I will forever wish I had been more informed about jewelry stores prior to shopping for my wedding bands so hopefully this post will help at least one other person out!
When Stephen decided it was time to start shopping for my engagement ring, he knew it was the smart thing to do to get quotes from multiple jewelry stores before deciding where he wanted to make his investment. He knew he wanted to use a diamond that belonged to my mom and that he wanted to have my ring custom-made based on several pictures he had pulled from my Pinterest. He went to several chains and had similar experiences at all of them, but there was one store in particular (a chain based in NC) that I had told him I would like my ring to come from. While I won’t name the store, I’ll tell you that these stores are fabulous and shiny and there is a fancy stigma that goes along with saying your engagement ring came from one of their locations.
When Stephen went in, the associate that was working with him continuously tried to convince him that what he was asking them to create is not what I wanted and that he should trade my mom’s diamond in for a bigger one and pick a totally different style of ring that I would like better…as if they knew what I wanted better than Stephen did!
Stephen left the store feeling way more stressed out and less excited than he had felt walking in and decided to try another store — a small-town family run store in downtown Apex.
When Stephen walked into Holland’s Jewelers off Salem Street, he was immediately greeted with a bunch of smiling faces of people eager and willing to help him. They were thrilled at the idea of using a family heirloom to create a custom ring. They worked with him until he was completely satisfied and gave him a fair price. The ring they created together was absolutely gorgeous!
Here’s where I have to admit something to you: I am totally enamored by shiny, fancy things. When it came time to shop for my wedding band, Stephen had not told me of the experience he had at the fancy popular store which shall not be named here, and I wanted the stigma of owning a piece of jewelry from that store and the ring box that went with it (totally vain, I know, but I’ve learned my lesson!). Despite the fact that I felt guilty about not returning to the place that had created my engagement ring, I went against my instincts and grabbed one of my bridesmaids and headed into one of their popular Raleigh locations during their semi-annual sale.
I don’t want to undermine my experience there in any way that is not necessary — the staff that greeted us was friendly and an associate was with us quickly and was very patient with us as we looked at wedding rings. When I took off my engagement ring to start trying wedding bands on, though, he picked it up and started criticizing how it was made. He told me that since I had it made somewhere other than their store, it was flimsy and I really shouldn’t even be wearing my engagement ring regularly (“It’s like you’re wearing a lace dress while mowing the lawn,” he said). As if that’s what every girl wants to hear about her most prized possession! Despite the fact that our associate had made me feel bad about myself, I picked out a wedding ring and despite the fact that it was 1.5 times what we had budgeted for even with their huge sale, I purchased the ring. They fitted it for free but I didn’t even get the fancy ring box I had been all excited about.
Stephen told me about his experience there when I got home that day and vented to him about how I had made this huge investment with the store and yet somehow left feeling like they felt like they had done me some huge favor, and that I should feel honored to have purchased something from their store. I literally felt like “just another sale” and after spending that much money, that is not how anyone should feel!
I lost several nights’ sleep over my purchase and wished so desperately I hadn’t had the ring fitted so that I could return it (I am admittedly petty and did not want something as precious as my main wedding band to have come from what I viewed as such a negative experience). After a lot of conversation with Stephen, we decided to go back to Holland’s and discuss the ring situation with them and see if they had any insight!
I felt right back at home when we walked back in there; I seriously cannot explain how friendly and nice the entire staff is. Initially I wanted to trade in the ring I had already purchased and purchase a thicker band (which would have been more money for Holland’s) but they suggested if I wanted to do something different, I should consider using the ring I had already purchased and having another one custom-made to match it and then have the three welded together in a set after the wedding, which is the path I ended up taking!
They custom-made me a ring to match the one I already had using the same materials and the same carat weight. Oh and the ring they were making me? It cost less than half of what I paid at the other store.
While I was there I decided to have my “flimsy” ring inspected; my engagement ring was fine but upon inspection of the wedding band I had already purchased, a majority of the diamonds were loose. After I had just been lectured about how flimsy my own ring was! PLUS when I walked away from Holland’s with my brand new ring, they gave me my very own fancy ring box 🙂 It was meant to be.
I don’t mean to just spend this whole post just trashing the other store, but I am a firm believer that everyone should have nothing less than an amazing experience when purchasing engagement/wedding rings and advise everyone to be careful in what store they choose to shop at. I desperately wish I had gotten some insight about the first store before making that huge of an investment there! Not one of my finer financial moments, I’ll admit.
You never know though! Maybe the store I had a negative experience at is the perfect store for you! But you won’t know until you do your research!
For us personally, we will be going to Holland’s for all of our jewelry needs for years to come! I have yet to have anything but an amazing experience with them and if you live in the Triangle area, I highly recommend you check them out!
If you have any questions about ring shopping, please let me know! Heaven knows I have a lot of experience at this point!
Thanks for stopping by!