Your love stories in gold come in so many varieties and each is uniquely touching. Our team's hearts have been aflutter and tears have been wiped reading the details of a DM out loud or collectively swooning over photos following up about a proposal, an elopement, or a life celebration. We feel truly honored to play a small piece in your life’s loveliest moments.
This Pride month, we’re privileged to shine a spotlight on three LGBTQ+ Valerie Madison couples and share a bit about their love stories, and what Pride means to them.
Frances and Annah had sparks flying from the very first moment they met in chemistry class. They got engaged with two sparkling custom rings featuring salt & pepper diamonds in our classic three-stone Zara setting, and in a low-profile geometric Eva setting.
Here’s more about them:
We met in chemistry class at Western Washington University. And we also happened to live in the same dorm. Frances was great at chemistry but Annah was terrible so they offered to tutor Annah. Next thing we knew, we were hanging out everyday and the years have blissfully flown by.
Our proposal story is great. Annah planned a whole day in which we went back to the town we met. We got brunch and Annah sneakily bought flowers. We walked to the chemistry building and had a little picnic on the front lawn. All this time Frances was none the wiser. Annah pulled out a beautiful handmade card and proposed through the letter. It was so pretty and sunny and there were dragonflies flying.
We chose Valerie Madison because we love the style! And bonus points for being a local Black/Latina owned business with great values.
Pride means that you are free to be who you are and no one can stand in your way! It means coming together as a community and being proud of who we really are. It's about liberation and being free of cultural shame.
Carrie and Dovi eloped at the quintessentially PNW Rattlesnake Lake, showcasing their love and commitment to each other with an intimate ceremony backlit by cloud-filtered sunlight glittering off the water. They opted for a minimal Diamond Twist Crossover Band for Carrie, and an Eva Marquise Ring Set for Dovi. Congratulations to Mx. and Mrs. Patiño-Liu!
Read on to get a glimpse of their love story in gold:
Carrie and Dovi met during a night out in Capitol Hill when both of them unexpectedly found themselves at the Wild Rose bar. Just as Dovi was about to leave with friends, Carrie approached and asked her “Hey, are you single?” Dovi was a little taken aback by how bold the question was, but answered with a smile “Yes, I’m single.” From there, the two danced the night away and have been inseparable ever since.
Earlier this year, Dovi and Carrie had started to talk about what a “big” wedding might look like, but the logistics just didn’t feel like they were right for them as a couple. They decided to table the conversation. However, a few weeks later during their morning commute to work, Dovi jokingly asked Carrie about eloping during their upcoming anniversary that weekend. Surprisingly, the idea resonated with Carrie and the two decided to plan an elopement wedding for the end of the month. An elopement allowed them to focus on what mattered most, which was highlighting the next step in their relationship and centering their love and commitment for one another.
When thinking about wedding jewelry, we knew we wanted to support a local and POC-owned business. We luckily found VM through a friend’s Instagram story and fell in love with Val’s unique and alternative designs. We also appreciated that all materials are recycled and that the businesses prioritizes sustainability and accountability in their processes.
For us, as a queer, Asian couple (Carrie is Chinese and Dovi is Filipina), PRIDE means many things. First and foremost, it is a commemoration of the Stonewall riots, uprisings and rebellions in 1969 led by Black and brown lgbtq+ folks, to demand visibility and freedom to live and love. Second, it’s an opportunity for us to show up for ourselves and our community; to take up space in a world that often overlooks and silences us. Lastly, it’s a reminder that the fight for equality and equity is far from over because there is “no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us” -Marsha P. Johnson.
Teachers Jessica and Melissa got engaged at their local rose garden after working together for over a year. Jessica opted for a classic wedding band when the time came, and Melissa got engaged with a custom Luna ring featuring a rose cut pear diamond and cast in 18K gold.
Melissa tells us their proposal story in more detail, and all the sweet details behind their love story in gold:
Jessica and I met at work. We’re both elementary school teachers. During her first year there, we spoke to each other only a handful of times. At the end of the year, Jessica was supposed to move back to her hometown. She had resigned from the district, and she didn’t bother to attend the end of the year party. That was that. Until the following school year. I like to say it was meant to be, and Jessica says that it just worked out this way, but she decided to stay and was able to get her job back. The next year, we got the chance to know each other a little better at a casual, after-school happy hour with the staff. We enjoyed each others’ conversation, and neither of us wanted to go home, so we walked around the shopping center and talked until the evening. That night eventually led to the two of us hanging out one on one. The rest is history...
I told Jessica that I wanted to take a cute couple holiday photo to post on social media. I thought she said yes to appease me, but it turns out that she had something else in mind. We settled on the location- our local rose garden- and a day and time. I know she likes to prepare herself mentally for outings, so I wasn’t surprised that she wanted to hash out all of the details of this simple photo, but this information was all being relayed to one of our best friends. While I prepared for a holiday photo, complete with a banner and props, Jessica and our friend planned the most beautiful surprise picnic. When we arrived at the chosen location, I was a little bummed to see that someone else took the spot. Jessica tried to convince me to go “check it out” but I just thought that was weird. Checking out someone else’s beautiful picnic when they weren’t there yet...I couldn’t do it! Until she told me that it was there specifically for me. My birthday had passed and the holidays were coming up, so I still thought that maybe it was a surprise gift.
We hung out and chatted for a bit, and we ate from the beautiful charcuterie box that was there for us. Well, I was happily eating when I noticed that Jessica wasn’t, and she was also trying to convince me to eat dessert. I was being rushed! At that point, I knew something was up. Dessert was in the form of a breakable heart, but when I broke it, there was nothing there. I looked over at Jessica, and she had a beautiful gray velvet box in her hand with the most gorgeous ring in it. It was important to Jessica to not propose on one knee, and I didn’t want her to either. We were sitting on the blanket, facing one another. I’ll never remember what she said when she proposed, but I said yes!!
We had been casually looking at rings ever since Jessica brought up the idea of getting one. One of our friends bought their husband’s band through VM, and it led us to their Instagram. We instantly discovered that the designs were beautiful- timeless, yet unique. Simple yet stunning. We also like that the company was Black-Latina owned. Lastly, we appreciated the inclusive language on the website with a page that said “bands for them,” especially since Jessica had decided that she would only want a band. I sent some ideas for my ring to Jessica, but ultimately, it was going to be up to her to decide which one and from where. She said she had an easy choice with VM, and she says that the person she worked with, Lauren, made the entire process simple and fun. She designed my ring with the help of some of our loved ones, and it came out perfect. I absolutely love it!!!
Pride has many layers. It means that we are proud to be who we are, unconditionally. It is a time for us to celebrate our queer joy. And although we take the time to celebrate this joy, we also reflect on the struggle and the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. We honor the Black, queer, trans women that pioneered the movement. We remember that we are not liberated until there is liberation for all. And we continue the lifelong commitment in fighting for justice.