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Engagement Ring Shopping - Alone or Together

When engagement ring shopping, should the man shop alone so it will be a complete surprise? Or should he include his bride-to-be in the selection process?

In the classic, romantic surprise proposal, a man drops to his knee, asks for her hand in marriage and surprises her with a beautiful diamond engagement ring he has selected.

According to the popular wedding planning website TheKnot.com, 46% of those polled think that getting down on bended knee is essential, while 44% said it was preferable. Only one in 10 brides said the tradition was corny and outdated.

Include her in the engagement ring shopping process

In the 21 st century, young couples often discuss marriage long before the actual proposal.

To retain an element of surprise, you might ask her to narrow her choices to three diamond engagement rings and let you make the final decision about which ring to give her at the moment you propose. Or, you might want to propose when she least expects it and, as part of the proposal, tell her you want selecting the diamond she's been dreaming of to be the first experience you share as an officially engaged couple! (It's an interesting fact, that when couples shop together, the woman usually selects a less expensive diamond than the man would have chosen on his own.)

Shopping together for a diamond can be fun and exciting, while ensuring that the diamond you choose as a symbol of your enduring love and commitment is truly the diamond she wants to wear forever.

Engagement ring shopping on your own - make it a surprise

If, on the other hand, you want the whole proposal to be a complete surprise - and a good surprise -- here are some undercover approaches to figuring out which diamond will bring about the reaction you desire:
  • Ask her family and friends what they think she'd like.
  • Listen carefully if she comments on a friend's diamond or one she's seen in an ad.
  • Consider her style. Is it classic and understated (she'd probably like a round brilliant diamond) or somewhat trendier (the princess cut is a popular choice)?
  • Look at fashion magazines together, and see if she comments on a particular diamond ad.
  • Walk through a jewelry store on your next trip to the mall and see what kinds of rings and jewelry catch her eye.

Here are some ways to listen for other hints she may be dropping.