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Engagement Ring Shopping Etiquette

In the 21st century, there have been significant changes in social norms and technology, which has also altered the process of how and who should shop for engagement rings. While traditionally, it was expected that the male would be the one to shop for the ring, pay for it, and to propose - these days, it’s quite different. With up to 96% of shopping taking place online, women proposing to men and more - things aren’t the same as they used to be, which means that perhaps some people need a bit of clarification on the do’s and don’ts of engagement ring shopping.

How much should you pay for an engagement ring?

As a guide, experts often quote that an engagement ring should be the equivalent of one month’s worth of salary. However, as always, a guide is just a guide. How much you should pay also depends on your financial situation, what you may have discussed with your partner, how much your partner cares for jewellery and so forth. The simplest answer is to only spend as much as you can afford. A lot of people would agree with us when we say that your partner would appreciate the both of you not having to spend the beginning of your life’s journey together with a huge debt looming over your heads.

One thing to note as well is that there are a lot of different engagement rings available at a lot of different price points. While this may influence the quality, there are a lot of beautiful options still available regardless of how much money you have in the bank.

Who should pay for the engagement ring?

While history stipulated that men should be the ones paying for the ring, society’s now progressed to the point where the cost of the engagement ring can be split between both parties. As you would be wanting to enter into the next phase of your relationship as equals, it also makes sense to equally divide the cost of the ring between the both of you - unless the person buying the ring has a desire to be the sole payer, and to gift it. There’s even the possibility of stretching the budget a little bit more if there are two people paying. Dividing the costs can even become a great engagement experience for the both of you, which leads us to our next point...

Shopping for the ring together

In fear that it will take the romance out of things, many partners choose not to shop together. However, as an engagement ring is a piece of jewellery that you will likely wear for the rest of your life, you would want some form of influence to ensure that you get a ring that you like. So, as petty as it sounds, it would be unfortunate to receive a ring that you don’t like and don’t want to wear.

Shopping together will also take the awkwardness out of telling your partner that you don’t like the ring, as you’re actively participating in the search. However, if you are adamant that you don’t want to shop together, you can always leave hints, such as creating a pinterest board, or even telling your mum or your best friend.

couple buying online togther

What to do if you don’t like the ring

If you’ve ever received a present from a friend or family member that you didn’t particular like - this experience, while uncommon, can also happen during an engagement. So what do you do if you don’t like the ring? As awkward as it may seem, you should tell them. Engagement rings are quite an expensive investment, and one that will be worn for the rest of your life. As such, you should love your ring from the moment it’s on your hand, and forever after that!

‘But, how do I tell my partner that I don’t like my engagement ring?’

We strongly suggest not telling them during the proposal. You will probably be too distracted by the moment to care, anyway. You should only bring it up when the ‘high from the proposal’ has toned down. Tell them that everything was so perfect, but as this is something you’ll wear for the rest of your life, you’d like to have a look at other options, and that you hope they understand.

The proposer can wear an engagement ring as well

If both parties are wanting to express their commitment with jewellery, there’s no reason why both the proposer and the proposee can’t both wear rings. If you have more traditional people within your family, be prepared to be questioned, though! When both partners wear a ring, it will look like you have already gotten married.

him and her with rings

What to do if you break off the engagement?

In the rare and unfortunate situation that the engagement has been broken off, you should offer to return the ring - particularly if it was a gift. If you’d helped in choosing the ring, or had even split the cost between the two of you - ideally you would return the ring and split the financial gains.

couple having a chat

In these past few decades, not only have the rules of courtship and dating changed significantly, so has the whole process of getting engaged. From who should propose, to who should shop for the ring or even pay for it - these are all considerations that are relatively new and still evolving. We hope that this guide to engagement ring shopping etiquette makes the task easier!

Have any questions?

If you need some advice on finding a perfect ring within your budget, or even if you want to know whether you should bring your partner along or save it for the surprise, our friendly GoldeNet team are always happy to help you out. We can arrange a free consultation over the phone or face to face in our Brighton showroom. To organise this please click here.