New York City bride Rachel Tepper was married this weekend, but without sentimental family heirlooms. The items, a pair of diamond stud earrings that her father gave to her mother around the time they were married, and the diamond and gold bracelet her paternal grandfather gave her, were both stolen by thieves who broke into her home on August 24. Tepper's collection included irreplaceable heirlooms that she loved. They had monetary as well as sentimental value to her. "I'd considered, too, wearing my maternal grandmother's gold and diamond cocktail ring, which might have been my most prized possession," Tepper told Refinery29 in an email. "The idea was to wear things that represented the people most important to me, including those who are no longer with us."
The loss of her grandmother's ring hit Tepper especially hard. She describes it as "flashy," but recalls her grandmother wearing it every day. She passed away just before Tepper turned 7, and her mother passed it down to her only two years ago. "I only stopped wearing it when I got engaged last year and started wearing my engagement ring instead. I wore it on my middle finger, which still feels naked without it," Tepper says. Tepper is still hoping to recover the jewelry, even though her wedding date has now passed. What you need to know is that this could happen to you also. Tepper tells us the thieves got into her building and used a crowbar to bust open her door, as well as her neighbors' door. They took computers, cameras, and money along with the jewelry stored in Tepper's top dresser drawer. She suggests getting a good hiding place for valuables: a safe that's bolted to the floor or a false-bottomed hairspray can are among the things she'll be looking into for herself. Next, she suggests making sure you have renter's insurance and that your valuables are appraised so they are properly covered. Finally, Tepper says they will be getting a better deadbolt on their door and a more trustworthy lock. While she and her fiancé did not have their deadbolt engaged, their neighbors did, and the thieves broke right through it. "We felt so unsafe after all of this that we had a super secure deadbolt installed the same day, and now our landlord is not only refusing to pay for it, but wants to charge us for putting a hole in her door," Tepper says. "Knowing what I know now, I would have either insisted that my landlord install a good deadbolt before I ever moved in, or refused to rent from someone who so blatantly disregarded my safety. "