When the Marriage Amendment Act passed in August, Amanda Betts, co-owner of model and talent agency Red 11, and partner Richenda dived head-first into planning the day of their dreams. This week, choosing a ring and and letting events unfold.
Things are starting to flow pretty easily now. We are in talks with The Wharf about budgets, and I love the fact that they do seem genuinely interested in making everything fit for us. I’ll keep you posted.
We’ve had a few amazing breakthroughs on other aspects of the wedding, though. You may remember I said earlier that things happen for a reason, and I believe in things unfolding organically? Well, I have had a bit of that happen.
You've probably noticed we haven't even touched on rings. The reason for that is Richenda does not want a ring, as such; she will go for a thick plain band as she has now, but in white gold. What she really wants, and has wanted forever, is a vintage Rolex watch. This combines her 40th birthday present and the wedding gift she wants. It’s way more important to her than a ring. We found one online recently, got it for a good price, had it checked over and valued: done. She's happy, as she finally has her Rolex. I'm happy, as that's another thing on the checklist done. Clinical, I know, but hey, we're talking sanity here. And I’d been saving for ages to get her the Rolex, so that's not coming out of the wedding budget. Even better.
I, in the meantime, already have a beautiful ring that I had made around seven years ago. I designed it myself with diamonds from my grandmother’s engagement ring, as well as diamonds from the first rings Richenda and I had made for each other for our two-year anniversary.
One day, I was organising a model for the Zoe & Morgan campaign. Ruth, the woman who takes care of Zoe & Morgan UK, came in to Red 11 with Zoe and was sporting the most divine emerald and diamond ring. It takes my breath away. I ask her if I can try it on and it fit my wedding finger perfectly. I am smitten with it. Long story short: I order one to be custom made. I never thought in a million years I would go for an emerald.
Now jewellery, and especially wedding rings, are symbols. They represent way more than merely silver, gold or stones. It doesn't matter how cheap or expensive they are, their value is in what they represent.
For me the emerald is my birthstone. Also, I am very proud to have green eyes as my father (who died of leukaemia when he was 35 and I was 15) had green eyes; his mother, my precious grandmother who saved my life and bought me a modelling course that got me in to the fashion industry, had green eyes; and my beautiful teenage son Izaac has green eyes.
The other beauty of the emerald for me is that Richenda is Irish.
Richenda is skeptical about my ‘What will be’ approach. But when I come home and tell her I have found the perfect ring without even looking for it, she has to admit maybe there's some merit in letting life unfold.
Now for all those who have ever been married, had children, bought a home or organised anything major, we all know there is one thing for certain: you will receive a heap of unwanted advice about what you should and shouldn't do, should or shouldn't consider. And, to be fair, we are each guilty of doing the same thing ourselves. The word 'should' should be taken out of the dictionary, never to be used again. I wonder who I should suggest that to?
Anyway, we've had a heap of advice from well-meaning friends and acquaintances on various aspects of this wedding. Certainly everyone has something to say about the size of our wedding and where we're planning on having it; they believe the extravagance is a bit much. If I am honest, I admit it's a bit extravagant as well. But considering how teensy my family is, I find ways of justifying it. Don’t we all do that sometimes?