December 29, 2011

We're Engaged!

Amidst all of the excitement surrounding our new home, we have more big news to share; we're engaged! Now onto the next burning question: How he Asked...

Nearing the end of our 7th anniversary back in October, Tim asked me to marry him, saying he'd like for us to be able to announce to our families that we are engaged between then and the holidays.

On the ring front, he told me he'd been looking everywhere for the right one without luck and invited me to partake in the hunt alongside him — which couldn't have been a more perfect idea in my mind (what girl doesn't wish she could help pick out her ring, right?).

So the ring hunt began. We knew we wanted an antique with some history. We looked on Etsy, at local antique jewelers, the NYC Diamond District, and dozens of online antique diamond jewelry dealers. We both got a much more robust eduction of all aspects surrounding what to look for in a diamond, including certifications. The funny thing is, after searching high and low, we went straight back to the very first one we fell in love with from a local antique jeweler — a 1930's deco era platinum engagement ring.

The real kicker was the inscription inside the band of the ring. It originally had two sets of monograms, one of them including M.E. which are my own initials (Mary Elizabeth) and the dates, 1926 - 1951. We gathered the ring must have been a 25th anniversary present to a very special lady back in 1951. Somehow, after looking at everything else out there, seeing that first one again really sealed the deal in our knowing it was right for us. Tim had the ring re-sized down to my finger size and at the same time had all parts of the original inscription buffed out except for the initials M.E. and the dates that had been in the original ring.

Once we decided on the perfect ring, Tim hid it from me and we made plans for how we would share the good news. We wanted to be able to tell all of our immediate family members at once so we concocted a plan to have everyone over on Christmas Eve to see the new house. Because coordinating getting everyone in the same place at the same time always proves to be a challenge, we framed it as an open house where our closest family could come and go as they please, but needed to be here for a 7pm "toast to the new house." Once everyone we had invited was there for the toast, Tim slipped the ring in my back pocket, handed out glasses of champagne, and began to thank everyone for coming. He said some words about the new place being one we want to make lots of future family memories in and then he announced that in addition to celebrating the holiday and the new house, that we wanted to have everyone close to us at one time there because we are also announcing and celebrating being engaged. Reactions ran from surprised to excited and we even got a couple finally's! The whole toast and about 20 minutes thereafter is a blur for me — I almost didn't even remember Tim's dad snapping the photo above.

As for next steps — right now we're just enjoying being able to say we're engaged but are looking forward to sharing more details along the way. Thanks for sharing in our good news!

We have been beyond thrilled with all your well wishes and response to seeing more about our upcoming wedding plans. While we'll be excited to share many details right here on the blog over time. In the meantime, you can follow a special collaborative Pinterest board we've set up to document all the details for our real wedding. This board will be separate from the wedding inspiration board in that it will keep track of all the final details rather than just collected ideas. We've also created a special wedding tag for posts here on the blog to allow for easier navigating of just wedding posts. Thanks again for all your support!

Keep up with 17Apart's Wedding:


  1. What a beautiful ring that seems to have been destined for you!

    I'm so happy for you two and I'm looking forward to seeing all the plans you put together for your day :)

  2. Congratulations! I had a feeling that bigger commitments were going on in the background, even beyond a house! A lovely story, I'm excited to see your wedding planning blog posts. Congrats to both of you and a lovely time of year to announce the engagement when you have the support of family and friends around.


  3. Oh Mary this is such exciting news. Congrats to you and Tim!!!! I wish you two a lifetime of happiness and health.

  4. What? Mary Elizabeth? it's not Mary Mary?

  5. Congratulations!!! Like Jen said, I can't wait for the wedding planning exciting! hehe Brian!

  6. Congratulations, not only on the engagement but for keeping it a secret that long! I'm impressed.

    I'm so glad you got to pick out your own ring, given what they can cost I think the idea of a guy picking one out without the wearer's opinion is just plain silly. Chris and I made a joint trip to my parents jeweler, and I can't imagine having done it any other way. Plus, four years of metalsmithing school have made me more than a little opinionated about jewelry, something I'm sure you can identify with.




  8. Congratulations! I cannot wait to hear more on the planning !

  9. You guys rock. Thanks for all your words of congrats!

    Brian - cracking up over here!

    Kelly - you've nailed it. Loved the look of your sapphire ring and the story behind it. Loving keeping up with your move and baby news even more!

    Nicole - Thanks! I think we saw you are not at Blue Goat any-longer? Where can we find you???

  10. Congrats! This is just the perfect time of year to announce such fantastic news! As with others above, I'm excited to seeing your wedding planning posts :D. GORGEOUS ring!


  11. I ran into this on Pinterest and had to come see. Exciting times for you Mary and Tim. Congratulations to you two!

  12. You guys are too much! We updated this post at the bottom with more info on how to follow along with wedding plans based on all your feedback for seeing what's next! xoxo

  13. Congrats and what a lovely ring....and so perfect!

  14. That ring is absolutely to die for... How awesome that it had your initials!

    1. Yes! It was ring we kept coming back to over and over in our minds! Thanks so much.

  15. What a beautiful ring!! Congratulations!!


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