The couple: Colleen Kirk and Joe Yurkanin, Philadelphia.
The ring: The center stone of my ring is my grandmother’s. My mom had shown it to me years ago, and I actually hated it in my grandmother’s setting, but then last year she had it cleaned up and taken out of the setting, and I loved it! It has a very pale yellow color to it, which gives it this vintage look that I love.
I had told Joe, and he asked my mom if he could have it, and she said yes. Joe then went shopping all around Jewelers' Row, but settled on Safian & Rudolph, because they understood his vision and were willing to work with him on the customized one-of-a-kind look he wanted. I emailed him cool rings when I saw them, and they were always emerald cut (even though I didn't know he had asked my mom for the diamond), so he had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. In the end, the stone is set in 14-karat white gold with 16 round diamonds in the halo.
The proposal: It was a lazy Sunday, and I said we should go to lunch since nothing else was going on. Joe said he would make reservations for lunch, but didn't tell me where we were going, just that it was a fancier type place. So I got ready, and he said let's take Dilbert (our pup) out for a walk before we go.
We like to walk him around the Rodin Museum and the Barnes, so when we headed towards Rodin, I didn't think anything of it. Right in the middle of the gardens, Joe turned to me and said, "I lied. We are going to lunch, but that's not what today is really about," and he pulled out the ring. He said, "I love you, you are my best friend, will you marry me?" got down on one knee, and then said "Oh, and you can smile for the cameras?" That is when I saw my best friend and her boyfriend jump out of the bushes and start snapping pics. I was completely surprised!
After I had said yes, we headed back to our apartment to drop off Dilbert. Waiting for us in our lobby were my parents, his parents, and our best friends. We had brunch at Jack's Firehouse afterwards—Joe had really made the reservation for 12 people a week before—but I could barely eat a bite, I was so excited!
The band: It's only been a few weeks since the proposal, but I think I want a diamond band that matches the halo around the center stone.
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