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Engagement Ring Etiquette, Celebrity Edition

Celebrities—they’re just like us! Celebrity engagements, like regular ones, are filled with romance, excitement, and hectic wedding planning, except unlike most of us, they also come with engagement rings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course, not all celebrities always seem to know proper engagement ring etiquette, which can be a bit embarrassing when your every move is being recorded and displayed for the world to see. Here are some tricky engagement ring etiquette situations a few of our favorite pop stars, movie stars, and reality TV starlets have found themselves in. Do you agree about which ones handled their predicaments with grace, and which may have acted a bit foolishly?

The Situation: Jessica Simpson, a reality TV star and fashion mogul with a brand said to be worth a billion dollars, is rumored to have paid for at least part of the Neil Lane ruby-and-diamond three stone engagement ring that her fiancé, former football star Eric Johnson used to propose to her. After all, the ring is said to be worth over $185,000, and not everyone has that kind of cash lying around. The Verdict: It’s definitely ok for the bride to contribute to the cost of the ring, especially in a modern marriage where she may have more assets or readily available cash than he does. She will be the one wearing the engagement ring every day, so if she wants a pricey ring, it seems only fair that she contribute. Before offering to chip in for the engagement ring of your dreams, talk to your guy about finances in general, and ease into the topic slowly.

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The Situation: After getting engaged to British rocker Matthew Bellamy, Kate Hudson slipped on the beautiful diamond engagement ring he had given her and….waited. Instead of making engagement announcements, tweeting about it, or at least changing her relationship status on Facebook, Kate decided to wait until someone noticed the ring to tell everyone she was a bride. Finally, the ring was spotted during a Today show interview and Kate shared the happy news. The Verdict: Why wait? Once you are engaged, spread the word! Waiting until people spot your sparkling engagement ring can seem like a ploy to get attention or a “test” to see if your friends will notice. Believe me, once you announce that you are engaged, you will get all the attention you can handle—so go ahead and send that tweet!

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The Situation: Although he could have easily afforded to get a bigger, more substantial, more diamond-encrusted ring for his long-time girlfriend, Prince William of England chose to propose with his mother, Princess Diana’s ring, the famous sapphire surrounded by small diamonds. He explained that this was his way of remembering his mother and her legacy even as he moves forward into his own marriage with Kate Middleton. The Verdict: If you have a beautiful family heirloom ring, like Princess Diana’s famous engagement ring, proposing with it can be more romantic and sentimental than any store-bought engagement ring. But if the ring, as special as it is, seems out of date, or the diamonds are cloudy and dim, bring it in to a jeweler and consider having it re-set with new diamonds or given an ultrasonic cleaning.

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The Situation: Eager to be a bride, Jennifer Love Hewitt discussed her seven-month relationship with her then-boyfriend on the Ellen show. She admitted that she had already picked out three rings at Tiffany’s, although the topic of getting engaged had not yet come up in conversation. She even said that she was planning to drop hints about those three engagement rings, and suggested that if her boyfriend proposed with any other engagement ring, she might say no. Two months later, they broke up. The Verdict: Many women dream of being brides, and they might get a little carried away with those fantasies while their guys are still very much in the beginning stages of the relationship. If you find yourself flipping through bridal magazines after date number five, keep it to yourself! And yes, it is definitely ok for you to have some input into your engagement ring (after all, you will be the one wearing it every day) but don’t announce on national television (or on Facebook, or to friends) that you’ve picked out a ring, or you may scare him off.

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The Situation: British comedian Russell Brand favors tight black shirts, wild, frizzy hairstyles, and layers of rocker necklaces. His fiancée, American pop sensation Katy Perry, wears candy-bright colors, neon wigs, and gallons of glitter. So it should probably not surprise anyone that when Russell first proposed to Katy with a ring he had chosen himself, it didn’t exactly suit her personal style. The ring was set with a rare Indian Golconda diamond, which she loved, but she wasn’t crazy about the setting. Finally, she admitted to her fiancé that she would have preferred another style, and they had the diamond re-set in a yellow gold band with intricate metalwork and the phrase “Are You the One that I’ve Been Waiting For” engraved on the inside. The Verdict: Men try very hard to choose the perfect engagement ring their brides will love, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Your best bet is to accept the ring (and the proposal) gratefully and then bring up the topic of having the diamond re-set at a later date, when it won’t seem insulting.

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