Proposing to someone is exciting and can be nerve-wracking. Throughout recent times and even to this day, you can announce that you are engaged but everyone wants to see THE RING! We are here to help with a series of blogs to make the journey enjoyable and less daunting. Much of what we cover applies whether you are buying through a website or shopping in person.
TWO IS COMPANY, THREE A CROWD?
We have many combinations of scenarios for the ideal company one should seek when you want to propose (or be proposed to), and each one has their own pros and cons.
Going Solo (the proposer)
You’ve decided you want to surprise your partner and choose something yourself. A brave move, but if you’re confident you know your partner’s style, perhaps they’ve shown you examples of what they like in the past, then the risk is low and planning the proposal is more under your control. The down side is if they hate your choice and tell you (the lesser of the 2 evils), or if they hate it and don’t tell you but tell other people. One way to lower the risk is to phone a friend – do the reconnaissance yourself and then show the shortlist to one of your partner’s friends or a family member for their opinion.
Judging the correct finger size without the wearer can be challenging. Some enterprising people can squirrel away a ring of their partner without them noticing for us to work out the size. The thing to remember is that it needs to fit the wedding finger and most people do not wear a ring on that finger until they are married. The sample ring will just be a guide unless it is already worn on the wedding finger and the engagement ring can be resized on a best guess scenario. Ideally the ring should be presented first and resized properly afterwards.
To help support this courageous individual, we do offer the opportunity of a credit and to choose something else if it really does not suit – some conditions apply.
Worried your partner will choose the worst forever ring possible? There are subtle and less subtle ways to steer them, from commenting on friends’ rings, celebrities’ rings, putting your perfect ring on your screen savers, forwarding your favourite shop’s newsletter to your loved one, to pointing out your dream rings when out shopping for other things. Hopefully the other blogs in this section will help….!
To get the perfect ring, you will ideally shop together. It can spoil the surprise to a point but at least you will know your partner will be happy and it IS something that is going to be worn forever. A compromise here is to get their top 3 favourites, make sure the sales person measures their ring size, then come in at another time to buy your favourite and have it resized if necessary to their finger size. That way you are ready to go in your timeframe and you know it will be the perfect fit. We have had people propose there and then in the shop and go home with the perfect ring and that is very exciting!
Phone a Friend
A more comfortable option is to go searching with a friend or family member. Just one other person is advised. Once it’s a crowd, it makes it difficult to achieve your objective and conflicting advice gets confusing. Choosing the right wing person is important. How well do they know your partner’s tastes? Are they capable of understanding what your partner would like rather than what they would like? Can they keep a secret?!
CHOOSE THE METHOD THAT GIVES YOU THE MOST CONFIDENCE FOR WHEN YOU POP THE QUESTION
FIRST RECONNAISSANCE DOs and DON’Ts
The start of the search will be exciting, if not a bit unnerving. Here are some tips to make it more enjoyable and productive.
Pace Yourself and Make It Fun
It is easy to get overwhelmed when out shopping for the first time for an engagement ring. The first tip is to pace yourself and don’t look at too many rings all at once. Pick one or two of your favourite shops. You can visit others on another day if you need to.
Prepare a Little
Is there a preference for the kind of metal – yellow gold, rose gold, platinum, white gold?
Is there a preference for just diamonds, no diamonds, a coloured gemstone and if so which colours are in favour and which are definitely not?
Must the ring be antique, new, or it does it matter? Pieces can be new but still in the old style.
Is there a particular style that is desired – Art Deco, Victorian?
If you require something designed and custom made, how much time do you have before you’d like to announce the engagement?
Anything goes these days in terms of a style for an engagement ring. If choosing an unusual shape, it’s good to consider how important it is to have a wedding band alongside the engagement ring. If possible, we can make a band to follow the ring’s contours, however some designs do not lend themselves to a band next to it and it would spoil the look. In those cases, the person may be happy to wear a band on another finger or not to worry about one at all. It is a bit challenging to think about the wedding when you are focused on the engagement but this is an important consideration.
In the Shop
Don’t be afraid to try things on. If the sales person is skilled, they will quickly help work out what shape and style best suits. Then the choice of which ring to try on becomes more targeted and less overwhelming.
Not every ring that is tried on will fit perfectly but don’t let that put you off if you love the style. Most rings can be resized by a professional jeweller. Our master jeweller is at your service.
Some people don’t like to declare their budget to their partner. If there is a budget and you are happy to declare it to them and the sales person, you can be shown pieces in the desired price range.
If you are not prepared to commit to a purchase on the day, make sure you get the details of what you liked written on a business card so that you know what you saw and where. Ask if you can take a photograph.
BY BEING PREPARED AND ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, YOU WILL BE ONE STEP CLOSER TO YOUR GOAL
BITING THE BULLET!
It can be daunting to the final decision on a ring of such significance, but if you have done your homework, then the next best thing is to rely on your instinct.
A Ring Forever
The intention for an engagement ring is that it will be worn forever. Of course some designs date over time. For example, some rings bought in the 1970s and 1980s had very high settings and we have done some remodelling of such pieces to give them a more contemporary look. Without having a crystal ball, you will ideally choose a style which will stand the test of time.
Do not hesitate to ask for more information on any piece you have seen if you are unsure of anything. If you are planning on comparing pieces you’ve seen elsewhere, make sure you are comparing like with like. Ideally, buy from a known quantity.
Phone a Friend
To help validate your choice, getting the opinion of someone else who knows your partner well often reduces the pressure and helps in the decision-making process.
Time to Go For It
At some stage you will need to make the final decision. Hopefully the previous steps and blogs will help give you the confidence to proceed.
Don’t leave it too long to commit if you think you have found that special piece. And remember with antique pieces, where each piece is unique, once they are sold, they cannot be replaced.
If there’s something a little beyond the original budget, most shops offer layby, which means you can secure the piece with a deposit and you don’t risk being disappointed if the piece has been sold to someone else.
If you are planning on getting something custom made, make sure you allow enough time for the process.
WHICHEVER APPROACH YOU END UP FOLLOWING, INSTINCT IS OFTEN YOUR BEST FRIEND
HAPPY HUNTING – WE ARE HERE TO HELP!