Jamie and Paul’s Heirloom Engagement
The Love Story
“It’s hard not to like Paul the minute you meet him,” says Jamie, who has known her now-fiancé since the pair were in high school. “He has an honest smile and a talkative nature that relaxes you immediately.” While she’d seen that smile many times over the years, it wasn’t until the couple reconnected on Facebook in 2011, nearly five years after Paul graduated, that she really fell for it. After that first date, they saw each other nearly every weekend for an entire year -- to the point that Jamie just assumed they were boyfriend and girlfriend. “I figured we were out of that ‘make it official’ phase,” she remembers. “Then, a year to the day after our first date, Paul looked at me with his bright green eyes and asked me to be his girlfriend. I looked right back and said, ‘What?! I thought I already was!’ Paul really has a way of surprising people.”
In November of 2016, Paul and Jamie planned a trip to New Hampshire with a group of family and friends. “My grandparents have a lake house in Merrimack where I always spent my summers. Paul has always known how special the state is to me,” says Jamie. He planned the whole weekend, with a day in Portsmouth and a vineyard tour at LaBelle Winery. When they arrived for the tour, three or four people came up to the group and already knew Paul. “I don’t know how I didn’t put two and two together,” Jamie laughs. At a particularly scenic spot, the group took turns taking couples’ photos. When it was Paul and Jamie’s turn, she smiled at the camera, and he shakingly got down on one knee. “I immediately burst into tears and asked him what he was doing,” Jamie remembers. “He had a beautiful speech prepared, but I didn’t hear a word. Then he took the ring out of the box, dramatically threw the box across the lawn, and placed my new Erika Winters Grace solitaire -- featuring my grandmother’s diamond -- on my finger.”
After the proposal, the group settled into the winery’s private room for lunch. “I was still in complete shock,” says Jamie. The bride had lost her mother to cancer when she was 13, and she’d both anticipated and dreaded her proposal because she wouldn’t be able to share it with her mother. Jamie hadn’t noticed the music playing in the restaurant until Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight” began. “It was my mother’s favorite song, one we would belt in the car and dance to in the kitchen,” says Jamie. “As soon as it started, the tears came and we all got the chills. I knew she was there with us, celebrating the moment.”
Back in 2011, a week before Jamie and Paul’s first date, she was visiting her maternal grandmother. “She was in hospice, and on my final visit with her, she slipped her engagement ring off of her finger and handed it to me, asking me to one day use it for my engagement ring,” Jamie remembers. “I wasn’t dating anyone at the time, but she knew the day would come. A week later, I went out with Paul and something sparked. Coincidence, or no?”
Of course, every family ring comes with a few challenges. In Jamie’s case, it was size. “My grandmother’s ring was a size 4, so we knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to use her setting,” Jamie says. After creating a Pinterest board of her favorite designs, she showed Paul her favorites and he pointed her toward designer Erika Winters. “She has such a unique style, with tiny pinpoint details and antique touches. I fell in love with her Grace solitaire -- and then realized the rings were made on the West Coast. I couldn’t in good conscience send my grandmother’s 2.77-carat diamond all the way across the country,” she remembers, and she put the thought out of her mind.
But Paul didn’t forget. A year later, he brought Jamie into New York City for a surprise, leading her to Greenwich St. Jewelers. “I was floored -- and a little teary-eyed -- when Lauren started placing Erika Winter’s designs in front of me,” Jamie says. “We settled on how I would want the ring customized, and then it was up to Paul to figure out how to secretly get the diamond from my father to Greenwich St. Jewelers.”
Says Paul, “I took Jamie’s father to lunch, asked for her hand, and was given the diamond, then immediately set to work with Lauren to make the ring everything Jamie wanted. The whole team made me feel at ease, even when it was time to pack up Jamie’s grandmother’s irreplaceable ring across the country. After a few weeks of waiting, the ring was in. The minute I saw it, I knew it was meant for my girl’s finger.” Adds Jamie, “We are filled with happiness during this time of our lives, and we owe so much of that to Lauren and the Greenwich Street Jewelers team for making this experience one of a kind.”
Congratulations, Paul and Jamie, on your engagement! It’s an honor to play a small part in your love story.