Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming endeavor, leading even the most laid-back affianced couples down a rabbit hole of late night Pinterest binges and Instagram stress scrolls. That is why, for the betrothed and the engagement-curious, Over The Moon is so bracing.
Founded by former Vogue.com weddings editor Alexandra Macon, the site looks at nuptials from a fashion perspective, highlighting real celebrations that feel fresh and authentic. Naturally, as an arbiter of style, Macon also has exquisite taste in engagement rings and plenty of great advice when it comes to choosing wedding jewelry — and she shared her favorite finds from 1stDibs. Read on for our conversation.
Before a couple gets engaged, how important do you think it is that they go ring shopping together? Should they at least have a conversation about styles, gems, et cetera?
I was completely surprised when my husband proposed, so I don’t think it has to happen.
In my situation, I really loved my mother-in-law’s round solitaire, and I remember commenting on how much I liked it. As it turned out, the ring that ultimately was made for me was something similar, which was really lovely.
Hints can be dropped and opinions can be given in the lead-up, but I don’t think couples have to go ring shopping together.
Whether you’re watching a movie and see something you love or you’re commenting on a family member’s ring, the person who is purchasing the ring will likely take note.
An element of surprise is nice — and a lot of fun. That said, one interesting thing about engagements and weddings in the 2020s is that anything goes!
For couples considering a vintage or antique ring, what are some of your favorite design eras? Anything they should keep in mind when choosing an older piece of jewelry?
Art Deco is my all-time favorite for vintage and antique jewelry. When I graduated college, my mom gifted me an Art Deco diamond ring cut in a geometric shape that was popular in that period. It had previously belonged to my great aunt, who immigrated to the U.S. from Greece, and is one of my most treasured possessions — I never take it off.
When choosing an older piece from any era, have it inspected for loose gemstones, as stones in the ring’s setting or on the band can become loose from normal wear over time. If something isn’t secure, a professional jeweler can tighten the prongs or reset the stone.
Trust me on this one — I recently spent an evening searching on the floor of my sister’s apartment for a teeny, tiny diamond that fell out of her antique engagement ring. Luckily, we found it — crisis averted!
What gemstones would you suggest as alternatives to brides who aren’t interested in diamonds?
Aquamarines are one of the most beautiful gemstones with the best price point. Who could forget the emerald-cut aquamarine ring Meghan Markle wore to her wedding reception? It perfectly matched the couple’s silver-blue jaguar getaway car and knowing that it belonged to Princess Diana made it feel all the more special. Sapphires are another all-time favorite of mine. They go with everything.
Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring, also by way of Diana, will always serve as inspiration for me. Also on my top-three list: citrines. There’s something really cool about a yellow engagement ring. It’s unique and different, which I love.
Do you think that wedding bands should match engagement rings? Or even be worn on the same finger?
No. These days, it’s up to you! Your engagement ring and wedding band can coordinate without matching. The most important thing is that they match your taste. As to wearing them on the same finger, do what feels comfortable and natural. If you’re someone who likes to keep traditions alive, and that means wearing them both on your ring finger, that’s great!
In that case, the wedding band is usually worn closer to your heart, a practice that goes back to the ancient Egyptians. They believed in the vena amoris, literally the “vein of love,” which runs directly from the heart to the fourth finger on the left hand.
The Greeks and Romans carried on the tradition, and in Western cultures, the sentimental theory stuck. In other cultures, the engagement ring is worn on the right hand, since that is the hand used for oaths and vows.
Do you have any tips for choosing wedding-day jewelry?
Let the dress dictate the jewelry. With a minimalist dress, you can have fun with statement accessories and vice versa.
Frequently, couples use their wedding as an occasion to purchase a piece of jewelry the bride can wear as her “something new,” and long after the big day. Jewelry lent from loved ones can be just as heartfelt and also serve as your “something borrowed.”
How about wedding-day gifts exchanged by the couple?
When I got married, my husband and I decided there wasn’t room in our budget or brain space for a wedding and a wedding gift, which can often be the case. That said, even the smallest token of affection is something that you’ll cherish forever, so consider placing a price limit on the gift or exchange gifts you make yourself — even handwritten notes received the morning of.
If budget isn’t a factor, you can’t go wrong with a vintage Rolex watch à la Sex and the City, and 1stDibs is the perfect place for that.
There’s been a trend toward micro-weddings in the past year or so, for obvious reasons. Do you think that couples throwing smaller events have also downsized the glam factor of their weddings?
Over The Moon has always been a place for aspirational yet attainable wedding inspiration, with a focus on real-life love stories. During the pandemic, real life, unfortunately, got in the way of many couples’ wedding plans, and we saw a big shift toward micro-weddings that were smaller in scale but incredibly special for everyone involved.
Not only are micro-weddings inherently romantic, but a restricted guest list leaves more room to indulge in that dream wedding dress or a decadent three-course sit-down dinner. You’ll also have more time to spend with each of your guests, and those are the things you’ll look back on and remember.