The Expert's Guide to Going Engagement Ring Shopping Together

Choosing the perfect ring is just the beginning of your love story.
Couple smiling while engagement ring shopping
Photo: Jack Frog / Shutterstock
carli brennan headshot
by
Carli Brennan
carli brennan headshot
Carli Brennan
The Knot Fashion Contributor
  • Carli writes freelance fashion articles for The Knot.
  • Prior to The Knot, she was the style section editor at Her Campus Media and launched the Fashion Institute of Technology chapter of Her Campus.
  • Carli’s passion for the wedding industry stems from her time as a bridal consultant and her previous internship in a bridal showroom.
Updated Nov 27, 2023

Engagement ring shopping is such a milestone moment, which is why many couples today are opting to go engagement ring shopping together. While your parents and grandparents likely likely enjoyed the element of surprise, many couples today instead choose to go shopping together for many reasons. We spoke to both Kendra Scott, Founder, Executive Chairwoman, and Chief Creative Officer Kendra Scott, and Stephanie Gottlieb, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Stephanie Gottlieb Fine Jewelry, for some expert tips on engagement ring shopping as a couple. Whether you and your partner have already agreed to go ring shopping together or if you are deciding what's best for you, there are some key tips you'll want to keep in mind to ensure a seamless shopping experience.

Do Couples Go Engagement Ring Shopping Together?

While it is a more traditional approach to keep the engagement ring a surprise, many couples today would prefer to go ring shopping together.

"Each couple will feel a certain way about shopping together or independently. For some, the proposal should be a complete surprise, which requires independent shopping and planning," Gottlieb shares. "Sometimes this involves a family member or friend who has inside information that will help guide the decision knowing the bride-to-be's preferences. For others, there is a notion of togetherness that drives the couple to shop together, learn about their shared preferences, and inevitably make a decision together."

Benefits of Going Engagement Ring Shopping Together

There are a few key benefits of going engagement ring shopping together that you'll want to keep in mind if this is something you and your partner are considering. Sit down together to talk about the potential benefits and what is best for you as a couple.

1. Style Decisions

When there is an open dialogue concerning the engagement ring and you have the opportunity to shop together, you can ensure that you'll be happy with your ring. While the engagement ring is ultimately a token of your love for your partner, it is nice to have input on the final decision, considering you'll wear it every day for the rest of your life. Shopping together eliminates any guesswork on what your partner thinks you may or may not like.

2. Preparation

While some people would prefer their engagement to be a complete surprise, going engagement ring shopping together is a good way to ensure you and your partner are on the same page about your goals and expectations. By going ring shopping together, you have a heads up that a proposal is on the way so you're not completely caught off guard. That said, it all depends on the individual couple and their preferences.

3. Ensuring a Proper Fit

While rings can always get resized later, a huge benefit to going engagement ring shopping together is that there is no guesswork when it comes to sizing. Your jeweler can measure your ring size to ensure a perfect bespoke fit so that you don't have to go back and resize the ring later.

Should You and Your Partner Go Engagement Ring Shopping Together?

Every couple is different and will have different opinions on whether engagement ring shopping is right for them. If you're not sure where your partner stands, a surefire way to set expectations is to ask them. If you keep the dialogue open, you can ensure you both know what the other person's expectations are when the time comes.

"Engagement ring shopping is an intimate, personal, and emotional experience for couples," says Scott. "Whether you choose to do it together or separately depends on your individual preferences, styles, and relationship dynamics."

If you want input on the ring but still want some element of surprise, Gottlieb suggests a hybrid approach to ring shopping. "There is also a hybrid approach where the couple may do some preliminary research together, but inevitably the decision is made by one person, still giving the opportunity for that element of surprise for the proposal. There is no 'right' way to do it, but I do think each of these approaches speaks to individual relationships, and when that person is ready to propose, they'll find the right way to navigate the process to honor their relationship, and what their significant other would ultimately want."

How to Shop for an Engagement Ring As a Couple

Important factors like budget, stone cut, and design details will come into play when you go ring shopping. Be sure to have these conversations together so you can ensure you're both on the same page.

"Start by talking about your budget, style preferences, and any specific design elements that are important to you both," Scott suggests. "Rings are just as personal as the love story they represent."

Set a Budget

The number one tip for couples planning to go engagement ring shopping together is to set a budget. If one partner is handling the budget and wants to keep it discreet, you can discuss this with your jeweler ahead of time to ensure you stick to your budget.

"If the budget isn't something that will be mutually discussed, it's important to share this with the designer who will be creating your ring so they can help navigate some of the conversations that will take place when looking at diamonds and ring settings," Gottlieb suggests. "Managing expectations is important, and never looking at rings that will be beyond the comfortable budget range can help each person feel good about the process."

Do Your Research

Be sure to research a variety of jewelers so you can go to one that fits your style, budget, and needs. Whether you are looking for a simple ring or want to design something custom, you'll want to look into your options when it comes to jewelers.

"With Kendra Scott's customization process for engagement rings, you have the opportunity to infuse your personal touch, ensuring that the ring becomes a one-of-a-kind representation of your love story," Scott shares. "Carats, pavé considerations, customization – there are fine but important details to consider. Whether you shop together or separately, the most important thing is that the ring reflects your unique love story and the journey you're about to embark on as a couple."

Discuss Quality Versus Size

When it comes to engagement rings, quality, and size are often a compromise to land on a ring that fits your expectations and budget. Have a conversation about appropriate center stone sizes, shapes, etc. before shopping so that you both understand what to prioritize. You should also discuss if you would like a natural diamond, lab-grown diamond, or a diamond alternative like moissanite. These conversations will help guide you and will act as a good starting point when starting your search.

Communicate

"Communication is key, so be open about your expectations and timeline to make the process enjoyable and tailored to your unique love story!" Scott tells us.

Being open and honest with your partner about the engagement ring process is key to a smooth shopping experience. Don't pretend to like a style just because you want to agree with your partner. It's okay to be honest and share what you like and don't like so you can both be happy with the final decision. Plus, communicating and working through the process can actually make your relationship even stronger.

Have Fun

Engagement ring shopping is such an exciting time and you should enjoy the process with your partner. Rather than rushing through the process to find the perfect ring, take your time and enjoy this special time together. Make it an occasion by dressing up for shopping, booking a celebratory dinner, or even having a romantic wine night at home afterward.

Up Next
  • Solitaire Round Diamond Engagement Ring
    12 Essential Engagement Ring Shopping Tips