Put A Ring On It, Together

Engagement Ring Shopping

Do diamonds make you dizzy? Are you confused by cut, carat and clarity? Don't worry - picking the right ring just got a lot easier.

Getting married is the ultimate statement of togetherness, so did you ever consider doing your engagement ring shopping together?  It may seem like an odd idea at first, but more and more couples are making their first act a duo.

De Beers US CEO Devon Pike put this burgeoning new trend into perspective for us. “Shopping together creates an emotional bond--the bride can really try on everything she thinks she might like and you will end up choosing a ring you both love, forever,” Pike says. At the De Beers Fifth Avenue flagship in Manhattan, they tend to see men shopping solo during the week, perhaps to take a sniff around, but the weekend brings in both the groom and the bride.

Despite the fact they chose the ring together, Don surprised her again several weeks later with a wild, emotion-filled evening that culminated in a full-on, ring-in-box proposal on a midtown Manhattan rooftop. How romantic is that?

Pike suggests the bride try on as many diamonds as she can, “There will be one she just doesn’t want to take off--then you’ll know you have found the perfect diamond. This emotional journey can be wonderful as a couple as you both share a bond with the beautiful diamond engagement ring you buy.”

Bride-to-Be & Beauty Editor at Real Simple, Alexandra Gonzalez, is a true believer since she went ring shopping with her Mr. Right, Don. What began as a day out together in the city starting with a romantic brunch at The Boathouse in Central Park ended with the two strolling the big jewelry houses down Fifth Avenue for the ring.

“He totally orchestrated the day. It was a complete surprise. It became a fun project for the two of us, something we did together. It sounds cheesy, but it was a great beginning of our lives together,” Gonzalez shares.

What we love about Alexandra & Don’s story is that despite the fact they chose the ring together, Don surprised her again several weeks later with a wild, emotion-filled evening that culminated in a full-on, ring-in-box proposal on a midtown Manhattan rooftop. How romantic is that?

Pike’s recommendations for a flawless foray into ring shopping include discerning what your budget is before you head into the stores. It’s not uncommon for budgets to increase when a bride joins her groom for ring shopping (alert!), so just make sure you both know the boundaries. She also stresses the point of setting aside a fair amount of time as well. She should try on as many styles as possible. You don’t want to rush this process, it’s a big decision for both of you.

Of course, doing a little pre-shopping research is never a bad idea. Don’t worry, it’s not tacky. It will help the process of finding what you both like a little easier. So, feel free to bring in all those magazine photos and website printouts; everyone does it.

De Beers makes things even easier with their "For You, Forever" program. Through the use of an in-store iPad application, the couple can view every detail of an extensive range of diamonds and then select the ideal setting to pair it with. You can even shortlist your favorites and share them - why not let the bride-to-be send some ideas to her partner, and he can make the final selection a surprise? 

What if your Mrs. Right is the kind of girl that might just prefer the full-Monty proposal? Pike feels, “It’s really a personal choice whether you want the experience of shopping together or whether your bride is after the surprise. There are still many women who dream of the surprise engagement with their husband-to-be already having chosen the ring. “

If the idea of selecting the ring together feels right to you but you don’t want to  go in empty-handed, you might consider proposing with a Promise Ring or a pair of diamond earrings. Most importantly, you both should be happy and feel comfortable with your choice, and in the end sometimes two heads are better than one.

--Juli Alvarez

 
 
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