As if the idea of proposing wasn't scary enough, you also have to deal with the possibility that your future fiancé doesn't like her engagement ring. Despite your best efforts in selecting the ring, it may not be quite to her taste or style. It happens more often than you might think, so don't put yourself down about it, we're here to help.
If you're here because you've already proposed and she didn't like the ring, then the worst has happened and it can only go uphill from here.
If you are yet to propose, stay calm and be prepared. She might stare in silence or stomp away – (which is highly unlikely!) If anything, she will pretend to be pleased with the engagement ring to spare your feelings, but she may have trouble hiding her disappointment, or she'll voice her opinion later on.
Whichever way she reacts, it's only natural that you'll feel defensive, upset or irritated. But if you prepare yourself for any negativity, you may even find yourself feeling slightly pleased as you'll know exactly how to handle the situation with style and grace.
Getting engaged is an emotional, life changing step for both of you and the way you handle her rejection of the ring, will bring out your ability to handle the challenges that you'll face as a married couple.
Push any anger or disappointment you feel aside and remember she's probably dreamt of her engagement ring since she was a young girl and it's not the thought or effort you put into choosing that she's rejecting! Tell her you're sorry that she doesn't love the ring and that you can look for a new one together, to symbolise your love and commitment each other.
Suggest that you attend a jewellery store or look online together to choose an engagement ring that she adores. If she would prefer to maintain some aspect of surprise, she can pick out three or four rings and then let you make the final choice. It's likely that she'll favour a particular stone shape or ring setting, which will make the final choice easier.
Find out what she didn't like about the ring so you know what to avoid the second time round. Was it the metal colour or the stone? Would she rather have a platinum ring instead of yellow gold, or a coloured gemstone rather than a white diamond?
Perhaps you discussed or window-shopped for the ring from the beginning, which simply means there was a misunderstanding and you read her signals wrong. To avoid this happening again, ensure you ask questions that will help both of you narrow down the options. You don't necessarily have to look at rings that look like the complete opposite of the first one. She may have loved the style of the first ring but completely disliked the metal, so once you establish what she doesn't like, find out exactly what she does like and take it from there.
If size is an issue for her and she wants a bigger or shinier ring, it can make things a little less comfortable, because size will have an impact on your budget. She may want a bigger 1ct diamond rather than the smaller half carat diamond you chose. If however, a 1 carat diamond does not fit within your budget, talk about the issue you're having with money and perhaps you can come to a reasonable compromise.
Get some help from your jewellers and enquire about financial plans. There are also ways to choose a higher carat weight and compromise on the other three of the 4C's to stay within your budget – for more information, read our guide on [Understanding the 4C's]. Alternatively you can get the look of a bigger diamond with a different setting, maybe featuring multiple smaller stones, reading our [Engagement Ring Settings] information for help on this
Whether you've worked together to find a new ring or she has now picked one for herself, the initial rejection of the first ring may still hang over you both. Despite what happened in the past, explain that you'd like a second chance at presenting her with the ring. The ring may or may not be a surprise now, but the way you propose can be a super special and romantic surprise, creating a brand new memory that will out-shine the previous one.
As you should do with any big and costly purchase, ensure you carefully check customer protection and return policies, along with terms and conditions. It is not uncommon for jewellery, especially engagement rings to be returned, but you should always check thoroughly as policies vary with each retailer, so enquire about returns before making any payments.