Photos: Courtesy of Neil Lane
We all knew after Brooks' abrupt exit and Drew's early dismissal shortly thereafter, The Bachelorette season finale would be unlike any other. Potentially topping all of the he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not drama was the stunning rose gold and platinum 3.7 carat, cushion-cut diamond engagement ring Chris offered Des at the final rose ceremony. To find out more about the stylish sparkler we spoke to celebrity jewelry designer Neil Lane about the ring he designed for Des.
Brides: You've been designing engagement rings for The Bachelor / The Bachelorette franchise for nearly a decade. Have you noticed a change in the kinds of engagement rings the men on the show have been selecting?
Neil Lane: I would say they've been leaning towards more romantic styles with more detail. I think the guys are understanding some of the magic of the ring's detail, really looking at it rather than just paying attention to center stone. I think that's changed a lot.
Brides: We definitely saw that with the engagement ring Chis chose for Des in last night's finale. Can you tell us about the inspiration for that ring?
NL: The intertwined ring for this bachelorette was really like a divine inspiration. As I was creating that ring I was thinking of intertwining it like a vine and really bringing the metals together. The intertwined band symbolizes the two of them taking this journey together. Finally, I added the rose gold and made it more romantic. I would say it's one of the prettiest rings I've ever made for The Bachelorette.
Photos: Courtesy of Neil Lane
Brides: So is this particular engagement ring your favorite engagement ring from The Bachelorette to date?
NL: Truthfully, it probably is my favorite, other than a very different ring which I made for Jillian (which was a very long time ago). Jillian Harris' engagement ring was reminiscent of my mom's. It was a pear shape, which was really different from all of the other engagement rings I've done for the show. I'd say Jillian's ring and this season's were the most special.
Brides: When Chris came to you this season, what he was looking for in an engagement ring?
NL: What Chris came to me, he shared with me his feelings for Des. Even though the show is edited, I work with him for awhile. I, beforehand, am also working with Des, speaking with her, getting some ideas about her aesthetics. Interestingly enough, Chris' idea about her, about her aesthetic, was very similar. She wanted something vintage, she was very romantic, she was artistic, she wanted something different, she was very particular about that. So I had that in mind even when making the rings. This kind of conversation is actually what happens in my own store. It's like taking real time and Hollywood time and putting it together. We infused elements of Des' style in all six of the rings we designed for her, and we honed in on that one. I really think that was the best one. It's magical. I don't know how, but every time, the best ring gets picked.
Brides: What advice do you give the bachelors?
NL: I think it's really important they choose a ring that represents the girl and how they feel about her so that she'll feel that his choice was genuine. I give them a lot of advice, but in terms of the ring, it's about her. She's going to wear the ring and look at it and know that he chose one that really matched her personality.
Brides: Des' ring was 3.7 carats. That's huge! If a couple is on a tight budget, and falls in love with the ring you designed for The Bachelorette, do you still have a ring for them?
NL: My collection for Kay Jewelers, Neil Lane Bridal, contains so much of what I have in my couture collection, from the vintage-inspired, to the the detailed hand-crafted elements, but at a more affordable price-point.
An aspirational piece of jewelry is in all the details. Women love the details, like a tiny hidden diamond detail only she can see. It keeps an aesthetic and a level of quality, hands-craftsmanship, and old world charm. Even the latest collection's twisted vine bands (see below!) are reminiscent of the Des' twisted band that uses rose gold.
Brides: What's your best advice for couple's beginning to shop for an engagement ring?
NL: The guy should definitely find out what his soon-to-be bride truly loves. As you know, a woman's engagement ring says a lot about who she is. There are ways to find out what kind of engagement ring a woman wants without spoiling the surprise. A couple can go shopping together or they can browse engagement rings online. The best thing to do is to is really listen to her.
I find today that 50% of couples go engagement ring shopping together. A couple can come into our store together and she can show him what styles and shapes and stones she likes best, and he can look and listen.
I think the most important thing is try to get an engagement ring that matches her personality. So she doesn't just love you, but she loves the ring, too.