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Holiday Proposal: The Romance of Secretly Selecting an Engagement Ring

Holiday Proposal: The Romance of Secretly Selecting an Engagement Ring

Holiday Proposal: The Romance of Secretly Selecting an Engagement Ring

The holiday season is a magical time filled with joy, love, and the promise of new beginnings. It's no wonder that many couples choose this time of year to get engaged. But when it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring and keeping it a secret can be a challenging yet crucial task. In this expert guide, we'll explore the challenges you may face and offer you solutions to ensure the surprise remains intact during your holiday engagement ring shopping journey.

Spoiler! Skip to the end for our ideal holiday proposal timeline!

Chapter 1: The Fun of a Secret Engagement Proposal

Before we delve into the strategies for keeping the perfect engagement ring selection a secret, let's understand why it can be so enjoyable to maintain the surprise element. In today's world, many couples often live together before marrying and have thoroughly discussed marriage plans, making the element of surprise a delightful and romantic twist to their journey. Here's why.

  1. Have Your Moment in the Sun!
    Let's face it: the marriage proposal is probably the only aspect of the entire wedding planning process that you will have complete and absolute control over. While wedding preparations often involve many decisions and compromises from multiple people, your engagement proposal remains a unique opportunity for you to craft a moment that reflects your love story and the bond you share, making it truly one-of-a-kind. It's a chance to create a memory that you both will treasure for a lifetime, setting the tone for the exciting journey that lies ahead in your life together.
  2. Preserving the Element of Surprise
    The look of astonishment and joy on your partner's face when you pop the question is a moment you'll cherish forever. Keeping the engagement ring selection a secret is the key to preserving that magical surprise.
  3. Maintaining Tradition
    Some people still value the tradition of a surprise proposal. It adds an element of romance and excitement to the engagement story. Your partner will feel so special after learning how much you planned and plotted to make your engagement unforgettable and unpredictable.

Chapter 2: Overcoming the Challenges of Proposing

  1. Selecting the perfect engagement ring for your partner while keeping it a total secret can be a daunting task. Here are some common challenges and strategies to overcome them.

1. Research Ring Styles without Rousing Suspicion

You need to gather information about your partner's ring preferences without making them suspicious.



  1. Casual Conversations:
    Engage in casual conversations about jewelry, styles, and preferences. Listen attentively to their comments without raising suspicion. Find natural ways to integrate the topic into your conversation. If you’re lucky enough that your partner mentions their favorite style without you needing to find a subtle way to bring it up, count your blessings, and when the coast is clear, take notes so you don’t forget what they said.
  2. Enlist Friends and Family:
    If your partner has a close friend or family member who can discreetly gather information, don't hesitate to seek their help. Loved ones are often thrilled to help you here, so if they’re good at keeping a secret and playing detective, use all the help you can get.
  3. Use Social Media:
    We consider Pinterest to be the holy grail! We all have the guilty pleasure of daydreaming on Pinterest. Take a look at your partner's Pinterest account to gather ideas - they might already have a Pinterest board where they’ve pinned their favorite rings. Browse their social media profiles for hints, paying close attention to any posts or likes related to jewelry.
  4. Find Inspiration Everywhere:
    Think of your partner’s favorite activities and pop culture icons. If they admire Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, they might favor a classic, traditional ring style. If they enjoy backpacking, hiking, and pickleball, they’ll probably love a low-profile ring that shines without interfering with their active life. If they’re constantly belting out Lady Gaga, Beyonce and J. Lo, it’s quite possible they’ll covet the biggest, sparkliest rock you can find. Everything you love about your partner can help inform what kind of ring they’ll adore forever.

2. Choosing the Right Engagement Ring Size

Selecting the correct engagement ring size without asking your partner directly.



  1. Borrow a Ring:
    Borrow a ring your partner wears on the intended finger and take it to a jeweler for sizing. Be sure to return the ring discreetly.
  2. Ask a Friend:
    Once again, you'll need a partner in crime, so to speak. Consult a close friend or family member who may know their ring size or has a finger size close to theirs. This step is very important!
  3. Make an Impression - Literally:
    If she happens to leave any of her rings lying around, make an impression of it with a household item! A bar of soap, a piece of clay, or even a piece of bread can be used to take a reliable measurement.
  4. Trace the Inside:
    Tracing the inside of your partner’s ring on a piece of paper can typically be used to determine an accurate measurement.
  5. Try it on for Size:
    Simpler still, try on one of your partner’s rings on your own finger. Push it down as far as it will go and then mark the spot with a pen, or try to remember how far down it went. Then quickly go get that part of your finger sized!

