The wedding industry is experiencing a much-needed redux. Un-bridal and classic bridal brands have contributed to newfound bridal chic; Anthropologie launched BHLDN, Vera Wang revealed her David's Bridal bridesmaid collection, alternative weddings are on the rise. It's an opportune time to step out of the wedding box and experiment in matrimonial mashup.
A good place to start is with the rings. San Francisco's Gallery of Jewels not only houses an eclectic collection of jewelry artists, but provides alternative ring options for the anti-vanilla couple. There are three shops around the city, I visited the Union Street store to see what they recommend. They have a case in front dedicated to wedding rings and bands, but the entire store has sparkling options. The Gallery of Jewels aims for conflict-free diamonds, though that's a quagmire, features about 40% local designers, and works with stone setters and metal smiths to ensure custom perfection.
(Megan Thorne, Picture Frame Combo)
Even if you want something unique, it's still interesting to learn the trends. Old world rose cut is the cut de jour; instead of flat across, the crown is composed of triangular facets. Popularity in sapphires and colored stones is rising; Kate Middleton's princess sapphire ring will no doubt help raise sapphire status. Opaque and raw diamonds have also achieved interest, they deliver a more natural, less in-your-face look.
Here's a selection of jewelers the Gallery of Jewels carries that make a special statement. The rocker in me is drawn to the catawampus cool of the Janna Conner white topaz solitaire, while the raw but elegant Rebecca Overmann diamond Water rings are more functional for a lifetime.
Call the stores to inquire about pricing.
Gallery of Jewels, 2101 Union Street @ Webster, (415) 929.0259
Gallery of Jewels, 2115 Fillmore @ California, (415) 771.5099
Gallery of Jewels, 4089 24th Street @ Castro, (415) 285.0626
Samantha Durbin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a lifestyle writer who honed her blogging skills as Editor of FabSugar.com. Samantha graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and also writes for San Francisco magazine and Gilt City.