This one goes out to all the men out there!
You planned your marriage proposal with the precision of an SAS operation.
Locations. Timings. Actions.
And now it’s time for . . .
Project Romantic Weekend in Paris
09.30: A chauffeur-driven limo picks up your soon-to-be fiancée and takes you both (plus the engagement ring) to London Heathrow.
11.45: Seated in First Class drinking champagne as BA 0308 takes off bound for Paris.
15:00: (Paris time): Your UberBERLINE Mercedes E Class collects you from Charles de Gaulle airport.
15.45: Arrive at your luxury Airbnb in Rue de Rivoli, a stone’s throw from the Louvre.
17:00: A romantic stroll along the Seine, followed by dinner at Le Tournebievre, opposite Notre Dame.
10:00: After a leisurely breakfast, a walk along the Champs–Élysées with a bit of shopping at Hermès and Louis Vuitton. Coffee and macaroons at Ladurée.
13:00: Take a pre-booked lift to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower.
13:30: Against a breath-taking view of Paris you tell her you have something important you want to ask.
13:31: You get down on one knee, open the ring box and pop the question.
13:31:09: She says “Yes!” (about a dozen times).
13:31:25: You try to put the ring on her finger.
13:32: You’re still trying to put the ring on her finger.
13:33 You feel like the biggest idiot in Paris as the ring gets stuck near the middle joint.
Moral of the story: Paris is incidental – the ring is the thing.
Yes, all your efforts will be for nought if the ring doesn’t fit.
It’s the whole Cinderella thing. If the shoe fits like a glove, your love is ordained by the stars.
As with Cinderella’s shoe, so with the engagement ring.
I mean, what kind of fiancé spends weeks planning the ‘big moment’ but can’t even get the most important detail right?
The wrong ring size can make you look incompetent
For a bespoke diamond engagement ring, you are investing anything up to £25,000 (or even more if your fiancée hints very strongly that Meghan Markle’s ring would be perfect for her too). So, getting the size wrong is not just a black mark on your relationship but a potential financial hit as well.
Now, I’m absolutely not saying that the money is more important than the feelings. Far from it, but you have to look at the situation from your fiancée’s point of view. You are sowing some seeds of doubt in her mind about your judgement and your competence.
And, you must admit, she has a point. If you commission a ring especially for her it should actually FIT, shouldn’t it?
A complete no-brainer really.
So, gentlemen, it’s time to get your James Bond thinking cap on. We’re going to look at how we can discover your woman’s ring size and turn your marriage proposal into a complete success.
Tricks of the trade you need to know before measuring
But, before we do that there are a few tricks of the trade you need to know to make sure you measure her third finger correctly:
- Fingers come in all shapes and sizes and not everybody’s left and right ring fingers are the same size. Make sure you measure the left hand.
- Don’t use string or any other material that can stretch. Use a ring sizing gauge (you can buy one from Amazon or eBay).
- If you really must estimate, go bigger. At least then she can get the ring on and you can sort it out later. Plus, you can cover it up by flattering her – “Oh, you’ve lost weight since I gave your size to the ring-making company. Well done!”
- Measure at the end of the day when the finger is bigger. Also, measure when her hand is warm – if she’s just got home after walking through a snowstorm her fingers will be cold and smaller.
- Remember, it’s not just about where the ring sits, it also must get comfortably past the knuckle.
- UK ring sizes are measured using letters of the alphabet which correspond to a certain number of millimetres. So a size ‘G’ has a circumference of 45.5 millimetres, ‘H’ is 46.8 mm and ‘I’ is 48.0 mm. Don’t worry too much about numbers versus letters – the ring sizing gauge will take care of that.
Now, with all that background info in mind, let’s look at 7 ways you can sneakily find out her ring size, starting with the simplest.
- Ask her family and/or any friends who may have already been jewellery shopping with her. Confirm with them that she hasn’t gained or lost much weight since that last purchase. Plus, of course, swear them to secrecy before you broach the topic – you don’t want them letting the cat out of the bag.
