The traditional engagement story ends with the bride-to-be being completely surprised that her fiance pops the question: she has no idea of the time, place, or what the ring will look like. This surprise requires the future groom to pick a ring in total secrecy, and in the past, he’s simply picked a ready-made ring from one of the big name jewelers or department stores. 

But times are changing, and more and more couples are opting for custom engagement rings that they design together. While this takes some of the surprise out of the beloved engagement stories, it can provide something even more meaningful for newly-engaged couples to hold on to for years to come. Here are some other benefits of getting a custom engagement ring. 

Create Something Unique to You
This is perhaps an obvious benefit, but when you design your own engagement ring, you can guarantee there’s not another one like it in the world. Choose elements that carry special meaning for your relationship, or incorporate elements that are reminiscent of family heirlooms. 

You may even be able to choose a rare or non-traditional stone for your ring. Non-diamond options can be just as  beautiful but more cost-effective than the traditional diamond, and major retailers may have very limited options when it comes to other stones.  

Whatever is most important to you as a couple can be incorporated into the ring, creating a stunning reminder of your love. And who knows, maybe this ring will become your great-great-granddaughter’s cherished family heirloom one day. 

Make Memories While Designing Your Ring
The classic engagement memory is of course the surprise of popping the question, but the new kind of memory is creating the ring together. As a couple, you can research different types of rings, talk about what’s important to you, and make decisions together about this ring. Since this process can take several weeks or months, it’s a long process over which you can bond. It’s also good practice for making decisions and big purchases together as a married couple. 

Higher Quality Craftsmanship
Retail jewelers want to make a profit, so they rely on mass-produced inventory and using cheap tactics and lower quality materials. Custom rings are a work of art, and the jeweler will take great care in crafting your perfect ring. You won’t have to worry about cheap quality or a high risk of damage to your ring, because it is created with personalized care. 

Stick to Your Budget
Even the most budget-conscious ring shoppers can be enticed to overspend when they see that perfect ring. Since engagement rings are an important symbol in a relationship, it’s easy to persuade yourself that you can find the money somewhere. When you design your own engagement ring, however, you can work with the jeweler to find compromises within your dream design. Perhaps you go with a smaller or slightly more flawed diamond, or choose a less expensive setting. While off-the-shelf engagement rings can’t be altered or negotiated, custom rings allow you to spend your budget on the part of the ring that matters most to you. 

Don’t Compromise
Too often, couples settle for something that isn’t exactly what they want. Maybe you end up with an oval cut instead of round because the setting was just too perfect, or the diamond is a little less clear than you’d like, but the price is in your budget. When buying a ready-made ring from a big box store, compromises are everywhere and couples end up with an engagement ring that is beautiful, but not perfect. Opting for a custom engagement ring lets you avoid having to compromise on different elements of the ring. (One caveat: if your budget is too low for even most ready-made rings, you might find yourself compromising anyway.)

Final Words
If you or your partner are planning to pop the question soon, see if they’re open to forgoing the traditional surprise engagement and designing a custom ring instead. Make memories as you prepare for your wedding by creating a beautiful piece of jewelry that will always hold a unique and special meaning.