ENGAGEMENT STORY: Christine and Benito


Benito recently worked with Green Lake Designer Melissa Tuttle to fashion a beautiful engagement ring. This ring was cast in platinum, set with diamonds throughout custom made ribbons, and features a stunning ruby as the center gemstone (to see this client’s gallery, click here).

But as with most engagement rings, the story of presenting it often trumps the ring itself. Christine, now Benito’s fiancé, just forwarded us her story; it’s not about how the ring was made or anything boring like that. It’s about her complete and utter surprise and delight – a sweet story, not about a ring, but about falling in love. Enjoy!

Christine MacDonald – Retrieved February 28th from Facebook post, “Benito’s Proposal!”

The first thing you must understand about this story is our love for cheese.  Benito and I love cheese.  We.  Love.  Cheese.

I maI made him this postcard a loooooong time ago. Even back then we were cheese crazy 🙂

We have plans for our future cheese castle with its cheese bridge and its cheesy river.  Seriously, we love it.  Now that you understand (I know you don’t REALLY understand but just pretend for the sake of our engagement story) you can appreciate the proposal.  PS:  The proposal story is farther down the page, you can skip these next couple paragraphs if you want.

Benito and I have had quite a difficult year.  My brother died last March, Benito’s mom died less than a month after, and another one of his family members passed in January.  Our relationship and our love for each other has continued to grow despite everything we’ve been through (we still, to this day, have not had a fight).

Last fall we started discussing getting engaged and, even though friends have pointed out that we’re basically married anyways, we decided to do it.  I started looking at rings and at first it was very discouraging.  All of the rings looked the same and I didn’t like any of them.  I stumbled across Green Lake Jewelry Works (www.greenlakejewelry.com) and fell in love (if you ever go there ask for Melissa T., she is amazing).  They’ve got some pretty crazy jewelry, but they also have some of the most beautiful and unique pieces I’ve ever seen, far from the monotonous rings I was seeing everywhere else.  The ring I originally wanted turned out to be less amazing in person but after trying on a couple more I found “the one!”  The second it was on my finger I just knew and Benito could see it in my face.  Then came the issue of finding a stone.  I’ve never been a big diamond girl but I really didn’t want to get a fake one.  I looove deep reds and so we decided to get a ruby for the center stone and Green Lake Jewelry Works had the perfect one!  They took professional pictures for us once it was finished and the stone was set, but I didn’t see the completed ring in person until Benito proposed.

^This picture shows the red more accurately than any other picture so far.

Platinum with a 1.51ct ruby and a total of .3ct in diamonds. Freaking gorgeous.

A few weeks ago some friends were talking about the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the following week Benito suggested that we take a small vacation down there.  I started talking about my ring (we had to finish paying it off by March 1st and then we could pick it up) and he (being stubborn and not letting me help pay for it) said that he didn’t have all the money yet and that I needed to be patient.  I was completely convinced that I had to wait another week to get my ring.  The night before we left we ate dinner at my parents’ house and, without me knowing, he asked my dad for permission while my mom and I were in the other room. 🙂

Proposal part of the story:

The view from our hotel room

We drove down to the Oregon coast and stayed at an ocean front hotel.  When we got there it was dark and we couldn’t see anything at first, but later we could see the whites of the waves reflecting off of the moon- it was so cool!  Benito and I played card games, ate ice cream, and just enjoyed ourselves.  The next morning we got up and Benito opened the curtains and we sat in bed watching the waves.  After breakfast we went for a walk along the beach (literally RIGHT outside our door) before leaving the hotel.

We drove to the cheese factory and did the little tour.  Maybe it’s because we’re dorks and love cheese, but it was pretty awesome.   Benito’s shoe was untied so he bent down (on one knee) to tie it.  I looked down at him and he looked up at me with tears in his eyes and I just knew what was happening!  I hugged him and he pulled out the ring box and opened it.  By this time tears were already streaming down my face and I said “YES!”  Then I totally grabbed the ring right out of the box without him even noticing (I was SUPER excited, don’t judge me!).  He looked at the box and the ring was gone and he asked, “Where did the ring go?”  We laughed and I, of course, put it back in the box so he could put it on my finger.  He stood up and we hugged and kissed forever.  This was right in front of one of the viewing windows and a ton of the workers had seen the whole thing and were applauding!  It was awesome 🙂

Weird lighting, awesome bus.

Pretty much everyone has told us that it was the “cheesiest” proposal ever which I still think is hilarious.  Benito said that he could have proposed at the beach that morning, but it just wouldn’t have been “us” and I totally agree.  Super cheesy proposal, at a super cheesy factory, for a super cheesy couple.  Perfect 🙂

Benito Armijo, I am the luckiest girl in the world and I will cherish every moment we spend together for the rest of our lives.  I love you so much!!!