I’m going to do a throwback to when my sister’s FIANCÉ and I went engagement ring shopping in Brooklyn because I am now free to share this info since he proposed last weekend! (She said yes).
Over a month ago my sister’s then boyfriend came to ME, of ALL PEOPLE, to ask for my help with engagement ring shopping and I was HONORED. But then I had to decide where we were going to go, and what style we were going to look at. And I also had to decide what style my sister would like.
Honestly I didn’t have a great idea what she would like when I first thought about it. She’s the opposite of me when it comes to fashun. She dresses simply and always looks beautiful, but she’s more casual and 100% not interested in styling herself or picking out girly shit. So I was like…she’s never told me what ring she would like. I haven’t even seen her wear jewelry since I went with her to get her bellybutton pierced when she was like 13 and literally fainted.
She also works outside often and has some farm animals to take care of, so she wouldn’t want a ring that was too much or in the way of the shit she has to do.
I combed through many rings, many sites. Her fiancé sent me pics of rings he thought were cool. We decided we thought…we KNEW, she would like something simple but special, with a flair to it. But not too much flair or too crazy because she’s not trying to do crazy fashun shit like me.
My personal favorite engagement rings are the ones from Catbird. And that IS what we ended up getting when we went engagement ring shopping in Brooklyn but I SWEAR I forced no one into it. I merely suggested and the rings spoke for themselves. They are beauteous.
Their store and their Wedding Annex are both in Brooklyn (they also have a winter market in Manhattan now!), so we had to go there to check out the rings. We were ready to go engagement ring shopping in Brooklyn. It was all happening.
She and her FIANCE live out in the middle of nowhere New Jersey in my ancestral homeland of Hunterdon County. It’s a great place! But different than here, in “the city.” I think her fiance was excited about the idea of a fun adventure origin story about the ring that we could tell for years to come and I guess that’s kind of what happened!
I mean nothing crazy happened, but it was one of my most favorite days ever. I was so excited to help pick out a ring and I loved the feeling that my opinion really mattered. And then I realized I don’t feel like that as much as I would like to. But that’s another story. THANK YOU, SISTER’S FIANCE, FOR YOUR VALIDATION.
He and I went on a fun little road trip across the state in his pickup truck emblazoned with the name of their badass small business. I had taken the bus home the night before, only to go back the next morning. I don’t know why I did that.
I do know why I did that, it’s because I wanted to take glamour pictures with the chickens before he picked me up.
It was very windy the night before and he had been up very late working. This was not at his badass small business job, it was at his other job that I’m not 100% clear on what it is but something with wind and outside, he had been dealing with. So he had like no sleep! But he seemed okay, BECAUSE HE WAS PUMPED.
We drove through Soho and Chinatown on our way and I told him some little touristy stuff. AGAIN HE WAS PUMPED.
Honestly he was PUMPED AF all day. I was also pumped. Did I say it was my favorite day? It was.
Once in Brooklyn we had a bit of a tough time finding parking. I’m not such a good parking helper because I don’t have a car so like…I don’t know where to park. I can read the signs and stuff but sometimes they’re confusing and I get scared of cars getting towed so I was like, “Let’s just garage. Like the tourists we are today.” So we tried the Whole Foods garage in Williamsburg and the attendant dude said his truck “wouldn’t fit in the elevator.” Then we pulled into an unmarked garage and it was not a parking garage and I don’t know why I even told him to go in there and I still feel bad and I’m sorry. You’ll be glad to know he remained quite jovial the entire time though!
Finally we arrived at the parking garage at the William Vale. Whew. Let’s see these valet parker dudes park this pickup truck that “wouldn’t fit in an elevator,” byeeeee.
I first led us to Catbird’s main store on Bedford. Which was stupid of me, we were meant to go to the Wedding Annex! Duh! So we then changed course and walked over to Metropolitan. We were 2 hours early for our appointment but they took us right in and sat us right down and we got started right away.
Catbird was a wonderful place to go engagement ring shopping in Brooklyn, or anywhere. I’ve never gone engagement ring shopping before so I have nothing to compare it to but shopping for shit that expensive makes me feel nervous and stressed and like people are trying to trick me or make me pay more, and at Catbird I never felt like that once. We told the gal that was helping us my future brother-in-law’s budget and she stuck to it and made it work. She looked around and found some really beautiful rings that worked for him, and she didn’t make us feel dumb. RESPECT.
He studied the rings, but didn’t love his first choice that he thought he would love when he saw it online or any of the others like it. So we gathered our thoughts and looked around. We came across The Swans, which are my most fav personally, specifically the one with the BLACK diamond stones because, YEAHHHH. But they also have a few beautiful versions of The Swans with OG diamonds so we got into looking at those and he finally decided on Odette the Swan, that lovely gal.
It was a very sweet and happy moment for me to see him carefully and thoughtfully studying these rings and pondering very hard to decide which one he thought would be best for my sis. It meant so much to him and you could see it in his face. That sounds corny as hell but it was great. Again, FAV DAY, SO GLAD TO BE THERE.
Once chosen, he was ready to purchase the ring! But they didn’t have it in her size there so we had to order it, which was fine. But then they didn’t take cash at the Wedding Annex (a tip if you’re going to go there!) so we had to head back over to Bedford to their main store to place the order.
Even though we went engagement ring shopping in Brooklyn, we got it shipped to New Jersey so he wouldn’t have to pay sales tax. This is a great service that I would offer up to anyone that lives in Manhattan/Brooklyn/whatever if packages didn’t get stolen from my house every time. Sorry.
So that was that! Purchased! Initially they said it could take up to 3 weeks but it shipped in 3 days, then he had to hide it for like a month until the proposal. Whew. SECRETS TO KEEP.
On the way home there was a lot of traffic getting into the Holland Tunnel because we left at like 4:30pm and it took us a veryyyyy longggg timeeee. But during that time we chatted a lot, about life, about family, about relationships, everything! I didn’t realize that my future brother-in-law is so incredibly thoughtful and insightful about a number of topics and I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend with him on this adventure.
Again, that sounds corny but like, it was great. I’m so pumped for my sister! I think she likes the ring…I hope. This post really has no point but to just tell the story, and now my sister has it written down somewhere for all time where she can read it. You’re welcome.
Also, he kept referring to Catbird as “CatDog” so now I have this in my head.
You’re welcome again.