30/12/2016 08:04 GMT | Updated 31/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Proposing On New Year's Eve? Buy The Ring Before Popping The Question

My proposal was pretty darn romantic.

It involved a blindfolded clifftop walk on the Isle of Wight and a message written in the sand underneath.

It was marred by a couple of points:

1) The tide had washed away my romantic message, so it just said 'Marr Me'

2) The ring was about eight sizes too big

In fact, as I slipped the ring onto my girlfriend's finger, I thought to myself that an elephant would probably have found it too large. I'd attempted a bit of discreet research but I couldn't get hold of another ring of hers so it was really just a question of Googling the average lady's ring size (it's an M or N in the UK) and then taking a look at her hand.

There were other decisions too - would she want white gold or silver gold? Would she like a cluster diamond ring (lots of little diamonds) or a single solitaire diamond (one central diamond)? What shape of diamond would she like? Princess cut? Did she even want a diamond at all?

It was all a bit of a guess, since it's very hard to ask the question "What do you think of diamonds?" without raising suspicions.

As it happened, I went for what I consider a classic style of engagement ring - a single diamond, not too large, not too small. I went for white gold, as I'd noticed things like necklaces and earrings that she owned weren't yellow gold.

Thankfully, she loved the look of it - or at least she said she did, which was good enough for me.

And what about the size?

Well, even though I'd bought the diamond ring online, I was able to send it back and get it resized for free.

To me, that's a far more romantic way of proposing than offering a Haribo ring and saying that you can choose a ring together.

You see, I think for many people, the fact that you've gone to the effort of researching and buying a ring will outweigh the fact that they might have chosen a slightly different style.

More importantly, pretty much every reputable jeweller understands the dilemma and gives you a month or two for a refund or an exchange. You can caveat the proposal with the option to swap it if she wants something different.

Another thing to consider is that if you end up buying the ring together, you'll probably shop in the high street and there's a fair risk you will end up either spending far more than you wanted to, or appear to be a cheapskate because you bartered with the jeweller or bought something in the sale.

It's far less pressure to spend time looking for rings online, on your own, so that you can compare gradings, carat sizes and reviews of the jewellers. You can also decide if you want to search around for discount codes or wait for a sale, which you are unlikely to do if you are shopping together.

So, that's my advice - take a chance and buy a ring that you think they will like. If they don't like it, you're unlikely to be in trouble. If they like it, you've won mega brownie points which will prove very useful for the next few weeks of wedding planning...

This blog originally appeared on The Cheap Engagement Rings Guide