Engagement Ring Buying Advice & Proposal Planning Tips

A newly engaged couple embraces under beautiful cherry blossoms after he proposed with a gorgeous ring from KAY

It finally happened — you found the one

Congratulations on getting ready to take this step in your relationship! At KAY, we're here to help. Planning a proposal and buying an engagement ring can be intimidating, but we've got you covered. If you're ready to get engaged, here are nine simple steps to get you started.

Step 1

Set a budget

Buying an engagement ring can be pricey, so you'll want to stick to a budget. Here are some tips for budgeting your engagement ring purchase.

  • Add up your monthly expenses, then see how much you have to work with.
  • Look into financing options to spread out the purchase.
  • Save up what you can until you're ready to shop.
Step 2

Find The Right Ring Size

Finding the correct ring size before buying an engagement ring is important but it can be difficult to figure out without giving away proposal plans. Here are some tips to help.

  • Bring a ring they wear on their right-hand ring finger to a KAY store for sizing.
  • Print out our ring size chart and get an idea of the size yourself.
  • Work with a friend or family member to figure out the right size.
  • Just ask them! The details of how you propose can still be your little secret.
Step 3

Master the 4 Cs

In order to get the best diamond you can for your budget, you need to be familiar with the 4 Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight.

  • Cut is arguably the most important C. The better the cut, the more sparkle the diamond has.
  • In diamonds, you are looking for a lack of color. The less color, the higher the grade.
  • Most diamonds have imperfections called inclusions. Less of them means better clarity.
  • Carat actually refers to a diamond's weight and not its size. Bigger is not always better.
Step 4

Keep Their Style In Mind

How do you know what kind of engagement ring your significant other will like? To buy an engagement ring that fits their style, pay attention to the details.

  • Do they dress boldly and brightly? Consider a gemstone or black diamond ring. If they dress more traditionally, solitaire or three-stone styles are a good starting place.
  • Check out their Pinterest to see if they have a wedding board or general jewelry board.
  • Just ask! They might guess what you're up to, but finding a ring they'll love is worth it.
Step 5

Consider Financing Options

You can make your big purchase less stressful by spreading it out over multiple payments with our LONG LIVE LOVE credit card. Special financing is available.

  • Regular Purchase Credit Plan: No minimum purchase and no down payment required.
  • 12 Months Special Financing: $500 minimum purchase with the LONG LIVE LOVE credit card. 20% down payment required, which cannot be placed on the card.
  • 36 Months Special Financing: $3,000 minimum bridal purchase made in-store with your LONG LIVE LOVE credit card. No down payment is required.
Step 6

Protect Your Ring

Protecting your ring is easy with our Extended Service Plan and Lifetime Diamond and Gemstone Guarantee.

  • Extended Service Plan: With one payment, you get coverage for your jewelry for its lifetime, so you can feel secure wearing it.
  • Lifetime Diamond and Gemstone Guarantee: We guarantee our diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald jewelry for a lifetime, as long as you let us inspect it every six months.
Step 7

Keep It A Surprise

If you're thinking about proposing to your significant other, you probably want it to be a surprise. Here are some tips for making sure your proposal is unexpected.

  • If you want to invite others to participate in the proposal, do it face-to-face, not via text.
  • Have a family member who can't keep a secret? Leave them out of the loop.
  • Don't have the ring sent to your home. If you order online, have it shipped to your nearest KAY store.
Step 8

Plan The Big Moment

Grand gesture or candlelit dinner? Invite family and friends, or share a private moment? Here are some things to consider when planning your proposal.

  • Set the date for when you're going to ask, so you'll know if you need to make special arrangements.
  • Choose a location that will be special to them and decide who else, if anyone, to involve.
  • To make sure everything runs smoothly, let family or friends help you with your plan.
Step 9

Get Your Wedding Bands

You're engaged and now it's time to plan your big day! One of the big to-dos on your list? Find the perfect pair of wedding bands. Here are some things to consider.

  • Make sure you leave time for ring sizing and any engravings! Most couples start looking for bands about four months before the wedding.
  • Consider whether you want to get matching rings or bands that reflect your own styles.
  • There are many metals to choose from, there are bridal sets, enhancers, and more. Make sure you love your rings, as you'll be wearing them for a long time.
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