It doesn’t matter if you’re a groom-to-be shopping on the sly or a dedicated couple determined to find the ring of your dreams. No matter what your circumstances, the first time you go shopping for an engagement ring, all of the below things will happen.
1. Everything will look the same (at first)
Unless you’re already a jewellery expert or have a highly specific idea of what you want (and we’re talking down to the finest of details), you will most definitely feel a little bit overwhelmed when you walk into your first jewellery store. Your jeweller, who will of course have the best of intentions, will need to ask you several questions to determine what pieces to show you. He or she will bring out a selection, and every single one will look exactly the same – sparkly. If you go to a few more jewellery shops on the same day you will have no idea whatsoever which one you liked by the end of it, nevermind which store you saw it in (so keep notes – seriously!)
2. You definitely won’t stick to your budget
We hate to break it to you, but the chances of you coming out of the jewellery store with a ring that hits the exact budget you had in mind before you walked in is minimal. One of two things will happen. The first is that you won’t be able to find a single thing you like for an ‘affordable’ price and will have the inevitable ‘this is a once in a lifetime occasion’ conversation before upping your maximum price range. Or on the other hand you could find something small and simple that just feels like ‘the’ ring, and be overjoyed when you look at the price tag to see that it’s UNDER your budget. We should warn you though; the second option doesn’t happen too often…
3. You’ll realise you still know nothing about the 4Cs
… And that’s okay! You should absolutely do some research before you hit any stores so that you know at least a little bit about what you want, and what to look for. But no matter how many articles you read, you’ll never match the knowledge of your jeweller. This is nothing to feel embarrassed about – your jeweller meets customers in the exact same situation as you all the time. In fact, it’s their job to guide you and tell you what’s what! Who knew?! If anything, you should ask them as many questions as you need to be sure the ring you’re buying meets the criteria you set out for yourself during the research stage.
4. You won’t be able to stop looking at people’s hands
It sounds weird, but it’s true. Everywhere you look and every time you meet a new person, you’ll find yourself not so discreetly trying to catch a glimpse of their hand to spot their engagement ring, if they’re wearing one. This applies whether you have yet to go shopping or have already bought your ring. If you’re a groom-to-be shopping solo, this one is especially true for you. You’ll also find yourself asking your lady love multiple not-so-subtle questions about styles, settings and stones that she likes or dislikes. Ladies aren’t immune either though, especially those of you who don’t have a set idea of what you want.
5. It won’t all be over with one shopping trip
Sadly, it’s not as simple as just going into one store, picking out one ring, and leaving. If only! Firstly you’ll need to find the perfect ring, which may not happen in the first store you go into. Then once you’ve picked it out you won’t get to take it home until it’s been paid for in full. Unless you’ve saved up especially for the moment, this may mean paying a deposit and coming back a later date. If you’re making any custom alterations or having your ring sized, that’ll add on more delays – especially if you want to oversee every change along the way. That’s without any ‘thinking’ time too; spending a large amount of money on something isn’t taken lightly by many couples, and you’ll most likely want to ‘sleep on it’ before you take the plunge and buy.
6. You’ll end up telling just about everyone
All promises to keep things quiet will go out the window once you’ve finally found the ring for you. It’s just too exciting to keep all to yourself – trust us on that one. Expect lots of secret texts, sneaky showings of photos from your phone when people aren’t looking, or if you really can’t keep it to yourself, a public social media post or public announcement will happen. You won’t be the first person to succumb to the temptation and you most definitely won’t be the last. And that’s completely fine by the way – it’s your moment, so you should enjoy it! Just make sure you only tell people who can trust not to make it public, if you’re going for a surprise proposal.
7. It WILL be fun!
Despite all of the above, you will have a whole lot of fun picking out your ring. All going well it’s the only time you’ll ever do it, so you should do everything you can to make the most of the experience. Looking at diamonds with specialist equipment, the thrill of putting so many beautiful pieces on your finger, and the feeling of walking out of the store with a small velvet box in your pocket are all things that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. And the best part is, that’s only the start of the fun; you’ve still got the proposal, the whirlwind of congratulations from family and friends, and the WEDDING to look forward to!