PW Reader Ring: Maura & Craig!

Maura's ring!

Maura’s ring!

The couple: Maura Gallagher and Craig Downing from South Philly.

The ring: My engagement ring is a 14k-white gold band with a princess-cut diamond in the center and 12 round diamonds in a pave side setting. I had subtly emailed Craig a few styles in the past but they were all so different, I was leading him in a ton of different directions. In the end, he picked it out all on his own—no one knew he was shopping, not even his family. He chose Safian & Rudolph on Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers’ Row based on quality, price, and approval from the locals! I am really grateful Craig chose a style that was true to my personality and how he thought of me when he bought it.  I had admired many rings that were considered “in season” but my ring means much more to me and that is what I love.

The proposal: I have a hard time believing that women are completely caught off guard when the proposal happens. If you spend every day with someone, especially for a few years, you know them inside and out. So, I knew.

Fast forward to May 17, 2013: Craig and I are not an extravagant couple. We love a good Friday night at home, ordering Santucci’s and watching TV, so when Craig emailed me at 3pm on a Friday saying, “Get dressed up tonight, I want to finally try out Dmitri’s,” I was immediately skeptical. One, it was pizza night! Two, he never wanted to get Dimitri’s with me. This had to be the night!

So, naturally I got a manicure, put on my favorite top and went to dinner with my boyfriend. I could tell something was up; he was different, but I was the nervous one. Half way through dinner I spilled my wine which poured onto his pants and over the pocket where the ring was hidden. Still, as dessert was had and the check was paid for, no proposal.  I thought, Maybe I just want this to happen so much I am imagining things? So, I just decided to enjoy the rest of the night and stop being nervous. On the way home, we cut through Mario Lanza Park in Queen Village to head home and just as we were about to exit the park, he got down on one knee. “Yay!” is what I thought to myself, but “Is this it?!” is what I actually said. He laughed and said yes. I immediately got down on my knees, saying, “I will get down there with you!” before agreeing to marry him. It was a surreal moment. I was elated, and could not wait to tell the world! Then I did, screaming “We’re engaged!” as we walked home down 2nd Street. I was really glad the proposal happened locally and in a quiet place where we could be alone.

The band: We haven’t been shopping for wedding bands yet, but I would love to find a Cathedral Pave diamond ring in 14-karat white-gold to match the side setting of my engagement ring.

Maura and Craig

Maura and Craig. Photo by Melissa Kelly.

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