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Quick: what’s your ring size? No cheating! Most of us can’t name the radius of our digits off the top of our head, and ironically, it ends up being a pretty important number. While plenty of provincial methods flood the internet (“string trick,” anyone?), your ring size shouldn’t be a best approximation. Precision rarely comes from amateur tactics, so you should learn to measure your ring size like a pro.

A Custom Fit

You’ve taken the painstaking time and decided on the perfect style and cut for your engagement ring. You’ve consulted the best guides and best friends, and you’ve picked out exactly what you want. So why is a properly sized ring so important? Fingers are more unique then we give them credit for — and things like weather, gym schedules, and knuckle size can make all the difference when finding the perfect fit.

Take a close look at your hands: Is your knuckle larger than the base (where the ring will eventually sit) of your ring finger? Measure the knuckle and finger, find the average between the two numbers, and pick the size closest to that. Don’t be daunted by the math: many modern ateliers and cutting-edge ring-makers offer free returns for 30 days with a full money-back guarantee.

Pro Tips and Princess Cuts

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For many of the soon-to-be affianced, surprise is the name of the game. Asking someone’s ring size is hardly a way to maintain an air of mystery, but luckily there are clever strategies to find your bride-to-be’s ring size without giving yourself away.

  • The Ocean’s Eleven: A mini heist from the jewelry box of your beloved gives you a perfect prototype to take down to your jeweler to get the right size.
  • The Phone-a-Friend: Enlist her bestie to go on a fact-finding mission via a shopping day. Have her report back the ring size and commit that to memory!
  • The Elder Council: Mom and Dad are great recruits to the engagement team early on (and it never hurts to have a bit of a bonding exercise with the future in-laws). Call them in to make sure you’ve got the ring size right.

When all is said and done, you’ll want to check your work with a pro. Building a custom ring? Be sure your provider has a downloadable sizing chart and easy access to contacting a pro jeweler. Once you have the ring, feel free to consult professional opinions for the entirety of the groom’s duties — after all, the ring is just the beginning!

Love in the Digital Age

Glasses, shoes, pants, and hats are being shipped back and forth from companies to the people trying them on, seeking out a perfect fit. Why should engagement rings be any different? Some jewelers offer lovely “at-home try-on” ring kits, which take the guesswork out of ring shopping entirely. With these kits, the luxury of the jewelry store experience comes right to your front door, with all the glamor and ease that the modern age can offer.

Marriage is a timeless tradition, but the contemporary world is ever-changing. Learn more about navigating the modern bridal experience — from design & decor to out of the box gift ideas — at Sweet Memory Baskets.