Buying an engagement ring for your significant other can be both exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. Thankfully I survived the process and can now offer these tips I picked up along the way.
Note: These tips are aimed at guys from the perspective of a guy.
Unless you’re the ballsy type, don’t try to pick out a ring on your own!
I thought picking out an engagement ring would be a straightforward task. But after seeing the thousands of different minute details to pick and choose from I quickly reconsidered. Just take a gander at BlueNile.com, a good starting point for ring shopping. Can you guess which diamond type your lover would like? White gold, yellow gold, or platinum? Solitaire, side-stone, or three-stone? Four-prong, six-prong, comfort fit, knife edge, intertwined, cathedral? These things matter.
Talk to your partner about the ring.
Keep in mind this ring will be with the two of you for the rest of your lives so the recipient better be happy with it. Besides, open communication is a good trait for marriage.
Set a budget before browsing
Engagement rings are the ultimate intersection between emotion and money. You run the risk of setting yourself up for disappointment if you dive in without setting any ground rules. It is easy to raise expectations when shopping around but damn near impossible to lower them. Coming to an understanding about budget and quality between the two of you beforehand will make things sail smoothly.
And it doesn’t make sense to go into debt before the wedding as there will be other things that require money after the two of you tie the knot (like a down payment on a house!). In other words don’t get more ring than you can afford.
Talk to other family members about your plans.
Not only does this fall under the category of the more communication the better, but you could also save a lot of money. You never know if a close relative has a diamond ring sitting in a security deposit box just collecting dust. Now you shouldn’t go around demanding old jewelry, but if your family doesn’t know that you are thinking about getting married they won’t know to offer their old gems.
The diamonds in Kristina’s ring were from my grandmother’s ring passed down to my mother. They were certainly better diamonds then I could afford and the sentimental value of the family history made the engagement ring unique and extra special i.e. more romantic.
If possible, record the proposal on video.
This is one of the biggest moments of your life. Capture it on video so you can show it to future generations and re-live the day in your later years. With the rise of online video, passing a video around to friends via social networks will bring you in contact with people you haven’t heard from in ages. People love seeing exactly how your proposal went down.
It all might seem daunting at first but take everything one step at a time. Try not to let the stress get to you while seeking out the perfect ring to satisfy the needs of both you. Keep your eye on the prize which should be to show your companion how much you care about them and that you want to be with them forever.
For more engagement ring shopping tips check out the guides at Mahalo.com and About.com