5 important engagement ring lessons from a bridal fashion editor

By Heather Levine
Photo credit: Stephen Leonardi

I’ve worked in the bridal industry for close to 15 years, and in that time I’ve held many different titles — stylist, market editor, and fashion editor – to name a few. My jobs came with perks like sitting front row at runway shows, scouting trends at international bridal events and, of course, trying on the most insanely gorgeous engagement rings.

From traditional to avant-garde, simple to elaborate, and from small to celebrity-status size – I have been lucky enough to slip on hundreds, maybe thousands of engagement rings over the years. I’ve had too many favorites to count. So, when my then boyfriend (now husband) and I started talking marriage, and suddenly I had to choose just one ring to love for eternity, the pressure was on.

I was well versed in the technical know-how (you could ask me anything about color, cut, clarity and carat weight), but gained a new perspective when shopping for myself (sparkle was a must). And, in the end, it was the combination of my on-the-job training and on-the-hunt mentality that led me to find the perfect engagement ring for my ever after.

Here are five valuable do’s and don’ts I learned on my journey.

  1. Do Stick with One Shape
    Whether you go for traditional round diamond or choose one that has a more modern unique cut—for instance, the four fancy shapes in the L’Amour Crisscut® collection — you’ll want to narrow it down to your preferred shape quickly. This way when you’re trying on rings, you’re comparing apples to apples — or, better yet, pears to pears.
  2. Don’t Let Carat Weight Dictate the Size of Your Diamond
    There are many ways to make a diamond appear more substantial (and still stay on budget)! For instance, you can choose a halo setting (that’s what I did) or opt for a thinner band. Though one of the easiest ways to upgrade your size is selecting a L’Amour Crisscut® diamond, which, through Christopher Designs’ revolutionary cutting style, can be 35% to 60% larger (depending upon the shape) than other diamonds of the same carat weight.
  3. Do Choose a Setting For More Than Just Looks
    Aesthetics should play a large role in helping you pick your engagement ring setting. After all, choosing a prong, halo, cathedral or bezel setting and so on, can dictate the whole vibe of your ring. Your lifestyle and career should weigh into your decision as well. And lastly, consider how and where the setting is manufactured. Christopher Designs uses high-quality metals and makes their settings in the USA to help ensure your diamond (and investment) is secure for years to come.
  4. Don’t Compromise on Your Dream Ring
    I loved the rectangular shape of the emerald cut but was disappointed that traditional emerald cuts lack the dazzle of their round, pear, oval, and cushion cut counterparts. I didn’t have to choose, and neither should you. Christopher Designs’ has modern cuts all based on the newest technology on light return – and their L’Amour Crisscut® Classic diamonds are certainly not short on sparkle!
  5. Do Make Manicures a Priority
    No matter which style, shape, or size you choose. It’s my opinion that every ring looks better with nails that are either clean and natural or freshly polished. Chipped nails will distract from any diamond.

Heather Levine has over 12 years of experience creating content within the women’s lifestyle space. She’s served in a wide range of roles, including fashion and beauty director of XO Group Inc (“The Knot Magazine”). Heather lives in New York with her husband and two children.

Instagram: @theheatherlevine

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