There was a time not so long ago when there was only one way to get engaged. The man in the relationship would decide when it was time to get married, secretly buy a diamond ring and surprise his love by getting down on one knee and asking for her hand in marriage. But times have changed and these days more and more couples are choosing to shop for an engagement ring together, instead of it just being up to the man. And let’s not forget that marriage is no longer just between a man and a woman and the traditional rules may not apply at all. So now that we have options, how does one decide which proposal style is right for them? Do you choose to go the traditional way with the big surprise or the more modern route where you pick out the ring together? Let’s look at the pros and cons of picking out an engagement ring as a couple.
Pros and Cons of Engagement Ring Shopping Together
Pro: It avoids all the pressure from being on one person. It can be extremely stressful for the partner who is trying to pick out the perfect ring for their significant other. There are so many different factors to be decided when choosing a ring, from how much to spend, design style, metal choice, one stone or multi-stone, diamond or gemstone or synthetic stone, and the list goes on and on. Choosing an engagement ring together takes away the stress of buying the “wrong” ring, ensuring no regrets or disappointments.
Con: The proposal will not be a surprise. Having gotten engaged myself this year, I can tell you that the very first question everyone asks first is “Were you surprised?” and then wants to know EXACTLY how it happened. If you or your partner’s idea of a perfect proposal resembles something out of a Disney fairy tale or Jennifer Lopez rom-com, then not having that big surprise moment might be a letdown.
Pro: You know the ring will be the perfect. Forget about fairy tales for a minute, and let’s recall the infamous scene in Sex and the City when Carrie accidentally finds the ring that Aiden is planning to propose with… and barfs. If this scene is your biggest fear, then shopping for the ring as a couple might be the best idea. Only one person is going to be wearing the ring on their finger everyday for the rest of their life, so it is important that the ring is just right.
Con: It can seem less meaningful. It might seem like the decision isn’t as important or meaningful if the one partner didn’t spend the time and effort to find the perfect ring themselves. Of course, it is very romantic when someone picks out a ring for their significant other without them knowing and it ending up being their dream ring. However, most people need a bit of help from their partner, family or friends in figuring out just what the other person likes, and I don’t think that makes it any less meaningful.
Pro: Choosing together is about partnership. While it isn’t traditional, it can be very romantic for a couple to visit a jeweller together to pick out the perfect engagement ring. It is a big decision and making it as a couple can really help cement the fact that the two of you are a team. The moment you decide together that a ring is “the one” is a moment that you will remember forever.
Con: Knowing the price of the ring. If you decide to buy the ring together you will have to discuss the unromantic topic of how much you want to spend on it. Some people don’t feel comfortable disclosing how much they are going to spend on an engagement ring and prefer to not have their partner know the cost. Then there are couples who are very open about it and have decided together on a budget for the ring.
To Buy the Engagement Ring Together or Solo?
Now that we have covered the pros and cons of buying an engagement ring together, I think an easy way to decide which route to take is to have a conversation about it with your significant other. Most serious couples discuss getting engaged at some point in their relationship, and you can ask your partner if they would like to be a part of the engagement ring buying process or if they would prefer a complete surprise. If you don’t want to ask them directly, their friends or family members should be able to lead you in the right direction.
There are also ways in which you can have a surprise proposal AND your partner’s input on the engagement ring. One option is going to a jeweller together and picking out or designing a ring, but not buying it that day. Then later you can go back secretly and purchase the ring and plan a whole surprise proposal. If you don’t want your partner to have any idea you are looking at engagement rings, you can also propose with a temporary “loaner” ring. You get to have the whole fairy tale surprise proposal, and when they say “Yes!” let them know that the ring is just a placeholder until you pick out their dream ring together.
These days there are so many options when deciding how to get engaged. Whether you want to go the traditional route or with something more unconventional, it’s about choosing the way that fits you best as a couple.
Sara is the Jewelry Production and Social Media Coordinator at Kimberfire – a brilliant way to buy engagement rings, fine jewelry and loose diamonds in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from York University and a Diploma in Jewellery Arts from George Brown College. She is skilled in jewellery design using CAD software, as well as traditional goldsmith techniques. When she is not immersing herself in all things jewellery, Sara is a dog mom to Barley, her beagle mix rescue dog who loves a good tummy rub.