5 Engagement Ring Etiquette Questions You Need to Know

From Picking Out Your Own Rock to How Much to Spend on It

Updated 11/08/19

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It's the most important piece of jewelry you'll ever own, which is why you want to do everything right when it comes to your engagement ring etiquette. From who should do the ring selecting to how much to spend, there's no shortage of important engagement ring details to consider when getting engaged. And, on the rare instance you end up disliking your ring, how do you play it cool? Ahead, we're providing answers to all your most pressing engagement ring etiquette questions to help make this exciting process feel way less stressful.

1. My Partner Wants Me to Help Pick out the Engagement Ring. Is This Appropriate?

Definitely. In fact, 62 percent of couples now go engagement ring shopping together. If you don't feel comfortable doing so, be sure to communicate those feelings to your S.O. Simply tell them that you don't want to do a joint shopping trip because you think it's more romantic to be surprised. Then, show your mom, your sister, and/or your BFF some photos of rings you like and ask them to share some guidance.

2. Is It Acceptable for My Sister to Help My Partner Pick out an Engagement Ring for Me?

Absolutely! You want someone who already knows your style to be at their side steering them toward the rings you'll love and away from the rings you won't. Feel free to be as specific with your sister as you'd like. If you're obsessed with emerald-cut diamonds, tell her. If you've been spending every lunch break shopping for rings online, send her links to all your favorites. If you'd rather have a bigger diamond with a few flaws than a smaller diamond with none, DO slip her that little nugget of info, too. With your sister involved, your partner will get a sounding board, you'll get a ring you'll adore, and she'll have the thrill of being part of one of the biggest moments in your life.

3. How Much Is Too Much to Spend?

The answer depends entirely on your future spouse's financial situation. On average in 2018, jewelry experts predict couples spent about $8,000, but Justin Theroux, for example, forked over about half a million on Jennifer Aniston's rock. It's a widely held belief that they should shell out about three months of their salary, but this is actually a misconception—your partner should spend whatever they feel comfortable with. For instance: If they're heavily in debt or concerned about job security, they may want to consider scaling back. Worried your S.O. will be tempted to go overboard? Let them know that in a casual conversation.

4. What If My Partner Doesn't Know My Ring Size?

If you don't already know your exact size, check out our extensive ring size guide for an accurate measurement. You could also get your ring size professionally measured at a jeweler and have your mom or sister pass the info along to your significant other if the proposal is under wraps. Or, if you own a ring that you frequently wear on your left ring finger, conspicuously leave it out for your partner to steal and take to a jeweler for size comparison.

5. What If I Don't Like the Ring?

If your partner took initiative and went engagement ring shopping entirely on their own, then props to them. Definitely give them some credit where it's due, but at the same time, know that this endeavor can be extremely risky if you end up not liking the ring (worst-case scenario). So, what's a girl to do? First, at least sleep on it. The ring might actually grow on you. If not, be honest with your future spouse. Start off by explaining how much you love them and highlight parts of the ring that you do like, then express how it's not exactly what you envisioned or doesn't match your personal style. If you're worried about hurting their feelings, you can keep quiet. At the end of the day, you're marrying the love of your life and that should ultimately overshadow any ring woes. Just make sure you get a say in the wedding ring.

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