By: Jeanne D'Aloia, Certified Wedding and Event Planner
Fun tidbit: 38% of engagements happen between December and February 14th each year. It makes sense though, doesn't it? What a perfect holiday memory to have or a great way to kick off a New Year! Much like a wedding, a proposal is definitely one of those "I'll-never-forget-this" moments in life! For me, December 23, 2006 was that moment! I vividly remember my husband getting down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree in my childhood home. Christmas was already my favorite holiday, but since 2006, it's been even more special!
If you're planning on proposing, we know how much pressure you may feel to make sure the proposal is everything your partner is dreaming of...from the ring, to the perfect proposal location, to getting down on one knee, and how you celebrate after!
So, let's start with the RING!
DO get help picking out the ring!
No, you don't have to ask your significant other (SO) what kind of ring they want. In fact, asking them outright would ruin the element of surprise! There are so many creative ways to find their dream ring without asking! Do they have a Pinterest account? If they're dreaming of a proposal, chances are they might be looking for some "ring"spiration on Pinterest. So check out their saved pins! Did they save diamond rings or rings with non-traditional gemstones like moissanite or sapphires? Look at the setting of their saved pins: do the rings have halos around the center stone or are they more classic solitaires? Are the settings more modern or vintage? Notice, too, if the stones are channel set or pave set. You can get a lot of information about your SO's likes and dislikes on engagement rings by looking at their Pinterest boards.
No Pinterest? No problem! Instead, check out what jewelry your SO currently has. Notice what color jewelry they wear most often (white gold/silver, yellow gold, rose gold, black). Look at the shape of rings, earrings, and any pendant necklaces they currently own. This will give you a good idea of what color and shape they're drawn towards. Bonus tip...if you see a ring they wear often, trace it on a piece of paper and bring it with you to the jeweler to help with sizing!
Don't be afraid to ask your SO's mom, sibling, or best friend to go shopping with you! These are people who likely know your SO's style very well and who can help guide you in the right direction. Just make sure you trust them not to spill the beans on your proposal!
If you still need more help, or your SO is very particular about what they want in a ring, you could let your SO have some input without giving too much information away. How? Find 3 rings that you think they might like and take pictures of them. Then, have your SO give you input about what they like or don't like about the rings. With this additional information, you'll be armed with everything you need to find the perfect ring.
Have a budget in mind when you go ring shopping. As with most other things, the price of gold and diamonds (and other gemstones) has increased in recent years. The Knot reported that in 2021, the average price of an engagement ring was $6,000. A general rule is to budget 2-3 months of your salary for the ring, but everyone's circumstances are different, so go with a budget that makes sense for you.
If budget is a concern, we recommend focusing on quality over size. Remember, the stone and/or setting can always be upgraded in the future (this is a great idea for an anniversary gift...hint, hint). Also, for a more budget AND eco-friendly option, don't forget about lab-grown diamonds! They are just as REAL and beautiful as earth-mined diamonds and should come with a diamond certification.
Finally, DO be sure to take your time and make a thoughtful decision!
Following our tips above will help you make a thoughtful, informed choice on an engagement ring for your loved one. Taking time and care in this decision also lets your SO know that you care about them and care about your future together.