Nick & Esme
So, how did you two meet?
Esme: Nick is actually the older brother of one of my best friends, Georg…! I met Georg in my first week at Sheffield University in 2006 and we’ve been great friends ever since. When I moved to London, Georg and I would go out a lot with friends and sometimes Nick would join us and bring his mates along. One particularly boozy night ended in a Clapham gay bar – and that was the romantic setting for our first kiss! Following that, we went on a couple of dates but kept them a secret – my friendship and Nick’s relationship with Georg is so important, we didn’t want to make things awkward if it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Though Nick tells me he thought I walked like a baby giraffe in heels on our first date, we quickly fell for each other and the rest, as they say, is history.
Whats the story of your engagement?
Esme: It was about a week before my birthday and Nick was taking me away for the weekend. On the day we left, he surprised me at work and we got the train together to Gatwick. At the airport, he pulled out a guidebook for the Amalfi Coast. Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t clock Nick’s proposal plans! He was acting completely out of character – panicking we would miss our flight (which we almost did!) and getting in a tiz about the smallest issues.
As part of the holiday, we went on the most incredible boat trip to Capri, which I still think was one of the best places I’ve ever been. We went on a perfect walk, ate an incredible lunch, and as we were dropped off back at our hotel I said: “I think that might be the best day we’ve ever had together.” On our panoramic sea-view balcony just 20 minutes later, we toasted the day with a glass of bubbly, and Nick broke into a little speech. When his voice started to go wobbly I clocked it. He got down on one knee, pulled out the most stunning ring he’d designed from scratch, and asked me to be his wife. The rest of the evening was full of tears, (too much) Prosecco, an amazing meal and video calls to our parents and friends.
Did everything go as planned?
Esme:Other than almost missing our flight…I later found out Nick had planned to propose on a walk on our first day - but it started raining soon after we left the hotel and we got soaked. So he didn’t get down on one knee until the next day. Mum and Dad were at home eagerly awaiting our call, convinced Nick had changed his mind!
Do you have any tips for deciding on the perfect engagement ring or on the proposal itself?
Esme: I knew I wanted something classic – after all, this was something I was going to be wearing all the time, forever. I wanted it to feel like ‘me’, to reflect my style, and to complement other jewellery that I wear. Fortunately, I knew Nick would do a grand job (though I of course gave him a little bit of guidance via Pinterest!)
Nick: As far as selecting an engagement ring goes, it’s a simple case of doing your research. It helps to at least have an idea of the type of thing you want. That said, I benefited enormously from talking to the team at Hatton Jewels and being shown different options, styles and diamonds. Designing your own ring is absolutely the way to go in my view - it makes it even more special. My tip for deciding on the perfect engagement is to not listen to other people’s tips. This is a personal and special moment that will work out best if you do what feels right for you, whether that’s proposing in the kitchen on a Sunday morning over tea and toast or doing so on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean.
Also, any wedding advice that might also help out some of our fellow customers!
Esme: Enjoy the whole process – from engagement, to choosing your venue, testing out the catering, hen do, stag do, the wedding morning, the ceremony, the breakfast, the party… there is so much to a wedding, take it ALL in. We had the most fun year from getting engaged to getting married.
Nick: I agree with Esme - it’s about enjoying every part. I’d also say that it is important to do what you want to do. If you want to spend a bunch of money on arriving by helicopter - do it. If you love wine, spend more on that than you would on flowers - make it personal. Simple as that. I must also say that the day flies by. We had a great photographer and still look at the photos he took every year on our anniversary. If we are being honest, nobody will remember the favours or the evening food - a good photographer is money well spent.
What made you pick Hatton Jewels?
Nick: Very easy question to answer: First class, personal service. I’d heard of Hatton Jewels from a number of people and been told that they were great. When I was designing Esme’s engagement ring all I had as a starting point was a picture of a similar style ring that I had found, printed and took to my first appointment on a screwed up piece of paper.
With the team at HJ, we worked out the size, selected the right diamond and how it would be best set and looked at a range of different prices. The thing I most appreciated was the relaxed environment - I knew what I wanted and HJ showed me the different options available and let me design and choose the rest.
There was no up-selling, no nonsense - just first class, personal service from experts who are passionate about what they do and are happy to take the time to listen, help and advise you.
And that is why we have continued to come back. We have now purchased five different pieces of jewellery from HJ - all unique, all designed with their help (and patience)!