Bonus benefit: You get brownie points from her family and friends
- Get a friend or family member to go jewellery shopping with her. This is a variation on tip number 1 and has the advantage of yielding her current measurement. Brief the friend/relative beforehand to allay any suspicions by not focusing specifically on the ring finger. They should try out rings for her other fingers, as well as bracelets and pendants.
Bonus benefit: Covering a wide range of jewellery can have a big spin-off because you can get some ideas for a Christmas, Valentine’s or birthday gift as well.
The one possible downside to this approach could be if you feel her family or friends might be a little bit indiscreet or bad at keeping secrets. If that is the case, then maybe you should skip the first 2 ideas and consider number 3.
- Use the ring sizing gauge and measure her finger while she’s sleeping. Make sure she is in a deep sleep before you do this. This can be a bit tricky if she’s a light or restless sleeper. You also don’t want to wait too long as her finger will be gradually getting smaller. You can use this guide from WebMD to help you https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-101
- Ask her directly about all her measurements, favourite styles and colours. You have to phrase this carefully because you don’t want to come over as obsessive or a bit anal. Tell her that you think the best gifts are always personal. When you know all this information, you can feel sure that she will love any present you get her.
Bonus benefit: If you pitch it right it will also make her feel very valued and special to you.
- Browse a jewellery shop together and when you see a ring size chart have an “inspired idea”. This one needs some planning. If this is your first visit to a jewellery shop together she’s going to be suspicious if you flat out ask to measure her fingers.
I suggest you do this in 3 steps.
Step one: find a couple of good jewellery shops that sell a wide range of men’s watches.
Step two: tell her that you are thinking about buying a new watch and would like her help.
Step three: while you are browsing for a watch ‘notice’ a ring size chart or a ring sizing gauge. Make a comment along the lines of “Wow, it’s just like measuring a shoe size. I’ve never thought about my ring size. You know, I was thinking about getting a signet ring, too. Shall we find out my size?”
Develop it from there until you end up getting measurements for all her fingers as well as yours.
Bonus benefits: She sees you as a fun, spontaneous person who will make her future life interesting. Plus, by involving her in buying the watch you are showing you value her opinion.
- Get a plaster cast of your two hands together. On sites like Etsy, you can find a couples hand casting kit. You can say you saw this and thought it would be really romantic to have a cast of you holding hands. Be careful when you do this – you can’t measure her finger properly if your hands are wrapped tightly together.
A variation on the same theme is to get a cast of just her hand. You tell her you saw a woman who wanted to see her rings instead of hiding them away in a jewellery box, so she uses a hand cast as a ring holder.
Bonus benefit: She gets a romantic, personalized present.
- Do a psychometry session with her jewellery. This is a tad way out and could go horribly wrong, so only use it as a last resort. It will work best if you have a very extroverted friend with a good imagination who is a psychometry “expert”. You will also need a small bar of soap to put in your pocket.
Psychometry is about “reading” the history of an object by holding it in your hand. You ask your fiancée-to-be (FTB) for all her rings and, after your friend has “read” each one, they hand it to you for safekeeping. While your FTB is not looking you can slip a ring into your pocket and press it into the soap and get an impression of the size.
The problem comes if she hasn’t got anything she normally wears on her ring finger. This is where your friend’s showmanship comes into play. They tell your FTB that, to do a proper reading, the ring must be placed one by one on each finger to get the maximum amount of her energy. Then, even if none of the rings fit properly, you can make an impression of the one that is a bit too small and another which is a bit too big and the perfect fit should be between the two.
In the end, whichever strategy you choose, she will probably guess what you are doing.
The good news is, it doesn’t matter.
It’s just like the game older kids play at Christmas. They know there’s no Santa but, if they let on, they will spoil the “surprise” (and maybe get fewer presents).
So, whatever point in time your FTB twigs what’s going on, she will be very happy to keep playing the game.
And she will appreciate you even more for all your efforts to make your marriage proposal extra special.
Today’s post was brought to you by…
LIV was founded by Olivia Kuropatwa, a DGA-certified diamantaire, entrepreneur and fifth-generation diamond expert. She can be found either helping guys nail the ideal diamond ring for their girlfriend – or globetrotting to find the world’s best diamonds.