Should an Engagement Ring Be a Surprise?
Buying an engagement ring is a joyful milestone in your relationship but can also sometimes be a stressful one too. Engagement rings are worn every single day for life. Hey, no pressure! You just have to choose the perfect style set with the perfect stone. Let’s also not forget that your engagement ring is also a really important symbol of your love for each other and your commitment to share your lives together.
The first question you need to answer when you start to think about shopping for an engagement ring is whether or not you should shop for an engagement ring together or if the engagement ring is going to be a surprise. Should you shop together for an engagement ring as a couple? It’s a simple question but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There’s no wrong way to shop for an engagement ring, but there might be a wrong way for you, so it’s important to consider the question carefully.
Have you seen the TikTok posts by women who are less-than-thrilled with their engagement rings? It happens more often than you think. If you get it wrong, she may never tell you and will end up wearing a ring she doesn’t love for the rest of her life. It isn’t a great way to begin your journey together.
According to a recent survey by wedding planning website The Knot, engagement ring shopping is a two-person job for 72% of couples. A survey of soon-to-be-engaged women was even more decisive: 96% said they wanted to have some involvement in the selection of the engagement ring and would not want it to be a total surprise. Three-fourths of pre-engaged women have thought a lot or some about their engagement ring and most are increasingly preferring more personalized and unique engagement rings. Lab-grown diamond engagement rings are becoming more popular than ever before too.
Reasons why the Engagement Ring Should Be a Surprise
One reason why you might want to keep the engagement ring a surprise is to help keep the proposal a surprise. Most soon-to-be-engaged women want the proposal to be a unique experience. (Although 66% say they prefer something private rather than a elaborate public event.)
If the person proposing shops alone for the ring, it’s easier to keep proposal planning under wraps. And that reveal with the surprise first sight of the engagement ring is a special moment that can make a proposal truly memorable. You’ll both remember it every time you see the ring.
The proposer deciding to go engagement ring shopping alone doesn’t necessarily mean that the proposee doesn’t have input on the ring. She may have a close friend or sibling who knows her taste or even has been briefed in advance. And some people expecting a proposal leave deliberate clues and hints about ring details. Pay attention to what she says about friends and celebrity rings or posts on social media. If she tags you on a ring post, you’ll know exactly what to do!
If you are expecting a proposal and you want input on the ring, make sure you say so. You can just tell your partner something like “if you ever want to buy me jewelry, talk to my friend Mary, she really knows my taste.” Then make sure Mary knows your engagement ring preferences and your ring size.
It’s also possible that you can talk together about the ring and keep the time and place of a proposal a surprise. You can also propose with a ring pop or without a ring (but just be aware that the first thing everyone will ask when you say you’re engaged is to see the ring.)
Reasons why You Should Shop Together for an Engagement Ring
If the style of the ring is more important to her than the surprise factor, you should shop for the ring together either before or after the proposal. If you are planning on proposing, how do you know if this is the case? How particular is your partner? Is your partner a creative person who is visually expressive? Does your partner choose your furniture or clothing? Whose taste does your partner trust the most? If your partner is design sensitive, you should shop together (or at least ask directly about this idea.)
Surveys show that design, stone shape and other style factors are more important engagement ring factors than stone size for most women. The type of gem, the shape of the gem, the style of the ring, and the metal color are all really important decisions to make. If you aren’t sure, you should ask.
Shopping together also provides a better understanding of how much the ring costs. A ring should be looked at as a lifelong investment, so it makes sense to discuss how much to spend on an engagement ring and decide together what is affordable for you and what you both feel comfortable with. Don’t worry about the rule to spend three months salary on the engagement ring. There are many ways to save money on an engagement ring and to make your engagement ring look bigger without sacrificing quality, like choosing a lab-created diamond instead of a mined diamond.
Today, sustainability is also important to many people. You may find that your partner prefers a lab-created diamond engagement ring because it not only costs less but, if you buy from a sustainability-minded jeweler like Brilliant Carbon, it can also be carbon neutral. You can both feel good about the environmental impact of your engagement ring while saving money to spend on your wedding or your home together.
Shopping together for an engagement ring is becoming increasingly common. If you don’t have a firm idea of what you’re looking for, ring shopping is a wonderful opportunity to explore your options. It’s particularly helpful for partners who are unsure of what their partner will want in a ring.
Making the Right Choice for You Both
Life as a married couple will be full of decisions and the engagement ring can be a great example of how you can communicate with each other and arrive at the right decision for you both. The most important thing for you both to do is to communicate what you want. If a surprise proposal is what you want, it can be helpful to communicate that to your partner and let your friends and family know what you want in an engagement ring so they can consult during the process. If you want to choose the ring together, just let your partner know. You can also reach a middle ground and look at rings together but narrow it down to two or three options. Then your partner can make the final choice and the ring will still be a surprise.