Planning a surprise marriage proposal can be quite complicated. Not only do you need to keep the big event itself a secret, but you might also need to pick up an engagement ring that will not only amaze but also fit.
Short of asking them directly, it can be tough to figure out someone's ring size. If you want to pull off a flawless proposal, there are a few ways to make sure that you can actually slide that ring onto your partner's finger when the moment arrives.
Here's how to stealthily find out your partner's ring size without them knowing.
According to the Swiss Gemological Laboratory, the average woman's ring size is between five and seven. The average adult man's ring size is between nine and 11.
Since the average-sized woman in the US is about 1.6 metres and the average man in the US is about 1.76 metres, Thom Duma Jewelers suggested that you might be able to assume your partner's ring size falls in the average range based on their height.
Of course, not everyone is going to fit the average. A taller, slimmer person might wear a smaller ring size, while a shorter, heavier individual might wear a larger size.
One easy way to get a feel for your partner's ring size is to secretly borrow one of their existing rings, Long's Jewellers recommended.
Make sure it's a ring that you know fits them perfectly, but not one they wear every day. If it's one of their daily accessories and you swipe it from the nightstand, they're likely to notice it's missing.
You don't absolutely need to grab one that they wear on their ring finger - though that would be ideal - as many jewellers can make a fairly accurate judgement based on any well-fitted ring.
Stealing your partner's jewellery can be difficult. Another method recommended by Thom Duma Jewelers is to quickly press one of your partner's rings into a bar of soap or piece of soft wax. This will leave an impression that can then be measured by a jeweller.
Again, be sure it's a ring that they wear frequently and one you know fits them well.
Turns out, all you may need to get a pretty accurate ring size measurement is a pen.
"The most accurate way we've found is to take a ring your partner wears often while they're not paying attention and put it on one of your own fingers," Alexis Padis of Padis Jewelry said to How He Asked.
After popping on your partner's ring, draw a pen line on your finger directly below where the ring is sitting. Then, head straight to a jeweller. They'll be able to use the pen mark to find out what size ring you tried on.
Your partner's inner circle could be a treasure trove of ring-related information. Besides preferences on style and stones, their friends and family might even know your partner's ring size.
Chat up your partner's parents to find out if they've purchased any rings for your partner in the past and what size they were, Long's Jewelers recommended.
Asking your partner's close friends for a ring size could also yield success, as your partner may have slipped them the information for just this situation. If they don't know, asking one of their friends to subtly question your partner about their ring size could also be a good move.
There's always the chance that your partner doesn't wear rings and couldn't tell you their size even if you asked.
If you take your partner to a jewellery store and ask them to try on engagement rings "just for fun," they'll know something is up. Instead, try to get a ring on their finger in a less obvious way.
How He Asked suggested asking one of your partner's engaged friends to persuade your partner to try on their ring in order to gauge the fit. You might also ask your partner to help you shop for jewellery for a family member and encourage them to try on a few rings in the process.
Johnston Jewelers advised crafty couples to make some artwork together that involves tracing hands. The tracing can then be taken to a jeweller, who might be able to get a rough finger diameter from the picture.
If you have the manual dexterity of a surgeon and the courage of a fighter pilot, you can also try to measure your partner's finger in their sleep.
According to Thom Duma Jewelers, the best way to do this is to wrap a thread or string around their ring finger, mark the length of the string with a piece of tape or a marker, and then bring that string to a jeweller.
Obviously, waking up to the sight of someone secretly measuring your ring finger is a dead giveaway that a proposal is imminent. Employ this tactic with caution.
According to Johnston Jewelers, it's easier to resize a ring to fit a smaller finger than expand a too-tight ring to fit a larger finger. Making a ring smaller usually involves removing a bit of material, whereas making it larger can entail adding more metal or narrowing the band.
It's also infinitely more romantic to be able to slip a ring on your partner during the proposal than it is to try and unsuccessfully squeeze their finger into a snug band.
An engagement ring is one of the only items your partner will see and touch every day for (ideally) the rest of their life. It's important to get it right. This is why, if all else fails, no one will blame you for just asking your sweetheart what their ring size is.
If you're considering proposing, you've probably discussed marriage with your partner and they might be expecting you to pop the question anyway. Sure, this tactic spoils some of the surprise, but the actual ring design and proposal time can still be a secret.
Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.