Surprise Seeker or Careful Planner?
In days gone by, the choice of engagement ring was almost always a surprise. The bride-to-be never knew what type of jewelry she'd be wearing until the box was opened by a finance on bended knee. Times have changed. If you're a "planner", you'll be glad to know that nowadays, it's perfectly acceptable to have a hand in selecting your engagement ring.
Sit down with your finance and a jewelry catalog and start your window shopping! Decide between the two of you what type of ring you may want. Start with these basics:
- the type of metal you prefer: yellow gold, white gold, platinum or silver
- the type of band: engraved, plain, jewel-studded
- the thickness of the band
- the cut of the stone (round, emerald, marquise, pear, oval, princess or other)
Planners will love coming along to pick out their wedding ring sets. On the other hand, if you love surprises, give your finance a few options and let him make the final choice.
Whether or not you'll be doing your own purchasing, you will want to visit a jewelry store to take a peek at the real thing. Ask to see a variety of wedding ring sets and try them on to judge the look and feel of each. This is also the perfect opportunity to get your ring finger sized for your fiance's knowledge (or your own).
Encourage your finance to try on wedding bands for size, fit and feel.
Look in a mirror and hold your hand up to your face. How does the color of the metal look against your skin? Is this a metal you typically wear? (Yellow gold might look beautiful in the catalog or showcase, but if you typically wear silver jewelry, it will clash.) Also consider the width of the band and how it fits on your finger.
Today, many couples elect to purchase their wedding band and engagement ring sets online. Again, before you make a purchase, visit a jewelry shop first. This is extremely important, as it can be difficult to measure your own ring size even if you measure very carefully.
Make sure the online vendor of your choice offers free sizing and has a good return-and-resize policy just in case the measurements go awry. Be careful when choosing an online jewelry vendor. Don't necessarily look for the cheapest prices or the fastest shipping options; look instead for reputation. This is a purchase that will need to last you and your new spouse a lifetime.
Caring For Your Rings
Store your wedding bands in their original boxes. These are generally lined with material made specifically to cushion and protect your jewelry from scratches. On the Big Day you will want to take them out and buff them gently with a jewelry cloth for super shine. Some gold is very soft, so be careful!
You will probably be wearing your engagement ring from the moment you announce your happy news to friends and family. Take it off for showering, washing dishes, doing yard work or in any situation where it might get damaged, scratched or catch on things. Keeping your ring in good shape will allow you to enjoy this beautiful symbol of your new life together for many years to come.