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Surprise or design an engagement ring together?

February 22, 2022 • 6 min read • #engagement ring


If you have already decided that you would like to design a ring for your partner, it can be tricky deciding on how exactly to go through the process. But the question remains, should you surprise them with an engagement ring or should you design a ring together?

You can check our articles on how to think about designing a ring and options around designs here.

While there is no right answer to this question, there are things that you can do to ensure that they are not disappointed during the proposal. But before we jump into the best way to go about solving this question, we will list out the pros and cons of each.


The surprise engagement ring

The surprise engagement ring is the traditional way of proposing. Ultimately, your proposal is about your first step towards married life and your future together. And designing them a ring and showing that you care enough to make everything right is a perfect way to demonstrate your love.

This method does require a lot more steps but it builds up to an ultimate surprise. The look on their face is also priceless. To make sure that you get a design that they will love, you should consider doing the following:

  • Note down all your special moments.
  • Speak to both your families.
  • Speak to their friends.
  • Collate designs that you both will like.
  • Work with a designer.
  • Finalise your design.

Wedding Photos

This will get you as close as possible to designing an engagement ring that your partner will love while still keeping it a surprise. Rushing into a design without any thought or consultation will risk you spending a lot of money and not getting what they want.

Now even after doing all of these things, you may find that it is not exactly the engagement design that they had in mind.

While you may go down the surprise route there are still things that you should know before designing an engagement ring such as:

  • Their favourite gemstone.
  • Their preference on lab or mined gemstone.
  • The metal that they would like the ring to be.

It might be good for you to ask their best friend so it is not suspicious.

Photo of Four Words Engagement Ring

Designing an engagement ring together

Designing an engagement ring together can be as romantic as surprising your partner. And just because you do not have the final engagement ring, you can still surprise them with the proposal itself.

If you are based in Auckland, you can get some help from With Love Styling that put together proposal picnics and you can check out their Instagram here.

The key thing here is that if you decide to design an engagement ring together that there is still some romance. Proposing is one of the biggest life decisions both of you will make, so it is a good idea to make it special.

When you do eventually get to proposing, you can use a proposal ring. A proposal ring is a ring that you use that signals to your partner that you would like to design a ring together. It typically is offered by your jeweller for a bond. On return, you will get your bond back.

This way, you ensure that your partner will get to design their engagement ring and at the same, keep the surprise of the proposal itself.

The engagement ring design process is also really exciting. For many people, it is something that they have always dreamed of and it is common for people to already have a collection of rings on Instagram or Pinterest.

Who should design the engagement ring?

Ultimately, who should design your partner’s engagement ring is dependent on the nature of your relationship. If your relationship is more on the traditional end, then it may be worth looking to design the engagement ring yourself and propose accordingly.

But if you feel that your partner has a sophisticated taste and can be quite picky, it may be better to use a promise ring and design the engagement ring together. That way, they can get exactly what they want.

Ultimately, you want to find out as much information about what your partner would like without directly asking it as this can give away the surprise of an upcoming proposal. This can involve asking their best friend to ask on your behalf. But this doesn’t always need to be the case. If you both have a mutual understanding of wanting to get married anyway, you can just ask your partner. The surprise can still be in the proposal.

Some couples that we have seen typically design the engagement ring together, but the proposal itself is a surprise. Other times, one partner will leave breadcrumbs on the type of engagement ring that they would like. This can involve going into jewellery stores to have a look and pointing out the style of rings that they like.

If this happens, pay attention to the metal of the ring, the centre stone and make sure to get their ring size in the process. When designing an engagement ring, this can be quite valuable. After this happens, and in private, make sure to have a conversation on sustainability, and what they value the most when it comes to designing their engagement ring.

Getting a designer to craft up the perfect engagement ring is a much more exciting process than choosing something out from a store. A bit of the surprise is lost. But with designing an engagement ring, your partner may not know that the proposal is coming, even though they have shown you what they fancy.

So what should you do?

Ultimately you want a bit of both. You do want to surprise your partner but in a way that they want. This is then a combination of talking to their friends to better understand their dreams and then making a decision on the best route with as much information you can gather without giving any surprises away.

In any situation, the answer to your four words should not depend on the engagement ring. It should be on the strength of your love for one another and sharing a future together.

Diamond Illustration

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