Lee Travis didn’t experience the panic most men face before becoming a fiancé. There are many things than could contribute to Lee remaining calm, cool, and collected – like his swoon-worthy romance with his now wife Emily – but according to Lee it had a lot to do with David Gardner’s. Lee sat down with Emily, the fashion blogger behind Champagne and Chanel, and recounted his experience meeting the Gardners and designing Emily’s dream ring. Emily rattled off questions that could have been intimidating to many men, but not Lee. He breezily answered each inquiry in detail, fondly remembering the time he shared with the jeweler.

Lee said he never considered anyone else when it came to who’d create Emily’s engagement ring. Emily has had a long-standing, family-style relationship with the Gardners ever since meeting them in her college days at Texas A&M. Lee and Emily joked that he might have had a little more than a nudge to go with David Gardner’s as Emily giggled and said, “I always told him ‘you have to go to the Gardeners!'” That settled that, and Lee knew where to go when the time was right. Perhaps the biggest step was checked off the proposal to-do list early on. As he told Emily how the process went, he kept touching on the experience being more meaningful than he could have anticipated.

Stress and pressure seem to be a natural part of the customer’s buying experience when it comes to picking a ring. Some guys know what they’re looking for (likely with the help of several hints from their future bride) and others have no clue where to begin. Lee had an idea of the style Emily liked, but once he got to David Gardner’s he realized he could have just shown up empty handed. The jeweler knew exactly what Emily wanted, and how he would encapsule the Travises’ love story in a piece of jewelry. Lee said, “it didn’t feel like a business but a family or friend”, when he talked about his encounters with David Gardner. Emily asked Lee if he was afraid but he quickly replied, “I didn’t really have a fear, I trusted them. It was clear they knew what they were doing.”

Emily’s connection with the Gardners may have made the experience even more special, but David’s care and attention to detail is always part of his process. The engineer turned artist strives to understand his clients on a deeper level; taking the time to hear their love story makes his creations come to life. Lee felt this instantaneously and said to Emily, “It was really easy [working with them] it was comforting because I knew they cared about what they were doing – I wasn’t just another customer. I never worried about if you’d like [the ring].”

Emily was not just another customer, and the ring was not just another ring. After hearing more about Lee, Emily, and their relationship, David designed a custom piece. The ring has sapphires to represent Lee and his family’s sacrificial dedication to law enforcement, three diamonds symbolizing Lee, Emily, and God, and a woven band to commemorate the intertwining of their lives. The final piece blew Lee away. He said, “I did not know there was going to be so many symbolic measures incorporated in the ring. David and I had a long meeting where he got to know you, and me and our history. It has more meaning than just a ring.”

Lee credited David Gardner’s with giving him an engagement ring that he said “felt like [Emily’s] ring.” Lee laughed saying to Emily, “I wouldn’t say I knew what you wanted….Gardner’s did.”

After months of meeting with David, Lee felt like he was truly part of the process and like he was becoming friends with the jeweler. Dealing with a jeweler for custom jewelry can be intimidating and foreign to already-nervous grooms-to-be, but Lee had the opposite experience.

He said, “meeting with David was my favorite part because that’s when it became real…when I hung up I thought ‘wow this is really happening.’”

When asked if he had advice for guys starting their proposal journeys, Lee was left kind of stunned. He laughed saying, “I honestly feel like I cheated because it was so easy for me….all your specifics they had down to a tee.

Find somebody you trust, that you can have a personal relationship with. The Gardners were that times thousand. [Find] someone who cares what both people want.” Customizable jewelry should come with a customizable experience, and David Gardner’s will craft exactly that.

Guide him in the right direction without spoiling the surprise. Stop by David Gardner’s Jewelers and create a wish list that will ensure he has a seamless, stress-free experience.