PW Reader Ring: Katie & Franc!
The couple: Katie Sieckman and Franc Marmero, Philadelphia.
The ring: My ring is a radiant-cut diamond with a French-cut diamond pave band. It’s perfect and I love the thought that went into it.
Franc and I have been together for almost 10 years now, and the last time we were in a jewelry store together was about three years ago. I always thought I wanted a halo, something more antique in style, but when I put it on my hand I just knew it wasn’t me. I also knew I wanted something that was not set too high, and either a plain or diamond band, but didn’t see anything that really made up my mind.
Fast forward a few years, and Franc started visiting jewelers. After going to multiple places, he ended up at Barsky on Jewelers’ Row, working with Nathan Barsky to find just the right ring. He’s an engineer, and nothing less than perfect will ever do, and I have since heard that he was once in there for about five hours designing, planning, asking women in the store to try it on and tell him how it felt, etc. Plus, it took him months to find a diamond he was happy with. (After giving it to me, he couldn’t wait to tell me this whole story and all the details.)
The proposal: I’m just going to admit it: We are Disney people. Adults with no kids who just love the experience. Last year, we went down with some of my family for a week. Knowing I am an animal lover, Franc surprised me with an early Christmas gift and took me on a behind the scenes safari tour.
We couldn’t have anything in our pockets getting up close with the animals, and it was such a great surprise there was no way I would expect anything more. After over nine years together at that point, I had stopped trying to anticipate that moment and did not think a family vacation on our trek through the woods of Disney could possibly be it.
Through tons of planning, Franc had connected with the tour operators to coordinate everything—when they would pass off the ring since he couldn’t carry it himself, when the photographer would lure us away from the group, etc. About halfway through the tour, the photographer offered to take us onto a boardwalk over the savannah in separate groups for pictures of just the couples, and when we went up, Franc got down on one knee and totally caught me off guard. I was so surprised and emotional, I actually had to be reminded to answer out loud! It is amazing that we have pictures of it, and that after the fact, we got to spend the rest of the weekend celebrating with my family. Not only was I totally shocked, but he managed to keep it a secret from everyone except my father—the rest of our families and friends got to be just as surprised as I was with the news.
The band: Part of Franc’s process was making sure there was a band out there that would be the perfect fit. He made sure that a matching pave diamond band would sit perfectly, and I can’t wait to see them together!
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