In 2021 Dear Survivor started creating custom pieces and amongst our first clients was Eli. He wanted to commission a unique engagement ring for his special One, and we're honored to share a bit of their love story with you today.
DEAR SURVIVOR: How did you meet?
Eli: I like to say we met at a conference, which sounds nerdy. But the whole story is it was a church conference, so extra nerd points? We were both volunteering at a big church in San Francisco, and had somehow never crossed paths before then.
Hosanna: What’s funny is that I didn’t want to go to this conference, I had a big product launch schedule for that week so I had an excuse to not go. Out of nowhere the leadership canceled the launch and told us to take PTO so I was forced to go. PTL (praise the lord) for divine intervention!
DS: How did each of you feel about each other at the first meeting?
Eli: I mean I thought she was cute, but then we were all sitting around a campfire as a group, and someone was going around asking people how old they were and who was single or not single (real subtle, right?) and I remember seeing her hand go up, I was like, “Wait, how is she single?
So I like to say that was a sign from God that I knew I needed to ask Hosanna out. Then later that weekend she ate almost an entire pizookie in front of me, and I was like, “wow this girl is legit.”
Hosanna: I had an secret checklist in my head of my dream partner I called ‘Mountain Man”:
- From Pacific Northwest (meaning has a chill outdoorsy vibe maybe a beard)
- Loves coffee
- Person of faith
As soon as I walked into the coffee shop Eli was sitting there sipping coffee, wearing a beanie and a plaid shirt, and introduced himself as being from Oregon.
DS: When did you know the other was “the one”?
Eli: Pretty quickly after we started dating, I could tell Hosanna was special. There were none of the red flags I’d see in earlier dating experiences, and we just got along really well. I remember like a few months into dating, she took me aside and said, “You know how in jobs, you get a 6-month review? How about we do a X-month dating review?” and I thought that was
(1.) super funny, but (2.) really intentional, because we didn’t want to waste each other’s time if we weren’t compatible long-term. Plus I was more shy with bringing that kind of stuff up, so I appreciated that Hosanna broke the ice, because I for sure wanted to talk about it.
Hosanna: At the alter LOL just kidding. I knew when we were about 1.5/2 years into dating and I was honestly freaking out about the concept of marriage. I am an indecisive person and have analysis paralysis about what plants I want for my apartment let alone a life partner. Eli would do marriage counseling, marriage books, work book exercises, finance classes, etc—anything I threw at him. He was certain the whole time but was willing to work through all of it to make me feel comfortable and that in our marriage - we could it make our own.
DS: When planning the wedding, what was important to you?
Eli: We got the advice from friends before we started planning, that it’s helpful to set an intention or “mission statement” to help when making decisions. We chose “hospitality, inclusivity, and nostalgia.” Practically speaking, that meant we emphasized having lots of good food options, saving time for friends and family to give wedding speeches during the rehearsal dinner and wedding night (words of affirmation are big for us), handing out point-and-shoot film cameras for guests to take candids during the evening, and we made sure there were plenty of heat lamps so that guest were comfortable, since the wedding was in late October. Oh and we asked our musically-talented friends to help build our playlist, because we wanted the dance floor to be lit.
Hosanna: Eli said it! For how much energy and money you really don’t take that many physical artifacts from your wedding so I wanted tangible reminders of the day (nostalgia). I used to do professional photography, so all of the candid pictures and disposables I have them all over our apartment they bring us so much joy.
DS: Any fun/interesting bit to share about the planning of the engagement, planning, or wedding day?
Eli: I mean, Hosanna helped Christine design the ring, so she knew roughly what it was going to look like. I really enjoyed being on the client side of the creative-client relationship, to be honest. I’m a designer for work, so usually I’m on the other end of the table, but Christine was a dream to work with; 10/10 would recommend. I really wanted to plan a big surprise engagement where I could involve all of our friends living nearby, but this was during COVID when most people were still being super cautious with group activities, so I had to plan something outside with space and fresh air and of course over-communicate to the max to make sure everyone was comfortable. It turned out great though, so no regrets.
Also worth mentioning; it ended up being very rainy on our wedding day (Google “Atmospheric River”) there was something crazy like 3 inches of water in 24hours, which started as a drizzle right before the ceremony, then by the next day, there was so much water, it looked like a pond where we had the dancefloor set up the night before! We were so grateful that we still got great photos and everyone had a great time and were safe, and I hear that means we got extra luck on our wedding!
Hosanna: +1 to what Eli said. All (and I really do mean all) of my family, friends, even friends of friends love looking at my ring and asking me about it and the story. I am immensely grateful to Christine for taking my very rough literal back-of-napkin sketches and getting to the heart of what Eli and I wanted. I will never forget when Eli surprised me with the design book for Valentine’s Day and a consultation call with Christine. Her vision and drawings perfectly captured us and our vision for the ring. She made the process fun and approachable. I’m never tired of telling the story behind our engagement ring and inspiring people to imagine a ring that speaks to the heart of their love.
The team here at Dear Survivor extends warmest wishes of a happy marriage and a lifetime of creating beautiful memories to Eli & Hosanna.
**Interested in creating your own custom design? Contact us.