The holiday season is just around the corner which means there is a high probability that you will scroll through social media and find engagement announcements ranging from your college friends to the random girl you went to high school with.

Buying an engagement ring is a huge decision that takes a lot of thought and time. Looking at the luxurious items attempting to pick the perfect one can be intimidating. There is always the option to purchase a ring online but some find comfort in going to an actual jeweler and talking to an expert. No matter what road you decide to take, it is important to have a plan. Below are five tips on how to buy an engagement ring.

1. Have a budget. Be realistic about you can and cannot afford. While you may hear that you need to spend three months salary on a ring, many people opt for saving about four to six weeks’ worth of paychecks to buy a ring. It is also wise to compromise when shopping. For example, rather than getting a platinum band, get white gold which is less expensive and can give you room for other upgrades.

2. Don’t just pay attention to the four C’s. Diamond experts suggest that while ring shopping you should pay attention to the four C’s, color, cut and clarity. However, there are two other C’s to consider, credentials and certifications. Whether you have to search the Better Business Bureau for ratings or read reviews online about an establishment, you should insist that your jeweler give you the American Gemological Society or the Gemological Institute of America certifications upon the purchase of your diamond. These two certifications are considered the highest standards for gemstones.

3. Seek a second opinion. You are about to propose to the love of your life, which means it won’t hurt if you bring along one of their closest friends or relatives who can chime in on what your significant other may like. It is wise to seek a second opinion from someone who knows the both of you because preferences for a ring could have been discussed in prior conversations.

4. Customize the ring. Of course, you want the ring to be perfect but you want it to also be something that the both of you love. You can do something special like add your grandmother’s diamond to the ring or tell the jeweler everything about your significant other to design the perfect ring to fit their style, make it special, take as much time as necessary.

5. Buy a ring that can be worn forever. Purchasing the ring may have seemed like a grueling task but protecting your investment is very important. Options you should consider include adding the ring to your rental or home insurance or getting a replacement insurance policy. Some jewelers even offer free ring cleanings. Explore your options, you won’t regret it.