FFR Engagement Story: Lara and Matthew

With the sneaky aid of Meaghan's hometown friend Paige, FFR client (and Principal Ballerina) Lara O'Brien of Raleigh, NC, was treated to a custom engagement ring fit for a lady who wears incredible tutus for a living. Is it just us, or did our childhood fantasy just manifest itself in the form of Lara's life?

                                        A little 'behind the scenes' engagement shoot action.

                                        A little 'behind the scenes' engagement shoot action.

When I did glimpse the ring for the first time, I remember thinking...THAT’S IT.
— Lara

Lara's now-husband Matthew wanted something that fit her personality, but was not exactly like anything they'd ever seen before. Wanting to incorporate some details from family heirlooms – like rose gold – and create a silhouette that was as graceful as Lara herself, the challenge was on. Read below to hear from Lara herself on how the ring came to be. 

Lara, tell us a little about your thoughts as you received the ring?

Well, I was 1,500 feet above the ground in an open cockpit bi-plane, wearing fogged up goggles after tearing up from the proposal that Matt had just laid on me. There were a flood of thoughts in that moment. I knew that this was coming, yet I was shocked. I also knew a custom ring was in the works and in the months prior I'd looked at all kinds of designs to get a sense of what I liked. I'm incredibly indecisive and never saw anything that I unequivocally loved, but realized I was drawn to particular details. When I did glimpse the ring for the first time (which was still attached to fishing-line that was tied to Matt's watch to keep it from flying out of the plane) I do remember clearly thinking, 'That's it.' It was a nod to the details I'd come to love and yet was like nothing I'd seen before. It was absolutely my ring. Every bit of it was designed with me in mind – the benchmark of custom. I loved it immediately.


 What are some of your other favorite pieces of jewelry you own?

Pieces with personal history and stories, like an 11mm solid rose gold band that's been in my family for over 100 years. My Mom wore it as her band when she married my Dad. I've had it now for eight years and wear it every day. Also, a pear-shaped diamond necklace that belonged to my husband's grandmother. It's simple and meaningful. I'd now add to that list the three bands made by FFR (pictured above) that I've stacked onto my engagement ring. 


You have such an amazing love story... Can you share a bit with our readers?

We'd sum up our story as an adventure. We're both originally from Chicago and met in Raleigh, NC, at a Christmas party. We both played it cool for a while, but after multiple run-ins, Matt fell in love watching me dance – I'm a ballerina. Three months later I surprised Matt at the finish line of his first marathon...in Anchorage AK. That's where it all really began. Fast forward three years, many more travels, performances, races, two homes and a tornado later (on a beautiful September Sunday, in an red, open-aired biplane) he promised me a lifetime of adventures, big and small, and a partner to fly with for eternity. Six weeks after that, back in a remote part of Alaska, we eloped in the middle of the night with the Northern Lights dancing above us. Since, the adventures have continued. We've designed and renovated a 1908 home together and started another business together as partners. In everything we take on together, we have a motto, that is also engraved on the inside of the band that I gave Matt when we got married: "You & Me Kid".