Just Engaged and Proposals

Ring Advice needed

So I have decided to propose to my long-time girlfriend.  We've been together long enough that she's totally waiting for it, so I want to get as much of a surprise as I can by blindsiding her.  This means I definitely want to propose with a ring, and I want it to be the right ring, not just a place holder to shop for thr real one later.  

The problem is I have virtually no idea what she wants.  I know her well enough to know her tastes and sensibilities, but an engagement ring is a little different.  I do know she likes whte metal over gold, but that's about it for actual jewelry knowledge.  I know I want a synthetic diamond, and think she'd conceptually like the idea, but don't know if she'd be happy with a colored stone, if I can afford a white synthetic stone, etc.

I'd love to be able to squeese some info out of her, but I'm nervous about tipping her off about the proposal.  Again, I want this to come out of nowhere (after what's been probably a very long wait).  I've thought maybe I can pull someone aside and ask them to bring specific things up in conversation so i can hear her opinion without it coming from me, but I'm even nervous she'd catch on to that.

So...advice please?

Re: Ring Advice needed

  • Does she have a sister or best friend that you could trust not to tell her?  I know my Fiance was able to ask my sister for ideas.  She and I had talked about what type of rings we liked and what shapes we would prefer and she was able to pass all of that info on to my Fiance. Maybe reach out to someone that would know her taste and/or would have talked wedding stuff with her.
  • My advice is the same as PP. My FI asked for my dad's help picking out my ring and it worked out pretty well. I would ask a family member or a friend to help you if you trust them enough! But I just wanted to say that this is so sweet. She sounds like a very lucky girl. Congrats and good luck!
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  • i would agree with the others..  but make sure you can trust that they won't tell. Good LuckCool
  • I agree with momo! Good luck!
  • Definitely ask her family for some help my FI took my mom and cousin with him.  They knew exactly what I liked :)  She may have already talked to her mom/sister or bestfriend about what she likes.  

    Good luck!

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  • I agree with all the PPs. 

    But why are you against getting a 'placeholder'? I know a lot of girls really love being able to pick out exactly what they want.
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  • My fiance and I went to a jeweler and designed my ring together, but I didn't know when he was going to go back and purchase it or when he was going to give it to me.  Another friend's future fiance showed her pictures in magazines/catalogs.  Another also went to a jeweler with her future fiance and chose a setting.  But it sounds like you want it to be a little more of a surprise than that.  Aside from playing detective using her friends/family for advice, what about proposing with an empty ring box with a promise that you will fill it with the ring of her choice?  (Sort of like "Knocked Up" except you have more than $100 to your name LOL).  Or what about bringing her into a jewelers and proposing and inviting her to select her ring, a la "Sweet Home Alabama"?
    Whoever said it was supposed to be happily ever after is a big fat liar.
  • I know that some men buy 'THE diamond' and get it set in a temporary setting (these are unattractive cheap silver settings) and then let their FI pick the setting that she wants.

    Others take their girlfriends shopping with them to ensure they get what she wants.

    My FI just picked what HE liked best and it turned out to be perfect and I love it too :)
  • Also, we had some friends who got engaged before us... and he kind of felt me out that way. I was only borderline suspicious at the time, but I honestly didn't expect any sort of proposal any time soon... I was thinking if it would happen it wouldn't be until late 2011... but it was Dec. 2010.

    When our friends R & S got engaged, S showed us her ring and it was really pretty-- a round stone with a setting with diamonds in it. That night when we were driving home he said 'S's ring is really pretty, don't you think?' and I said that I agreed. 

    I ended up with something kind of similar. Mine is a square diamond (not princess cut) in a similar setting to S's ring. Mine is channel set, and hers is pave, but they are a little alike.

    Maybe if she has friends who are recently engaged you can try to bring that up.
  • Update:  I did a little preliminary ring shopping yesterday to just get an idea of the styles and stones and all that.  I now have a much better idea of what I like, which I feel like is a start.  

    I think what I'm going to do is when we go visit my family next weekend, have my mom or sister ask about a friend of ours who is about to get married and steer the conversation to rings as best as possible.  With any luck, and as long as I pretend to be as uninterested in that stuff as I usuallly am, she will at the very most suspect my family trying to drop a hint, but not suspect it's coming from me.  Hopefully this at least lats me know she won't hate something I pick out myself.

    I like the idea of asking one of her friends, but I guess my apprehension is I want to surprise her, and let her susprise everyone else too.  I don't want to rob her of that phone call to her best friend afterwards.  The only people I'm telling my plans to are my parents and sister.  I think everyone else is going to have to wait to find out after she does. 

    As for why I feel the need to have the right ring for the moment, I'm not sure exactly but that is just what feels right to me.  There's nothing romantic to me about going ring shopping.  I've made her wait a long time, and there's something really important to me about going from years of building up to this to suddenly having it all right there, and the wait is over.  
  • My FI and I had been talking about marriage way before the engagement happened, so we had gone "looking at rings" about 3 different times. I am a very simple girl, I have a princess cut diamond solitaire in a tiffany style setting (the super skinny setting) and I absolutely love it. I have very small hands so anything bigger or with gems on the sides would have looked ridiculous to me. He did a good job though, we kept looking at 5/8 carat, but he surprised me with a full carat (I am a proud girl who loves my ring so much I must brag, sorry!). But if you want something synthetic, have you looked into white sapphires? They are completely man made and very similar looking (you can hardly tell a difference) to a diamond, and way more cost effective. Just a suggestion. Also, whatever ring you get her, she will love, its not the ring, its the emotion and sentiment behind it and what it signifies that is important. Good luck!!
  • jeslmjeslm member
    My 2 best friends knew I was getting engaged before I did because FI asked them both for opinions, as well as my mom (dad knew too, but he didn't get asked for ring advice).  No one told, although I'm pretty sure it almost killed my one friend to hold in the secret, and everyone was still thrilled when I called them.  They kindly waited a couple weeks to tell me they all knew before hand :)

  • edited May 2011
    I have done lots of browsing with my boyfriend/future fiance and we're not into real diamonds either.  If you're considering not going with a mined diamond, then I would recommend googling reviews about lab-created diamonds.  Its how I found who we'd be using (a company known as DNL) for my ring when the time comes.

    I also googled "cushion cut, split shank" for images to get ring-spiration because those are 2 very important features for me.  In the end we took elements we both liked and we designed it ourselves, I can't wait to get it!   I know you want to keep her in the dark so this may not work but if you know a little of what she likes you can google for inspiration! 
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