To celebrate National Proposal Day, we’ve rounded up our best tips on engagement ring shopping etiquette…

Happy National Proposal day, ladies and gents! This is one of those holidays that we are especially excited about, because it means that lots of you lovebirds will be popping the question and/or saying yes today. So in honor of this fun holiday, we wanted to talk about something that happens (most of the time) before the big proposal: choosing that perfect engagement ring.

Now, whenever we talk engagement rings, you know we have to mention James Allen. They’re one of the biggest online retailers of diamonds and engagement rings that lets you design the ring of your dreams. You can choose from endless options of diamonds and settings (all conflict-free, of course), and their prices are 30 to 50 percent lower than rings you’d find in most stores.

When it comes to the topic of finding your soul mate, we’ve covered a handful of Ladylike Laws on the blog already… we’ve even discussed whether or not you can go ahead and propose to your boyfriend and dished on the 5 wedding rules that you can (and sometimes should) break. And today, in honor of this love-filled holiday, we’re diving into the etiquette of shopping for an engagement ring. While every couple is different, we’ve rounded up a few rules we recommend standing by when it comes to finding that forever accessory. Take a look…

Are You Allowed To Drop Hints?

While some ladies want to be completely surprised, you shouldn’t feel bad if you decide to drop a hint or two. It is quite sweet when your significant other takes the initiative to pick out a ring (or even design one) with no feedback from you, but you might run the risk of a Carrie Bradshaw/Aiden situation (before Samantha intervened). So if you want to drop a couple hints about what you love, you are absolutely allowed to. You’re the one who will be wearing this piece of jewelry every single day for the rest of the your life! So design your dream ring on and “forget” to close the browser, let your partner’s best friend know what you love, or have an honest and open discussion about it. Because at the end of the day, whether you’re surprised by the ring or not, it’s all about being with that one person forever. So do what feels right for you, and just remember how lucky you are to have found that special someone.

Are You Allowed To Go Ring Shopping Together?

As with all of these etiquette rules, this one is totally up to you. Even though it’s nice to be completely surprised by your engagement ring, it can also be quite romantic to go ring shopping together (especially if you have very particular taste and know exactly what you want). And these days, this doesn’t mean you have to head to your local jewelry store to pick out the rock of your dreams. You can ring shop from the comfort of your couch, thanks to James Allen. Even if you pick out a ring together, you can still be completely surprised by the way he/she proposes, which is just as special. Like we said before, you’re the one who will be wearing this ring every day for the rest of your life, so why not choose what you like?

Are You Allowed To Buy Your Own Ring?

Listen, ladies. It’s 2015. You are all strong, beautiful, independent women. And if you happen to be the breadwinner in your duo, why not foot the bill for your most important accessory? Of course, this route is not for everyone… But if you can afford it and your beau is still in school or is saving up for something else for you two (a house, perhaps), and you’ve got the means, then you should get the ring you want. The only caveat here is to make sure that your partner is comfortable with this. A marriage should be an equal partnership—which is why it’s completely ok to pay for your own ring in our opinion. But you also want to make sure you’re not making your significant other feel inadequate or like they are not part of the process. Just make sure that the lines of communication are open, and that both parties are completely comfortable with this decision. We know a handful of lovely ladies who have footed the bill for their own engagement rings, and we have to say, it’s quite the #girlboss move.

Are You Allowed To Get Engaged Without a Ring?

Of course, silly! In case you haven’t noticed, there aren’t really any super strict rules when it comes to engagement ring shopping. The only rule that you don’t want to break is making sure that whatever you do is a joint decision, and that the end goal is spending your life with the one you love most. We think it’s quite sweet to get engaged without a ring… it can make the proposal more spontaneous, and gives the couple a fun activity to look forward to after saying “yes.” We know someone who proposed to his then-girlfriend on the floor of their new apartment, while eating a box of pizza. It was a spur of the moment decision, and afterwards they designed a ring together. That is a pretty cute story, if you ask us. And since you know about James Allen, you can even start browsing (and designing) your dream ring the moment you say yes, right from your laptop.

The bottom line is: Do whatever you and your partner are comfortable with, and what makes you both happy. If you want to be surprised, go for it. If you want to design a ring together, have at it. And if you want to pick out a ring after you say “yes,” that sounds pretty dreamy, too. Because these days, most people collaborate on the ring selection in one way or another… So figure out whatever will make you the happiest fiancé, and go that route. No matter what you choose to do, we highly recommend taking a peek at, whether you just want ring inspiration, or you want to design the rock of your dreams.

What do you think about these “rules?” Do you have any advice to add to the list?

Also, since it’s #NationalProposalDay, share your very own proposal story in the comments. We’d love to read them!

XO Team LC

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Photos: James Allen