Print out inspirational photos ahead of time. It can be super helpful for your engagement ring consultant to get a general idea of what your style is and what inspires you before beginning your shopping experience — and what better way to do that than to literally show them what you like? Narrowing down your options, even to something like metal type, makes it much easier to start looking…and will be way less stressful for you in the long run.
Discuss your budget. While this may not be the most romantic thing to think about, it’s important to have an idea of what you’re able (and willing) to spend before you walk into the store. Determining things like who is paying for what and how much you can spend will ensure there are no awkward in-store conversations or confusion. Instead, you can focus on your dream ring and help your engagement ring consultant find you the biggest, brightest diamond and setting you can afford.
Create a timeline. If you find “the one,” are you planning on buying the ring that day or at a later date? Options such as financing and layaway will nearly always be on the table — or maybe you want to pick out your ring with your sweetheart, but have him come back and make the final call so your proposal will be a surprise.
Make it an experience to remember. While it can be tempting to just wander around, remember that this is a purchase that holds a lot of meaning and symbolism. You may want to plan a lunch or dinner, dress up, or schedule specific times to go ring shopping — that way, you won’t just have the ring, you’ll have an engagement ring shopping experience you can think back on and remember fondly.
Try to go everywhere in one day. We don’t recommend trying to see more than three stores in one day (or weekend). Simply choose your top three and visit those. Having too many options can often lead to making an impulse decision, rather than choosing what you really love most.
Set hard goals. Far too often, we see couples come into the store looking for a specific carat weight, only to find out that it’s well over their budget. It’s important to do research to determine what you’re looking for and what you can afford with your budget, but we do not recommend setting any hard goals. For example — if you said you wanted a 1.00-carat diamond, you may not have known that you could also afford a 1.50-carat stone with a lower color and clarity. You’ll miss out on a lot of gorgeous options if you come in with too many set goals in mind.
Make a decision based solely on the ring. Before purchasing your ring, be sure to ask about added benefits like warranties, returns, sizing and upgrades. Many jewelers charge after the ring purchase for these options, and you may be surprised at how much it all adds up. A jeweler who offers all of these free with purchase may be a better option, even if the ring itself is a little more expensive.
Expect to wear your ring the day of purchase. Many times, your ring will need to be resized or set before you can actually take it home. This is especially true if you’re customizing your ring by choosing the stone and setting separately. Keep this in mind when you go engagement ring shopping, so you aren’t taken by surprise when you hear there’s a waiting period.