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[+] considerations for the prospective groom

- gut check: are you  sure you are ready to get married?

- how do i know she's the one?

[+] all the groom needs to know about engagement rings

- a groom's guide to engagement rings

- diamond-buying

- do you need GIA-certified diamonds?

- buying an engagement ring online

- surprise ring or blank check?

- how much should a groom spend on an engagement ring?

- engagement ring price calculator

[+] popping the question

- should the groom ask the father-in-law for permission?

- popping the question

- marriage proposal stories

[+] "pre" marriage things

- the prenuptial agreement

- pre-marital counseling

- pre-marital financial planning

a second marriage for the groom?

engagement announcements

the engagement party

dealing with cold feet or wedding jitters

dealing with bridezilla


a las vegas wedding

the name change: sometimes touchy

backing out of your wedding: a survival manual

your fiancée called off the engagement

tax consequences of getting married

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The Great Proposal Debate: Surprise Ring or Blank Check? [Page 1 of 2]

In an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw (aka that hottie all men love - Sarah Jessica Parker) highlighted a common catastrophe for well-intentioned grooms everywhere. Her boyfriend buys her an engagement ring with the intention of proposing, after enlisting help to find the "perfect" ring. However, Carrie uncovers the ring accidentally while looking through Aidan's clothes. Her reaction? Joy and excitement? Nope. She vomits. It's the ugliest ring known to man. Is it better then to surprise your fiancee, or is this a lesson that it's safer to go engagement ring shopping with her?

The argument for surprise

It's a long-standing tradition to hit jewelry stores with a wad of hard-earned cash, in search of the perfect engagement ring to represent the promise of lifelong love and commitment. For one, surprise -- especially on this scale -- is highly romantic. It's a production that you own from conception to the big reveal. Boys, it's one of man's few dragon sleighing moments left in 21st century life.

If you hit a home run and find the ring of her dreams all on your own, you prove to your now bride-to-be (and the world) that you really "get her". If you are taking this leap to ask her to be your wife, surely you know her tastes and style, so what are you afraid of? If you don't at least try, your fiancee may even be a bit disappointed in you.

And isn't this more than just a gift for her? Isn't this ring a symbol of your love for her, in which case she should love and cherish it, no matter what?

How to do it this way: From the moment you decide that she's the one, start taking notes -- physical notes. Write down any rings she admires in a store window or on a friend's finger. Listen closely for hints such as "I think it's so tacky when women have giant rocks on their fingers." Notice if her jewelry collection consists entirely of silver and no gold; chances are she'll want a platinum or white gold band. Does she like diamonds or colored stones? Is she into modern things or antiques? These details will help you get as close as you possibly can to finding her the perfect ring.

