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From June through September, wedding season is at its peak, especially here in Northern Virginia, where scenic venue locations aren’t hard to come by. While the idea of throwing the wedding of your dreams is great, the necessary planning that comes with it tends to take extensive time and effort.
We spoke with Rachelle Barimany, a designer at Falls Church jewelry shop Dominion Jewelers, to find out what it’s like to help NoVA residents make their wedding ring dreams a reality.
Can you walk me through the process of turning someone’s vision into a product?
As a bride, you usually have a dream and an initial idea, and what we talk about is how that idea can be implemented for your finger size, the construction of the hand and your lifestyle. Because some people require more sturdiness, some people want more flash, it all depends on each individual. We put that down on paper and we try on sample settings that we have in the store with different shaped diamonds to see what will work best.
And then we essentially refine that. We take that, and get into the nitty gritty, whether that be wanting the band tighter, the initials engraved, the grandmother’s diamonds incorporated. There are a lot of different things that can be done to accomplish what you have in mind. The design consultation is usually about an hour, and then in terms of making the actual ring, it takes about two to four weeks, depending on the intricacies of what you’re making. It’s quick because nothing leaves the premises.
Your staff uses computer-assisted design (CAD) to show buyers what the final product will look like. Can you tell me more about that?
That’s the first step in constructing a ring. Once you conceptually have the design, we go to making the ring on CAD and the craftsman will lay it all out as specified by the designer. We usually show clients what’s on the screen, but it also creates a model which is an actual rendering of the ring she can try. It’s a plastic model of the finished ring. It allows us to give a concept to reality to ensure we haven’t miscommunicated any of the design ideas. It also makes it really easy to adjust, so if something isn’t the way we wanted it, the flexibility of just changing something on the computer makes it so much easier.
It’s wedding season. What are couples usually looking for this time of year?
It’s a big part of our business because we’re working on matching bands for a lot of engagement rings we’ve done throughout the year, and of course there are all the other things that go along with the ring. Some people want custom earrings or want to convert family heirlooms to be more wearable for the actual wedding. The season typically begins in April and then goes to the early part of August.
What’s different about creating rings for people in the Northern Virginia region?
I think as far as overall trends in the industry, ovals are a big hot commodity these days. As far as Northern Virginia and the people we cater to, a lot of people want something we’ve made specifically for them. They don’t want to go to an event and see someone wearing the same ring, which is what we are tailored-made to do. There are very rarely two of the same rings from us.
Are there upcoming trends in jewelry design that people should be aware of?
I think the industry is going toward lots of fancy shapes, kind of exploring mixtures of color. We are seeing a lot more of rose-gold and yellow rings, and the mixture of all those things. In the past, we stuck to white gold and platinum that were art deco and antique, now today people lean more toward a little bit edgier designs that have more color interests. // Dominion Jewelers: 917 W. Broad St., Falls Church; prices vary
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