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The Story of Julie’s Wood Rings

This is Julie here, you may know me as one of the friendly email respondents (unless you’ve talked to Sara or Matthew, they’re also pretty friendly- especially when you give them snacks).

I’m here to tell you the story behind my husband and I’s wedding rings and what they mean to us, but first I will tell the story of how we met.  3

John and I met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (via one of the online dating sites, we were both skeptical about the whole process at the time, but no longer!), while I was still in grad school earning my MFA and he had just graduated law school.  We met at a local coffee shop down by the lake and proceeded to have the best date of our lives, unable to stop talking we walked around the lake for hours and then decided to continue our date with dinner and then a movie.

Almost a year later, one MFA later, and one almost healed broken ankle later (his), we decided to move to back to Chicago where he was from.  On our one year anniversary we went out to celebrate and he surprised me by proposing down by Lake Michigan (in Chicago this time)!

When it came time to decide on what type of wedding rings we wanted I had been working at Simply Wood Rings for a while where I would ogle the wooden rings on the daily.  It seemed the obvious choice to have our rings made by Simply Wood Rings.


We wanted to use wood that was special to us from the places we came from and wood from where we met.  For the outside of the rings we choose the rosewood that we have in the shop at SWR.  The rosewood is not only amazing for how beautiful the wood is but also because it is a piece of Chicago history having been salvaged from an old Xylophone factory that shut down here in Chicago.  For the lining of our rings we used a 100 year old maple floor board that our friend salvaged from the Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee after it’s renovation.

Ring boxes

Since we didn’t want to use a third wood in our rings we decided to use a piece of wood from my home state of South Carolina for our ring boxes instead.  For the boxes my parents lovingly trimmed (I’m sure with very little grumbling), a broken branch from the dogwood tree in their backyard and sent it to me.


We decided to also get my vintage engagement ring capped with the rosewood and lined with the maple to match my wedding band.

SWR Julie Doherty capped engagement ring

For my wedding band I chose a woven design with two lines that interweave around the ring.

Rosewood woven design ringFor one line I used some pearls that I inherited from my late grandmother, and for the other line I wanted a mixture of malachite, chrysocolla, and turquoise to match the emerald in my engagement ring.



Rosewood Meteorite Dinosaur Bone


For my husband’s ring he chose to have a line of meteorite and a line of dinosaur bone, if for no other reason than because those materials are just awesome.

We love our rings and I’m grateful to the talented crafts-people at Simply Wood Rings for creating something so beautiful for us!

Thank you for reading my story, I hope it inspires you to think about what meaningful materials you can use in your own ring.  What WOOD your story be?

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He Said Yes!

How I Proposed To My Boyfriend With A Wooden Ring
by Anna Frient

The last time I was in my hometown in Ohio, I asked my dad to help me gather some wood with me. My boyfriend, Arash, had already asked permission from my dad when we went home for Easter, so my dad knew I wanted to have wooden rings made for us. There is a flowering crabapple tree in my family’s front yard that blooms beautiful, bright pink bloosoms in the spring, and sheds crabapples like leaves in the fall, which we would rake up as a family. This is the tree my dad and I put a ladder under, and we sawed off a branch together.

Then I went over to my grandmas house. Almost everyone in my family has lived there at some point, so we call it the annex. With my eldest sister and my youngest sister standing by, I kicked off my flip flops and climbed to the top of the dogwood tree. Here is where I harvested my second piece of wood. The dogwood tree has white blossoms, which reminds me of a poem by imagist poet Ezra Pound that is forever stuck in my memory. I don’t remember the verse, but the image was of a dogwood tree after the rain, white petals against a wet, black bough.

When I got back to Chicago, I took the two woods into the Simply Wood Rings shop. They milled it, and the crabapple turned out to have a beautiful grain, two-tones, pale blonde and pale pinkish brown. The dogwood is a lovely pale blonde, almost white wood.

Arash and I went in together to discuss the design for our rings, and even got to help during the creation process. We let the professionals finish the rings, and last week they finished them! I decided to surprise Arash with the completed results.

The day after the summer solstice, we rode our bikes to our spot by the lake. We had a picnic of bread, cheese, and wine while overlooking the Chicago skyline.
I got down on one knee with ring in hand, spoke from my heart, and asked him to marry me.

He said yes, of course.

And the love and support from family, and the intent that was put into the creation process, is now in my rings, always to be a lovely reminder to me.