Wedding 101: How to Pick the Perfect Engagement Ring

Guess what day it is? 

HUMPPPP DAYYYYYYYY. (I really hope you read that like that one commercial.)

But seriously. That commercial makes me laugh every. stinkin’. time. I hope you’re all having a happy Wednesday so far! Mine has been nothing less than hectic to say the least. Wanna know why? Trains. Stupid trains that are so long, even though you leave for work 15 minutes earlier than usually you still barely make it on time. (At least I made it… right?)

Okay. Enough rambling! My handsome hubby is here today to talk about finding the perfect engagement ring. Because let’s be honest… I know NOTHING about that 🙂 So Trev… take it away! 

Hey there, I’m back with a follow up to the Perfect Proposal Guide I  a few weeks ago. I figured I would share some of the tips I used when it came time to buy that ring Savannah loves to show off. I have never been very good at buying other people things (just check out this Christmas gift guide I tried to help with). So I knew that I needed to put in some serious work to make sure the ring was perfect was perfect for her. I mean, I was spending a butt-load on it and it was going to be on Savannah’s finger for the rest of her life!

Definitely, a tall order. But these tips can help you make the right choice and guarantee she brags about her “rock” to all her friends, family, and the occasional stranger at the grocery store. (That was ONE time…)

Trevor’s Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring

Set a Budget. First things first, set a limit on how much you can afford to spend. It might be a good idea to start to save up for a ring too. Just remember that as much as they mean to you, buying a ring the 2 of you cannot afford in the long run is a bad idea. Don’t let people talk you in to spending more than what you can afford. And shop around for the best deal you can find. And whatever you do, don’t let people make you feel bad about your budget. Not everyone can give their girl a ring like Kanye gave Kim. (Impressed I know that? You can thank my wife for talking about it non stop when it first happened. Could you hear my eyes rolling as I typed that??) To be honest, the size / cost / and brand of the ring shouldn’t matter. It truly is the thought that counts. (And if she throws a fit about the ring you pick out for her, maybe she’s not the person you thought.) And don’t follow the stupid “2 months salary” myth. No ring is worth going into major debt over.

Figure out her Ring Size. Do whatever you have to, to make sure the ring is as close to the right size as possible. (Just don’t ask her!) Talk to her mom, or use rings she has laying around to get the closest size possible. She isn’t going to want to be without her new ring once she gets it. Chances are she will still need it resized. (Savannah’s ring size was 5 3/4. How was I going to guess that?) But the closer to the size it is, the less they have to do to resize it, and the quicker she will get it back.

Choose a style that fits her personality. I talked a little about it in an earlier post, but picking out the style for me was relatively easy. There are literally dozens and dozens of rings styles that you (or she) can choose from. You can go more classic or modern, have a single stone or multiple, and you can go simple or complex. Luckily, Savannah had been liking and pinning a ton of wedding stuff on her social media and hidden in there was a bunch of ring posts and most of them had the same style of ring. So always check their Pinterest page first! (Don’t forget to look under the “likes” section.) If you’re not so lucky, you have to find a ring that fits her personality. Is she a fashionista? Does she like antique or bold jewelry? Does she keep things simple? Savannah liked a ton of the halo style of ring so I knew that’s where I would start. Once you know what setting you’re looking for, you’re ready to start looking for a ring. However, before you even think about starting to shop…

Learn The 4 C’s. Before you make a big purchase, you need to learn about diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has a whole website devoted to it, you should start your research here. There are 4 C’s when it comes to diamonds. Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat.

  • Color. Technically, the lack of color is what you’re looking for. They are rated on a goofy scale from D to Z but fall into 5 basic categories (Colorless, Near-Colorless, Faint, Very Light, and Light). The closer to the Colorless end of the scale you get, the price goes up.
  • Cut. Usually you think of the cut as the shape of the diamond like round, square, oval, etc. But it’s a little more than that. You’re actually looking at how the diamonds facets reflect light. Again, a scale is used to grade the cut (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor). The more the light is reflected the better the cut and the more “bling” the diamond has. Again, an excellent diamond is going to cost you more.
  • Clarity. This looks at any blemishes or inclusions (scratches) the diamond has. This grading scale is a bit more complicated but the important thing to remember is the fewer blemishes the diamond has, the more expensive it will be. These blemishes, depending on where it’s at and how large it is, can affect how the diamond looks in the setting and its ability to reflect light (think less bling, which is bad…). Look for a diamond where the imperfections aren’t quite as noticeable. And to be honest, you shouldn’t be able to see these imperfections with the naked eye.
  • Carat. The saying “Size doesn’t matter” certainly doesn’t apply to diamonds. It’s basically how large the diamond is. Because larger diamonds are more rare, they are typically more expensive.

As you sift through stones, you need to remember that each of these C’s will add or subtract value (and cost) to your diamond. So, unless you’ve just won the PowerBall, you’ll need to determine what the most important factor in your diamond. For me, the color and clarity were more important than the carat so I opted for a smaller but brighter diamond.

Don’t choose a retailer because of the name. Just because everyone you know bought a ring from a hometown jewelry shop, or went to Jared’s, doesn’t mean you have to too. I did a lot of searching online at the major jewelers like Kays, Jared, Zales, and even some smaller shops that had there ring inventory online. I also went to a few actual stores to see the rings for myself. After lots of looking and not being pleased with what I was finding, I decided to go another route, Blue Nile. Now remember, the ring must be exactly what you want. Do not settle because it’s easier. Trust me. You’ll regret it later. Look until you find the absolutely perfect ring.

Don’t be afraid to buy online. Blue Nile is an online jewelry store with no physical store fronts (that I know of at least). I was hesitant with this because I wasn’t able to hold the ring before I purchased it (we’ll touch on that in a bit), but they had the perfect ring. I was a little nervous about buying online. But, as long as you are purchasing from a trusted company, you shouldn’t be. What was a little different with Blue Nile, and what made me choose it in the end, was that I got to customize the ring by selecting the diamond I wanted in the setting I had picked out. Savannah says I created her ring, so we’ll let her keep believing that. But seriously, knowing that each piece of my ring was chosen by Trev makes it feel so much more special! 

Give yourself time. Don’t rush into buying a ring. Give yourself time (at least 6 weeks) to find the one that is absolutely perfect.

Insure it! This was a relatively easy process because Blue Nile gave us an appraisal when we purchased the ring up front that I could send to our insurance company. I hope and pray that nothing happens to the ring, but in the event that something does, we’re covered!

I hope these tips will help you in the quest for the perfect ring. I know this is a stressful process, but I promise, it will be totally worth it in the end. The look on her face when she sees it the first time is one that you will never forget.

Happy Shopping!


Eeeek. Such a good guide! I had no idea how much time and research he put in to finding me my perfect ring! He’s just the sweetest. 

I’m back tomorrow with the DIY I’ve been promising you for freakin’ ages. I’m so excited to share it with you! 

Until tomorrow…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s