I’ve been watching the Bachelor franchise for years, and although I love the drama, there’s one more thing I can’t get enough of: the engagements. Even though they happen almost every season, I inevitably get emotional when my favorite contestants end up together. (Yes, I’m that girl at the watch party who can be found not-so-subtly trying to hide her watery eyes.) I love getting caught up in the glamour of it all, so when I tried on Neil Lane rings at a pop-up event in NYC, I honestly felt like I’d been swept right into the franchise.
If you’re familiar with how a Bachelor finale typically goes down, you know that jeweler Neil Lane plays a crucial role in making the magic happen. Before a proposal, Lane meets with the partner who will be getting down on one knee, helping them choose the perfect ring for the occasion. Lane’s designs range from subtle and classic to bold and extravagant, and he knows just how to pick a ring that suits the wearer’s personality. Stars like Becca Kufrin, Demi Burnett, Kristian Haggerty, and Hannah Godwin all sport sparkling rocks designed by Lane.
In celebration of his new book, Style Your Wedding With Neil Lane, KAY Jewelers and Neil Lane hosted a pop-up event in NYC from Oct. 4 to 6. Participants took a quiz to learn about the best rings for their personality, and then got the chance to try on styles that reflected their personal tastes. As someone who loves engagement rings, but has no idea what style I want to wear one day, this event was right up my alley. I buckled down, ready to learn everything there is to learn about ring styles.
When I arrived at the pop-up, I was instructed to sit down and fill out a quiz to learn my preferred ring style. The quiz featured questions such as, “What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?” (statement earrings) to “What’s your most instagrammable wedding destination?” (the Swiss Alps). I even had to define my personal style in one word (I chose “classic”). This was tougher than you might think, but I tried to stay true to my gut feeling about each question.
The quiz chose “Lavish” as my ring style, which it defined as “over-the-top design, glamorous details, and lush embellishments” — in other words, as extra as humanly possible. This felt extremely on brand for me, and I was pleased. I was then given a silver key and directed toward the room where the lavish rings were on display. There are five other styles as well: modern, romantic, rustic, vintage, and elegant. Each reflects a particular preference for ring design and wedding decor.
“When it comes to picking a ring for your personality, it’s more about your personal style,” Tiffany Valentine, Director of Marketing for KAY Brand at Signet Jewelers, tells Elite Daily. “You want that ring to be a reflection of you, and it’s a reminder of who you are every single day.” It’s a massive decision to make, and it’s helpful to have guidance as you go through the process of choosing. Valentine suggests bringing along a trusted friend who knows the ring wearer well and can help select a personal design. “It is a process, because you’re purchasing one of the most important purchases you’re going to have,” she notes. “It’s a symbol of a loving relationship, and he or she wants to get it right.”
I’m not engaged yet, but when I’m ready for that step, I hope to be able to tell my partner exactly which styles I like most. This would ideally remove pressure on them during the decision process. Up until now, though, I didn’t have a clear idea of my ring style, and I was skeptical of whether a quiz could guess my preferences that well.
But surprisingly, the lavish Neil Lane rings were exactly my cup of tea. I took this photo of my favorite one, and I almost felt like I was living my best life in the Bachelor in Paradise season finale (as close as I could get to a beach in Mexico on this chilly fall NYC day).
I mean, can you even?! This ring features a princess-cut diamond surrounded by tiny round-cut diamonds of different weights. It retails on the KAY Jewelers site for $3,600. While Lane’s couture collection features rings that cost $25,000 or more, the KAY jewelers collaboration has more affordable designs (with the cheapest options less than $1,000).
My other favorite design in the lavish room was an oval-cut diamond that reminded me of the ring Jed Wyatt chose for Hannah Brown (you know, back before things went downhill for them). This ring retails for $6,800 online, making it much less expensive than Brown’s $45,000 to $80,000 rock.
I also got to peek into the five other rooms to get a feel for the different styles. If I wasn’t a lavish girl, I think my style would definitely fall into the vintage category. This simple pear-shaped engagement ring and wedding band ($5,440 online) spoke to my love for all things old and classic.
While I may never experience a Bachelor proposal IRL (though a girl can dream, right?), I honestly felt like I was living out a piece of the franchise by trying on these rings. Lane himself spoke with me about choosing a ring for your personality. "Your ring represents the bond you share with your partner, as well as your personal aesthetic," he explains. "Whether you gravitate towards a colored cluster ring, or a romantic pear-shaped stone, trust your instincts and choose a style that makes you smile. There are so many beautiful, customizable options out there, it’s just a matter of defining what’s right for you.” He suggests taking time to window shop and research designs when you’re thinking about getting engaged. And don’t choose a ring just because it’s trendy. Remember that this is a piece you’ll be wearing forever.
To play around with ring styles on your own, you can create your own ring on the KAY Jewelers website. They also have a guide for choosing a ring that best suits your hand. And if you have something very specific in mind, ring experts can help with that, too. “You can refurbish, remake, and redesign something that was a cherished heirloom from a family member, or a design that you yourself have in mind,” Valentine explains. “We can custom-make any piece of jewelry, or something that is old, and make it new again.”
When you wear something as special as an engagement ring, you want it to tell a story. And that story should reflect you and your relationship. The Neil Lane pop-up helped me figure out what styles I like most, though I’ll definitely be doing more research into my ring tastes before I get engaged. You can’t necessarily determine your style based on the diamond cut alone — after all, my three favorite rings all had different cuts of stones! It’s more about the overall look of the ring and band.
To top it off, trying on Neil Lane rings was a dream come true for this Bachelor fan. I’ve always wanted to see what the rings on the show look like up close. And since it’s too late to sneak into Pilot Pete’s season, I can settle for a dreamy ring selfie with a gorgeous Neil Lane sparkler. It’s just as glam, and it comes without quite so much drama.