By Erika Winters
Surprise! She said yes! She loves you! But the ring? Not so much. It doesn’t suit her lifestyle, her tastes, or her sensibilities–it’s just not her. While some women will be over-the-moon with a surprise engagement ring, many will not. And it feels a little odd to be writing something so obvious, but times have changed. Couples are getting married later in life, women are earning more than ever before, mangagement rings are on the rise, and same-sex couples can marry…in some countries and U.S. states anyway. So why are men still picking out the engagement ring? And should they? The answer is definitely up to the couple, but we hope that both parties are involved in the decision.
…and they are. According to a 2011 survey of 10,000 U.S. brides and 1,000 U.S. grooms by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, more women are helping to select their engagement rings.
The majority of brides are at least somewhat involved in the ring selection (65%), with nearly a third (31%) ‘very involved’ — that is, they shopped for and/or purchased the ring with their groom.
The Internet and social networks have changed the landscape of engagement ring exposure. As women are inundated with engagement ring images on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr–heck who needs paparazzi when celebrities are tweeting their engagement ring pictures–they are honing their tastes with each click. They know what they want.
More women are also financially contributing to the engagement ring purchase. We see this often enough on Pricescope’s forums, and though we have progressive reputation for women choosing their own rings, you can use this site and its female members as a microcosm of the bridal jewelry-buying public. Pricescope garners about 500,000 unique visitors each month.
So you may still want to surprise your intended with a ring, but we suggest you consider a joint process for ring selection. It’s actually incredibly romantic to look for the ring together. You’ll flirt, have fun, and most importantly, you’ll learn about each other’s financial expectations for the ring. Communicate. You’re about to enter a marriage contract, and both parties are equally important when making big financial decisions.
You can surprise her later with an amazing proposal.
Finding Her Dream Engagement Ring: 5 Tips on Working Together
1. If she hasn’t told you, ask her what she wants. Ask her to start gathering images via an image-sharing site like Pinterest.
2. Window shop together. It’s incredibly romantic, and she can try on specific looks and see what suits her. She may have a style in mind that doesn’t translate well to her hand. Visit your local jewelers to see rings in person.
3. Join Pricescope. Our members are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and our site is a wealth of diamond jewelry education.
4. Listen to her. Keep the communication lines open.
5. Understand that this is just the beginning. Buying an engagement ring is a detailed, technical process mixed with a surge of emotion.
…still want to surprise her with an engagement ring? We understand that some will be absolutely thrilled with a surprise ring, and that’s cool. We’ve got tips for that too. Head over to the forum and ask for help.
Window shopping is a great way to learn about her tastes. You may think she wants a simple solitaire when she has her eyes set on an ornate halo style like this Beaudry Couture engagement ring.
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