Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Picking Your Engagement Ring Together Before or After the Proposal

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A answered by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

Q: I’m planning on proposing to my girlfriend soon and while I want it to be a surprise, I don’t know what to do about the ring.  She’s particular and has her own style and I want her to love her engagement ring.  So, I feel like we should pick the ring out together.  But, do we do that before or after the proposal?

Oh this is such a great question!  Thank you for asking!  First off, I’m so happy that you’re thinking about your girlfriend.  Proposing is such a meaningful moment and I’m glad you’re keeping her in mind too.

Many couples are picking the engagement ring together nowadays which is great because it ensures you’re both happy.  It also allows you to create something custom together.  And it can allow you to find something vintage or just pick the right setting.

Because you’re spending a lot of money.

And you want this ring to be something she wants to wear every day.  And she also wants this ring to be something she wants to wear every day.

So, you want everyone to be happy.

But, I agree that the surprise factor is huge.  

I think that is a big part of the proposal, her not knowing.

So, picking out the ring together before you get engaged can be anti-climactic.  She knows it’s coming, so it’s not a surprise when you show her the ring.

So, here are 3 ways you can keep the surprise factor, but also ensure you both like the engagement ring.

#1 – You can propose with a temporary ring  

This could be a loaner ring from the store.  Or it could be a funny ring of some sort. The idea is you’re using the temporary ring to mark the occasion.

#2 – You can pick out a ring that can be returned

If you’re buying from a store that allows returns, you can choose what you think she’d like.  And if it’s not quite right, she can return it and you can pick something together.  This way you’re giving it a shot, but with a backup plan.

#3 – You can propose with no ring

While untraditional, remember, the ring isn’t the most important part of your proposal.  It’s about the question and ring or no ring doesn’t detract from the moment at all.  And then after the proposal, you can go together to pick out a ring.

With these options, whether you propose with or without a ring, she’ll be surprised.  And then you can plan on going ring shopping together afterward.

Or if you pick out a ring she loves, you’re golden!  And if not, you’re covered for that too.

You get to create that surprise moment and also not have to worry about the ring.  Win-win!

Now if you want the right ring from the beginning or she doesn’t need the full surprise, then picking out the engagement ring beforehand is totally fine!

You can still make the proposal itself a surprise even though she knows it’s coming.  But if you want the entire thing to be a surprise, then go with my previous advice.

It really gives you the best of both worlds without feeling like you need to compromise.

Engagement and wedding rings sitting on sea urchins at a Hawaii destination wedding by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

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