Is she laughing at the ring or is she thrilled? Source
The second option is probably the second most common- for the girl to show her man a few rings that she likes before a proposal. She can leave wedding magazines open to ring ads, email him pictures or whatever crafty way she can think of. This is great because it does eliminate the guess work for the guy, but the major downside would be ring hinting before the guy is ready may cause some relationship tension. Ideally, if marriage has been discussed and even better, if the guy has brought up rings and engagement, feel free to send some pictures his way. Recently while on Ellen, Jennifer Love Hewitt spilled her ring thoughts. She has 3 rings already picked out at Tiffany's for when she gets close to that question popping time. J. Love feels like she is helping her future husband out by leading him down the right path but not every guy may take it that way. Right or wrong, this is definitely going to differ from couple to couple.
The third option is for the couple to go ring shopping together, after a lot of marriage talk but before an actual proposal. This works best for a couple who knows they want to get married and for a girl that doesn't need the surprise of the ring. The proposal is still a huge surprise and knowing that she will love her ring when she gets that proposal is the perfect combination for some girls. This also allows for the couple to discuss the ring budget together so everyone is on the same page. The fourth option is for the guy to propose without a ring and then for the couple to go ring shopping together after the proposal.
Each couple needs to think about what works best for them. As every girl remembers, Carrie Bradshaw had quite the adverse reaction on 'Sex and the City' when she accidentally found the ring Aidan Shaw bought for her. I've included not only a general idea of the ring she hated, but the SATC clip to refresh your memory (starts around 2:15). Enjoy & good luck!