Bridal Expert Neil Lane Shares Ring Tips for Same-Sex Couples
He's learned a thing or two since designing rings for Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi over a decade ago.
Having spent many years in Hollywood, I’ve been a part of some very special love stories. One thing I’ve learned is that every couple has their own definition of “happily ever after.” Whether it includes a prince and a princess, two Prince Charmings or two Cinderellas, love is always the objective, and a wedding ring is, first and foremost, a celebration of the special bond two people share.
When I worked with Ellen DeGeneres to design Portia De Rossi’s ring ahead of their 2008 wedding, I was not only humbled, but so excited to help her choose a style that reflects who Portia is and the love that they share. Ellen wanted a ring that, like Portia, is beautiful and one-of-a-kind, so we chose a marquise diamond, set sideways, and sprinkled with pink diamonds. Later on, the three of us worked together to choose wedding bands that were similar yet yet complemented both of their personal aesthetics.
Ellen and Portia opened a door of possibilities for couples everywhere, choosing engagement rings that celebrate their love, union and individuality. Moments like this have given me the unique opportunity to design amazing rings for some truly amazing people. I believe there’s a perfect ring out there for everyone, it’s just a matter of defining what’s right for you and your partner.
Two Become One
Many of the same-sex couples I’ve worked with prefer to celebrate their bond with similar style rings that are flattering on both. You might picture two simple gold bands when you think “matching,” but believe it or not, there are tons of gorgeous options out there. I’ve designed matching sets that are accented with different colored gemstones, sets that are completely covered in black diamonds or pavé with colored gemstones, and feminine sets in varying metals that are encrusted with diamonds.
Even if you choose two bands that are identical, there are a number of ways to make each special. A couple once asked me to engrave the date they met on the inside of one ring, and the date they wed on the inside of the other. On a separate occasion, I was asked to embed the birthstone of each partner inside the other partner’s ring. It’s a subtle way to share your love for one another.
The Best of Both Worlds
In some cases, one person will want a classic, unadorned band, but the other wants that same band covered in diamonds.
Opposites do attract, after all. In this case, I advise them to consider two distinctive designs with matching elements. For instance, some of my clients have chosen rings that share the same setting but have different center stones. An aquamarine stone might be the perfect choice for your cool and collected partner, while a pink morganite may be more fitting for your free-spirited nature. Couples that gravitate toward traditional white diamonds might opt for differently cut stones such as a round and a princess; while these two stones couldn’t be more different in form, they both have many facets, making them some of the most brilliant cuts.
If you both prefer bands over rings with prominent central stones, you can choose two similar bands with differing widths; a wide band tends to be bolder and more eye-catching, while a thin band has a subtle elegance to it.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
When a couple asks for a ring that feels more of-the-moment, I usually recommend a glamorous oval or pear-shaped stone. These multifaceted cuts, along with rings with halos, are particularly popular right now — they’re attention-grabbing and are sure to spark conversation. Other unique rings, such as those featuring black diamonds, have become increasingly stylish as they represent the unconventional and celebrate individuality.
Every couple embarks on a unique journey when they set out to find an engagement ring or wedding band. What remains constant is the humanity of love. The love two people have for one another lifts my heart and continues to inspire me to design magical rings.