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You Asked: Can I Pick Out My Own Ring?

Dear Sugar,

A few months ago my boyfriend informally asked me to marry him (he said he'll surprise me with a formal proposal later). I said yes, and we've been talking about the details ever since. We've decided on a location and time of year, and I picked a dress. Really the only thing we haven't talked about is the ring.

I've had my eye on a ring for quite a while. It's a vintage ring I found online, and it's one-of-a-kind and very affordable. Would it be totally tacky to tell him it's what I want? Obviously, I would be beyond happy even if he picked out something on his own, but I really love this ring. Help! — I've Got My Mind Set Michelle

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear I've Got My Mind Set Michelle,

An engagement/wedding ring is a special token of affection that you will wear for your entire marriage, so it's important that you love it. Do you know if your boyfriend has already begun shopping for rings? Does he know the style you like? It sounds like you have already mapped out every other aspect of this engagement, so if I were you, I'd tell him about this ring you found.

It would be one thing, Michelle, if you were oohing and aahing over a ring that was out of his price range, but if it's reasonable, and you love it, you should have it! Many couples shop for the engagement ring together, and I am sure your boyfriend wants you to be happy with the ring you wear everyday. So one night when you're on the computer, show him what you found, ask him what he thinks, and play the conversation by ear – I am sure everything will fall right into place.

Congratulations on your engagement and good luck!


