How to Drop Ring Hints Without Ruining Your Surprise Proposal

Photo: Courtesy of The Clear Cut

Olivia Landau, a fourth generation jeweler, first started her blog, The Clear Cut, as a way of sharing her knowledge of the family business. As her blog and social following grew in popularity, Olivia found that many brides and grooms were constantly messaging her on Instagram to ask for her advice on cuts, ring shapes, and pricing. In response to this growing need, Olivia decided to launch The Clear Cut, a bespoke ring service that helps couples find their one-of-a-kind engagement ring through a transparent, “clear cut,” process.

We reached out to Olivia for—what else?—her advice on the best ways a future bride-to-be can make sure she gets the ring of her dreams without ruining the big surprise portion of a proposal. Below, she shares a few of her tricks.

Let’s say you found out through the grapevine that your significant other is looking for a ring. What are some of the best ways to express what you prefer in a piece, without being too straightforward?
I have found that the best way to drop a ring hint is to tag or DM your significant other when you find styles and cuts that you like on Instagram. It’s subtle and the photo is instantly saved for future reference. Another way to express what you prefer without ruining the surprise is to create an engagement ring inspiration board on Pinterest. The key to both of these methods is to make sure that you are tagging and pinning a consistent style of ring so that your partner isn’t confused. If you want a pave halo cushion cut, don’t tag photos of round brilliant solitaires!

Should couples have a conversation about what kind of engagement ring they prefer once they get serious?
An engagement ring is one of the biggest decisions and purchases for a couple, so it’s always good to have a conversation about what type of ring you want and when you want to get married. This will help your significant other be more confident in the decision to purchase and ensure that you’ll get something that you’ll love.

One way to take action on the conversation is to go window shopping or try on rings inside a jewelry store. As you are browsing, make sure you point out your dream ring and get your finger sized. Hopefully your significant other will take some mental notes!

For those who don’t want to be so forward, is it better to express your tastes to someone close whom could help your significant other along the way?
You can enlist a trustworthy friend, sister, or even your mother to be the go-to person for your ring. Make sure this person knows exactly what you want, from the type of metal to diamond shape to finger size. Equip this person with a photo of the ring you want and/or the aesthetic you want to achieve. It is important to make sure your significant other knows that this is the person to talk to when the time comes.

What are some creative ways brides have dropped hints in the past?My favorite story is when one of my clients from The Clear Cut left photos of cushion cut diamond rings all over her significant other’s computer desktop! I have had clients that work with me to pick out their diamond and design their ring. Once everything is complete, they send their significant other to finalize the order and check out. This method definitely ensures that you’ll get exactly what you want!

What about couples that go look at rings together. What are some of the best ways to go about this?
Every relationship is different: sometimes couples shop together through the entire process including check out, whereas other times couples shop together until they have an idea of which style and what budget will work and break off for the actual diamond selection and purchase. Some clients have armed their significant other with all of the information they need and hope that they get their dream ring (I am proud to say I have yet to have an unhappy fiancée!).

If you’re shy or afraid of being too forward when talking about a future ring, my advice is to have a casual conversation about expectations and budget at least 6 months before you want to get engaged. Try on rings together and start to feel more confident in discussing this topic. It’s better to get on the same page now, rather than end up with something you are not happy with down the line.

Finally, what should a person do if they don’t like their engagement ring?
The best thing is to avoid the situation all together! If the ring is not what you expected, try to make small modifications instead of changing the entire thing. You may be able to change minor design elements or choose your wedding band to complement/enhance the engagement ring to your liking. Even though this is a difficult subject to talk about with your significant other, honesty is always the best policy. Both of you should be happy every time you look at your hand!