Pro tip: The average woman’s ring size is 6, while men’s average size is 9. Don’t worry if you get the ring size incorrect; we offer free complimentary resizing within 90 days of your purchase. Still, getting the ring size right the first time is ideal, as you don't want to resize a ring too many times over its lifespan. Purchase our premium ring sizer.

3. Budget Management

Sticking to your budget while finding the perfect engagement ring.



  1. Set a Realistic Budget:
    Determine your budget in advance and stick to it. Be clear about your financial boundaries to avoid overspending.
  2. Prioritize Features:
    Focus on the aspects that matter most to your partner, such as the diamond's quality or the ring's design.
  3. Maximize Your Dollars:
    An engagement ring is certainly a major decision that warrants thorough financial consideration, but the idea that an engagement ring must cost at least 2 months' salary is a marketing message intended to take as much of your money as possible. MiaDonna’s Lab Grown Diamonds cost significantly less than earth-mined diamonds, and come free of any environmental or humanitarian concerns.

4. Concealing the Ring

Hiding the engagement ring until the proposal without getting caught.



  1. Secure Storage:
    Find a secure hiding spot in your home, like a locked drawer. If you live with your partner, it might be tempting to keep it in your car or workplace to avoid being seen by your partner, but its security is paramount above all else.
  2. Use a Lockbox:
    Consider purchasing a small, portable lockbox to keep the ring safe and hidden. If you go this route, place the lockbox in an inconspicuous location, covered by another object or inside another box, to not draw suspicion.
  3. When in Doubt, Move It Out:
    Remember those close friends and family members who want to help? They’re still an asset after you choose the ring, so if you have one that you really trust, ask if they would keep the ring in a safe location at their house.

Chapter 3: The Ideal Engagement Ring Checklist

Now that we've discussed the challenges and strategies for secrecy, let's dive into the essential checklist for selecting the perfect engagement ring.

Engagement Ring Style

Consider the following when choosing the ring style:

  1. Engagement Ring Metal Type:
    Determine whether your partner prefers white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum. Take notes on their current jewelry collection to see if they consistently purchase the same metal for all their jewelry pieces.

    Pro Tip: Choosing between white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum primarily comes down to personal style preferences.
    • 14K gold is the most common metal choice for engagement rings due to its affordability and durability. However, it's worth noting that 14K White Gold may require more maintenance over time as it can develop a yellowish tint as it ages.
    •  18K Gold contains a higher concentration of pure gold, resulting in a slightly higher price point. While it offers a more luxurious feel, it is softer than 14K gold and may be more prone to scratches.
    •  Platinum is the most luxurious and expensive metal option. However, it requires less maintenance as it ages, making the initial price difference from 14K white gold worthwhile for those who value long-term durability and minimal upkeep.

2. Ring Setting:
Decide on the setting style – some of the most popular are solitaire, halo, three-stone, modern, vintage, or diamond accented.


Pro tip: Can’t decide what engagement ring style to choose? We suggest focusing on the Diamond and setting it in a simple solitaire setting. After you propose, you can choose the perfect ring setting together. We will reset your diamond into the ring style of your dreams and credit you for the original price of the solitaire setting. Restrictions apply.

3. Diamond or Gemstone


Diamond: Diamond Shape and Carat size is most likely going to be the most important aspect of the diamond to your partner. While a diamond’s cut enhances the diamond's brilliance, a diamond’s shape is more of a style preference. Some of the most popular diamond shapes are round, princess (aka square), oval or emerald.


Gemstone: If your partner prefers a colored gemstone, consider Lab Grown Gemstone options like sapphire, ruby, or emerald.


Pro Tip: The most popular center stones are diamonds at 86%, followed by other precious stones. According to The Knot, nearly 20% of people who choose a colored gemstone for their engagement ring choose a sapphire.

4. Ring Size and Fit

Ensure you have the correct ring size.


5. Quality

Diamond Quality: Learn about the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat) to select a high-quality diamond within your budget. Use our Diamond Filter to see prices with any cut, color, clarity, and carat criteria you’re interested in.


6. Budget

Stick to your predetermined budget to avoid financial stress. There is no need to start your life together with financial stress. Ethically sourced Lab Grown Diamonds are an excellent way to reduce costs and create a sustainable engagement ring.


