Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring for a Surprise Proposal

Alicia Briggs | February 19, 2024

Choosing the perfect engagement ring is a delightful and often daunting task for couples. It can be an emotional journey for some, while other couples may not know where to start. Whether you're a dynamic duo always on the go, professionals navigating the corporate world, or creatives seeking a unique expression of love, it’s important to find a ring that mirrors your life together.

Use this guide to help you choose an engagement ring as a couple, including how to set a budget and choose a retailer.

For professional guidance, a VRAI diamond expert can provide complimentary assistance in shopping for an engagement ring featuring VRAI created diamonds.

Understanding Each Other’s Preferences

  • Communicate Openly: Share your likes, dislikes, and dream desires. Don’t focus on the practical just yet.
  • Explore Styles Together: Browse engagement ring settings online to start to get an idea of what resonates with both of you.
  • Find Common Ground: Narrow down the details and preferences that you both agree on so that you can understand your shared priorities.

Understanding each other's preferences is the first step to engagement ring shopping together. Start by having an open chat with your partner about what each of you envisions. This isn’t the time for getting practical or discussing the budget. This is the time for communicating your dream engagement ring details and pinpointing what preferences and goals you have in common.

This is also a fantastic opportunity to learn how the other sees your relationship, and how they want the ring to tell your love story. Knowing your shared preferences will help you make a final decision when you go ring shopping together.

Setting a Budget Together

  • Honestly discuss finances
  • Prioritize ring value and quality
  • Set a realistic, comfortable budget

Setting a budget for your engagement ring is essential when ring shopping together to ensure that you're on the same page. Budgets don’t have to be set in stone, and we always recommend prioritizing quality over price. But, we don’t recommend going into extensive debt to buy an engagement ring.

Your budget should be realistic and mutually agreed upon. Start this process with an open and honest conversation about your finances. What can you comfortably afford without stretching yourselves too thin? Set a budget that aligns with your financial goals as a couple.

When setting a realistic budget, browse engagement rings online to get an idea of how much most rings cost. If there are certain details you can’t live without, but that noticeably impact the price range, include this in your conversation.

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

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

The Shopping Experience: Online vs. In-Store

Before you start engagement ring shopping, choose your preferred shopping experience. Online shopping offers convenience and a broader range from the comfort and flexibility of your home.

Going to the jewelry store for ring shopping gives you a tactile experience with face-to-face advice. Some couples find the physical act of ring shopping romantic and exciting, while other couples find it overwhelming. Narrow down which engagement ring shopping experience you want to have together. Whichever you choose, remember to keep an open mind and have fun.

Exploring Style and Designs

Exploring engagement ring settings is as exciting as it is unexpected. You might begin thinking you know exactly what rings you want, only to be swept off your feet by something entirely different. You never know when you’ll find “the one,” and it’s often a complete surprise.

Knowing your preferences and budget before ring shopping will help narrow down the selection process. Let your taste also guide you. A classic Solitaire setting is elegant and timeless and lets the diamond take center stage. It's a style perfect for couples who adore understated elegance and tradition, as well as shoppers on a budget.

For couples who love history and romance, vintage-inspired settings pay homage to the past. These engagement rings often feature intricate details and unique settings, reminiscent of bygone eras. For modern couples looking for something less traditional, contemporary designs with clean lines, unconventional elements, and newer diamond shapes might be more your style.

We understand that each couple is unique. That's why we offer a wide array of engagement ring settings with customizable details. Changing the metal color or center diamond shape can dramatically change the look of your engagement ring setting.

Choosing the Right Metal

The metal choice needs to match your style and preferences. The metal choice also impacts the longevity and price of your engagement ring.

Solid gold, in its various hues, is a time-honored and durable choice. 18k yellow gold has a classic warmth while 18k white gold adds a modern look. 14k solid rose gold, however, is distinct, romantic, and regal, as well as more affordable.

Platinum is one of the most popular choices for engagement ring metals, but it’s also the most expensive. Platinum has unmatched durability with sophisticated sleekness.

The Center Diamond

The center diamond should reflect your love story and style. The diamond shape and diamond quality will impact the brilliance, look, and budget of any ring. From the traditional Round Brilliant cut diamond, to the historic and romantic Marquise, prioritize the shape that best represents your preferences. When it comes to diamonds, everyone has their own size preference. Some couples prefer a bigger diamond, while other couples opt for rings with several smaller diamonds. Decide on the size and carat weight that makes sense for wearing every day.

Customization Options

If you’re not finding the perfect engagement ring together but have a vivid idea of what you’re looking for, opt for a custom engagement ring. VRAI will work with you to create a completely one-of-a-kind ring from start to finish. Some couples simply prefer to combine a few classic elements into one design, while other couples want to create a truly bespoke engagement ring. A diamond expert will bring your perfect ring design to life.

Final Considerations for Engagement Ring Shopping Together

Before you finalize that engagement ring purchase, there are a few more things to consider when searching for an engagement ring together.

First up, knowing the correct ring size is crucial. Since you’re shopping together, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get the size right the first time around. Measure your ring size using a ring sizer, or be professionally measured, to confirm your perfect fit.

Next, consider the aftercare. For most, your engagement ring is worn daily. The design and carat weight you choose should feel comfortable to wear with your daily lifestyle. Make sure that you know how to care for your ring. Regular cleaning and check-ups with a jeweler will keep it shining brightly for years to come.

Lastly, protect your investment. Check the return policy before buying and see if the retailer offers any warranties or insurance.

Find Your Engagement Ring at VRAI

Engagement ring shopping together isn’t simply something you need to do — it’s also an opportunity to make memories and deepen your understanding of each other. VRAI is here to help you find a lab-grown diamond engagement ring that speaks to your love, your commitment, and your shared future.

At VRAI, we offer a range of beautiful, expertly crafted, customizable engagement rings to fit a wide range of styles. Our lab-grown diamonds are grown in the world’s first zero-emission foundry through the power of renewable energy.

Let a VRAI diamond expert guide you through engagement ring shopping together to seamlessly create the perfect ring.

Engagement Ring Shopping Together FAQ

Read on for any remaining questions about engagement ring shopping together.

Many couples today choose to pick out engagement rings together. It’s a wonderful way to ensure that your engagement ring truly reflects your partner’s preferences and your love story.

When merging different style preferences into one ring, start by pinpointing elements you both love, whether it's a certain diamond cut or a type of band. Then, work with a diamond expert who can help you create a custom ring or personalize an existing design that combines both your preferences.

A few tips for first-time ring shoppers are to research ahead of time, don't rush the engagement ring process, and remember that it's okay to ask questions. If you want to go ring shopping together, it should be a fun, shared experience — not a stressful task.

To ensure your engagement ring choice is timeless, prioritize elegant, enduring ring designs with classic details.

When ring shopping online, look for detailed descriptions, diamond certification, clear images, and customer reviews. If you’re buying an engagement ring online, don’t forget to confirm their return or exchange policy to protect your purchase.

You can customize several details of every VRAI ring to make it your own engagement ring design. You can also create a completely unique ring through our custom design process.

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.