For many, the thought of going into a shop to spend more money than they've ever spent on one piece of jewellery before, is daunting enough. Selecting from rows and rows of seemingly similar (yet vastly different) sparkling stones can be overwhelming.
But suggest that a prospective groom doesn't even choose from anything in front of him, but instead dreams up his own design - as Prince Harry did - and it can quite frankly be enough to push him over the edge. Even if the bride offers her assistance (more and more couples are now opting to choose a ring together), it can still seem an impossible task, no matter how clear an idea you might have of what you want.
So where to start? When choosing to design an entirely unique ring, it's important to find a talented expert who does the right amount of hand-holding, while still inspiring you to design an ambitiously individual piece of jewellery. We spoke to some of Bazaar's favourite bespoke jewellers to get your creative juices flowing...
2. Ara Vartanian
The Brazilian designer Ara Vartanian (a favourite of Kate Moss) has just opened a new Mayfair store and is gathering a cult following for his bespoke service. “I always want my wedding rings to be coded to the couple,” he says. “A wedding band is probably the only piece of jewellery you will wear 24/seven after you’re married, and your child might even wear it after you.” Vartanian’s own wedding bands are enough inspiration alone – they follow the zigzag line of his and his wife’s heartbeats on an electrocardiogram monitor, and the two rings slot together when stacked as one, which he describes as a “coded connection”.
“All the wedding bands I create click together in one way or another,” he explains. Vartanian likes to meet with the couple and ask a whole host of questions – the date they met; where they were born; how long they have loved each other; which countries they have travelled to. “Songs are often sources of great inspiration for me, as I use the patterns created by the written melody to design something entirely unique for them,” he says. Vartanian also experiments with black diamonds and topsy-turvy gems, setting them upside-down to create sharp, scintillating bands.