Call it materialistic, but there’s something about an engagement ring that somehow combines the romance of the courtship and the security of a commitment without all the more mundane realities of marriage that are waiting in the wings. This is why, although the wedding band is the one that gets worn more, the engagement ring is the one that deserves more careful thought—it’s more of a statement.
This is why, if you’re actually planning to take the leap, you want to show you mean it by putting some thought into the ring you buy. Here are five things to take into account before you make the splurge.
Welcome to my life
The ring should fit in with the lifestyle of your intended. Does this person work in the medical industry? Or something that requires heavy handling? You might not want to get something with a rock in a prong setting that might a) collect germs or b) get knocked out.
Does your intended have hobbies or regular that require getting the hands dirty? Whether it’s art or home gardening, you might want to look for a ring that’s easier to clean.
You could also take into consideration a major obsession—if your intended is an LOTR fanatic, you know
you’re getting the One Ring; if they’re a Potterhead, you can get a custom golden snitch ring. If you both share gaming obsessions, you can get Player 1/Player 2 rings.
This is how I roll
With the practical consideration of the lifestyle down, it might be worth paying attention to how the new bling will fit in with your betrothed’s everyday style. If you haven’t paid much attention to this before now, you can more or less determine the broad strokes by observing two things: the kind of clothes they favour (does she prefer saris and ethnic wear? Is she more of a jeans and casuals person? Is he into suits or panjabis?) and the kind of jewellery they gravitate to (yellow gold or white? Precious gems, or non-precious materials?)
If the engagement is to be a surprise, as it often is, you can get close friends to do some sleuthing for style pointers.
Research and fantasy is fine, but be warned that the engagement ring is only one of many expenses you’ll incur before you’re Mr and Mrs, so you might want to stick to a budget. There are plenty of popular rules about how much of your paycheck goes into buying the ring, but thankfully times are changing, so you can let some creativity lower the dent on your wallet. The aforementioned theme/geeky rings are one way to dole out less dosh for your band.
This one’s tricky if the proposal is a surprise. You could borrow (steal) a ring they already own (and risk some major drama and/or possibly jail time), find an excuse to tie a string around their finger, or sign up for a clay modelling class and get an excuse to get boo to stick their fingers into clay (if Clay Station isn’t already offering this side service, convince them to get on board!).
After all that planning, what if your intended loses the ring? Even if your relationship survives that, your wallet will hate you for months. Worse, what if they say no? If that rock was a big splurge, you don’t want to be stuck with a broken heart and
an expensive ring. Look into return policies and insurance so that you have a little backup in case things go south.