Photos by Just Be Designs
A wedding gift. A gift for my bride that we would bring out of its safe keeping place in the future and say to whoever would listen (most likely our dreamed of kids), ‘This is the present Erica gave to Alex on their wedding day.’ We would smile and sigh, and I would be grateful I had found the perfect gift to last a lifetime. These were the thoughts that were kicking around in my head as I sat down to conduct an Etsy search for the perfect wedding present for Alex, oh, last November. Yes, I’ve been keeping it a secret that long and, of course, I couldn’t share it with you guys ’cause Alex didn’t know about it yet! But let me tell you as we start: I found it, and it’s perfect. A compass on a pocket-watch chain.
Now as cliché as it might sound, from the very beginning of our relationship Alex and I have said, in many ways, ‘you are my anchor, my compass.’ These metaphors, gorgeous as they are, came about not out of a romantic line of poetry written by one of us, but rather out of a conversation about tattoos: I would really love an anchor tattoo as a reminder to stay grounded; Alex has long dreamed of a compass rose lifted from an old map. Of course as the metaphoric muses would have it, Alex is the ‘anchor’ I was looking for to keep me grounded (trust me, I can get pretty out there!) and I was the directional force to keep Alex on a steady course. Sigh, you might say, how romantic. I know, I know, there’s a reason we’ve been nicknamed ‘Lovefest.’
But, how did I find such a wonderful compass?! Well, I started by searching for ‘compass’ on Etsy. With 1,500 hits later, I narrowed it down to jewelry, something along the lines of a pocket watch compass. That was my thought anyway, but what I found was compass necklaces from Just Be Designs and a designer who was super up for custom designs!
Thinking about Alex’s suit and the possibility she might want to wear the gift on the wedding day, a pocket watch chain seemed practical for her to be able to slip the compass in her pocket without having to wear it as a necklace. As a necklace, it just wouldn’t have worked for her and I didn’t want her to feel like she had to wear it on our wedding day. So when I emailed Just Be Designs, I told her a little bit about Alex, the metaphors behind the gift, Alex’s favorite color (red) and asked if she had a different chain. What came in response was a great dialogue of different ideas and embellishments–with the final product being far better than I could have conceived of on my own!
Just Be Designs shipped it over in December and about a month before the wedding I went to get the inside engraved with ‘My Anchor, My Compass,’ wrapped it in heart wrapping paper, and bought a nautical themed card (‘No one to love me but the sailor on the deep blue sea’) to tie it all together.
While Alex didn’t end up wearing it on our wedding day, we actually used the compass on a hike while on honeymoon on the moors in Cornwall! Talk about sentimental and practical…