Buying “the” ring can be a nerve-wracking experience: After all, you want to impress your bride with a gorgeous piece that she’ll be proud to wear. In most cases, however, your nervousness is unfounded. She loves you, and that’s what really matters. Still, there are some things you can find out before you go shopping that can increase her chances of saying “yes” to the ring (and to you).

Below is a brief engagement ring shopping guide that can help you, and her, find the perfect ring:

  1. Find out whether she wants a ring.

    Many people believe that all brides want an engagement ring. The truth, however, is a bit more complicated. Some brides just aren’t into jewelry. Some would rather use the money spent on a ring to pay for the wedding itself, a honeymoon, or a down payment for a home. If she hasn’t said anything, ask her how she feels.

  2. The “two-month” rule, isn’t.

    Your parents likely grew up hearing that an engagement ring should cost about two month’s salary. This is because a major diamond company started an ad campaign that asserted this “fact.” Don’t succumb to marketing hype: Set a budget and stick to it.

  3. What’s her style?

    If you are going to select the ring yourself, pay attention to the type of jewelry that your fiancée-to-be wears. Many women prefer either gold or silver jewelry, so it’s a good idea to see what she wears and to select a ring with a complimentary finish. Another thing to pay attention to is the style of her jewelry: Is it dramatic? Modern? Simple? Vintage? If all this is a bit too much, ask her mom or BFF for guidance.

  4. What’s her lifestyle?:

    Is she sporty? Does she have a desk job? Does she work with her hands? These are factors to consider when selecting a ring. Traditional raised settings, for example, can be a hazard for women who work with their hands. An eternity band, with inset stones, may be a better option.

  5. Go vintage.

    Buying from an antique dealer or using a family ring not only helps you save money, but also allows you to present her with a truly unique piece.

  6. Did you know jewelers offer ring appointments?

    One way to avoid ring size issues and style disappointments is to let your fiancé select her own ring. To prevent budgeting awkwardness, you can make an appointment with a jeweler and let them know your price range. Staff will have ring styles ready to show her.

  7. Ask about return policies.

    If the proposal is to be a surprise, ask a jeweler about its return policy. Most will allow you to return or exchange a ring, but it’s best to know before popping the question.

  8. Ring size is important, but not essential.

    It’s not always easy to get her ring size before buying a ring. Sometimes the best you can do is guess. If you get it wrong, you can always go back to the store to get a replacement in the correct size.

Hopefully, these engagement ring shopping tips are a help. We’d also like to suggest checking out the Enso Elements collection. Even if you opt for traditional bands, our lightweight silicone rings in beautiful metal and jewel tones make great stand-ins for when it isn’t safe to wear a traditional band, or you are waiting for a ring to be sized or delivered.

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