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Romance, Gin and a Monocled Cat - Eco Wood Ring Story

Iain and Henry have so much in common: a love of Harry Potter, the National Trust, nature and animals – and yet it was through technology and the kindness of a friend that they actually met.
Romance, Gin and a Monocled Cat

Iain and Henry have so much in common: a love of Harry Potter, the National Trust, nature and animals – and yet it was through technology and the kindness of a friend that they actually met. When a friend set up a dating app on Iain’s phone one night, the party they were at just happened to be in Henry’s neighbourhood – otherwise, Henry’s profile would never have come up. The two connected, started chatting, and eventually met on a first date at the Bletchingley Arms in Surrey.

The perfect proposal

Iain’s proposal is a story in itself. Their song is ‘September’ by Earth Wind & Fire, which opens with ‘Do you remember, the 21st night of September’ – so Iain decided this was the perfect date to pop the question. In the weeks leading up to the big day, he began to leave subtle and not-so-subtle hints, from leaving a ring made from a polo wrapper on Henry’s cabinet, to writing “I Do Day” in their kitchen calendar. When the day arrived, he took Henry to Nymans, a beautiful National Trust property in West Sussex. They found a secluded spot by the lake and when a throng of ducks approached them, Iain knew this was the moment. As ‘September’ played on his phone, he popped the question, and Henry said ‘yes’! What Iain didn’t know was that Henry had made plans of his own, whisking Iain off to a celebratory dinner at their beloved Bletchingley Arms that very evening. 

They had visited several times since their first date, and each time Iain would take a selfie next to a picture of a cat wearing a monocle. When he arrived that evening to find the picture had been removed, he was gutted. So, imagine his amazement when the manager promptly appeared with champagne for the happy couple and presented Iain with the very picture he loves so dearly – a very special engagement present from his fiancé.

What about the ring?

It was really important for Iain and Henry that their wedding rings embody their values and capture their unique story. Passionate about nature and sustainability, they knew they wanted rings crafted from wood. They chose Welsh oak for its fresh, authentic look, and because of their shared love of Wales: both have fond memories of childhood holidays there and have family connections with the area. When it came to choosing the materials for the inlay, they had a real flash of inspiration.

On their first holiday together, they had visited several distilleries in the Isle of Wight and Henry, a gin aficionado, became particularly fond of Mermaid Gin. This sparked the idea of incorporating glass from a bottle into the inlay of the ring – and much to their delight, they discovered that Mermaid Gin was now available in a gorgeous new blue bottle shaped like a mermaid’s tail. Instantly they knew that this would look absolutely stunning in the rings. 

All they had to do was order a new bottle of Mermaid Gin, decant the gin into a new bottle and send the mermaid bottle to Eco Wood Rings. The centred inlay was then created using mixed stone and shell, with the colours chosen by the couple – and of course, blue gin bottle glass. The shining blue specs of glass evoke the sea and, coupled with the stones and sand, inspire fond memories for Henry and Iain of being on the beach by the Needles in the Isle of Wight. 

The wedding day itself is still in the planning stage but design-wise, the happy couple are envisioning autumnal colours and natural woods. Whatever they choose, one thing’s for certain: it’ll be taking place in September!