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Ring shopping: Pick your own ring, or let him surprise you?

Zlata is a freelance writer covering a wide range of topics for several online publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering love, sex, relationships, beauty and travel. This full-time publicist and all-the-time comed...

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You've been buying wedding magazines since before you were engaged, swooning over the diamond rings in every issue. When it came to your own ring, did you let your lover surprise you, or did you tell him exactly what you wanted?
Engagement proposal

According to a survey of 1,500 people conducted by Walmart, 60 percent of Americans think that less than $2,000 should be spent on an engagement ring. While I'm not sure every woman would agree with that, 55 percent of respondents agreed that a woman should have some input in the buying process. So, did these ladies have any input? Read on!

Surprise

Kendra Brown is an avid reader of SheKnows. When it was her time to get engaged, she had no idea it was coming — and she's really happy about that!

"I had no idea my husband was going to propose. I didn't have time to drop any hints or have the "I like this/I don't like that" conversation. Honestly, I'm glad I didn't. An engagement ring is one of those things that has to be perfect, and if I were left with the choice, I know exactly what would happen, knowing me. I would find a few that I loved and then agonize over the details of each one, ultimately unable to make a decision. I feel like the picking out of the ring is better left to the one proposing. I may be different because I never envisioned myself getting married, or fantasized about the perfect ring. I just know that even if I had, I could not have picked a better ring than my husband picked!"

Unconventional

Natasha Fussell helped pick out her unconventional ring, but was absolutely surprised by the engagement!

"My fiancé went shopping for rings in the NYC diamond district, but didn't find anything he liked. Then one day while shopping, he walked by a store featuring sapphire rings in the window. He knows that I absolutely love blue, so he came home that evening and asked me if I would be okay with a sapphire engagement ring. I told him I loved the idea, so he found a place online where you could create your own rings (GemsNY). He wanted to be the one to pick out the center stone, so he visited their shop and found one he really loved. But, he also wanted my input on the setting, so we picked that out together. I was still surprised by the proposal, because I had no idea when he was going to do it. Even though the ring was picked out, I didn't have any idea when or where he was going to pop the question."

Pinterest

Jackie Cole used Pinterest to find her dream ring.

"My fiancé and I dated for four years before we were engaged. Finally, one random Friday morning he asked me a simple set of questions: white gold, yellow gold or platinum? Square-cut or round-cut? I was ecstatic! [I] immediately sent him three links to rings I had admired on Pinterest. Turns out, he took my first choice, printed it out, went to the jeweler and custom-made me a ring that looks identical to what I sent. Three months later, he was down on one knee and presenting me with the ring of my dreams. I was shocked when I saw it was exactly what I had sent him! So, I kind of told him what I wanted, but in the end was still very surprised."

Prize

Donnie Gallagher won a contest and was able to get his now-fiancé the ring of her choice!

"I had an idea of what my fiancé wanted, but since she previously worked in a jewelry store, she could also spot blemishes, flaws, coloration and other aspects of 'more affordable diamonds' a mile away. This made my limited budget extremely hard to find what she wanted. One day, a friend of mine suggested that I enter a Tampa Bay radio station contest to get engaged on stage at a concert that over 20,000 people attend every year. If my story was good enough, I would win $2,500 toward the ring of my choice. Well, I won — we did it, and she said yes! To be honest, without the extra money, I would never have been able to do it. But once we had the cash in hand, [and] coupled it with the budget we had in mind, we both walked into the jewelry store, and she picked her (slightly more expensive than I thought I'd spend) ring. She is extremely happy with our decision, but ultimately, she was the one who picked it out."

Tell us

So what do you think, ladies? Do you want to pick out your own ring, or let your hubby-to-be make the first, most important decision of the rest of your lives by himself?

More on engagement rings

Monique Lhuillier talks engagement rings and her new collection with Blue Nile
Essential tips for engagement ring shopping
Jessica Biel's engagement ring comes out to play

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