Pre-Ceremony Charm

Jackie Mantey
The writer's ring, along with her talisman bag and save-the-date postcards

According to the jeweler who sold my fiancé, Justin, and I my engagement ring, there are three types of people who might love a vintage ring (read: beautiful but used). There are the straight-up vintage lovers, the people who want something unique, and the value hunters—because, as the saying goes, they don't make 'em like they used to.

I'm all three of those people, plus a fourth: Someone with a weepy, overactive imagination.

That fourth side of me, the part that's a sucker for a good story, loves dreaming up what this ring has seen before it landed on my finger. I discovered it while shopping on Etsy and was immediately drawn to its 1950s style. Bizarrely, it happened to be for sale by a jeweler who lives in my very own Columbus, Ohio.

I know what you're thinking: “OMG! Was this ring yours in a past life?”

To which I respond: “Right?!”

I refrained from asking this of the seller, but I did prod her (the wonderful Lori Sudler of Scotch Street Vintage) for more info. I learned that the ring's diamonds came from the mothers-in-law of the previous couple who owned it, a symbol of familial unity.

Regardless, during a trip to New Orleans shortly after our engagement, Justin and I found someone to do a ceremony that would remove any bad juju.

Under the sweaty southern sun and a disco ball (seriously), our ring was sprinkled with special water and waved through the smoke of burning sage. Justin and I talked to the spirits as instructed by our guide.

I channeled to them, “Thank you for loving this ring and for loving each other. I've respectfully got it from here. I'll take good care of this ring, and in your memory and the memory of all humans who have changed the world with their astounding capacity for unconditional love, I will also take care of Justin and let him take care of me.”

Afterward, our guide presented us with a small, feather-topped talisman bag that would bring us soon-to-be-newlyweds love and luck. It was goofy, but pure in intention and as nontraditional as a Chango Macho candle next to a rosary (à la our home office décor).

It was so us.

And that, if I must be realistic, is what has mattered most during wedding planning.

Jackie Mantey is a creative writer who is getting married on Aug. 19 in a perfectly boring, non-hoodoo ceremony.