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Fri, Oct.12th 2012
Some women are just nasty. Have you thought that your hsbaund may be a flirt and these girls go for him because he is giving them a reason? My hsbaund and I have been married for 11 years and I have been approached and not him, so it really depends on the person. I am not one to flirt so the time that I was approached the individual was also married and thought it would be cool and I didn't.
Tue, Nov.22nd 2011
Engagement rings are damn tacky. It either says a) I feel so poorly about myself that I am not worth marriage and must buy my way into a relationship with material goods or b) my fiancee is so shallow that she won't appreciate me for who I am and I must buy her affections with material goods. Either way, it's not a good look.
Tue, Mar.1st 2011
I brought my girlfriend engagement ring with the help of my brother in law. I donīt want to spend to much on a ring because iīm buying a house, but he convince me to see it as an investment. My girlfriend doesnīt want a diamond, instead I brought a white gold ring with 12 very little diamonds and a purple amathys on top (her favorite color). She love it and her mother too LOL!
Fri, Jun.11th 2010
My fiance chose my engagement ring and i love it. we looked at a few together and based off of what he saw me try on and such. he went back later and completely surprised me. i love it and i wouldnt change it for the world! glad to see there are some other decent men out there besides mine.
Engaged Female
Thu, Jan.21st 2010
You took your time making sure she is the right woman for you and if she feels you are perfect for her, the answer will be "yes." However, women are picky and most women know what they like and have a particular style they love, in men and jewelry. If you want her to love her ring, research her likes and dislikes or have her pick it out. It is disappointing receiving a ring that does not feel like your ring, no matter how much you love the guy.
Mon, Dec.28th 2009
My fiance just proposed last night. We knew we wanted to get married, but I wasn't sure when we would make it 'official' so to speak. The ring is perfect! We discussed ring styles and metal, but he didn't let me go with him. He picked it out the diamond and setting himself, surprising me with it last night. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Wed, Dec.2nd 2009
I recently got engaged and hopefully you only do it once, so it should be with a ring she absolutely LOVES! I definitely got something different than what I wanted, but the ring is nice, although not my style. I wanted very simple, something i can wear daily and not have it stand out so much. I showed my bf exactly the setting that I wanted, but he didn't give the jewler a side view pic of the ring so I think my fiance just choose on his own from there. When I first got the ring I couldn't help but feel disappointed that he didn't pay attention to my wishes, since i'm the one wearing the ring I have to look at it everyday. I try to stay positive though and look at things from his perspective, he probably wanted to buy me something that stood out more which would make the ring look more impressive. I now look at my ring as a combination of us, it has some characteristics that I like and something he picked out which makes me feel better about not getting my perfect ring. Although I may not be in love with my ring, i am in love with my man and that means much more. In summary I recommend shopping around with your gf before suprising her with something. I wouldn't even recommend asking friends or mom because they will just pick out what they like. My fiance could have definitely spend the same amount of money, even less, and gotten the ring that I really wanted.
a female
Mon, Nov.16th 2009
Not all girls are the same, and I suggest figuring out what your girlfriend likes regarding the proposal (is she very picky about what she'll wear? Returns clothes/jewelry her mother buys her? If so, get her help in the shopping!). However, I have to say that I loved the way that my fiance and I did things. We were open in talking about wanting to get engaged "one day" and I would tell him ring styles that I liked. When we got closer to a point where we knew it'd be sooner rather than later, we went to a jewelry store one day and looked together. He knew at that point that I wanted a round cut and I showed him settings that I liked. He then took what I'd shown and told him and had one custom designed for me that incorporated what I liked but also gave it a very unique look, something that no one else will every have. The ring and proposal were a surprise and both were perfect - but he definitely didn't go into it without help. Most of my friends have also gone shopping with their fiances/husbands, and then been surprised by the one they chose. But then I have a couple of friends who were totally surprised and loved it that way as well!
Sat, Oct.24th 2009
