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Why More Couples Want to Design their Own Wedding Rings

No two couples are alike, so why should their engagement rings be? Custom-designed rings are increasingly a popular way to show your significant other just how one-of-a-kind your love story is.

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Briana McDivitt & Greg Smith
June 2, 2018

Photos by Melinda Mills, MinDisue Photo + Video

For most brides and grooms, the bulk of the planning goes into the wedding day. But before they begin to plan the ceremony, there is the proposal. 

According to several Pittsburgh jewelers, custom engagement rings and wedding bands have become more popular over the past few years. It’s about the experience of designing the ring, whether you go with your significant other or by yourself.

Caesar Azzam, gemologist and owner of Caesar’s Designs, has noticed the trend at his Shadyside store. 

“I think now people mostly think, ‘We don’t need whatever somebody else has, or whatever is the most popular,’” he says. “It’s about personal style, and the ring has to reflect that. People are aware of the availability [of custom designs] and they exercise that right to be unique.”

Pittsburgh bride Briana McDivitt and her husband Greg Smith opted for custom designed rings. Greg decided to go to Jared to design Briana’s engagement ring, a round diamond and an intricate band, as a surprise.

“I tell people I asked for a Subaru, and I got a Cadillac!” she says with a laugh. “Honestly, the ring he designed was 10 times better than any other ring I showed him. It’s nice and special that there is the thought and extra attention put into it.”


Briana’s custom wedding band, also from Jared, was made with her engagement ring in mind. Like many custom wedding bands, it was crafted with a slight indentation, almost like a puzzle piece, so that she could wear both of her rings together.

When the time came to choose Greg’s wedding band, Briana decided to return the favor. She went to Zales to custom design Greg’s ring. 

“I think a lot of guys are fine with getting something out of the case, but when I went and when we were shopping for rings for him, he didn’t like the brushed rings. He thought they looked like plumbing stuff and washers,” she says with a laugh.


Briana suggests that brides and grooms should consider every factor when designing something so special. Couples should know that it takes about three months to design and create a custom ring. If you’re an outdoorsy person, maybe a silicone ring that is less likely to be damaged would be your best bet, or a ring that does not have a high-cut diamond that can snag. 

Azzam agrees. “I think people should know that they are in charge, and they can choose what goes into their rings now more than ever. And the choices are limitless. It’s easy to find a jeweler that can cater to your needs so that you can walk out with something [you] want to wear for a long time,” he says.

Caesar's Designs

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