8 Tips to Prepare for Your Houston Engagement
When you’re proposing to your significant other, it can feel like you’re under a lot of pressure. You’ve got to gather intel without her noticing, pick out the right ring that’s the right size, and plan the perfect proposal.
Some couples discuss a proposal beforehand, while others aggressively hint at their desire for a ring for months or years before the proposal happens.
Ready to propose? Here are some things you need to know if you’re the one planning a Houston engagement.
1. Decide What You Want to Pay
There are no rules to choosing an engagement ring, but there are guidelines and customs. Traditionally, a man (or the proposer) “should” spend three months’ salary on their fiance’s engagement ring.
This “rule” comes from an ultra-successful marketing campaign started in the 1930s by the De Beers diamond company. Before this campaign, only 10% of engagement rings contained diamonds. When the time De Beers was done running their campaigns, diamonds became the norm. How did they do it?
It started with a marketing campaign in the 1930s that said one month’s salary was the proper amount to spend on an engagement ring. The campaign did well, and they increased the number of months over time, finally landing on three months in the late eighties.
One vintage ad for De Beers states, “2 months’ salary showed the future Mrs. Smith what the future will be like.” Further ad copy stated that you couldn’t look at your beautiful wife-to-be and say she wasn’t worth that money.
And while that’s a fun bit of history to know, there’s no actual rule about how much you should spend on a ring. You can spend whatever you want, make it as luxurious as possible, and even customize it exactly to her taste.
2. How to Choose an Engagement Ring: Figure Out Her Style
There are a few ways to go about finding her the perfect ring. The first is to let her design her own ring in-store before you propose. You can still maintain the surprise and control of planning when you’ll pop the question, but she’ll know its coming.
The second option is to give her a starter ring, then go into the store together, trade it in, or create a custom design on top of the base model you chose. That way, she still gets a say in the matter, but you have the element of surprise on your side.
If you’re trying to maintain secrecy and want to pick out the engagement ring yourself, the internet, her jewelry box, and her friends can give you all the intel you need.
No matter which option you’ll choose, you’ll need to find out her ring size. You want that ring to slide on her finger gracefully, whether it’s the final product or not.
3. Figure Out Her Engagement Ring Size
Women are pretty intuitive, and if you’ve been dating for a while, she’ll probably suspect a proposal is coming. That’s a good thing because it’ll make finding out her ring size easier.
You have a few options if she doesn’t straight up tell you her ring size when hinting at a proposal.
The Jewelry Box Method
If your loved one wears rings as accessories, that makes things easier. Note what finger she wears these rings on, then bring one of those rings to the jeweler with you. Our custom wedding jewelry makers can estimate what size ring you’ll need based on her other finger size.
If you can’t grab one and bring it in without her knowing, take a piece of paper, cut it to about the width of a straw, and wrap it around the ring itself. Cut the paper to size, write down which finger she wears that ring on the paper, and bring that with you.
Finally, if she’s a super heavy sleeper, you can attempt this method with her actual ring finger – but if you get caught, she’ll know what you’re planning.
Ask Her Best Friend
Most women in a serious relationship will tell their best friend their ring size (or even your best friend). The best friends file this information away for you to ask them about when the time is right.
Now, there’s no way to guarantee that her best friend won’t give her hints that something’s about to happen. You can’t control that, even if you ask nicely. But, most friends will want their friend to have the perfect proposal and will work with you to keep it a secret.
Her best friend can even tell you what kind of ring she wants or direct you to her not-so-secret Pinterest wedding ring board. This brings us to…
4. Find Her Custom Engagement Ring Style
Some women have been dreaming about a specific ring type and cut for their whole lives. Others have a general style they like but are willing to leave the details up to you.
A woman who has a dream engagement ring already picked out will likely tell you, hint it to you, or tell their best friend to tell you.
She likely has her dream ring saved on Pinterest somewhere if she’s the more subtle type.
How to Find Your Significant Other’s Pinterest
You can learn a lot about someone from their Pinterest. Next time she lays her phone down, open her Pinterest app and write down her username. If you have more than a few seconds, click boards, scroll all the way to the bottom, and see if she has any secret boards. These are personal collections hidden from the public, where many women save dream wedding things.
But if all you have time to get is her username, you can google “username Pinterest” and find her profile. From there, you want to look for any boards that could be wedding associated, like
- Things to buy
- Wedding ideas
- Dream wedding
- My style
- Going to the chapel
- Wedding board
Most Pinterest profiles are public, but you will have to make an account to browse the app. If you can’t find it, you can probably guess what we’re going to say at this point: ask her best friend.
Once you know her style, you can start shopping for the actual engagement ring.
