PW Reader Ring: Jessica & Greg!
The couple: Jessica Abel and Greg Phillips from Bella Vista.
The ring: My custom-made cushion-cut diamond set in platinum was designed by NYC-based Leon Megé (with input from Greg). Greg never went to NYC and completed the entire purchase remotely. He’s the co-founder of Kwelia, a start-up that quantifies the rental value of apartments, and was traveling to client sites in the fall. When not on the road, Greg was trying to spend more time with me in Ithaca, where I’m completing the final year of my MBA at Cornell. He created a secret email address and had Leon (and other jewelers he initially corresponded with) email photos, videos and other details. After reading a lot of reviews and fielding phone calls with a cadre of jewelers, Greg was ready to make the purchase! He picked out the design himself and received the ring via FedEx in Philadelphia. Here’s my ring on YouTube!
The proposal: The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I drove back from Ithaca for the holiday. Greg was with me in Ithaca two weeks prior, but told me he was going to leave for Philly on Friday (a few days earlier than we planned) to hang out with some fellow Cornell Delta Upsilon fraternity alums who would be in town. Little did I know, he was also picking up the ring from FedEx, asking my parents for their blessing and planning an epic engagement dinner.
I planned to leave after class on Tuesday in order to arrive in Philly around 8. A snowstorm in Ithaca and terrible roads set me back a few hours and put a damper on my mood. I kept calling Greg to complain about the terrible driving conditions. I didn’t know it but my constant calls and complaining kept interrupting his elaborate cooking plans. When I finally got home, I parked on our narrow street in Bella Vista and Greg came out to help me unload the car. He immediately suggested I head upstairs to relax and he would finish the unloading. He came up and gave me strict instructions to not go downstairs until he had parked the car.
I thought to myself: this can’t actually be happening right now. I finally came downstairs after I heard a knock at the door to find candles lit, white roses and white rose petals from my Mom’s shop, Mayfield Florist. Then, I opened the door and found Greg, who had changed into a button-down and blazer and was on one knee on the stoop with my gorgeous ring, in the pouring rain. I first exclaimed, “Greg, it’s raining! Come inside!” before realizing I needed to say “yes!” He had planned a three-course dinner with all of my favorite dishes, and corresponding cards (some photos attached) to accompany each course. We toasted with sparkling wine we drank together in Buenos Aires, had delicious fish from Anastasi Seafood and finished the meal with incredible desserts from Isgro’s Pastries.
The band: Leon Megé is known for his pave diamond bands, so I might choose a matching band. For a traditional Jewish ceremony, I need a solid band and hope to get a matching band to Greg’s from my parents’ jeweler, Henri David of Halloween.
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