Engagement ring shopping can be one of the hardest parts of proposing. According to research from The Knot, the average engagement ring spend in 2017 was $6,351 and people spent about 3.5 months looking for a ring.

So you might be wondering: How much should I spend? Where should I look first? Do I ask my partner for ideas and suggestions on the style of ring they’d want? What are the best tips for saving money?

We asked engagement ring professionals for their go-to tips so you know exactly what to do when the time comes to start ring hunting.

Engagement ring shopping help from the professionals
Three Row Pave Diamond Halo Engagement Ring in 18kt Rose Gold for a Pear Center Stone, $2,680

RITANI: Never feel compelled to purchase identical rings. You’ll both be wearing these for the rest of your lives and it’s important that you each enjoy these enduring symbols of your love. This is especially true if you and your partner have wildly differing tastes. There are a number of ways to tie your rings together without sacrificing your individual style. For example, you can choose the same metal color, add a similar-shaped diamond or gemstone or have a personal message that is special to you custom engraved on the inside of the ring.  You can make the experience even more special by custom designing your rings together with Ritani’s Custom Ring Design service.

Visit the Ritani website here.

Engagement ring shopping help from the professionals
Colored Center Stone Engagement Ring, price upon request

CONCIERGE DIAMONDS: Part of the reason people like to create custom engagement rings with me rather than buying something pre-made in a store, is because you can really tailor the rings to you and your partner’s unique tastes. Another reason people like to go custom is because it can actually end up saving you money in the long run! When you shop retail, you pay retail. Consumers pay for the store’s overhead in the final price of the ring—staff, advertising, lighting, rent, etc. Working with an expert to cut out the middle man not only reduces the cost a client will pay for a ring but ensures the piece has been created by hand by a person, and not a machine in a factory overseas.

Visit the Concierge Diamonds website here.

Engagement ring shopping help from the professionals
Contemporary Tantalum and Rose Wedding Ring, $179

JORDAN JACK: The process of buying your rings should be fun, intimate and stress-free. Jordan Jack allows you to browse, shop and select from the comfort of your own home. We are inviting LGBTQ+ couples who’ve made the important decision to marry to just say no to the sales pressure and disappointment that comes part of the package when shopping for wedding bands and engagement rings at traditional cookie-cutter jewelry stores. Want to surprise your love when you pop the question and have no concerns whether they like the ring or if you picked the right size? Select five rings in different styles and multiple sizes to make sure you both love the ring that signifies your love. Your engagement should be about love and commitment, not about the stress of shopping, and worrying if you picked the right ring.

Visit the Jordan Jack website here.

Engagement ring shopping help from the professionals
Zara Pink Sapphire Three Stone Engagement Ring, $2,000 and Rose Gold Wandering Diamond Band, $855

VALERIE MADISON: One of the most common questions I get asked is if couples are supposed to have matching rings. The answer is, “Definitely not!” Your rings should feel personal and complement your unique taste. The only time you’ll probably see your rings together is for that one photo op at the wedding; otherwise, you’ll be wearing your ring day-to-day and it should look good on your finger shape and skin tone. It’s more than okay to pick different gold colors or styles. Some of my couples choose a diamond ring and a band, others design diamond rings for each other with different center stones but the same setting, others choose completely contrasting rings but the important thing is that you love it and reflects your personality.

Visit the Valerie Madison website here.

Engagement ring shopping help from the professionals
Palladium and Gold Fusion Wedding Band with Diamond, starting at $775

LOLIDE: Hers and hers. His and his. Hers and his. All of the above; none of the above. Why limit yourself with labels, when all you really want is stunning jewelry to celebrate your union? I’ve made unisex rings from day one, driven by my personal experience of struggling with the gender binary and never fitting into either box. Inclusivity, visibility and respect for all forms of non-traditional weddings—however you choose to define the term—are driving concepts behind my work at Lolide. I am committed to offering my customers a wide selection of modern, elegant engagement and wedding rings that work in countless combinations.

Visit the Lolide website here.