Approximately 87 percent of Americans say they believe in true love. And while marriage rates may have slowed down a bit, there are still plenty of couples who intend on tying the knot. In fact, 2.4 million weddings are performed in the US every year. Even more staggering is the fact that American couples spend over $35,000 on average for their special day.
That substantial cost may or may not include an all-important piece of jewelry: the engagement ring. By and large, grooms tend to take care of the proposal, but one out of every three individuals has actually dropped hints about the style of ring they want to see when their sweetheart pops the question.
It’s certainly possible to get what you want for a cost you can feasibly afford, but you have to be smart about it. You’ll need to plan ahead and do your homework if you want the customized ring of your dreams. Here are just a few tips to follow when buying custom engagement rings.
Give yourself plenty of time
It’s essential to note that buying anything custom takes far longer than purchasing a ready-made piece. You can’t simply walk into a store and bring home a custom ring that same day. If you’re the spontaneous type or you’re in a rush to propose, this might not be the ideal option for you. It could take anywhere from six weeks to several months from conception to creation, especially if you’re indecisive about the design or you change your mind during the process.
The upside, of course, is that you’ll get the chance to collaborate with your jeweler and create something brand new from scratch. That means they’ll be able to incorporate all of your preferences into the design and you won’t have to present your future fiancée with a run-of-the-mill ring.
But the one thing you can’t do is speed up this process, so you should provide yourself with a lot of leeway if you plan to go this route. Otherwise, you may end up having to wait longer than you’d like to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage.
Set a strict budget
Going the custom route can be tricky, especially in terms of how much you might spend. As we previously mentioned, it is possible to obtain a custom ring without spending a fortune. But it’s very easy to spend more than you bargained for if you fail to set a strict budget prior to starting this process. Just like with any other custom-made feature, those little add-ons can add up quickly. Before you know it, you might spend hundreds more than you planned.
Since you’ll probably need to be cost-conscious with everything pertaining to your upcoming nuptials, get into the habit of creating and sticking to a budget now. When you see a ready-made ring in the jeweler’s case, you’ll instantly know whether it’s in your price range or not. With a custom ring, it’s a lot harder to tell. You’ll want to have a clear idea about the absolute maximum you can spend and communicate the amount you’re comfortable spending with your jeweler.
With this information in mind, he or she may be able to recommend alternatives to you that will allow you to achieve a similar look without going overboard. You’ll be anxious enough when it comes time to propose, so don’t add to your stress levels by spending more than you can afford on the ring.
Choose the right jeweler
Not all jewelers are created equal. It’s important to conduct thorough research to make sure the jeweler you choose can bring your vision to life. Some jewelers simply don’t specialize in custom pieces, while others may veer towards a very different aesthetic than the one that speaks to you.
The jeweler you choose to create a custom piece should be open to your ideas and gladly include them whenever possible, rather than thinking that he or she knows best. While your jeweler will certainly know the business side of things and understand far more about design, it’s important that he or she approaches this as a collaborative partnership, rather than an opportunity to make all of the decisions.
It’s also important to consider your jeweler’s reputation in the community. Although you shouldn’t necessarily discount lesser-known craftspeople, you should ensure that your jeweler is highly reputable and willing to work with you until you’re completely satisfied with the final result. You should read reviews, ask friends and relatives for recommendations, and conduct some Google searches on your jeweler to make sure you’ll be thrilled with your custom ring.
An engagement ring is likely to be one of the most substantial purchases you’ll ever make. Going the custom route can permit you to create something truly special and indicative of the love you share with your partner. As long as you follow these tips, you should be able to have a beautiful piece made just for you without experiencing frustration or regret.