One other thing to consider... if you shop together for the ring you're probably going to pay more than you would for the same ring if you did it yourself. Except for places like Tiffany's and the online stores, you should never pay sticker price for the diamond. I was able to knock over $1000 off the price of the diamond by bargaining, but I definitely would have felt weird doing this if it was while she was there. I was able to get her a much better ring that I otherwise would have if I tried to play the big shot and pay sticker.
Tue, Sep.1st 2009
I got engaged last week, after 7 years of telling him I didn't want to get married. He took me by complete surprise, and picked the ring out himself. I love it, I love that he chose it and spent so much time choosing it. I love how happy it makes him when I tell him I love it. I always thought it would be such a big risk if a guy did that, and thought the best way would be to propose with a diamond in a box and then pick out the setting together, but this ring means so much more to me that that would have because his heart is in it.
Mon, Aug.31st 2009
Geez people, take a little pressure of the poor guy whos decided to ask a girl to marry him! Obviously he's made up his mind who he wants to ask. And it should be about the marriage, and not how much money he spends on a ring.
Thu, Jul.30th 2009
My husband is a fucking asshole who STILL hasn't bought me a ring! If I had someplace to go, you bet I'd leave him, I deserve better than some tightwad who still can't figure it out. Oh, and I got even with him by sleeping with his best friend. Ha!! Something I wouldn't have done if he'd put a fucking ring on my finger, the asshole! And most men are deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to choosing the right ring. Most wouldn't know a decent ring if it bit them in the ass!
Fri, Jan.16th 2009
WOW after reading this engagement article it gives me hope that their are men who CARE, LISTEN AND PAY ATTENTION to someone that they love, feelings. Only a person who is "in tune" could have written this article. Girls like me appreciate the time and effort put into this article. I can only imagine what a good husband you would be.
single & looking
Fri, Jan.16th 2009
As long as my bf knows my style in rings I would totally trust him to pick out my engagement ring. My taste is pretty simple. One diamond (round or square) set in plat or white gold. We can choose the wedding bands afterwards. I would NOT want to know when he was going to propose, how unromantic. Good luck boyzzzzzzzzz!
Thu, Jan.15th 2009
my husband didnt want to propose with a ring that i might not love, so he proposed with a necklace and then we went ring shopping together- i LOVE my engagement ring and its more meaningful that we both picked it together, but also i got the surprise proposal- so we won both ways!
Sat, Dec.20th 2008
If you are unsure, consult a person close to her, or propose without a ring. I hae a ring that I don't LOVE and cannot be returned. I just put it in my drawer. I've been engaged for just about a year. I've worn it every day up to this point, but I just don't feel it to be mine. I've tried. My wedding band was also purchased at that time, so I don't have a say in any of it. My fiance is not into fashion and will admit that he doesn't care. I LOVE fashion and shopping. He wanted it to be a surprise, though it backfired bigtime. So, I didn't like the ring. Also, we did talk about how I LOVE a great proposal story and that I would love that and I would LOVE to be surprised in a romantic setting. Well, he did what he wanted and what he felt comfortable with and again, not taking my feelings into account. He was selfish about it all in my opinion. I LOVE him, but he feel very disappointed that he really didn't listen to my wishes. Even after a year, it still bothers me like it was yesterday. Is this a prelude to our marriage? If he doesn't listen to my wishes on one of the most important moments of our lives, will my feelings continue to be dismissed. Those that are judgmental are those women that HAVE the ring they want. Imagine if you didn't...it's not just a ring..It reveals a lot about whether your man knows you or not.
Sat, Dec.20th 2008
It's admirable that you want to buy and pick out the ring, however, it's going to be on her finger and she will have to wear it and look at it every day. Wouldn't you want her to LOVE the ring that you spent your hard-earned money on? I have a ring that I don't LOVE and has been disappointing in the scheme of getting engaged. I guess I'm materialistic and not denying it, however it's the only piece of jewelry that I told my fiance that I will ever want him to buy for me so I wanted it to be something special. He picked out what he liked. HE'S NOT THE ONE WEARING IT. He also picked out the wedding band to match so I don't have a say in any of it. I, on the other hand, took him to the jewelry store so that he could pick out his wedding band. HE is getting the band that he wants and that's the only way I would have bought it. I'm not going to spend my savings on a ring that he looks at and shrugs or is indifferent about it. If it is important to me, I'm considerate and want it to be important to him. I WISH HE WOULD HAVE CONSULTED SOMEONE OTHER THAN A JEWELER TO SELECT MY RING. My friends, family, and colleagues could have tipped him off on my style. And NO it's not being a Bitch, it's knowing what one wants. IF it was a matter of the $$$, I could have bought my own darn ring, so I'm not asking him to buy something for me that I couldn't buy for myself. Would you want to walk around as if you were wearing someone else's glasses or shoes. It's a very personal matter. Try not to be so judgmental. The proposal (the special moment) is just as important as the wedding(exchanging of vows). Men-if you are not sure, please ask...you want our woman to be excited not simply accepting of it.
