An Engaging Engagement: Inserting yourself into the ring choosing process

Q: My boyfriend and I have been talking about getting married for two years and having finished college are ready to finally start our lives together. He is very excited and has told me he has started saving for my ring. Is it proper to pick my own ring? How do I tell him without taking the joy totally out of his hands?

A: It is perfectly acceptable to pick our your own engagement ring. In fact, many couples go “ring shopping” ahead of the proposal in order for the woman to show her fiance-to-be what style of ring might suit her. Perhaps you could suggest this type of outing to your boyfriend, where you could show him a few different stone styles or settings that you like which he could choose from and still make the final decision on his own.


  1. Winifred Rosenburg

    The last bit seems backwards to me. What if she chooses three rings she likes and they’re all outside his budget? It would put him in an awkward position. (There have been people complaining on this site because their fiance got a less expensive version of the ring requested.) I do think it makes sense to tell him general things to look for (e.g. “I like princess cut”). Shopping together can also be done but with the boyfriend choosing the options and the girlfriend making the final decision instead of the other way around. In fact, if the boyfriend requests ahead of time many jewelry stores will arrange a display of engagement rings that are within his budget with prices removed for his girlfriend to choose from.

    • I like Winifred’s suggestion. In my case, I simply informed him I do not care for white diamonds, as they are common. I asked for a green stone. My husband designed the ring, and presented it on his terms. I was surprised and very happy.

    • Lilli

      I also like this suggestion. Also with the internet it’s easy to show preferred styles without actually picking out a specific rings. A girlfriend of mine set up a pintrest board for her fiance of styles she liked. I told mine I like emerald cut diamonds and left the rest to him – and boy am I glad I did because he nailed it!

  2. I love what Just Laura and Lilli propose! My husband I did something similar. We found an engagement ring on etsy. We also had the same etsy jeweler design our wedding rings with a Hungarian folk art and Celtic knot motif – this symbolized the ‘marrying’ of our ethnic backgrounds.

  3. Karen

    In- law question.
    For years, I have always checked in on my in-laws, who are divorced. Recently, I stopped because I feel like it’s not reciprocated. I also feel that my husband should be responsible for that, since it is his family. I’ve done well with it until now. My daughter is a ballerina and will be performing in the Nutcracker. My M-I-L recently sent me an email (which I haven’t received one in months) and said she and her husband would like to come see us during that time and then added “unless you would like us to come at Christmas”. She hasn’t been to visit us in 2 years and her husband has never been to this house. My parents have already confirmed that they are coming. I’m not one for alot of company in our house to begin with but during the Nutcracker, its a bit chaotic. But I don’t really want her here for Christmas either. (It’s a difficult relationship with her) Should I let my husband answer her or just tell her that Nutcracker is fine and list local hotels??
    HELP!!! Terrible that I’m already stressed about it!

    • I don’t see anything wrong in one of you saying what you suggest – We’d be happy for you to come to the Nutcracker, but the most convenient is for you to stay in a hotel – here’s a list. Add that Granddaughter will be thrilled they’ll be there.

      Good luck!

  4. Maggie

    Putting aside all of the underlying issues between the in-laws, their divorce, etc., I think there’s nothing wrong with telling them that you’ve already committed to hosting other guests during the Nutcracker, but that you’d be happy to provide them some names of hotels and local car rental places so they can get around. This is totally rational and no one should ever expect an invitation to stay in your home.

    I wouldn’t mention Christmas in this response since you don’t intend to invite them. If she responds and specifically asks to visit at Christmas instead, you can tell them that you either have other plans already and that it won’t work this year. Or you can say that they are welcome to visit, while reiterating that they should make their hotel reservations early since they fill up that time of year.

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