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Shopping together for a ring

When it comes to shopping for rings, couples are sometimes choosing to shop together. This is a great way to do it if you both want to be part of the design process :-)))

This is my top tips based on 20 years of designing engagement and wedding rings, from an interview by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE:

DO:

-Talk openly about budget before shopping. You can get a beautiful ring in almost any budget, but communication is so so important at this stage. Openness is the best way to start off a marriage!

-Have fun! If it feels stressful in the store, keep looking. Look online, on Instagram. Take your time. Trust that the right ring will reveal itself!

-Consider a custom ring. It can be really fun to create something together, to use both partner's ideas and with the help of a jeweler fuse them into something beautiful that you created together!

- Start a board on pinterest of favourite rings (or save photos in Instagram). That way you can communicate about style and taste and manage expectations before you go to the stores. This will also help you see what you are consistently drawn to.

-Remember that the ring is a symbol of love. It is not for other people to judge based on size and style. It is one of the first big choices you make as a couple, let it be the beginning of you two as a team, and don’t worry about other peoples opinions, or what your friends have.

- Listen to your partner. Really listen. Watch their body language. Oftentimes one partner won’t say if they don’t love something that the other has picked out, but you WILL KNOW if she/he loves it. I find that words are not usually where you get the best clues, it is such an emotional purchase and it has to FEEL right.

- Have a conversation about sustainability. What is important to each of you? For example, one partner may feel that a conflict free stone is the most important and the other might want recycled metals. Settle on your demands and stick to them. It used to be hard to find sustainable options, but thankfully not anymore!

- Work with a jeweler you trust. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Most jewelers are honest when it comes to pricing etc, but you want to find someone who will take the time to guide you based on your preferences and budget. Someone who will listen and make an effort to get to know you. 

-Talk about what wedding rings you will wear. Some customs require you to have a certain type of band, and in some cultures matched bands are common. You want to make sure that the engagement ring will work within your circumstances.

-Make sure the ring works with your lifestyle. If you lead a very active and physical life, you might not want to get the most delicate ring. Unless you are prepared to take off the ring during certain activities such as working out, gardening, working. 

- Ask the jeweler about durability and care for the rings you are interested in. If you choose a stone that is not a diamond, make sure it is durable enough for everyday use.

- Ask if the jeweler will help you maintain the ring. It should be checked every year.

DON’T:

- buy something just because your partner loves it. If you are going to wear it, you should love it too! The biggest benefit of shopping for rings together is that you will be able to get exactly what you want.

- don't make your partner wear something they are not crazy about! See above.

- don't buy something that will stress you out financially. The wedding will also be expensive, so set a realistic budget and stick to it. The right jeweler will help you find the perfect ring within your budget. 

- Conversely, don’t pressure your partner to buy you something they can’t afford! Be honest with yourself about the fact that you may have a fantasy about what ring you would have. Make sure that fantasy is still true to you, and especially true with in this current situation.

- don't bring extra people, such as your friend and mother. Make it a project for just the two of you, it will be complicated enough already! This way, it will also be a part of your wedding story. Keep it romantic!

- don't worry about “I have to love this forever” - It is most important that you love it NOW. People’s taste don’t change THAT much, and if it does it is completely acceptable to redesign your ring for, say, your 10th or 20th anniversary!

-don't think you HAVE to buy a diamond! There are so many amazing options out there now. Just make sure the stone  is durable enough for everyday use.

- don't just go to the big retailers. There are so many places to find truly unique and different rings now. Local smaller stores, instagram, etsy, independent designers websites. You can get amazing service for smaller retailers, even online, as these stores are often run by the designers themselves or a small intimate team.

- don't worry so much about price comparison. We all know what the other jewelers charge, and have to keep prices competitive, so the piece is probably fairly priced.

- don't go crazy learning everything about diamonds. I have had some (mostly men) get so caught up in the numbers and calculations of the diamond that they forget to look at the beauty of it. The diamond does not have to be perfect to be beautiful.

- don't look at the ring as an investment. It should stay in your family, and the resale value is never what you paid. Keep your focus on what you love.

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