7. The Shopping Process

Now that you have a checklist in mind, here's how to navigate the engagement ring shopping process without arousing suspicion:


8. Online Research

Begin your search online, exploring different styles, settings, and prices. This will help you narrow down your preferences before visiting a physical store.


9. Consult with Experts

Engage with knowledgeable jewelers who can guide you through the selection process. They can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision. Make an engagement ring shopping appointment with one of our non-commissioned jewelry and Lab Grown Diamond experts at MiaDonna; we are here to guide you through this process.


10. Customization

Consider custom-making the ring of your partner’s dreams to make it truly unique and special. Or add a personalization like an engraving on the inside of the band. If you think your partner will want a one-of-a-kind custom ring, we recommend purchasing a simple solitaire for the proposal and then including your partner in the custom design process after the proposal. They’ll share in the excitement of designing the engagement ring of their dreams, and you’ll ensure their total satisfaction, since custom-designed jewelry is final sale.


11. Payment

Think about your payment options. Do you share bank details with your partner? You might need to be discreet when placing the order and ensure that any transaction records or receipts are kept hidden until after the proposal.


Chapter 4: Planning the Proposal

Once you've selected the perfect engagement ring, it's time to plan the proposal:


  1. Timing
    Most quality engagement rings will be made to order. They are made in the ring size you want and to the exact requirements. This will take 2 to 3 weeks at MiaDonna; make sure you allow ample time for design and delivery before your big day. Check out our timeline at the end of this blog.
  2. Public or not Public
    Please take into consideration your partner's personality.

    Public proposals can be incredibly memorable and dramatic, plus add to the element of surprise. If your partner enjoys surprises and doesn't mind being the center of attention, a public proposal can be a wonderful way to add to the excitement and emotion of the moment that they'll cherish.

    While some people desire elaborate and unique proposals, others may prefer more intimate and private moments. If your partner is shy and uncomfortable with all eyes on them, they might be much more delighted with a private proposal. The key is to understand and align with your partner's preferences and values to create a proposal that resonates with both of you.

    Pro Tip: If you know your partner loves the limelight, you might be tempted to propose during an upcoming wedding where many of your loved ones will already be gathered together. Don’t. This can put both your future fiance and the wedding couple in awkward positions of drawing unwanted or unwelcome attention. Your proposal deserves its own occasion!
  3. Choosing the Right Moment
    Select a memorable moment during the holiday season to propose. Consider a romantic holiday dinner, a walk under the twinkling lights, or a cozy night by the fire.
  4. Proposal Location
    Choose a location that holds meaning for both of you or opt for a picturesque setting that adds to the magic.
  5. Enlist Help
    If needed, ask friends or family members for assistance with setting up the proposal scene.
  6. Capture the Moment
    Consider hiring a photographer or setting up a camera to capture the proposal and your partner's reaction.


Selecting the ideal engagement ring during the holiday season while keeping it a secret requires careful planning, research, and attention to detail. By following the strategies outlined in this expert guide and adhering to the engagement ring checklist, you can ensure that your proposal is a magical and unforgettable moment for both you and your partner.

Timeline for a Perfect Holiday Proposal

  • September 1st - Get Started:
    If you're aiming for a highly unique proposal, we recommend giving yourself approximately three months to plan your proposal.
  • September 20th - Ring Concept and Ring Size:
    Enlist friends and conduct your research – allow yourself six weeks before ordering. Our jewelry experts are here to assist you every step of the way if needed. You're not alone in this process.
  • October 1st - Payment Plan:
    If you need to keep the payment a secret, apply for your own credit card at the beginning of October. MiaDonna offers financing at checkout if needed.
  • November 1st - Order the Ring:
    Early November is good, but mid-October is even better. Three weeks are usually sufficient for handcrafting a ring, but planning for the unexpected, such as shipping delays, is always a safe bet for such an important event.
  • November 2nd - Confirm the Proposal:
    While we handcraft your ring, ensure that all your proposal arrangements are in place. If you're planning a more intimate, personal proposal, you can begin planning it at this stage instead of in September.
  • November 28th to December 7th - Proposal Date:
    Although Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the most popular days for engagements, we recommend considering a proposal before these dates. Proposing from Thanksgiving to the first week of December allows your partner to enjoy the holidays while being engaged and proudly showing off the ring!
  • December 8th to January 2nd - Show Off the Ring:
    Put the "bright" in merry and bright by showing off the engagement ring at all the amazing Holiday and New Year's events.

Embrace the holiday magic, and may your engagement be filled with love, joy, and endless happiness. XOXO