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couple jewelry window shopping

Source: Atelier211/

From the proper knee to favor during the proposal to the appropriate time frame for the thank you note window, shuttle buses full of advice attend every step of the wedding process. However, that shouldn’t phase you because you know that you are going to be navigating it with the permanent co-pilot of all your social activities. 

But, maybe shopping for an engagement ring has you a bit worried. You aren’t sure if purchasing the engagement ring is supposed to be a clandestine mission or a joint activity. There’s no shortage of information on the subject, whether that is statistics about how many brides are buying their own engagement rings or the uptick in online shopping during the pandemic. 

Why Buy an Engagement Ring Online

But how do you feel out your partner’s preference on the engagement ring? You obviously know your partner better than we do, but we’re pretty familiar with the ins and outs of this age-old dilemma, so here are a few pointers on engagement ring shopping etiquette.

Get Used to Asking Questions and Having Hard Conversations

We won’t sugarcoat it. There are few easy ways into an honest discussion about bank balances, life goals, or whatever else keeps you up at night. It can kill the mood. But perpetually postponing an honest discussion because it feels unromantic or is downright awkward? Well that can hurt a strong foundation, which is much messier. Those hard conversations don’t have to be wedding-related, though the proposal should obviously not be the first matrimony-specific question either one of you asks! 

In fact, the more accustomed you are to talk about hard topics, important issues, and marriage material, the easier it is to do reconnaissance. Discussing a mutual friend’s proposal story might lower the stakes of trading opinions about unique solitaire engagement rings. At the very least, it’s more natural than simply blurting out: “ So. Engagement rings for women: Thoughts?” The more of those conversations you have, the more readily you recognize when you are avoiding talking about something because your partner wants to preserve the mystery or you are just uncomfortable bringing it up.

The Engagement Ring Is a Shared Preference

round white gold engagement ring

Gift advice doesn’t just apply to the person who is buying the present or the person receiving it. It applies to both of them, especially when it symbolizes the lifelong relationship between the two. That holds true even if you are purchasing the ring for yourself; the ring communicates something about both of you to the rest of the world, so it is important to be on the same page about the message. 

Shop Our Collection of Engagement Rings

Whichever side of the proposal you are on, if you care deeply about particular aspects of the ring, it’s on you to communicate that you have those feelings, even if the particulars are a bit nebulous. And if you are shopping together, don’t assume that the other person has done research on things like stones and styles. And it’s not gauche to ask practical questions about insurance and return policies. 

Make Sure Surprise Is Working in Your Favor

The element of surprise is dramatic, but make sure that it is working in your favor. There is absolutely a place for extravagant gestures, but coming back from a honeymoon to credit debt for a ring that she didn’t really want isn’t one of them. Remembering a conversation with her sister about how much she loves princess cut engagement rings — now that’s good info to make for a great surprise. 

Shop All Princess Cut Engagement Rings

Be Patient with the Process

Maybe you didn’t realize how much you cared about the cut of a ring until you had to wear it for a day. Maybe the vintage ring is a knockoff that is turning your fiance’s finger green. What if you picked out that ring together, but a swollen finger prevents you from wearing it at your engagement party? Because the gift of an engagement ring is often a public gesture that is loaded with symbolic meaning, it can be intimidating to switch directions. 

i said yes lettering in sand with engagement ring

But far better to use a ring shopping mistake as an opportunity to communicate better with your partner than to stubbornly insist on a poor fit. It’s one of the reasons Modern Gents has such a generous return and exchange policy.

An engagement ring is a daily reminder of a lifelong pledge. So don’t be flustered if it takes a bit of work to find the right match.

Buying an Engagement Ring 101