring, she gave me the day that she wanted it done, she gave me the day that she wanted to get married. I just had to be there on the day and have the ring,” laughed Lachlan.
“Well, you can’t blame a girl for knowing what she wants,” joked Maddi.
Armed with a general plan for the proposal and the jewellery he needed to pull it off, Lachlan turned to York’s own Douglas Ely, who just so happened to be a former classmate of his.
“Doug created my brother's engagement ring and I've known him for a long time, so he was the first one I turned to.”
“Having that initial consultation with him, learning about different ring cuts, different styles, and all the other design aspects we could customise was a big help in coming up with the perfect engagement ring."
“He went through the process step-by-step and helped me understand the more intricate things, like engravings and diamonds on the inside of the ring. I think that care and attention to detail really makes the difference.”
When it came time to actually get down on one knee and pop the question their efforts to refine the ring paid off, and helped secure that all-important “Yes!”.
“I said to Lachlan on the day, ‘I couldn't have picked the ring better myself’. It was perfect, it was exactly what I wanted without being too much”.