Join The Conversation
mlen mlen 9 years
in my perfect fantasy engagement world i'd want to be surprised by my bf that happened to pick out the perfect ring lol in reality- we all know that isn't the case! it sounds like you have been talking about all other aspects of a wedding anyways, so it should be fairly easy to have an open conversation about a ring. or you can always go the way of having a friend drop the hint! but its a ring you have to wear the rest of your life- of course you should love it! and if you have your heart set on this one, then tell him. i wouldn't bug him a lot about it, but sending him the link and being like o wow isn't this a gorgeous ring- or something like that- should help!
sass317 sass317 9 years
I went and played in a couple of jewelry stores with my mom when my husband and I were dating. I thought I knew what I wanted, but once I got into the store I ended up picking something completely different- things look SO different online than they do on your hand. Later he and I went to the store and I showed him the ones I liked and he showed me the ones he liked and we went from there. It was fine- he didnt have a problem with it. I was terrified that if I left him on his own that he would give me something I wasnt crazy about (even though he had always done very well with jewelry) and I didnt want to hurt his feelings- so I thought it would be better if we ring shopped together and I went out first without him to see what sort of things I liked so it wouldnt take as long when he and I went to the store.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
If it's your perfect ring, just tell your perfect man that you want it! Or, if you wanna be more subtle, have a friend "suggest" it. =P
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
It pains me to think of my boyfriend picking out something expensive, with his hard-earned money, that I could end up disliking. I could never tell him I didn't like it when he gave it to me, I'd wear it forever even if I hated it so picking it out together is really the most practical answer. I actually think it's the most romantic thing to do too, you are deciding on something to do with your marriage together!
Porkchopz Porkchopz 9 years
Let him know! He'll probably be relieved that he doesn't have to agonize over whether you'd like a certain ring. You will be wearing this ring for the rest of your life. Make it the perfect one!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
It always amazes me people make such a huge commitment to get married and yet they still don't communicate about even the most simple things. Your not even formally proposed to yet but you two were mature enough to talk about a future engagement and you picked out your future dress. Why wouldn't you talk about your future ring?
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
I showed my husband the ring that I wanted. He didnt have a problem with that. He knows me very well :)
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Do you want to spend the rest of your life with something that you don't like when you could have something you love instead. It might not seem romantic or spontaneous to bring this up with him, but if you want to be married its time for a reality check. Marriage isn't always romantic or spontaneous. It is a partnership and you have to be able to discuss anything and come to an agreement without resentment or hurt feelings. This is a great test for your marriage - let him know your feelings about this, let him tell you how he feels about this, listen with respect to what he has to say and then make a decision based on what is best for the both of you. Unless he has some family heirloom that he wants to pass on to you I can't see that he'd have a problem with it. If he does perhaps its time to reassess your relationship.
graylen graylen 9 years
So I have a bit of a professional opinion on this... I worked for an engagement ring company and let me tell you ladies... a LOT of men disagree with you! We had a good amount of people who picked out things together, but a lot of men really didn't want that. There's a good amount of tradition and surprise for a lot of people regarding the ring. A lot of men felt it was there token of love for you, therefore it should be what they think you would like and vice versa. It was almost insulting for them that their girlfriends didn't want that. Our general encouragement was for the guy to pick out the diamond, then place it in a simple $200-$300 solitaire setting. Then go and pick out the actual setting together. It's a tough line, and I have to say, we had a lot of women call up (trying to change out their rings) who were really insensitive to the fact that their fiance spent a lot of time and heart in the ring he chose. Personally: My boyfriend is super traditional about those kind of things. I have REALLY picky taste in jewelry and really want a hand in picking it out. I couldn't get him to agree with the solitaire idea, so our compromise was when we got really serious about engagement that he would go to an endless amount of ring stores with me until I really felt he knew what I liked!
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I picked out my own ring. At first I felt really weird about it and sort of guilty because my fiance felt like I didn't trust his taste. The truth is we just have very different styles. He likes very gothic and scrolly things and I'm much more simple. So I had to think about it and I just decided to tell him what I wanted since I'll be wearing it forever. After he gave it to me he admitted that even though he had his own ideas he was glad that he got me the ring he knew I would love and just the look on my face told him how grateful I was.
Marci Marci 9 years
You're going to wear that ring for the rest of your life, so you should definitely have the one you want. Just show it to your boyfriend. I can't imagine he'll be bothered at all; he'll probably be happier to give you a ring he knows you want than taking a chance on something. And I'm sure he'll appreciate the fact that it's reasonably priced.
Eternity Eternity 9 years
Wow, I'm sorry but this totally defeats the purpose! Rings are already kind of many people actually remember or understand why they are given to begin with? Once upon a time this was a man's token of security, to show a woman that he was financially capable of taking care of her, and the rock showed just how much. Nowadays, its slowy fading into a commercialized ritual and losing its entire effect. You should not get to pick out the ring. The man should give you the ring HE thinks is the most beautiful, and that he put the time, effort, and $$ into buying, that is what makes it what it is. Otherwise, its just a fancy piece of jewelry.
AmazonChick AmazonChick 9 years
I'm all over your best friend 'helping' him pick out the ring - give her the link or picture that you like and she can steer him towards it :D
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Nothing tacky about it! Everybody has an idea of exactly how they want their wedding and engagement to go down. Just because some people's idea of the perfect engagement is a surprise proposal with a ring he picks out on ihs own, is no reason to not fulfill your idea of the perfect engagement - which is you ending up with exactly the ring you adore! Congratulations to you! And have fun wearing that beautiful ring. :D
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
I like the idea of a surprise but what if you get something that you really hate? If you have a specific one and you know he can handle the price tag, have a conversation with him and throw it in there, very causally and non-threatening. Believe me, when I am about to get married, the guy will know what my ring size is and what type of rings I like (stone cut and color, size, yadda yadda) I don't want to have a look on my face that spells out U-G-L-Y.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
Tell him what you want! You are the one that is going to be wearing it on YOUR finger. I think any guy would want to know his future wife loves the ring she picked out rather than wear one she doesn't just to make him happy. My boyfriend gave me a white gold chaddagh for my birthday along with a three stone diamond necklace. He told me if I didn't like either one, he would be more than happy to return them and let me get what I really wanted. So after a couple weeks we picked out a white gold chaddagh ring with a opal heart surrounded by tiny diamonds. I involved him in the entire process. And now that I have the picked WE picked out and I love it!
navigator93 navigator93 9 years
Absolutely. In fact, my husband and I went together and bought the ring and it was great!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Some people are very traditional about wanting to select the ring on their own, whereas others probably would LOVE guidance. Why don't you ask him? Just ask if he wants to go it alone or if he'd like to see an example of a ring that you find beautiful?
Karma87 Karma87 9 years
Go for it and tell him about the ring, he'll be happy because he'll know it's what you want and love, like him! (My husband and I didn't go the engagement ring route, went straight for big, heavy, wide platinum wedding bands that scream, "We did it!") Honey, to me there is nothing like platinum, it's solid like my man, lol... but what you have picked is just as beautiful, you love it, and so will he. Congrats and many adventures to you and your life together!
turkeyjerky turkeyjerky 9 years
Definitely show him what you want! I'm sure he'll be glad you did...takes a lot of stress off of him. My husband and I kind of windowshopped for rings together. We happened to be at the mall, maybe, 8 months before he proposed and we went around to a couple jewelery stores and just took a mental note of what I liked. Then, when he was with his family for Christmas that year, he bought one and it's perfect! Also, he's always had a good idea of what my jewelery style is...he bought me a necklace very very early in the relationship and it was so very me, and we'd only known each other a couple weeks.
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 9 years
Or you could have a friend of yours "secretly" clue him in...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I think it's perrfectly fine to tell the guy what you like, some hints but I don't know if I'd tell my boyfriend EXACTLY what to buy me. I think knowing he picked it out would have more sentimental value.
starbright14 starbright14 9 years
I think it's totally ok to pick out your own ring. You're the one who has to wear it for a lifetime, plus, it should be something both of you are happy about.... I know that might 'ruin' the surprise for some people.. but I don't think marriage should be a complete shocker. It is for a lfietime, after all.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I would show him too! I mean, I would ask him to buy me one that is 10's of thousands of dollars buttttt if he can handle the price of the one you want, then why not?!
designerel designerel 9 years
No, I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with picking out your own ring. It seems like you really love it, and the fact that it's affordable is a plus. That means you can save money to splurge on the wedding, or save for a home. Bottom line, I'm sure your boyfriend wants you to be happy with your ring, so what's the problem?
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