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Since 1890, the Kirk Kara artists and artisans have handcrafted rings and fine jewelry. Each exquisite piece is designed to be forever captivating.

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Proposal on the beach in Malibu

Jennifer & Dan: Med School Sweethearts’ Seaside Proposal (and Custom Ring!)

Jennifer Novak and Dan Burkett found each other in Chicago during her first and his third year of medical school. Like so many love stories, theirs began unassumingly. They spotted each other in a hospital hallway one cold winter night, then introduced by mutual friends. A few weeks later marked their very first date: a casual dinner that happened to fall on Valentine’s Day. Fate or coincidence, it’s only fitting that their love was destined to grow.

Three years into their romance, Dan expressed a desire to spend Christmas with Jennifer’s family in California. As a Wisconsin native, he was eager to include an excursion to Malibu during their trip. After a beautiful seaside dinner at The Sunset Restaurant, they went for a romantic stroll on the beach. Dan suggested a detour up a rocky hiking trail. Jennifer was hesitant (she was sporting flip flops!), but she knew the view at the top of the hill would be breathtaking. They hiked up the path together, and Dan led her to a scenic overlook, where he got down on one knee and asked Jennifer to marry him. “Yes, of course!” was her emphatic reply, which came amid tears and complete, utter, joyful surprise.

Fun fact: Jennifer once interned with Kirk Kara, so the ring selection process was an extra special one! Her custom engagement ring is a stunning oval halo, which was a true collaboration between Dan, Jennifer, and the Kirk Kara design team. A lover of classic, timeless, and understated styles, Jennifer always knew what her dream ring would encompass: an oval diamond shape, elegant halo, and thin diamond band to allow her center stone to shine. With the expertise of our design team, which can customize any ring imaginable, Dan made Jennifer’s vision a brilliant reality. “The ring sparkles in the most beautiful way, and there is an exquisite attention to detail that can only be achieved with a handcrafted custom design,” she says. “I love my ring! It is truly a perfect symbol of devotion, commitment, and future together.”

Speaking of the future, the soon-to-be doctors are currently in the whirlwind of wedding planning, which is a practically heroic undertaking while finishing medical school (Jennifer) and doing a residency in neurosurgery (Dan). They’ll make it official June 20, 2020 in Middleton, WI. Congratulations, Jen and Dan!