The Pros & Cons of Buying an Engagement Ring After the Proposal

Some choose to use a placeholder ring instead.

In the modern history of proposals, a groom typically finds an engagement ring – often after consulting the mother, sister, or close friend of his beloved– and then gets down on one knee and pops the question. Nowadays, there is such a variety in styles of engagement rings that a woman may be inclined to have more of a say in the ring she intends to wear for the rest of her life. Prospective grooms may also feel paralyzed by the pressure to find the perfect piece of jewelry. One solution is to find the ring after becoming engaged, whether the proposal occurs with a placeholder ring or no ring at all! Discover the pros and cons to this method below. 

solitaire engagement ring with one diamond among white roses, buying the engagement ring after proposing
Photo by John Solano Photography: Planning & Design by International Event Company

Pros: 

- Keep the element of surprise. It’s become more common for couples to shop for a ring together, at the cost of the proposal being a surprise. This gives you the best of both worlds – finding the ring as a partnership, and having it be a proper surprise when the question is popped. 

- Guaranteed to like the ring. If the bride-to-be helps to pick out the ring and isn’t beholden to a timeline, she’s sure to find the ring she loves, rather than the groom hoping he picked the right style. 

- Focus is on the proposal. As long as it’s immediately clear the ring is a placeholder, instead of immediately wondering if it fits or if she likes it, the magic of the proposal will have time to sit in the air. Whether a grand gesture or a romantic sentiment at home, it’s a moment that should be remembered for the rest of your lives. 

Cons: 

- Complicates sharing the news. The ever-popular ring picture will not be much of an option if the ring is soon to be replaced. When greeting friends and family, they’ll likely ask to see the ring and you’ll spend a lot of time explaining the situation. 

- Waiting for your dream ring. Finding the perfect ring can take time, add that to how long it can take to create a custom piece and you could be waiting weeks – or even months – until the correct ring is on your finger. For those who want to start planning right away, it can feel like you’re doing things in the wrong order. 

- Lose the element of mystery. For some, the priority is finding a ring they truly love. For others, particularly those who don’t have strong opinions about jewelry, the idea of their future spouse carefully picking something they think they’ll love is the most romantic part. 

For more ideas and inspiraiton, read romantic ways real grooms proposed and discover 15 things to buy after getting engaged

Authored by: Emily Lasnier