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Getting Engaged

Decide if this will be a surprise

If you have your heart set on proposing with the ring in hand and without her suspecting, you’ll be making a lot of decisions on your own. We’ll help you with figuring out her style, the kinds of rings you might want to look at and get you started on the basics.

If you and your fiancée-to-be already know you’re going to get married — it’s just a matter of making it official — you might want to take a more collaborative approach. A lot of couples in this situation shop for her engagement ring together — studies say about 50% of engaged women helped with ring selection. With that settled, the surprise is in the proposal.

And whichever route you take, how you propose has become really important. The Knot has 50 ideas to help you out.

Lynette Allan Events can help you with setting up your perfect “I DO” moment!

The Engagement Ring Guide – Part 3

When is a ring not just a ring? When it has a ring that goes along with it — and we’re not just talking wedding bands here.

Engagement ring styles are varied and the choice can be mind-boggling, but let’s go ahead and add a bit more complexity into the mix: a matching band. Another ring, you say? Yes and no — we’ll elaborate.

There are plenty of reasons to choose a matching wedding band, and, of course, a few reasons not to. We’ll start with saying “yes” to the band.

When the match counts


The easiest way to match the engagement ring and wedding band is to purchase a set that’s been designed to go together. These “bridal sets” are found at many jewelry stores. A bridal set on the ring finger looks thoughtful, finished and elegant. For a matched look that includes the groom, consider “trio sets,” which have a matching engagement ring and wedding band for her, and a complementing band for him.

You can absolutely match a wedding band to an engagement ring without purchasing a designed-to-match set. It just takes a little bit of savvy.

One of the easiest ways to create a match is to look for a matching style to the engagement ring:

  • A vintage-inspired wedding band to go with a vintage-inspired engagement ring.
  • A classic solitaire ring with a classic band.
  • Perhaps a knife-edge band with a contemporary ring.

What is key is that the bands be similar in width. A wide wedding band could overwhelm a smaller engagement ring and vice versa. Think about the rings in terms of proportion.

If the engagement ring has engraving on it, then you want the same engraving style, one that’s very similar or none at all. A different engraving style could clash with the engagement ring.

If you want color diamonds and/or gemstones in your wedding band, make sure they match with the colors of the stone or stones in the engagement ring. A wedding band with pink and yellow diamonds is not going to work with a white diamond and tanzanite engagement ring. Trust us!

Matching metals

Metal is another way to think about matching bands, and there’s no other way to say this: The metals and colors need to be the same. Platinum and platinum. Rose gold and rose gold. Of course, some rings are made in mixed metals and look perfectly beautiful because they are designed that way. But if you have a two-tone band on your engagement ring, look for a two-tone wedding band to complement it.

Enhancing It

 

If you’ve purchased a smaller solitaire stone or one with a lower clarity grade with a little less sparkle, an “enhancer ring” may be the right add-on to boost the “bling factor” of the engagement ring. And you might not be done — you may still want to purchase a wedding band after that.

 

An enhancer ring dials up the beauty of an engagement ring by complementing it with additional stones (diamonds and/or precious gemstones), which boosts the size of the ring and changes its appearance. Usually enhancers are curved to fit around the center stone of your engagement ring, making them look as if they were created together. Another type of two-sided enhancer accents both sides of the engagement ring; the engagement ring usually slips into an opening in this enhancer, so they appear as one complete ring.

We match but the rings won’t

Not everyone is looking to match their rings. It’s a personal choice, and it may be yours.

Some people just don’t like to match. Maybe the bride-to-be was the girl in second grade with the crazy pink and green socks and orange, blue and black argyle sweater. Maybe that style has evolved, but it doesn’t include what she derisively terms “matchy-matchy.” If matching is not what’s wanted, then it’s not what’s going on the bride’s finger.

And just because the engagement ring and wedding band are worn on the same finger, it doesn’t mean they’ll always be worn together. Many women only wear their engagement rings during their engagement or for several years into their marriage.

Lives are busy and complex and hands (and rings) can take a beating. Perhaps your fiancée has a job that could put her ring in danger. Or she may put her engagement ring away for safe keeping, only taking it out for special occasions or “dress up.” Her wedding band becomes “everyday wear.” Kind of like what you’ll be doing with the “good china” and the everyday dishes. If your wife-to-be has a lifestyle that works this way, there is no true need to match the styles of engagement ring and the band.

As with just about everything in the “getting to the wedding” process, to match or not to match is a personal question. But now you have some ideas to help you plan your approach. If you’re looking to match, think proportions, think metals, think styles, think sets. And if you’re not, well, you don’t have to worry about it.

The Engagement Ring Guide – Part 2

The perfect engagement ring will make your big moment shine even brighter. Use this guide as you start your quest to buy the right engagement ring for your future bride.

You’ve decided to pop the question — the question, the one that will change everything. But before you can start planning your happily-ever-after with your future bride, you have a little shopping to do.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by how much you need to learn when you set out to buy a diamond engagement ring. Technical information about the 4Cs, conflicting information about how much you need to spend, and hundreds of different styles and options can quickly confuse you.

Use this guide as your starting point to orient yourself to the vast world of diamond engagement rings. We’ll help you understand where to start, and what to consider, before you make your final decision.

