PW Reader Ring: Lan & Aric!
The couple: Lan Ho and Aric Wei, from Philadelphia.
The ring: My ring has nine small diamonds with a diamond halo set on a white-gold diamond double band. I love how the arrangement of the small diamonds results in a ring that shines just as brilliantly as one large diamond!
Aric proposed without a ring. After I said “Yes!” (of course!), he told me that he wanted to shop for the ring with me so that we would both feel confident that the ring would be the perfect ring for me. Who knew we were a part of a growing trend of couples buying engagement rings together! I had not started a Pinterest board of my dream wedding before the proposal. (Actually, Pinterest overwhelmed us with ring designs, terminology—you name it!)
Ring shopping at a brick-and-mortar jewelry store was tremendously helpful since I got to actually try on different ring styles. I don’t wear rings, so I needed to try a lot of styles on to get a sense of what I wanted. We both had a lot of fun—even Aric tried on wedding bands!—and ended up getting our ring at Helzburg Diamonds in North Wales.
The proposal: How can a proposal be so public, yet so private at the same time? It was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, and I certainly didn’t think a proposal was going to happen—I just knew we had plans to spend the afternoon at Valley Forge National Historic Park. I thought these plans were made just a couple of days before that, but clearly these plans were in the works for a while! (One of the reasons why I love spending time with Aric is because our dates can consist of the both of us wearing a t-shirt and sweats—which I was wearing! My hopeless romantic self would have envisioned a proposal with me wearing nicer clothing and white tablecloths everywhere—but of course I expected no proposal whatsoever!)
The only detail that may have hinted something special was that Aric was very clear and repeated many times during the weekend that he wanted to visit the National Memorial Arch, one of the park’s iconic landmarks, towards sunset. (We both call it Pennsylvania’s Arc de Triomphe! Now I know that he was channeling my lifelong desire to go to France to make his decision on where he was going to propose!) It was a beautiful day, and when we got to the arch, there were still a lot of people taking photos. Once Aric found a bench for us, the number of people diminished tremendously—almost like everyone was setting the stage for what turned out feeling like a private moment.
During every special occasion, Aric makes a homemade card with his own beautiful words and cute little fun illustrations of animals like bunnies and birds. I love every single one I’ve received. When the sun was aligned just right, Aric went from sitting next to me on the bench to going down on both knees (he didn’t need to beg, but this made it seem like he was!). He retrieved his handwritten proposal on yellow lined paper that was protected by a sandwich bag (he was afraid that it was going to rain, so he wanted to protect his words!). As a mechanical engineer, being practical is never out of the norm for him! He read strictly from the note, which stays true to how much he thinks about his words. It was a beautiful proposal from beginning to end. I said “Yes,” brought him close for a kiss, and it was like only we were at the park even though that was definitely not the case!
The band: We decided on both of our wedding bands early, and I like to describe mine as deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA!—our genetic blueprint!) otherwise known as an infinity band. What can I say—I’m actually a biologist in real life!
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