You heard I eloped, right? Pictures are still to come (my wonderful photographer friends are being picky about post-processing), but first, I wanted to share a wonderful experience I had beforehand.
The wedding preparation was very simple, being that we were eloping in Las Vegas. Pretty much the largest issue was my now-husband’s wedding ring; I already had a vintage ring from my parent’s for myself, albeit a bit tarnished and dull, but we had no idea what to do for Andrey. To compound the issue, we were also in a bit of a budget crisis: even though Vegas was going to be significantly cheaper than any typical wedding, it was still adding up quite a bit (hotels, flights, restaurants, etc.), not to mention a rather hefty tax bill this year on my end.
In the interest of keeping things simple, we opted to get a plain band for Andrey, which we’re planning on upgrading in the future, perhaps when we finally have our official “reception” in a year. We were also running out of time (holy moly does wedding planning, even elopements, consume your time), so finding something unique on Etsy was out of the picture. I still really wanted to keep our jewelry options local, so after some searching on Yelp, I found Vardy’s Jeweler’s in Cupertino with a solid 5 star rating with 147 reviews. You almost never see those kind of reviews — I was convinced we needed to stop by.
Well, first — we had actually stopped by a local jewelry store in Los Gatos on a whim after lunch to see their band options. The sales-person who helped us seemed inebriated and disinterested, and we left disheartened.
Contrast that to Vardy’s — Andrey and I were helped immediately, and the staff understood when we told them we were on a rather strict budget. We browsed the options before being introduced to Vardy Shtein himself, who ended up giving us an in-depth tour of his store and workshop.
The photos here are on a subsequent visit I took with my DSLR to photograph, but are fairly identical to the tour we were taken — both the front of the store (shown above), and my favorite part, the back of the store with the workshop (seen below).
The view from the workshop into the store.
One of my favorite parts of this story is that Vardy immigrated from Estonia. From his website:
Vardy is a master European goldsmith with 40 years experience. As a designer he combines artistry with exceptional customer service. He is proud of his family-run store, where they blend old-fashion tradition and values with the latest technology and styles.
Vardy began his career in Tallinn, the capitol city of Estonia, as an apprentice to fine jewelers. Tallinn has long been known for its jewelers’ craft.The famous House of Fabergé opened a workshop there to create exquisite jewelry for royalty. After 11 years of designing in Europe he immigrated to the United States to achieve the American Dream.
So impressive and awe-inspiring!
He demonstrated to me some of the work he does day-to-day:
A lot of the work that Vardy does is custom work — while waiting to take photographs, I had the pleasure of listening to him work with a couple on a design. In the future, I’d love to have something custom-made for myself, perhaps combining the ring I have (my parent’s wedding ring) with a ring from my husband’s family. Vardy expressed his enthusiasm for the idea but cautioned us that it would definitely be up to the design other the other ring, and that it might not work — and honestly, I appreciate his openness. A sign of a true professional.
During the tour, they offered to clean my mother’s ring that I brought in to use as my engagement ring. I wasn’t even sure if it was diamond, but when it returned, there was no doubt — it was so shiny and sparkly that I had a hard time taking it off.
The cherry on top to the entirely wonderful experience we had at Vardy’s Jeweler’s — Vardy gifted us a simple, classic silver band for Andrey’s wedding ring. We look forward to coming back when we’re ready to upgrade!
A truly wonderful experience, which is why I immediately ran home to grab my camera so I could document the store and studio for the blog. I hope you enjoyed the photos! If you’re in the California Bay Area, Vardy’s Jewelers is located in Cupertino, and I highly recommend you stop by.
I was not paid or compensated for this post, just loved my experience and wanted to share! As mentioned, we were gifted a silver band but not in exchange for the post.