two hands with engagement rings and wedding rings
two hands with engagement rings and wedding rings

How to Choose an Engagement Ring as a Couple

Alicia Briggs | February 13, 2024

Planning a surprise proposal is as thrilling as it is daunting — especially when it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring. Engagement rings aren’t just a symbol of love and commitment but also a testament to your understanding of your partner's unique style and preferences. The challenge in choosing an engagement ring for a surprise proposal is navigating the sheer variety of choices available without your partner’s input.

This guide will take you through each step of the ring shopping journey, including how to plan a surprise proposal. From discerning your partner’s style to understanding the significance of each diamond, the insights below will make engagement ring shopping enjoyable instead of overwhelming.

We believe that every love story is unique, so the ring you choose should reflect that. Explore VRAI’s fully customizable assortment of engagement rings with lab-grown diamonds online to further inspire your selection.

How to Choose a Surprise Engagement Ring

Use the following tips to help you choose a surprise engagement ring that your partner will love to wear.

Understand Your Partner's Style

Understanding your partner's style is key to choosing an engagement ring that they'll adore. Every detail of the engagement ring – from the band to the setting – speaks volumes about the wearer.

Consider the jewelry they already own and wear daily. Do they have one type of jewelry or experiment with different styles? Do they prefer vintage heirlooms with intricate side stones or more sophisticated, contemporary designs? Is there a prominent diamond shape or metal color, like platinum? Do they gravitate toward larger stones and flashier jewelry, or minimalist, simpler designs? These preferences will lead you to the perfect ring.

If they don’t frequently wear jewelry, consider what type of ring would be easy for them to wear with their lifestyle. Don’t shy away from enlisting the help of their friends or family, especially if you don’t have access to their jewelry collection. They can offer further insights into your partner's jewelry preferences or any previously mentioned favorite engagement ring styles.

Navigate Diamond Selection

Diamond selection is exciting but it can also feel stressful. The diamond is the centerpiece of the engagement ring after all, so it’s important to choose a high-quality shape that your partner will adore. When selecting the shape, consider its style and meaning to match it with your partner’s personality. Shape aside, quality ensures a long-lasting diamond with optimal brilliance. This is where the famous 4Cs come into play (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat).

Each C plays a crucial role in determining the diamond’s allure and value. Cut is usually the most important C for maximizing a diamond’s sparkle. Carat weight is important, but how big a diamond looks often depends on the diamond shape. For instance, elongated shapes like the Oval or Emerald can appear larger than an equivalent carat Round Brilliant or Princess shape. Prioritize the diamond grade and carat weight that suits your size and budget preferences while creating a beautiful, eye-clean diamond.

Narrow Down the Ring Setting

The choices are endless when it comes to engagement ring settings, but not every setting is right for your partner. This part of the journey is all about securely matching the setting with the chosen diamond and your partner's style.

A classic Solitaire setting is a timeless and versatile engagement ring for surprise proposals (it’s the little black dress of ring settings). Solitaire settings let the center diamond take center stage, with fewer details or embellishments than other designs.

If you're leaning towards a statement-making ring with a bit more glamor, consider a vintage-inspired, diamond-forward setting. Romantic halo settings with handset pave diamonds surrounding the center diamond create a dazzling effect.

If their style mixes tradition with trends, consider contemporary, modern settings, like Bezel settings. There are also styles with sleek lines, unexpected angles, and settings that make the diamond look like it's floating. Ultimately, the setting should match their personal style.

Discreetly Get the Right Ring Size

Before finalizing your surprise engagement ring purchase, confirm you have the correct ring size to avoid any mishaps while proposing. You can measure their existing rings to secretly find their size, or have a loved one find out for you.

two engagement rings next to a ring sizer and package
two engagement rings next to a ring sizer and package

Get your complimentary ring sizer!

Measure your ring size for the perfect fit right from the start.

