Are you newly engaged and floating around with wedding Pinterest boards buzzing in your head? Are you already planning a wedding and the endless list of decisions is turning you into Bridezilla?
How about pausing and taking time to do something incredibly romantic that will add an extra bit of meaning to your day?
Are you intrigued by the idea of making your own wedding rings?
Olivia Lowe is an award-winning gold and silversmith creating show stopping vases from her studio in the South Downs National Park. She also runs jewellery making workshops, so you can file and hammer while being inspired by beautiful views over the Meon Valley.
With Olivia's expert guidance you could make each other’s weddings rings together as a couple. More brides and grooms are choosing to do this now, driven by the desire to create something truly magical that is made just for you.
So how do you go about making your future Mr or Mrs this special gift? I spoke to Olivia to find out all those tricky questions so you don't have to...
I think most people will be a bit worried that they have to be very creative! Is this the case?
No not at all! Most couples are concerned that they won’t produce a professional looking ring, but they are always amazed at the results and what they can do with their own hands!
How long does it take to create wedding rings? How many days would they need to come to the studio?
Just about all pairs of wedding rings can be made in one day. Occasionally we split the day into two half days or two evenings if the processes involved require time in between. But usually it is one workshop day, just the couple and me with the studio to ourselves for about 6 hours, with a pair of beautiful and very special rings to show at the end of the day.
What sort of budget do you need to have?
The course itself costs £350 for the day, but the material costs vary a great deal and could be anywhere from £50 for a 2mm wide 9ct gold ring, up to £700 for a 6mm wide platinum band. The only other cost to consider is hallmarking, which is optional but costs an additional £40-£50.
Are there any limitations in terms of what you can create for your partner?
There are some limitations to the design, simply down to hand skills and the time available, so a very intricate design may not be possible in one day but I haven’t had to say no yet! We can easily create many different designs with varying ring profile shapes, surface finishes or shaped bands to sit snuggly next to an engagement ring.
And should there be a decent idea of a design first or can you guide the couple?
I can certainly advise and guide as to the ring designs. About half of the couples who come to me know exactly what they would like and half are unsure, in which case I can help them with their decision making either by email or by face to face consultation before the day.
Lastly do the ladies find it romantic?!
Yes! And men too, as well as all the wedding guests! I have to say there have sometimes even been tears of happiness shed at the end of the day!
What else do you offer at Meon Valley Studio?
We have a program of taster days, weekly classes and specialist courses that run throughout the year, all of which are shown on our website www.meonvalleystudio.com
As with everything on Mammaprada I'm recommending to you someone whose services I have used and whom as a person and a business has become one of our 'Favourite things'.
I have attended several of Olivia's jewellery workshops, sometimes attending on my own and meeting some wonderful people there and other times taking groups of friends for a day where we take over the studio. What you manage to achieve is so satisfying and inspiring. She's an extraordinary teacher and helps you come away with something you can be truly proud of! It's also worth checking out her site www.olivialowe.co.uk to see the incredible vases she designs and makes.
To contact Olivia go to: