How to Figure Out What Engagement Ring You Want
Take a look at your Pinterest board or your Instagram bookmarks. Odds are you’ve probably saved an engagement ring or two over the years, but even though you may like them, you still don’t know exactly what *your* engagement ring is going to look like.
Committing to the piece of jewelry that you are supposed to wear everyday, forever is a scary thing. There’s so many things you don’t want to get wrong. We often hear women say “What if I don’t like this ring in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?”
Finding the ring that you’ll actually want to wear is not an easy task. Nowadays, we have so many more style options than our mothers and grandmothers did – there are no rules anymore as to what an engagement ring “should” look like. Whether you go with a diamond, or gemstone, or no stones at all, all are perfectly valid options.
So, from one indecisive woman to another, here are a five tried and true tips to finding the ring that absolutely lights you up.
#1 Figure Out What You Don’t Like…
Just like all the dating you did to find your amazing partner, finding your engagement ring takes some dating too. As the saying goes, “you’ve gotta kiss some frogs.” Figuring out what types of engagement rings and what design elements you absolutely don’t like will help you zone in on what you DO like so much faster.
Head back to that Pinterest board. As you’re scrolling through rings you may have saved in the past try to find what it is about each ring that makes it not quite your perfect ring. Is the band too wide or too delicate? Is it the type of stone or the shape of the stone or even the color of the stone? Is there a particular feeling the piece evokes that just isn’t it? Even if you can’t put a word on exactly what “it” is, take a note of it, screenshot it, whatever it is you do to remember details.
Write all of this down and make a list of your “non-negotiables” or in other words, style, elements, colors, shapes that you absolutely do not like. Now that you have that list, make a list of the things that you do like, or wouldn’t mind exploring in a ring. Keep both of these lists with you when you go into stores or start talking with designers.
#2 Try Things On…
So you now know what looks you totally do not want. But, you need to now confirm by trying things on. Sometimes, a stone shape that you thought you loved can look way different than you imagined when it’s actually on your hand.
Find some people who have engagement rings who would be willing to talk to you about their ring, and would let you try it on (some believe trying on another’s engagement ring is actually lucky). They can be you friends, mom, aunts, grandmother, etc. Ask them about their engagement ring, how it fits, how comfortable it is, if wearing it all the time took some getting used to. What do they love about it? What would they maybe change about it? If that person lets you wear it, take notes on how that particular style of ring feels to you. Is it comfortable? How does the size of the stone look and feel? What do you like and dislike about their ring? How does the color of the metal look against your skin?
Don’t be afraid to ask these questions. Generally, people LOVE talking about their engagement rings and will jump at the chance to be given permission to gush all about it.
#3 Think About Your Day-To-Day…
One really important thing that’s easily forgotten in the excitement of looking at all of these beautiful engagement ring designs is that at the end of the day your ring has to wearable… whether you are at a cocktail party with Anna Wintour or grocery shopping at 9pm on Sunday night in an outfit that hasn’t been washed for 3 weeks.
One thing is to ask yourself is how active are you? Are you moving around a lot – lifting things, working out, taking care of kids? Some engagement ring designs and materials are not good for super active lifestyles (more on that here). Ask your jeweler or your designer about the engineering and structural integrity of the ring you’re thinking about, and if it will work for your unique lifestyle.
If you’re trying things on in a ring store, ask to walk around the store in the ring. Pick things up, rifle through your purse, put your jacket on, take your jacket off, just move your body around like you would in your day to day. Take note if the ring bangs against anything or gets caught on things. Would that be annoying to you when it’s happening everyday, forever?
#4 Set a Budget…
We all want the 3 carat diamond with the humongous halo that will make every person we meet gawk at it’s size, but to be frank, that’s only realistic for a select few. Do some research on the materials and the jewelers you do like, and get a sense of how much they realistically cost.
Your budget will give you a line as to how crazy (or not) you can go with your design. Budget might also determine the type of stone you get – for example if you love the look of a big diamond but it’s not in your budget you can achieve a similar look with a lab grown diamond or a moissanite. Or maybe we can keep the diamond and we scrap the halo – or even go with a much smaller diamond, but add a much larger halo. Knowing where your limits are can help you set boundaries on your engagement ring search, but also give you opportunities to get creative and consider designs that you may not have thought about otherwise.
#5 Keep Track of Everything…
Doing all of this work and soul searching for your perfect ring will be pointless if you don’t keep a record of it somewhere. Whatever system you use, whether its a google doc or a note on your phone – we’ve even had a client who made an entire powerpoint for her boyfriend (a true queen among us mere mortals). Just write it down so that you remember, but also so that you can communicate to your partner everything you’ve discovered. Whether you guys are shopping together or they are taking the reins and surprising you, having something to go off of will put them lightyears ahead in the process and just make it so much easier. And it’s a win for you too because the ring will be exactly what you want, and not some mystery surprise.
One last closing note, the most important thing you can do in this whole thing is listen to yourself. Don’t think about what your friends and family will think about this piece – they don’t have to wear it, you do.
What ring makes the sparks fly in your heart? Which one can you not stop thinking about? Which one has so much meaning you can’t wait to tell people the story behind it? Like I said, there are zero rules when it comes to your engagement ring. No matter which route you take or ring you pick there is no wrong answer. Your engagement ring will be meaningful and special, because it’s yours.