Every proposal is different. Some are grand affairs that take months of planning, while others are spontaneous moments of romance and love that occur on an idle Sunday afternoon.
Whatever your preference, if you are looking to pop the question with a ring in hand, there are some basic tips to follow that will ensure the moment goes as smoothly as possible.
I would always recommend aiming to have the ring in hand at least two months before you plan to propose. This is the absolute minimum leeway. Why so long? Well, unless you are one of the lucky few who finds the perfect ring in the perfect size in a store window, you will need to allow for any potential glitches along the way.
In almost all cases, the ring will need to be made to order. This is certainly the case with buying online, but even traditional jewelry stores usually only carry sample rings that will need to be resized and re-polished before they are sold (or a brand-new ring will be made for you). Essentially, you are at the behest of as many as three different tradespeople who are involved in the production of your ring. This means allowing time for materials to be ordered, physical production, quality assurance, and that is before you have even delved into the realm of bespoke jewelry.
Give yourself breathing space by planning in advance. If there is a fast approaching date that you are desperate to propose on, it is better to propose with no ring at all than indulge in the stressful experience of leaving it to the wire.
If you are looking for the quickest turnaround on your engagement ring, there are definitely some months to avoid. While we associate ‘wedding season’ with the summer months, engagement season begins somewhere around the end of October and continues right through to the end of February.
Those adverts you see around Christmas time urging you to seal the deal with a diamond? Well, everyone else sees them too! If you want to propose during peak engagement season, you need to ideally be looking at rings from August and finalizing your choices by September. Any later, and you will risk delays due to large workloads and endless orders. Have stress free Christmas proposal by getting ahead.
It is time to share a sad truth that many of you will not want to hear. It is, however, an important rule that could save you a lot of money in the long run:
Do not be tempted by promises of end of season reductions and ‘too good to be true’ bargains.
The diamond buying business is all about margins, and those margins will be heavily scrutinized long before engagement season begins. Online retailers are usually already at the absolute maximum reductions anyway; the nature of online retail means less overheads, which is why you will always find a better price online. Therefore, they will not offer sale prices on their quality diamonds, as they would simply be losing money, and they are already the most competitive you can find on the market.
A traditional brick and mortar jewelry store will already have large markups on their diamonds, which are necessary to compensate for the high running costs. Any reductions will not be a real bargain, rather they will be truer to the actual value, and will be easily matched or beaten by an online retailer.
If jewelry stores receive items that they know will be popular during the engagement season, they will mark them up drastically in the months before, sell what they can, before slashing down to the ‘original’ price. You will not save money on your diamonds shopping this way!
You will notice jewelers offering seasonal and festive promotions. The most popular of these are Valentine’s Day and Christmas sales. It is always important to read the small print. In most cases, these offers will not apply to diamond jewelry, and very rarely apply to the centre stone of a ring. See that little asterisk next to the word ‘Valentine’? That immediately tells you it is time to read the terms and conditions.
You are more likely to pick up a pair of sale earrings or a bracelet than you are an engagement ring.
If you’re an expert shopper, you may find yourself saving money on your engagement ring setting should it be included in one of these promotions, however my advice would be not to pin your hopes on this.
In some cases, people decide they need a ring as soon as possible. This is made trickier when the proposal date falls during a busy period, but you still have options available to create the perfect proposal:
There really is no ‘best time’ to buy a good quality engagement ring. It is completely personal, so the best time is whenever you are ready.
Do not be lured by deceptive deals, and make sure you allow as much time as possible to take the pressure off. Most of all, remember that quality is everything, and you can get an exceptional quality diamond within your budget at any time of the year. It is all about research and patience!