good advice
Wed, Dec.17th 2008
I should have read this before I decided... whatever you do, don't let her get too involved in the process. It will cost you twice as much. The article has good advice for both styles of shopper.
Wed, Dec.10th 2008
guys, lets be reasonable. it really should be a sweet occassion to engage yo girlfriend. i dont know about you guys but i believe its some kind of a tradition, and a rich one for that matter, which actually works, to surprise the girl (lady) with the ring, of course the right one, all we have to do is get some tips on how to do that right, e.g. "kee" above. so, i'm in love, and i want to engage my lady, but i'm sure not goin to take her wit me to buy it, i'll just present it; i came here lookin for those tips and ways to make a memorable occassion, surprise arrangements etc. i dont seem to get the strategy so plis e-mail me: alpha@zambia.co.zm
Thu, Sep.25th 2008
There's a really easy way to keep it a surprise and want to avoid disappointment. Pick out a couple of rings that are in your price range, then ask her best friend to come see the ring before you buy it. That way you're able to know for sure if she would hate it or love it. Trust me, girls do talk with each other about their dream engagement ring. This way you can use that to your advantage. This way, she'll love it and be surprise. Bonus - she'll know that you cared enough aboout her feelings to check and make sure that you got it right. This is how a friend of mine was proposed to and we all thought it was so sweet! (P.S. it's not unreasonable to be disappointed if she is expected to wear something that she considers extremely ugly on her finger for the rest of her life)
Thu, Sep.11th 2008
Rings are a) unecessary to an engagement b) something you should choose and buy together if you're going to do it, c) should be moderately priced and ethically/responsibly sourced, i.e. recycled metal and created stones, or vintage and d) something the man should also wear, ideally, if the woman is going to. I don't have one and my marriage is just fine thanks! I wouldn't have objected if my husband had felt a burning need to give me one, but circumstances made it impractical. It's ridiculous to go into debt for something like that (or for a wedding).
Wed, May.28th 2008
Why does the proposal have to include the ring? I was caught by surprise when he proposed because we didnt go shopping for the ring earlier, and then we chose one together afterwards- it seemed like less of a 'game' of him trying to guess what i'd like and me trying to pretend that i really like it - and so much more romantic!!
Sat, Apr.5th 2008
My recommendation is to do what my fiancee and I did. We both went to the jewelry store (months before I proposed, but after "the talk") and I had her point out features that she liked. So, she didn't choose the exact ring, but at least I knew what to look for when I made my final decision. She got her finger sized by a professional so that her ring fit perfectly.
Wed, Jan.30th 2008
Im with "Grow Up" ...I am recently engaged, and even though I did get my fiancee the "Perfect ring" she has always told me that it doesnt matter what kind of ring I got her, its what it means to me, and what it means to her, and to US...for you to say what you did is EXTREMELY selfish, and VERY materialistic...I think that you need to re-evaluate what really matters, that or he does one.
grow up
Fri, Jan.25th 2008
hopeful you are being a complete spoiled bitch about this. You're acting like it's your God-given right to choose your perfect engagement ring. It's a symbol of HIS love for you...not just a prop in your little fairy-tale wedding shceme. How selfish is it to say that it "sucks" not to have control over it when he is spending two months worth of his salary to give you something he believes you'll truly cherish. If you continue to be this ungrateful, he will either clam up and shut you out or react and kick you to the curb, depending on what kind of guy he is. Grow up. Stop worrying about YOUR plans and realize that engagement and marriage are about giving, not taking.
Fri, Nov.30th 2007
I don't think it means u r chipping in for your own ring, but it's that she gets to pick her own ring rather than as surprise.
Mon, Nov.26th 2007
Wait r u saying you're chipping in for yr own ring??!
Fri, Nov.23rd 2007
Your Comments Recently I became aware of my boyfriends' ideas on a ring for me. Yes the concept of being engaged to get married is wonderful. NOT so when it comes to the ring, when you realize--you have no say, even when you try to show them what you want. It kinda SUCKS!No, I know I sound rotten, or spoiled- But lets be serious, if I am going to spend money(and a bit of it)I want it to be "just right".

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