At first this might not sound like the most ideal task, but in reality it absolutely is. If you think about it, every single festivity in a wedding revolves around the exchange of these sacred rings. Not only can you make this task fun, but you will come out a hero in he eyes of your “bride to be” and all her family. If executed properly, you will also have a romantic story to share with loved ones for decades to come.
This task involves the purchase of both the diamond engagement ring and the subsequent wedding bands. You don’t buy them all at once, so this task is really a two part process. Certain steps in the process might seem a little extravagant or bazaar to some people. But just remember, I’ve been there, done that, and I’m extremely content with the end result. So while everyone is entitled to their opinion, my advice is from firsthand experience.
Your first step is the worst step, but you have to handle it. You must do some simple research on Blue Nile. All of the info you will need in order to make an educated engagement ring purchase is on this site, including solid price points that can be used when you shop. A NY Times editorial on Blue Nile can be found here. Don’t waste your time on all the flashy female driven wedding ring sites… most of them are a complete piss in the wind. You want the facts and Blue Nile delivers these facts. You can also read this, this or this for a little extra credit research only if you feel like being diligent.
Take a trip to New York City with a couple of your buddies or male family members. You are going to buy her engagement ring from the shops in the New York City diamond exchange district on West 47th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Just inform your lady that you are going on a business trip or attending to some form of family business affair. If you plan ahead and set things up in advance, she’ll never suspect a thing. If you’re worried about lying to her, get over it. Believe me that when the time comes, not only will she understand, she will be ecstatic with your romantic efforts. Here’s why the NYC idea makes sense:
- You can wheel and deal with the diamond exchange merchants using the price points and education you gained from Blue Nile. The merchants are used to bargaining and they will come down in price when they realize that you are serious about the purchase. The process of bargaining alone can be a crap-load of fun and rather hilarious at times. It certainly beats the heck out of talking to an old boring saleswoman at the local jeweler.
- There are an abundance of shops and a plethora of ring choices which guarantees that you are going to find something you really like at the price you want to spend. Matching different settings with different diamonds can actually be pretty interesting, and you will begin to realize that the four C’s (cut/color/clarity/carat) ratings that you read about on Blue Nile weren’t a bunch of bullshit after all.
- The ring you build in NYC won’t be sitting in the case at your local jewelry store either. Even if there is a particular style that your beloved has already mentioned she likes, the diamond exchange merchants will have four thousand variations of that style from which you can choose. The ring will be unique, and all her female family members and friends will notice it as such. Not to mention, she will love the fact that you went to such great lengths to customize her ring.
- Look around, you’re in freakin’ New York City! Picking out the engagement ring will take a total of a few hours of bargaining over the course two or three days. The remainder of the time is a “vacation with the boys” in one of the coolest cities in the world.
- It will be the only vacation you ever take with your male counterparts that can be flipped around and told as a romantic story to loved ones. And if you really think about it, it is actually romantic. You ventured out on a lengthy voyage to pick out the perfect engagement ring for the woman you love.
Once you have popped the question and revealed to your beloved the great journey that you embarked on in order to build the precious diamond ring she has already fallen in love with, suggest another trip to NYC. This time the two of you will take a romantic weekend getaway to the city and choose your wedding bands together. It will be fun for the both of you and the trip will double as a vacation. You already know the ropes so you’ll look like the expert. And if you’re really smart, you can even head back to the same merchant that you purchased her engagement ring from. Because you are a loyal repeat customer, they might be inclined to give out a little discount on the wedding bands.
I strongly recommend this wedding ring purchasing process to every “groom to be” that is about to embark on the journey of marriage. I know it sounds a little pricey, but just remember that even though you will be dropping extra cash on travel arrangements, you will be getting way more ring for your money. The diamond merchants will even FedEX the rings to you via insured air shipping which allows you to avoid paying sales tax on your purchase. (F.Y.I. – I found the engagement ring I liked at Allure Diamond, which is where I ended up making my purchases.) Good luck out there…
Next week I’ll continue the series by posting some more heroic wedding tasks for the groom that he will actually enjoy.