Sadly, for most guys, the extent of our ring knowledge mostly comes from sports championships and the one Frodo wore. As much as we’d love to have a gaudy Super Bowl ring or the “One Ring to Rule Them All”, it probably just won’t work for your girl if you’re planning on making a surprise proposal.
Out of the whole courtship and wedding process, you’ll probably never be more on your own than when you are picking out the right engagement ring. Finding the girl of your dreams almost sounds like the easy part in comparison. Thankfully, there are some ways to avoid disaster and maybe even impress her.
Find Your Budget
Don’t let the old saying “the engagement ring should cost 3 months of your salary” get you down. It’s a bunch of BS. You’ll eventually spend way too much money on the wedding, so there’s no need to start your lives together even more in debt. Buy what you’re comfortable with. Do your research. A lot of times you can find a ring for $5,000 one place and $1,000 another with similar quality. Don’t get tricked into thinking you need to become homeless because you blew your savings on a ring.
Find Her Style
This is the hard part. Maybe you know the type of fashion she finds completely unappealing. If you’re lucky, she may have mentioned something about rings in the past. It’s time to think deep and build off some of her preferences.
If you’re trying to keep the whole thing a surprise, asking one of her friends or family members might just be inviting disaster. However, if there is someone you can trust, this might make the whole process way easier than you think. Just be sure to swear the person to silence. Blackmail is not a recommended method for this, but to each their own.
Getting a ring isn’t like getting a T-shirt. Not only is the price of the former shockingly expensive, but there are also so many things to consider. When it comes to the diamond, you’ll have to consider the size, placement and quality of the rock. Or maybe she’s not into diamonds and wants something else entirely. And then there is the decision on which band to choose. This is why seeking outside help – and perhaps some clandestine research of your own – is important.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are more options than just the usual clear/white diamond. Colored diamonds like these ones are all the rage lately. These can be a little risky since they break tradition, but if she’s a girl who always goes against the grain then a unique piece like that may blow her socks off. Or more.
Find Her Size
Do you know your own ring size? Probably not. Do you know your girlfriend’s? Almost certainly not.
It’s not the end of the world if you get the wrong size, but it will cost you a little extra. Put that money towards an open bar at the wedding and get the right size on the first go.
To do this, temporarily borrow one of her rings and bring it in to the shop to get sized. Then, be sure to return the ring to where you found it to avoid any awkward questions about why you’re taking your girlfriend’s jewelry. Don’t “just guess.” You will be wrong, and probably insulting if you give her a ring that’s even loose on her thumb.
Think About What Could Happen
While it’s a little uncomfortable to think about what could happen if the relationship goes south, things can happen, and not everything works out. If you have renter’s insurance, then declaring the ring is a no-brainer in case of a burglary or disaster.
If a marriage doesn’t go through, then the ring is considered your property and must be returned to you. Be aware that different states have modifications to this law. It’s nasty business, for sure, but it’s something you should know about. Sorry to kill the buzz, but better safe than sorry.
Don’t Sweat It
The ring is important. Your relationship is more important. The right girl will be happy even if you screwed up the ring. If she wants some modifications to the ring, so be it. With the proposal given, the worst is behind you. Now it’s time for the wedding planning. Good luck with that – you’ll need it.