5. Choose a Stone
Diamonds are traditional for engagement rings, but with all the options available, we’re seeing a rise in other precious stones. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and different colored diamonds are all becoming popular engagement ring stone choices.
Pros and Cons of Diamonds as Engagement Ring Stones
Diamonds are some of the hardest stones on earth. Manufacturers use diamond-tipped tools to cut through steel, sheet metal, and other hard materials.
In terms of wedding rings, that means a diamond ring (the stone part) is the least likely to get scratched and will hold its structural integrity for years (pro).
They’re some of the most expensive stones on the market (con), but they’re classic, and some women won’t accept an engagement ring without one.
The diamond industry has gotten media attention in recent years for its non-ethical and non environmentally friendly practices. The worst offenders underpay their workers, put them into dangerous working environments, and displace tons and tons of organic material in the search for diamonds.
But not all diamond suppliers are like that. There are plenty of ethical diamond miners and even lab-grown diamonds that avoid these practices altogether.
If your significant other has ever mentioned not wanting a “blood diamond,” you can feel confident knowing that we don’t work with those types of suppliers at Daniel & Co. We want you to feel good about your purchase!
In recent years, stones like Morganite and Moissanite have gained popularity. These semi-precious stones look like diamonds but don’t have the negative associations above. These stones are cheaper than diamonds but softer and lower quality.
If she has her heart set on one of these diamond alternatives, our custom jewelers can work with you to find the highest-quality specimen there is.
She may think these are her only option, but we can make her real diamond dreams come true with our ethical diamond dealers and lab-grown diamond contacts.
Other Precious Stones
The benefit of working with a custom engagement ring company is that we can make any stone part of her engagement ring. IF we can source it (which we can), we can integrate it into the ring design.
Don’t know what your options are? The list is too long to post in its entirety, but here are some ideas:
- Yellow diamonds
- Chocolate diamonds
- Pink sapphire
And the list goes on. If the stone exists, we can find it and create the perfect engagement ring for your Houston proposal. Once you’ve chosen the stone, you need to consider what cut (shape) and size (carat) she wants.
6. Decide on Cut, Carat, and Details
The shape of the stone in her engagement ring is called the “cut” of the stone. The cut will decide how you can design the rest of the ring, how much you’ll spend on the setting, and how far the ring rises off her finger.
To help you, here are some of the most popular engagement ring cuts:
- Round cut: sometimes called a solitaire
- Princess cut: square or square-ish cuts, modern and geometrical
- Cushion cut: square shape with rounded edges
- Emerald-cut: rectangular, art-deco inspired
- Marquise cut: curved sides and pointed ends, football-shaped
- Oval cut: the longer version of a round cut
- Radiant Cut: Like an emerald cut, but specially shaped for sparkle
- Pear cut: tear-drop shaped diamond, very traditional
Some of these stone cuts show flaws more than others, though the existence of flaws depends on the quality of the stone you get. Diamonds, and other precious stones, are graded by the four C’s. Those are:
- Cut: shape
- Clarity: brilliance
- Color: brightness
- Carat: size
The better each of these are, the more the stone will cost. Our designers can help you pick the perfect stone for your budget with a good mix of all four c’s.
7. Choose Your Precious Metal
We could write an entire book on how to design a custom engagement ring, but we’ll leave the design options to the professionals: our on-staff designers. They can help you pick the perfect metal for your engagement ring, which compliments her skin type and the stone you chose.
The most common engagement ring setting materials are
- White gold
- Rose gold
Gold, rose gold, and white gold complements warmer skin tones beautifully. However, they’re softer than silver or platinum, which puts them at risk of scratches and breaks.
Silver and platinum are the sturdier choices, great for someone who lives a very active lifestyle. Silver is usually associated with cooler skin tones, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
Talk to your designer about what metal setting is right for you.
8. Consider an Interlocking Wedding Band
Finally, you want to consider what her engagement ring will look like stacked together with her wedding band. You can have the whole set designed together, so the two rings fit together like a puzzle piece.
Women’s wedding bands are thinner than men’s, so they fit with her engagement ring better. Once you’ve popped the question and she’s said yes, she can always come in and help design her wedding band around her ring.
Planning Your Houston Engagement with Our Custom Wedding Jewelry
We hope you enjoyed this guide to picking out the perfect engagement ring for your bride-to-be. Once she says yes, you two will be very busy, planning your Houston engagement party, looking through Houston wedding links for venues, and planning the wedding.
You’ll be grateful for the time you spent creating the perfect custom wedding jewelry before this busy time. Come in today to get a head start on the ring-planning process.
You can book an appointment online at Daniel and Co. Jewelry, for your convenience.