Let’s be real: shopping for engagement rings can be so nerve-racking. Not only are there so many styles to choose from, but when you’re paying that much for something so sentimental and special, you wanna make sure it’s exactly what you (or your partner) wants! That’s why we suggest that a couple shop for an engagement ring together.
In the past, men discreetly shopped for engagement rings alone and purchased the ring for their soon-to-be brides all on their now. Nowadays, more and more couples are picking out engagement rings together, as a team.
Yeah yeah, it’s so great to be surprised with a ring, and having the guy choose it for you all on his own, but come on, what if you don’t like it? Then you’re stuck with it the rest of your life! (Or at least a very long time). Most bride-to-be’s at least send “inspiration pictures” of the kind of rings they like to their partner, to give them an idea of what to look for. Some even find a way to have their guy oh-so-casually see their engagement ring Pinterest board.
Also, most men would probably prefer you help them pick the ring because then it puts less stress on them to make sure its the right one! Picking out and buying a ring together can also only make the bride-to-be feel included, like a partner in a practice that has predominately been a little sexist and one-sided if you really think about it. Most women who were involved in the ring-picking process wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Because men don’t always know what women wants
Guys, don’t assume. And why? Well, maybe she wants a certain type of ring for sentimental values and you don’t know about it. Maybe she wants the same type of stone her dad proposed to my mom with. Maybe she has always dream of having a gemstone engagement ring, or a custom-made engagement ring. Maybe she wants something trendy, or classic, or modern, etc. How would you know if you don’t ask!?
“If I’m going to be wearing it for the rest of my life I’d really like to have some say in it! I’d hate for my partner to waste his money on something I hate,” some women would say.
It’s not just that. Sometimes women think they know what kind of ring they want but when they go to the jewelry store with you and try it on, they hate it. They changed their mind. They’ll say, “Nope, this isn’t what I want. I thought I did, but I guess I was wrong.” It has happened too many times to count. They could complain that for some reason, the shape of the ring made their finger look bigger than it really is, and they want a different band, or the color of the band made that particular stone look more dated than classic…just don’t take the risky buddy.
You need to shop around, and she needs to be there for that. Or at least involved a little bit. Send her pictures of different options (you can still keep the element of surprise by not telling her which you bought in the end). Ask her what she thinks. Also, Get wholesale prices. If in New York, check out the Diamond District in Midtown, Manhattan to geta large selection. Most men get so stressed about having to go through the process themselves, so why do it alone?
To sum up how it felt being involved in the whole process of shopping for an engagement ring, from someone who was, this Cosmopolitan magazine writer wrote the following:
Being there every step of the way helped me understand the magnitude of what really goes into a proposal. Saving up enough money to buy a ring, comparison shopping, deciding if size or quality has more value, signing that check — it’s a lot to think through. A guy going through this process alone gets to experience a lot of little gut checks that give him the chance to realize he’s absolutely sure he wants to follow through. I got to go through that same process, with all the same gut checks, highs and lows. It was truly incredible to see it through in a gradual and very intentional way, instead of feeling like it’s a light switch — one day you are boyfriend/girlfriend and the next you’re planning a wedding. It’s a side of the engagement — all of the time, thought, and care your partner puts into it — that the person being proposed to hardly ever gets to see.
Because for women, it can be fun!
Most women will agree: it’s super fun to try on engagement rings! So why not go shopping with your man?
Aside from that, it’s a great way to see what different styles (the band material, stones, the cut, carat weight, side stones, etc.) look like on your hand, that way you can find out what looks best on you. Shopping together is an even better idea when neither one of you really know what you’re looking for. There’s so much to choose from so it makes sense to shop together and bounce ideas off each other.
In terms of money, when shopping together you both get a better grasp of the costs of engagement rings and you can discuss how it’ll affect your future as a couple. If you share (or plan to share) bank accounts and living costs, then it makes sense to discuss how much you’d like to spend on a ring and decide together together what is affordable for you both. Should you spend less on the ring and save up to buy a house? How picky are you about the clarity of the stone? The less visible the inclusions, the more money you have to spend.
It’s a good practice for marriage, coming together to figure out what makes sense for you two financially and everything in-between.
Also don’t make the experience too stressful for either one of you. It should be romantic. Do your research ahead of time, have the talk about budget beforehand as well, and maybe go out for lunch before. Or go out for a nice dinner afterwards, or for drinks to celebrate a successful shopping trip, whether you found something you love or not. The worst is to leave a jewelry shop arguing and upset because you can’t agree on something. Don’t let that ruin the experience.
If it gets a bit tense inside the jewelry store, take a break, maybe grab some coffee, and then start again. You’re creating memories, so make it a good one filled with laughter and smiles.
Also, once you’ve figured out what you want to try on and how much you’re willing to spend, look into stores and make sure to call ahead and ask if their rings fit your budget. You don’t want to waste your time and get upset if you find out the store you went to is way over your budget.
Because you can do this together and still be surprised
Just because you’re helping you guy pick out the ring doesn’t mean the proposal can’t still be a surprise!
There still can be some suspense left as long as you don’t know his specific plan, like when, where and how he’s going to propose. If you want it to be a surprise then make sure to communicate that to your significant other, who can then consult with your friends and family about how to make it special. Another option, to make the ring a bit of surprise, is to narrow it down to two or three options and then having your guy made the final decision and purchase.
But, every couple is different
Going ring shopping together is not for everyone, and sometimes you have to compromise. If your fiance-to-be is not too keen on the idea of you shopping with him, you can’t force it. Instead, you can drops hints with family and friends, and encourage your guy to check with them. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s also good to send him some reference photos of what you like so he gets the idea of what style you’re looking for. Create a Pinterest board of rings you like and show them to him, or even photos you’ve come across on social media…Drop some clues and don’t feel bad about it. You’re the one who will be wearing this piece of jewelry every single day for the rest of the your life. Also most guys welcome the help because they want to pick out the right ring for you.
At the end of the day, whether you’re surprised by the ring or proposal, or neither, it’s all about being with that special someone forever. Do whatever you and your partner are comfortable with, and what makes you both happy.
Below we’ve included a video of a couple who did in fact go engagement ring shopping on the TLC show “90 Day Fiance,” but it seems like her taste is way out of line with his budget.