It isn’t something you learn in school under the subject “Proposal 101,” or one that you go to training for. For those who have ever taken proposing seriously (as you should), they’ll probably agree that it’s one of the most exhausting things they’ve ever done.

Choosing a ring at a local jeweler in Salt Lake City is in itself quite the experience. You don’t just walk in a shop, point at one ring, take out your credit card, and walk away. It takes some preparation. Here are some facts you should be ready for before deciding to propose:

It’s not about your taste and style

You like yellow gold, well good for you. If what she loves more is platinum or white gold, then that’s what matters. You’re buying the ring, but she will be the one to wear it — possibly for the rest of her life — so it’s important that you buy her what she wants and not what you want.

Her best friends are your best accomplices

It can be her best friends, her sister, or even her mom, but it’s somebody she’s been close to for a long time. They know her style best, even with jewelry. She might have told them about something she saw in a magazine. When picking out the ring, ask the people who are close to her. They may even jump at the chance to accompany you to the store to buy it.

Your friends can give you advice

Your married friends, in particular, or someone who has proposed or been proposed to — they know a thing or two about it, so don’t hesitate to ask. As with her friends, however, be careful not to ask many people, especially not someone whom you know cannot keep a secret.

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Buying a diamond ring takes time

You go to the jeweler, look at a few rings, ask questions, and think. It’s also a good idea to sleep on it after you’ve looked at the rings. Whether it’s a diamond or another stone, it will cost money, so take your time.

Keeping to a budget is hard

Sticking to a set budget is not easy once you are looking at the most beautiful rings you’ve ever seen up close. It’s even more difficult to lose your apartment over a ring, so make sure to stick to a budget. Tell the jeweler what you can afford and they will try to help you. They might even suggest customizing a ring (setting and stone) to bring the cost down.

Buying an engagement ring is not an art form, as some romantically worded articles might tell you. It’s an exercise in patience and commerce and lots of thinking. By the end of your search, when you’re ready to present the ring to her, you’ll be exhausted. But it’s all worth it.