When Rachel Pederson grew tired of friends and family urging her to upgrade her small engagement ring, the Social Media Strategist took to Facebook to defend her ring and say no to upgrading once and for all. Sharing her whirlwind love story in an exclusive interview with The Knot, Rachel explains about the deeper meaning behind her small engagement ring and how her refusing an engagement ring upgrade has garnered a viral response.
“Friends and family often ask me when I’m going to have it ‘upgraded’…. After all, it doesn’t represent the level of success we are achieving,” Rachel wrote in her now-viral Facebook post. “Wait a minute…. Since when did the size of someone’s ring become an indication of success?! For me, the ring is SO much more.”
Her story begins with a casual date in October 2013 that quickly became a leap into love and marriage. Her best friend (and now sister-in-law) set Rachel up with her husband’s brother Poul Pederson, and with an instant connection the two finished their night at a Minnesota Perkin’s Diner laughing all night long, Rachel told The Knot.
Just one week after the couple were introduced, Poul confessed he was in love with her and Rachel returned the sentiment, falling hard for him too! “Initially we were going to wait 6 months so people didn’t think we were crazy,” Rachel shared with The Knot. “Just a few days after that, we determined we would elope and get started on our life together.”
“He was a window washer, and I was a single mother,” she shared in her Facebook post. So 13 days after they met, when Poul surprised her with a formal proposal and her small engagement ring just before they were going to elope, the ring was forever tied to their “storybook, whirlwind, ‘make you sick’ love story,” no matter the size.
“He surprised me with the ring at the Chapel of Love at the Mall of America! I had no idea he was going to propose on one knee… Or even that he bought me a ring! I had completely forgotten to get him one, but his surprise meant the world to me,” Rachel told The Knot.
But after their wedding the questions and comments about her ¼ carat diamond engagement ring started pouring in. “I’ve even had one person say, ‘You could wear a bigger ring for important events, so people don’t think you’re not successful,’” the bride penned on Facebook. “Since when did the size of someone’s ring become an indication of their success?!”
Rachel shared exclusively with The Knot, “It made me wonder if a big ring was needed to prove our love… But a part of me felt stubborn. Their intentions weren’t wrong, but I realized that other women had probably felt the same.” With the couple’s elopement in the works, a ring was far from Rachel’s mind, so an engagement ring upgrade after such a sparkling surprise seemed wholly unnecessary.
The small engagement ring and wedding band valued at less than $1,000 “was perfect,” Rachel said. “He had spent all he had to buy me the ring, and that was incredibly special.”
When asked if she’s ever dreamed of a bigger engagement ring the small business marketer said, “Of course I have! I love diamonds… But what is a diamond without a rock solid marriage?”
“To me, a ring is just a token. It tells a story. But a ring symbolizes marriage, it doesn’t define a marriage,” Rachel told The Knot. “Our ring, our story are so special to us,” she added, saying her husband also feels they shouldn’t ever upgrade because of their personal story.
With over 178,000 reactions on her Facebook post she said, “The outpouring of women saying ‘yes! I agree!’ was so rewarding. I’m not alone in my thoughts about the ring,” telling The Knot, “Now after this public statement, I won’t ever upgrade my ring.”
“It tells me that in a society that continually screams ‘bigger is better!’ there are others who are searching for a greater and more foundational truth about marriage.” Rachel and Poul found love in each other, and for this bride, their marriage shines brighter than any diamond ever could.
As she said in her now viral Facebook post, “He drained his savings to gift me with a small token of his love. I say small, only because it pales in comparison with how big his love is, even now, after years of marriage. That, my friends, is success to me.”