pic credit: Rose Robinson via Flickr

Matthew Rosenheim, president of Tiny Jewel Box, recently gave Washingtonian Bridal Party readers tips on choosing an engagement ring, definitely useful info for the lost would-be grooms out there with no idea where to start.

First, Rosenheim suggests you do your research. You aren't expected to know exactly what kind of ring she will love but lucky for you, it's really only her love for you you have to worry about. That being said, friends and family can be great for spying if you need some hints. In the event that your girl isn't the "bigger is better," trendy type, look at the accessories she wears on a daily basis for inspiration. Is her style subtle and cool or boisterous and bouncy? Thinking about this before you hit the jeweler will help them help you.

Have you set aside a couple months' salary to buy this ring? Throw that out the window. “The old ‘three months’ salary’ thing is antiquated,” says Rosenheim. “Spend a[n] amount of money you feel comfortable with­." There is nothing romantic about going into debt, so don't start your life together on that note if you don't have to.

One thing you shouldn't throw out the window? The four C’s! Even if you know nothing about jewelry (it's cool, you aren't expected to), cut, color, carat weight, and clarity are four things you're definitely going to be up on. Thankfully, those brilliant folks at Tiny Jewel Box have an entire area on their website dedicated to just these four important points, so go over there and read.

Just as timelines are important in wedding planning, so are they in engagement ring shopping. “I would say give yourself six weeks in between your first shopping trip and your intended proposal date,” says Rosenheim. “Of course, we always try to work quickly, but you’ll have a fuller breadth of options if you have a longer timeframe.”

Interested in more tips? Head over to Washingtonian Bridal Party. And don't forget to peek at Tiny Jewel Box's Men's Buying Guide for more inspiration.

Go get her!