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Questions to Ask Before Buying an Engagement Ring as a Couple

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Your wedding rings serve as a constant reminder of the important vows you made at the start of your marriage. They are tangible representations of your love and commitment to one another. And they (especially your engagement ring) are beautiful pieces of jewelry that you get to look at every day. You want to make the right decision for these and many other reasons.

More and more couples are going ring shopping together these days. Is it the best option for you? Here are six questions to help you figure it out.

What Are the Benefits of Going Ring Shopping Together?

First and foremost, trying on engagement rings is a lot of fun. It's a great way to see how different styles look on your hand and decide which one you prefer. This is especially useful if neither of you is sure what you're looking for. There are so many variations—different options for the band material, the cut of the stone, the carat weight, and side stones—that doing the research and perusing together makes a lot of sense.

You'll also have a better shared understanding of the costs associated with engagement rings. And, because it's such a large investment, you want to get the right ring as a lifelong investment, one that you'll be happy with for decades. The same is true for any substantial financial investment. If you share (or plan to share) bank accounts and living expenses, it's only natural to talk about how much you want to spend on a ring and figure out what's affordable together.

Furthermore, if you're both present to make the big decisions, you can create a custom ring, explains Chang. There is far less risk if both of you participate in the design and selection process. Coming together and figuring out what makes sense for the two of you, including everything from the budget to the style, is also good practice for marriage.

What Are the Drawbacks?

Shopping together, for obvious reasons, may take away the surprise of the proposal. There may still be some mystery as long as you don't know the specific proposal plans, such as when, where, and how it will all take place. Relying on your future spouse to select the ring of your dreams could backfire if they go over budget or have difficulty choosing between so many different options. When one person is left to their own devices, nothing is guaranteed.

How Do You Determine Whether Shopping Together Is Right for You?

Choosing an engagement ring as a couple is entirely up to the couple. How comfortable are you with discussing budgets and preferences? If you are the type of couple who openly discusses finances and has a very specific ring style in mind, it may be worth picking the ring together. If you are more discreet and enjoy giving and receiving surprises, and you trust [your partner's] judgment, let your significant other choose the ring!

That being said, if you know you want a surprise, tell your significant other, who can consult with your friends and family along the way.

How Should You Approach Shopping?

Looking online—whether on a jewelry website or on the Instagram accounts of jewelry brands and designers—is a great way to get a sense of what you like and don't like. Once you've decided what you want to try on and how much you're willing to spend, you can consider store visits and whether you need appointments or can just walk in. Call ahead to see if their rings are within your price range. Be truthful about your financial capabilities. You don't want to waste your time or be disappointed if the store you went to is way out of your price range.

How Can It Be Both Romantic and Non-Transactional?

Make ring shopping a special occasion rather than adding it to your mundane "to-do" list. Chertoff suggests a leisurely brunch followed by a visit to a few jewelry stores or a romantic dinner. You should also inquire about the engagement ring shopping services provided by the stores you intend to visit. Some places provide private appointments with champagne.

Furthermore, try on ring options as a couple while leaving the monetary portion of the purchase to your partner. You'll be able to enjoy the process together without becoming distracted by the transactional aspect of the experience.

What if only one partner wants to go shopping with you?

This is where negotiation comes into play. If you don't want to go shopping with your SO, start dropping hints with family and friends, and then ask your other half to check in with them. Or make a Pinterest board with your favorite rings, or fill your Instagram feed with engagement ring photos that they're bound to see. The same is true if you are the one who is resisting. Give your fiancé some hints so they're prepared for success.

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