Style before science

Buying a diamond engagement ring is nothing like any other purchase you’ve made. There are countless variables that affect beauty, quality and cost. It’s not like buying a car, where you get virtually the same thing every time, with a few options or add-ons. Every diamond is unique, and the ring in which the diamond is set presents countless options as well.

Many people focus first on diamond quality — the “grade” of a diamond based on the 4Cs of color, clarity, carat weight and cut — before they shop for style. The 4Cs were originally conceived as an educational tool to convey why a diamond cost so much. They’re valuable for understanding tradeoffs when buying a diamond within your budget.

But once your fiancée puts the ring on her finger, she isn’t going to go around showing people her “E color, VS1 clarity, 1.2-ct., thick-girdle” diamond ring. She’s going to show off her beautifully designed and brilliantly sparkling engagement ring.

That’s why we recommend focusing first on finding the perfect style for your fiancée — and then finding the right diamond to fit that style. Consider the following options when considering the right engagement ring style.


Diamonds and Gemstones

  • A Diamond Solitaire Is your fiancée interested in a simple and elegant diamond solitaire — a single diamond showcased in a metal band?
  • A Ring with Side Diamonds or Colored GemstonesWould she like an engagement ring with side diamonds or side color gemstones for added dazzle or color?
  •  A Halo RingShe might want a halo ring, which has one center diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds.
  • A Diamond Engagement BandDoes she want a diamond engagement band instead of a ring with larger center stones?
  • Color Gemstones or Color DiamondsDo you think your fiancée-to-be would prefer color gemstones or color diamonds instead of white diamonds in her engagement ring?

Shapes

If you decide to go with a center-stone diamond or a ring with side stones, you’ll have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing the shape of your diamonds or gemstones. Your choices include:

  • Round
  • Princess
  • Emerald
  • Marquise
  • Oval
  • Pear
  • Heart

Metals

What metal color and type best fits your fiancée’s style and taste? Do you think she would prefer:

  • PlatinumThe hard, modern look of platinum?
  • White GoldThe softer and contemporary look of white gold?
  • Yellow GoldThe classic yet fashionable look of yellow gold?
  • Rose GoldThe unique and romantic look of rose gold?

Settings

What diamond or gemstone setting is right for your bride-to-be’s engagement ring? Do you think she’d like:

  • ProngThe clean and classic look of a prong setting?
  • ChannelThe extra flash and flair of a channel setting?
  • PavéThe glamorous look of a pavé setting?
  • BezelThe contemporary, striking look of a bezel setting?

Styles

There are as many engagement ring styles as there are personalities in the world. How do you find the one that’s right for your bride-to-be? Start by narrowing down what her personality and style call for:

  • Modern & Classic
  • Vintage-Inspired
  • Clean & Minimalist
  • Glamorous & Ornate
  • Traditional & Understated
  • Dramatic & Unique

The Quest for Quality

Once you’ve narrowed down your style choices, it’s time to start thinking about getting the best quality for your budget.

In the world of engagement rings (and all jewelry, really), quality equals beauty. The higher quality a diamond is, the more beautiful — and the more expensive — it will be. That’s the general rule, anyway. The reality is that you can get a beautiful diamond engagement ring by making simple tradeoffs. We judge diamond quality by the 4Cs:

  • ColorA diamond’s quality is based in part on how white it is. A D grade is the whitest; a Z grade is perfectly yellow. Color changes between D and H are virtually indistinguishable with the naked eye.
  • ClarityThis “C” measures how many internal blemishes, or “inclusions,” a diamond has. While clarity affects a diamond’s perceived quality and price, most inclusions don’t really affect a how a diamond takes in and returns light, which makes it look like it’s lit from within.
  • Carat weightThis “C” is pretty easy to understand: the bigger the diamond, the more expensive it is. However, size alone doesn’t always equal beauty.
  • CutThe way a diamond is cut and proportioned affects how the light shines through it. Well-cut diamonds tend to be more expensive, but they also have more play of light and dazzle, so you can compromise on other “Cs” and still get a gorgeous diamond.

Have your jeweler show you the diamond through a loupe or gemological microscope, and pay attention to how precisely the diamond’s angles are cut, whether there are glaringly visible inclusions and other visual variables that affect a diamond’s beauty. Then, compare how the diamond shines compared to diamonds graded at higher and lower quality. Stand across the room to test the how it looks. Ultimately, you want to choose your diamond based on its beauty.


Finding the right jeweler for your engagement ring purchase

You can spend weeks educating yourself about diamonds, but ultimately getting the best quality and value when buying an engagement ring comes down to trust. When shopping for an engagement ring, look for a jeweler who will:

  1. Express interest in your fiancée-to-be’s unique personality and style, and emphasize what she wants.
  2. Show you the diamond through a gemological microscope or loupe to educate you about cut.
  3. Help you quickly narrow down your options for style.
  4. Focus on helping you find the right style and quality for the price — the best value you can get.

Now that you have the lay of the land: go have fun! This is a chance for you to spend some time thinking about the woman who will be your wife, and the ring you choose should celebrate her personality and spirit with a unique and special symbol of your love. Best of luck!

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