Bespoke Engagement Rings and Surprise Christmas Proposals | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe


A surprise Christmas proposal has to be one of the most romantic gestures. It’s not an original idea, but it’s an enduring one. Because it’s simply unforgettable. Nothing goes down in the annals of family history quite like the engagement ring hidden in a Christmas cracker, hanging on the tree on Christmas morning, or pulled from a pocket on frosty moonlit Christmas Eve stroll. But that does bring a certain degree of pressure to the proposer… not least in finding the perfect ring.

Engagement rings are always special. They are one of the most meaningful purchases you will ever make. If not the most. So laden with sentiment and significance are they. They symbolise everything – not only what your relationship currently is, but what it will be in the future. So, pretty much any ring you choose will be valued. But imagine the symbolism of a ring that you have designed yourself, especially for the person you love. That’s why bespoke engagement rings have become increasingly popular in recent years.

So, how can you set about designing your own engagement ring?

Everything you need to know about designing an engagement ring for a Christmas proposal

Whether you have an existing design in mind or would like a designer to bring your loose ideas into a coherent shape, bespoke ring creation is far easier than you might you think. Let’s start with the basics.

How do you design a bespoke engagement ring?

The best way to go about designing your own surprise engagement ring is to think about what your partner likes. Spend a little time really thinking about their style and their preferences. The main thing to remember is that bespoke design isn’t about adhering to accepted standards, but creating something that is truly yours as a couple. If that means a band shaped like a sausage dog holding an amethyst in its mouth, then go for it! The Durham Rose design team will find a way to oblige!

How is the ring made?

Bespoke ring creation varies from company to company.

The traditional method is to see a goldsmith, discuss your ideas and see if they can come up with something loosely approximating your thoughts.

Durham Rose go for the less romantic but more precise method of using CAD. It’s a process first developed by the company owner when he was intent on winning his bride to be… The technique has just been refined a little since.

In your Durham Rose design consultation, your ideas will be rendered on a shared computer screen. You’ll be able to see the design coming together and decide then and there whether it’s what your imagination had sculpted. After your consultation, your design will be refined according to your notes, and photo-realistic images created so you can see exactly how the finished product will look. Once you’re happy, a wax mould will be created from the CAD graphics and the ring cast, ensuring that the finished product will look exactly as depicted in the design. From there, the ring will be hand finished – carefully polished, and the specially sourced gemstones set. All of this happens within the Durham Rose studio. So, you know exactly where your ring is and where we are in the creation process at any given point. We even send regular updates, so you’re always kept completely up to date.

Can I afford a bespoke engagement ring?

The thing about designing your own engagement ring is that the cost is more or less down to you, because you’re deciding what the ring is composed of. As a general rule, at Durham Rose we suggest a minimum budget of £900, simply because of the time, effort and materials that go into making each ring perfect. If you have a lower budget, then you can still find something beautiful on the high street. But whether you’re working with £900 or £9,000, the same care and expertise will go into the creation of your design.

What about ring sizing?

Ring sizing is probably one of the most complicated things about designing a surprise engagement ring at any time of the year. Unless you know the exact measurement of your intended’s ring finger,  you’re unlikely to get it right first time. But, there are things that you can do to make an educated guess, including measuring rings they currently wear, or making an assessment according to their height and build. If you don’t get it quite right it’s not the end of the world though, as Durham Rose offer a free resizing service, altering the band by up to two sizes post-production, where necessary. It’s no surprise that around 70% of surprise buyers need alterations made!

Do I have time to get my ring made before Christmas?

Bespoke engagement ring creation times vary according to the processes used. At Durham Rose, rings typically take 25 working days, from design consultation to presentation. For guaranteed Christmas delivery, it’s best to start the process no later than early November. Of course, if you’re not quite ready to start now, there’s always a New Years Eve or Valentine’s Day proposal to work towards!

A surprise Christmas proposal is almost unparalleled when it comes to romance. It doesn’t matter if it’s not snowing. If it’s not perfect. If it doesn’t have that Hollywood sheen… In fact, it’s often the lack of sheen that makes it so special, so funny and so memorable. But when you add a bespoke engagement ring designed by you into the mix, the romance goes off the chart.

To find out more about designing your bespoke engagement ring in time for Christmas, contact Durham Rose. Beautifully bespoke – perfectly you. 

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