I Helped Pick Out My Own Engagement Ring, But It Didn’t Make Our Proposal Any Less Special

by Korey Lane
Courtesy of Korey Lane

Growing up, I always pictured the moment I'd be proposed to — a diamond, a romantic location, and a declaration of love from my boo, all included. It seemed like a far-off fantasy. I mean, I was single forever, and was starting to wonder if I'd ever meet someone that special. But then I did, and when he proposed, it was perfect. After I said yes, my loved ones were surprised to find that I had actually helped my now-fiancé pick out my engagement ring. I got all kinds of questions about how it feels to pick out your engagement ring, and honestly? It was a thrill. Contrary to popular belief, it didn't mess up the romance of it all. In fact, it made it even better.

Have you ever had one of those days that just felt perfect? The air crisp, the temperature perfect, and your outfit on point? That’s how my day was going when my boyfriend and I left a trendy new restaurant in town after having lunch together. We both had the day off, and it felt like the world was ours. Lunch was delicious, my boyfriend’s smile was contagious, and everything just felt right.

Then, he pulled into the local jewelry store parking lot. My heart stopped. "Let's go look around," he said.

During the weeks leading up our perfect day, he’d been asking about what kind of rings I liked. We looked online, showed each other pictures, and I told him what I thought looked good. It was fun, in theory. We said that we wouldn’t think about getting engaged until we’d been together for a year, and we were still months away from our anniversary, so I didn’t think anything would be happening any time soon — even after he drove us to the jewelry store, took me in to get my ring finger sized, and we settled on a style. Obviously, I told my girlfriends about what happened and had them analyze the situation, but we agreed that this was just preliminary shopping so he could compare costs at jewelers or start saving up.

In the jewelry store, my heart was racing about a million miles a minute. It was confusing at first because we didn't know where to look, or what we were even doing. But then, a sales associate named Jared (who worked at a competing local jewelry store, funnily enough) showed up and helped us out. My boyfriend said we were just looking around and asked Jared to size me. Jared asked me what I liked, and I told him I honestly didn't know what cut of diamond I preferred. I knew that I did not want a halo ring... and that was about it.

Soon, we settled on rose gold, and Jared convinced me to go with a round diamond because, no matter the size, "a round diamond will always shine more." I wanted a pave band (the kind of band that's encrusted with tiny diamonds), but was a little afraid of the cost, so I told my boyfriend I liked a simple solitaire, too. I was excited and anxious all at the same time. I had no clue what my boyfriend's budget was, but I knew that whatever he got me, I would love.

Still, I told myself and my friends that nothing would happen until October or later. So when he got down on one knee on the beach in Miami a couple of weeks later in early August, I was stunned. He was nervous, he was sweet, and I said yes. But so many of my friends wonder what it was like knowing I would know what my ring looked like, and what it was like knowing the proposal was eventually coming (just maybe not as soon as it did).

Honestly, it only made it better. Let’s face it: I love my fiancé, but I am so glad he got my input on my ring. I’m super picky, but I can also change my mind about something with the flip of a switch. For example, I didn’t think I wanted a rose gold ring until we went into the store and I saw that they weren’t actually bright pink, contrary to what I originally thought. If I hadn’t helped, I might not have gotten my dream ring.

I also love the fact that he knew me well enough to know that I would want a say in my ring. Sure, if he had just picked one out himself, I still would have loved it because it came from him, but it might not have been exactly what I was imagining in my head. And don’t get me wrong, I was still totally blown away when he proposed and I saw my ring. It was so much bigger than I imagined! So shiny! It’s been almost three months now, and I still look down at it and grin approximately 35 times a day.

So, no, Beth from down the block, I don’t wish it had been more of a “surprise,” but thanks for asking! I would have been fine getting engaged a year from now, because even then, I'd know that proposing was something he had been wanting to do for months. My proposal was perfect, intimate, sweet, and lovely. It was just us (no hidden cameras thank goodness), and his speech was heartfelt and genuine. In short, it was everything I'd always wanted.

The thing is, it's really not about the ring. It's about the person who gives you the ring, or who gets matching tattoos with you, or however they decide to pledge forever to you. I don't need a diamond to be engaged, but the thought process that went into my fiancé's ring shopping matters to me because it shows how much he cares. In fact, he recently revealed that he started tearing up while he was on his way to pick it up from the jeweler. When I asked him why, he said it was because he knows he loves me, and he wanted this to be perfect for me. That's how I know we're meant to be: We both know what's important to each other.

There’s no one right way to get engaged, and for us, me being involved in the ring selection was the way to go. It made me feel loved, and honestly, really respected because I knew my boyfriend cared so much about this decision that he wanted me to be completely happy with his purchase. And you know what? I am. Completely happy, completely in love, and completely satisfied with his purchase.