Can you design your own ring and still have a surprise proposal?

Meet Melissa Spivak. As a jewelry designer, she always intended to design her own engagement ring when the time came. And the time did come. She created the ring of her dreams and her fiance-to-be surprised her with the perfect proposal in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Having been through the process herself, she now helps modern couples that wish to collaborate on the design of their engagement ring and wedding bands to do the same. We asked her for tips on how to ensure that a bride-to-be gets the rings she wants without losing the romance of a surprise proposal and seeing her ring for the first time.

Melissa regaled us with her own incredible engagement story and her recommendations for how to make sure the process goes smoothly for her clients at Samuel Kleinberg Jewellers.

Q. Tell us about your engagement proposal!

We started off in New York City for business and decided to fly to Scottsdale, Arizona for some relaxation before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I really didn’t think we were going to get engaged on this trip because he kept making comments about how nervous he would have been to travel with the ring. In Arizona, he asked if I thought it would be fun to do a picnic under the stars. (I can’t believe I hadn’t yet caught on!) The evening arrived and we were set to have a romantic dinner outside, watching the sunset and stargazing. We were escorted by golf cart to the bottom of the mountain where a table for two with champagne on ice and a basket full of yummy goodies awaited. It was like a scene out of The Bachelor. We sat down, took a sip of some bubbly, and stared into each other’s eyes in what was the most perfect and romantic moment of my life. Billy then asked me to stand up to take a selfie. Little did I know that the selfie was the cue to the hidden photographer that he was about to propose. We took the photo and I was ready to sit back down and eat but he quickly turned me around, took my hands, said some very magical words, and got down on one knee. Let’s just say he took my breath away.  After the proposal the photographer did a mini engagement shoot with us. The best part of Billy hiring the photographer was that he captured this perfect and special moment forever, and we could share it with our family and friends back home.

What started out as a picnic under the stars (or so I thought) turned into the most magical, special and romantic night of my life. I know no bride ever forgets the day they get engaged but I feel like the glow I felt that evening and the daily reminiscing of how Billy proposed will never go away.

Q. More and more people are deciding to choose an engagement ring together. Do you think that takes the romance out of the proposal? 

I like to call it the “modern day proposal”.  In my mind, the proposal is the act of asking your partner’s hand in marriage, not primarily selecting a ring. Focusing creativity, surprise, and romance on the proposal rather than the ring brings peace of mind to both partners. Let’s face it – most women already have a pretty good idea what their dream ring looks like, and with the popularity of sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, are able to pull up an approximate image of it in seconds. The modern day proposal involves either the guy coming in alone, but already knowing the exact style his fiancee-to-be wants, or both partners coming in and selecting it together.

Q. How did you and your fiancé find a balance between getting what you wanted in a ring and still having a surprise?

I designed my engagement ring setting (of course!), but my fiance and I chose the diamond together, and then I left the surprise and romance of the proposal up to him. The result? He got a ‘yes’, I got the ring of my dreams, and together we made a decision to spend our lives together. The modern proposal!

Q. Do you have any tips for how to get started?

Before booking an appointment you should figure out how you want the process to work. One option is for the two of you to try on some designs together, narrow it down to your favourite selections and leave the final decision as a surprise to be unveiled during the proposal. Alternatively, you can design the setting and discuss the budget for the diamonds together. The bride will not see the final ring before the big surprise, but she has control over the look of the ring.

When couples come in together I always make sure to ask what they had in mind to ensure the the process and surprise factor go smoothly. Remember that this is a ring you are going to wear for many years to come. Make sure you fall in love with the design and that it represents not only your love but your style.

View the full collection by Samuel Kleinberg Jewellers here.