The following post is by Mervis Client contributor Tracy Cardone. She is the first post for #FianceFriday, where she (and other Mervis couples) will share their Mervis experiences and wedding planning stories.
Hi there, my name is Tracy and I am a recently married individual who also happened to have a wonderful experience with the great people at Mervis. I was married in August of 2013 in Buffalo, NY in a beautiful old church on a very sunny and beautiful day. It was definitely a day filled with a lot of tears, laughter, amazing moments, and everything else in between!
My husband and I had the unique experience of meeting online through the dating website eHarmony, which I know for a lot of people is not a normal approach to dating. However, I think it is becoming increasingly popular especially in an area like Northern Virginia, where a lot of people are very focused and busy with their jobs and often times don't have the time to approach dating the more traditional way. I have to say that you have to have a certain kind of attitude to have success with online dating, most importantly having patience and not setting your expectations too high. Once you have that down, online dating can be a lot of fun! :) It took about 3 months for me to be matched with my husband, I always approached eHarmony with 3-month subscription lengths. I figured with short subscription, lengths it wouldn't be a huge deal if I didn't meet anyone within that 3-month time period. When I was matched with my now-husband, I was about to cancel my subscription with eHarmony and he managed to get matched with me right before it was cancelled. Talk about great timing! :) We corresponded for about a month before our first date which was at Fast Eddie's in Fairfax because it was close to the both of us and it was in a casual but fun environment. We played quite a few rousing rounds of pool where I did manage to win a game or two before our date ended. He and I met right before the Christmas holidays and I actually ended up driving up to Buffalo that Christmas to see some of my family that lived in the area and along the way met his parents, siblings, and most of his dad's side of the family. I have to say it was a bit overwhelming to meet 30 or so people for the first time all at once! But they were all so very down-t0-earth which put me at ease! Some people might say that we were moving quickly, but it just felt right if that makes any sense. We started to date after my trip to Buffalo that Christmas and the rest is history as they say!
We got engaged about a year and 8 months after we started to date in 2012, we had discussions before that about our future and about marriage, but there wasn't any serious discussion until that summer. That summer, we casually started looking at rings at local jewelry stores because I think he was trying to get a feel for what kind of rings I liked or showed interest in. I looked at websites like Blue Nile so I could get some ideas of styles of rings and diamonds I liked and like many women, I started to casually hint to my husband about certain ring and diamond styles I liked or that caught my attention. At first, I was looking at stones that weren't diamonds like sapphires and rubies, but in the back of my mind, I knew I really wanted a diamond because they are so classic and beautiful. Towards the end of that summer, we went to a local jewelry store one weekend and we picked out a ring together. It was such an exciting time for the both of us and I could hardly wait to get engaged to him! We got round solitaire diamond with a unique diamond and sapphire setting which he kept for about a week before he proposed the following weekend. He said he wanted to keep the proposal a surprise even though I was aware he had the ring. He proposed that following Monday on August 6, 2012. I was cooking dinner in the kitchen and he said he had to step out for a few minutes. When he came back he had our dog Jack and he had attached the ring box to his collar, it took me a minute or two to notice the ring box on Jack's collar. My husband took my hand, led me into our dining room and had me sit down. He got on one knee and said that the past year and half had been some of the happiest times he has ever had and that I inspired him to be a better man and also that he couldn't imagine his life without me. *Swoon*, the proposal wasn't anything over the top or fancy, but it was the perfect proposal for me and it couldn't have been any sweeter or more romantic!
The ring he proposed with did not end up being the engagement ring I have now, we ended up having an issue with the diamond we purchased from the other jeweler and that is how we ended up at Mervis. We ended up getting a different diamond online but wanted to purchase the setting locally. I wasn't too familiar with the local jewelers but I knew about Mervis from their lovely radio ads which gave me a feeling of wanting to visit South Africa in the near future. We ended up purchasing a very nice engagement setting and wedding band which we are just thrilled with. The setting was different from what I originally had envisioned when I initially was looking at engagement rings, I thought I wanted to get a solitaire or a setting with 3 stones (past, present, future), but when I saw a solitaire setting with a band of diamonds I was instantly smitten! The ring setting was exactly what I was looking for which was a style that I would love 20 years from now and one that would never go out of style.
After the proposal came the most exciting part, planning a wedding! :)