We’ve previously covered what to do in the case of a broken engagement (Did he/she leave? Yours to keep. Family heirloom? Give it back. Holiday or birthday engagement? Check your state’s laws). But what do you do when you aren’t the betrothed, but rather the bestie of the lucky new engagement ring owner? Heck, even if you’re a well-meaning distant relative or a jealous co-worker (no judgement) there are basic laws of etiquette, society and humanity you should abide by. No one is going to perform a citizen’s arrest on you if you ask when was the last time they had their new bauble cleaned, but still, if you care to maintain some semblance of a good relationship with the newly engaged, there are a few engagement ring etiquette do’s and dont’s.
Don’t Ask How Much it Was:
This is the cardinal sin of engagement ring violations. Chances are, they don’t know – it was likely a surprise, or at the bare minimum a gift! Even if she pulled a Britney and used her own money to buy a ring to her liking, it’s none of your business. Along those lines…
Don’t Ask How Many Carats:
Under no circumstances should you ask what the diamond weighs. Again, they may not know, but more importantly, this is like asking how much someone makes at their job. Unless it’s your best best best friend or you share DNA, you will never know the answer to this question – and if you do, it had better be because he or she accidentally spilled the beans while bragging.
Don’t Make it About You:
Now is not the time to describe what kind of engagement ring you want, how you want to be proposed to, or lament that your boyfriend hasn’t p’d the q. Nor is it the opportune moment to recount your hot air balloon ride proposal over Napa while your entire family and closest friends secretly gathered at a private party in the vineyard below to celebrate. This is their moment.
Don’t Say it’s Nice But…
Now is not the time to play Gemologist. We don’t care if you’re Lawrence Graff reincarnate. Do not whip out a loupe, don’t comment on the setting unless it’s to say “What impeccable setting work!” Don’t compare it to your favorite Tiffany mounting or that ring you’ve pinned 6 times on Pinterest (PS it’s not antique and we’re fairly certain it’s a white sapphire, not a diamond). And definitely do not compare it to yours – whether it’s 5 carats larger or 5 carats smaller.
Do Praise Enthusiastically:
Chances are, this is the ring she’s pinned 6 times on Pinterest. It’s probably the ring that she’s dropped countless hints about or at the bare minimum crossed her fingers for. She loves this ring, which is why she’s showing it off to you, person who she likely cares about. It is your duty to praise the ring, and if you can’t find anything nice to say, then by all means say nothing at all.
Do Tell her How Radiant She Looks:
Don’t love the ring? No problem! Take this next part seriously, as we’re probably the most biased party you could ask, but the engagement isn’t about the ring. Don’t tell any of the other jewelers we said that. But really, the joy is all about the impending nuptials and joining of two lives and two families, no matter the ring (or lack thereof).
Do Ask How the Proposal Went Down:
This is the best part! Maybe he did propose in that aforementioned hot air balloon! Maybe there were flash mobs or scuba tanks involved. There might even have been a puppy. But if it was a beautifully simple question, one of the oldest in history, asked in their cozy home one night after work when they were least expecting it – it’s still a story we’d like to hear. So listen attentively and we’ll play along that you just have something in your eye.
Do Say How Excited You Are:
Express your joy (or mild pleasure) that your friends are getting married! Wish them the best of luck, decades of happiness, and do not invite yourself to the wedding. Please.