Engagement Ring Etiquette

Is there such a thing as engagement ring etiquette? Oh yes, believe me, there is! It’s not enough to get a ring and pop the question. There are things to take into consideration on both sides. This can be tricky because it involves one of the biggest financial and emotional commitments a person can ever make. Don’t make a mistake during this exceptionally important time of your life.

You Paid How Much?

The first rule of engagement ring etiquette involves the cost. It is not appropriate for a man (or woman) to discuss the price of the ring (or piece of engagement jewellery) they are giving. It’s one thing if you share funds or account information. It’s a completely different thing to propose and then say something like, “I hope you like it because it cost me ___ dollars.” (For more on engagement ring cost click here).

Similarly, it isn’t appropriate for a woman to ask how much her engagement ring cost or the size of the diamond. Again, if you share money that’s a different story. If you are that curious, have the piece appraised (which you should do to insure it anyway). Appreciate the gift for what it is and not for what you’d hoped it would be.

Who's Wearing This Ring, Anyway?

As for the style of ring, try to pick something that your future fiancée will like – and not something you want her to have. For instance, if you know your fiancée is a plain Jane kind of girl embarrassed by big displays, don’t get her a showy ring she’ll be loath to sport. Instead, get something to suit her personality. It’s important, when giving any gift, that we get something we think that person would want. This is a part of engagement ring etiquette as well. See it from her point of view as best you can.

What If You Hate It?

Perhaps the biggest engagement etiquette rule is geared towards women in general. If you do not like the engagement ring, BITE YOUR TONGUE. This is a gift. It doesn’t matter the cost, the size of the diamond or the style. It is about a person wanting to spend the rest of his or her life with you.

I know, I know, you’ve been waiting your whole life for this moment and this symbol of love. I know it’s disappointing not to get exactly what you want, but I have yet to meet a woman who has asked her fiancé to return the ring. Imagine the planning and thought that went into this decision. Now imagine that person’s disappointment if they found out they’d made a mistake (in your eyes).

Two very close friends of mine got engaged when their significant other didn’t have a great job or any real money. They both have extraordinarily plain rings with tiny diamonds, yet each one rocks it with pride. They now have more money and yet they still refuse to trade up for bigger rocks. Their engagement rings are a part of them...and a part of their romantic history.

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