While some men keep the engagement ring they picked out for their fiance a surprise until the very last moment, others let their new brides choose the jewelry for themselves.
It's not as traditional, but this method guarantees your new fiance will be satisfied with their ring, and choosing one together is like picking out your future as a couple.
But all it takes is one nasty store employee to spoil the effect, as Ariel McRae learned while picking out a ring with her fiance.
The couple from Nashville, Tennessee were shopping for rings at a Pandora Jewelry location when a store clerk trashed their engagement ring. And the insults were said out loud right in front of the happy couple.
The employee called their rings, a $130 set with several stones, "pathetic."
"Y'all can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings?" she asked the couple.
McRae said her fiance second guessed his choice after the woman insulted their rings. "Are you sure you'll be happy with these? Are you sure this is okay?" he asked.
Pandora has since apologized for how the McRaes were treated at their store. "Their experience is not in keeping with our brand values or what we expect from those who sell our products," the company said in a statement.
Ariel said nothing to the employee at the time, but when she returned home she shared the upsetting incident on Facebook.
"My husband doesn't have a lot, neither of us does," she explained. "We scrape and scrape to pay bills and put food in our bellies, but after almost two years of dating we decided that we couldn't wait anymore, so we didn't."
McRae says she "wasn't even thinking about rings," but her boyfriend insisted on picking them out.
"He scraped up just enough money to buy me two matching rings from Pandora. Sterling silver and [cubic zirconium] to be exact. That's what sits on my ring finger, and I am so in love with them.
""Old Ariel would have ripped that woman a new one," she added. "Mature Ariel said, 'It isn't the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters.' We bought the rings and left."
The McRaes eloped and married at a courthouse just a short while after their encounter with the crusty clerk.
Many women were moved by McRae's Facebook post, and shared their own stories about inexpensive engagement rings that meant the world to them.
"Mine was $20 at a pawn shop," one woman said. "I wore it like it was [worth $5,000]."
In an update to her original story, McRae wrote that she would have married her husband even if he proposed with "a 25 cent gum ball machine ring."
"Here I am. Courthouse married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side and happier than I could ever imagine."
[H/T: Bored Panda]