• Wedding Day Diamonds

Picking Out Your Own Engagement Ring

Updated: Mar 31


Photo Credit: Lexi Renae Studios

Women are primed to think about weddings from a very young age. Fairytales often end with weddings; in fact, from Cinderella to Rapunzel, it’s the wedding that seems to solve every one of the heroine’s problems. Many books, songs and movies are structured the same way, and yet, despite countless scenes of happily-ever-after marital bliss, we almost never get a scene of the special couple conversing about their wants, their likes and dislikes, or their budget.



And the truth is, a lot of real-life couples struggle to have these conversations, too.


It’s not clear to a lot of women just how involved they should be in the engagement process. While they may feel very comfortable advocating for their dream wedding, they sometimes struggle to speak up about what they want in their engagement ring.


But we don’t live in fairytales, so how is your partner supposed to magically know what you want in a ring if they haven’t asked, and you haven’t told?


How can you go about having this kind of conversation, without diminishing any of the surprise and romance of your proposal moment?


There are two main ways modern couples shop for engagement rings, and both options include input from you.


Consider this: over 50% of couples today go together to shop for her engagement ring.

Having some say in your ring, or even picking out your ring, is a lot more common than many people realize. It doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t know you well. It means they want to get it right, and that is every bit as romantic as a complete surprise.


Option 1: Shop together.



Shopping together is a win-win. It takes a lot of undo pressure off your partner, and it gives you a chance to really discover what you love. (You may be surprised once you actually start trying rings on). And it creates another memory for you both. Shopping for an engagement ring can be full of pinch-yourself moments, that you’ll enjoy spending together.


3/31/2020 UPDATE: Now you can do this from the comfort of your own home. Even when the stores are closed and social distancing is a must, businesses like Wedding Day Diamonds are setting up ways to have virtual appointments. Heck, they even have apps you can download that allow you to try on rings and share them with your partner!


If you’re the type who likes a surprise, don’t worry. Many couples do the window shopping together, then leave it to the buyer to come back and make final choices on the mounting and the center diamond. Remember, just because you’ve chosen your dream style, doesn’t mean you have to know whether your center stone is going to be a cushion or a pear… if you want to be surprised, leaving some of those details to your partner is the perfect way to get a ring you love, and be surprised by it.


Option 2: Leave it to him, mostly.



If you’re the type who likes a surprise, don’t worry. Many couples do the window shopping together, then leave it to the buyer to come back and make final choices on the mounting and the center diamond. Remember, just because you’ve chosen your dream style, doesn’t mean you have to know whether your center stone is going to be a cushion or a pear… if you want to be surprised, leaving some of those details to your partner is the perfect way to get a ring you love, and be surprised by it.


Keep a Pinterest board with some of your favorite styles, and be explicit about what you do and don’t like about each.


If you’re going to do this, consider going into a jewelry store and trying on some different styles first.


Or, better yet, use this amazing app to customize different rings, and try them on your actual hand, virtually. This app lets you create the ring of your dreams, from the comfort of your couch.



Whether you do it in person, or virtually, don’t skip trying rings on. It’s amazing how much what you like might change once you see it on your hand. Once you figure out what you’re drawn to, narrow down the parts that are most important to you. Communicate those things, and leave the rest to him.


What about budget?



Budget is always the elephant in the room, and it can make vocalizing your wants really difficult. If your partner is the one who plans to pay for the ring, it really is best to leave the budget up to him, and what he feels he can afford.


However, if you are a couple who plans to merge all your finances in the near future, or who is already living off a shared account, then the ring’s budget will impact you both. For nearly every couple, money is a finite thing, and deciding how to allocate it can be tricky. Just because you want to buy each other the world doesn’t mean you should. So how do you talk about what to spend on an engagement ring? Frame the conversation in terms of your bigger values.


For example, some couples want to create a keepsake. They envision a ring that will become a family heirloom, admired and coveted for generations to come. If you want to be the grandma who’s referenced when future generations talk about “grandmas diamond,” then you may well find that a bigger ring budget fits well within your broader values.


However, if you aren’t really into accessories, and would rather honeymoon in Fiji than Florida, you may opt to spend less on the ring, and more on the honeymoon, or on the wedding day, or your first house.


The point is, framing the ring in the context of your bigger values is something only you and your partner can do, and it’s a wonderful way to have a deeper conversation about what you both want out of your life together. It’s far more fruitful to have a conversation that lets you both feel positive about your contributions, than to have a conversation revolving around details like carat size.


Having a conversation about what you want from your ring will not diminish the romance of the proposal in any way. In fact, it’s likely to accomplish just the opposite. Imagine how much happier and more excited he’ll feel, knowing that what he’s chosen is about to make your unique, fairytale dreams come true.