How to Plan the Surprise Proposal

Proposal Tip: Remember, proposing isn’t simply about grand gestures. It’s the thought and personal touch that makes a proposal memorable.

Now that you have their forever ring, it’s time to plan the proposal. Proposing isn’t just about getting down on one knee; it's about creating a moment that encapsulates your unique bond.

There are three primary steps to planning a romantic proposal.

  • Plan a proposal that reflects your relationship: When brainstorming proposal ideas, think about what makes your relationship tick. Use your shared passions and values as inspiration for your proposal plan.
  • Ask friends or family for help: Timing is everything for a surprise proposal, especially an elaborate one. Loved ones can help with the tricky details required to successfully surprise your partner, like transportation or a cover story.
  • Capture the Moment: Consider hiring a photographer to immortalize your proposal. Keep in mind how your partner would want to look during this romantic moment. If you know your partner prefers to be dressed to the nines, an impromptu hike for a proposal may not be a great idea. They most likely won't want to be photographed in athletic attire with their forever ring for the first time.

With a stunning diamond ring in hand, you’re set to make this proposal as extraordinary as your love story. So, take a deep breath, plan with your heart, and get ready to start this next chapter with a truly unforgettable moment.

Why Choose a VRAI Created Diamond Engagement Ring?

When you choose VRAI engagement rings, you're choosing a symbol for your love that reflects your values. At the heart of VRAI is our commitment to sustainability and craftsmanship.

We know the true origin of every VRAI created diamond, from the very first atom. VRAI created diamonds are gently grown using 100% renewable energy in the world’s first zero-emission foundry. Our fully traceable, Carbon-Neutral Certified lab-grown diamonds save 143 pounds of carbon dioxide compared to other retailers.

Cut to perfection and polished to the highest standards by a team led by a fourth-generation master diamond cutter, the craftsmanship of VRAI created diamonds is unmatched.

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring at VRAI, our experts provide complimentary professional guidance and advice. Whether it's a question about diamond cuts or advice on ring styles for your partner, our experts will guide you every step of the way.

Surprise Proposal Engagement Ring FAQ

These are some popular questions to consider for a surprise proposal.

It’s traditional to surprise your partner with an engagement ring, but today, preferences vary greatly among couples. More couples are choosing engagement rings together, while other couples discuss their ring preferences beforehand.

Ultimately, whether an engagement ring is a surprise or a joint decision depends on the couple's dynamics and personal preferences.

There are endless proposal options for surprising your partner with a proposal ring. The key to a successful proposal is thoughtful planning and understanding your partner’s preferences. Choose a proposal idea that honors your relationship, such as the location of a first kiss or first date, or your shared interests and values.

Most people choose to propose with a diamond ring, but the type of ring is up to you. Propose with a ring that’s made from quality, lasting materials and best represents your love.

If your partner doesn’t like the proposal ring you chose for them, most retailers offer exchanges or returns. Know the retailer's return policy before buying a surprise ring for peace of mind.

You can secretly figure out your partner’s ring size by borrowing an existing ring. You can measure it at home or have it sized at the jewelry store. No ring? Loop in a trusted friend or family member who might know or who can find out. When in doubt, go a size larger and confirm that the retailer offers resizing.

You can customize a ring at VRAI. All VRAI engagement rings have customizable details to suit different styles. You can also work with our diamond experts to create a completely custom-designed proposal ring.

Lab-grown diamonds are just as real as mined diamonds, but they come with many more benefits. VRAI created diamonds are grown in our foundry, the world's first certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Impact Partners. And because they are often more affordable, you can get more shine for less!

virtual appointment with diamond expert meeting with potential customers over a call on a computer
virtual appointment with diamond expert meeting with potential customers over a call on a computer

Consult with a diamond expert

Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy personalized guidance to select your ring, in-depth diamond 4C education, exclusive in-store fittings or virtual try-ons, custom design options.

Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy personalized guidance to select your ring, in-depth diamond 4C education, exclusive in-store fittings or virtual try-ons, custom design options.