One of the most important decisions a person makes after deciding to marry a Desi girl, is to purchase a ring.
Being that my Husband and I had been dating for 5 years before we got engaged, our expectations were pretty clear regarding our materialism. This is how choosing my ring happened; I online window shopped and educated myself regarding diamonds, gemstones, etc. and determined the following in order of importance:
I wanted something fair trade.
I wanted something art deco.
I wanted something that had a fairly large center stone.
I wanted a cushion cut stone. [As you’ll notice, this demand was not met]
I mean… I’m going to be wearing this for the rest of my life, it had to be just right.
Enter best friend Mili and my darling roommate Moumita. We pored over shapes, cuts, carats, colors, clarity, metals, but certainly not price. We scoured facebook and compared every sorority sister who recently got engaged and their rings (there sure was an uptick of engagements at that time, and I felt very much like Eisenhower in the Space Race). It was truly the most committed studying I had done whilst in school.
At the time, Khabbab had already graduated from OU and was studying for the MCATs. Mili liaised my demands over to my husband, and he made 2 very crucial decisions:
- He would work as a scribe in a hospital until he earned enough money to buy me a ring. Whatever he would earn by the time I graduated would be the budget. **We also clarified that this would NOT be considered my mahr (more on that later). This may not be the case for other Muslim couples.**
- Cut the middle man. Sorry, Mili and Mou.
Khabbab and I began visiting jewelry stores. Chain stores with pushy salesmen, and mom and pop places who suggested we find alternate stones as a young couple. It was a beautiful experience. It also allowed me the opportunity to ask him what he would like as a symbol of our engagement, and he chose a watch (hell yeah, equal rights!).
So men (and women), you may be thinking about marrying 2 types of partners– the perfectionist, or the romantic. I’ll let you deduce which one I was.
Tips when shopping for the Romantic:
- DON’T involve her in the shopping process, she wants it to be a surprise.
- DO stalk her pinterest.
- DO take pictures of the rings you’re considering.
- DO talk to the best friend and share the aforementioned pictures.
- DO walk by/through jewelry stores with her to see what she might like without being obvious, if possible. If you think you’ll fail at being subtle, skip this step.
- DO notice the other types of accessories she wears and ask a jeweler’s advice.
- Even if she does have input in the ring buying process, don’t let her see the proposal coming.
Tips for shopping for the perfectionist:
- DO involve her in the shopping process.
- DO show her pictures of rings you’re considering, and ask her to narrow it down to top 3. Ultimately, you should still make the final decision.
- DO talk to the best friend.
- Ask her what she considers is her style.
- Ask her about non-negotiables.
- Be clear about your budget (because those lofty visions need to be deflated, quick).
- Drop hints about the proposal, so that she can get a manicure. Gotta be ‘gram ready.
- Be realistic about what you can afford. Going into debt over a ring is NOT worth it.
- Consider alternate stones.
- Carat size should be proportionately correlated to hand size. My husband got extremely lucky with my puny little hands.
- Consider your values, is it important that it’s not a blood diamond? Is it important to show your family members that you can provide? Do you want your SO to be able to show off to her friends and family because that’s what’s most important? (There are no wrong answers here. Do you. Just make sure you’re considering these things).
- Be open to feedback.
- Enjoy the process of picking out something that symbolizes the first step of your amazing journey to forever!
- Don’t live in La La Land.
- Choose several cuts that look good on your finger.
- Don’t make them guess. Be clear. Tell someone EXACTLY what you want. Men cannot read minds.
- Don’t forget that the engagement is not just about you, it’s about you both. Show him some love in return. Pick any method you wish!