Hi Miss Cavalier! Like some of the pp, I’m not officially engaged yet, but yes we did go ring shopping. It was SO much fun, and I’m a huge supporter of it. Here are a few things I learned:
1. The ‘real’ trip was actually my bf’s idea, and I think that’s incredibly important. I’ve gone and browsed at rings with him around before (like, months ago), and it turned into an uncomfortable situation. I saw it as ‘just browsing/fun’,but to him I seemed pushy and presumptuous. So I let the whole situation drop, and then HE brought it up, and we made a weekend out of it. There was a world of a difference – he was immediately more interested (and calm!) and it turned into a very fun time.
2. This is just my own preference: while I was so happy to have a chance to show him styles I like, I want him to make the final decision on his own. And I let him know this from the very beginning. I saw the ‘ring browsing’ trip as a time for me to give him pointers (What style of band? Silver vs. gold? Solitaire vs. Halo vs. triplet setting? etc.), but in the end, I want him to make the final call. I just think that makes it so personal, when every time I look at the ring, I can think of how much work he put into finding “the one” (while at the same time appreciating how much effort he really did put into it!).
3. You’ll hear this advice a lot, but it’s good advice. a) Do your research before you go out, but b) don’t rely strictly on your research when you’re actually there. I, admittedly, didn’t really do either and it made it quite confusing. If you look online, you can train your eye to pick up on subtle differences between rings, which then make it easier to see what you like/don’t like on your hand. And don’t be afraid to try on different styles, because stuff really DOES look different ‘in person’ than on the computer screen.
4. This is just a bit of a word of warning, at least from my experience. Don’t be too frustrated (and try to keep your bf from doing so too) if you’re incredibly indecisive, espeically at first. You’ll be looking at possibly hundreds of really shiny pretty rings, and it’s hard to really know what you like “the best”. It took me a long *long* time to really understand what I like. For the first few hours, I was just going in circles, and my bf (patiently!) kept trying to keep the facts straight despite me contradicting myself with each passing store. Store 1: “I love the solitairs, but with little diamonds on the band”, store 2: “No, an intricate band is nice, but only one diamond in the middle”, store 3: “The intricate bands are too busy, but this halo setting is perfect”, etc.! See point 3) about how to (at least partly) avoid this!
5. Have fun!!!! That’s by far the most important thing. You’re building your life together, and it should be an exciting time, for the both of you. Let your bf take the lead, and enjoy. It by no means ‘lessens’ the suprise (although it does make waiting harder), but it ensures that you not only get a ring that you love, but gives it the added sentimental value (as if it wasn’t special enough!!) of the time you spent together, narrowing it down to “the perfect one”.
Sorry for the long post, but that’s just my two cents!! Good luck, and keep us posted!!! =)