It takes a lot of effort and planning to successfully pull off a surprise engagement. Not only do you need to think of an idea that your partner will love, but you also have to settle on the perfect date and make sure every detail is going according to plan, all while keeping your significant other out of the loop. What’s more, you’ll have to devise a plan to secretly measure their ring finger, since asking your partner directly is basically a flashing neon sign that says, “I’m going to propose.”
Though purchasing an engagement ring in the wrong size isn’t always the end of the world, you do want to try and get it right the first time to avoid any mishaps or complications. “If the ring is studded with numerous gemstones or diamonds, adjusting its size might be tricky,” warns Sally Rong, founder and designer of Rellery. “Changes to the sizing could often compromise the settings, potentially affecting the setting’s positions and, therefore, loosening the setting that holds your stones, resulting in missing stones if you’re not careful.”
Meet the Expert
Sally Rong is the founder and designer behind jewelry brand Rellery.
Regardless of what the ring looks like, however, it’s always nice to have it slide smoothly onto someone’s finger after they say “yes.” So to pull off your engagement without a hitch, here are some tips on how to secretly measure a ring size without blowing your cover and having your partner find out.
How to Secretly Measure Your Partner’s Ring Size
While secretly figuring out your partner’s ring size may seem like an impossible mission, there are ways to successfully and discreetly accomplish this task, as highlighted below.
Ask a Jeweler to Size a Current Ring
One of the best ways to get your significant other’s ring size is to get an everyday ring measured by a jeweler. You can even size their ring at home following a few simple steps. “Simply find one of their existing rings and print out an easy-peasy at-home sizer (make sure it’s to scale) and measure the ring,” Rong says. “A quick tip: measure the inside part, not the edges.” Also, remember that different fingers may vary in sizing, so pay attention to the rings your partner wears and note what fingers they are usually on.
Secretly Measure Your Partner’s Finger at Night
If you want to actually measure their finger, do it while they’re sleeping. You can use a sizer if you feel confident, or you can wrap a piece of string around their finger and note the length with a marker. Only try this one if your partner is a heavy sleeper, though. If they’re a light sleeper, it will most likely wake them up, and there’s really no way of explaining yourself out of that situation.
Get Help from a Friend
If you feel okay about letting someone else in on your secret, then ask a close friend or family member for their help. This appointed person can be the one to get your partner’s ring size in a more casual and discreet way, like taking them ring shopping for fun or asking them inconspicuously during a conversation.
Mark Where Your Partner’s Ring Sits on Your Finger
If asking a friend to help has the potential of being too obvious, you can always take one of your partner’s rings, put it on your finger, and mark where it sits. You could then show a jeweler and ask them to determine the size from that. While this isn’t a foolproof method, it does work at times.
Use Your Partner’s Height and Weight Information
Believe it or not, an experienced jeweler may actually be able to guess your partner’s ring size by using their height and weight information. They might also be able to figure it out by looking at a photo of your significant other, specifically of their hand in relation to something.
Find Out When Shopping Together
Finally, you can easily find out your partner’s engagement ring size by taking them ring shopping. One way to do this is by pretending you’re buying a ring for someone else as a gift (maybe your mom), and asking them to try out various sizes to see what fits best.
Another way is to take your partner to a jewelry store and have them get sized while you’re there. This is the easiest and most foolproof solution, especially if you and your partner are in alignment about getting engaged in the near future. It’s also not uncommon for couples to look at rings together, particularly those who have a very specific vision for their engagement rings.
Additional Suggestions and Tips
Need a few more suggestions? Here are some additional tips to make this process as seamless as possible.
Work Closely With Your Jeweler
Rong recommends inquiring about the resizing process before you purchase a ring, especially if you aren’t sure about the ring size you’re using. If you find out there’s no way the ring can be resized or that it will be very difficult, you may want to rethink your approach.
Size Up When Buying an Engagement Ring
If you’re feeling on the fence about the size, Rong says to go a tad bigger. “That way, you’ll have a better shot at it fitting her, especially if you’re aiming to capture that picture-perfect moment,” she says.
Buy a Ring Guard
If the ring is too big, a ring guard can sometimes be a temporary or permanent solution instead of resizing. Rong notes you can easily order one off from Amazon, just in case, and have it ready once you propose.
Take Note of the Sizing Scale
“When buying rings, especially engagement ones, it’s important to know the sizing scale you’re working with,” Rong says. “Not all engagement rings follow U.S. sizing standards. The sizing can vary based on the country of sale or origin. While the U.S. and Canada use numerical sizes, some places opt for alphabetical ring sizes.” This is another thing to research before making a purchase.
In general, secretly figuring out your partner’s ring size isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it is possible. If all else fails, resizing is hopefully an option.