How To Master the Perfect Marriage Proposal – Our Top Tips:
Oh boy, not sure I ever thought I’d be writing this, but Christmas was a blast this year … not that it’s not normally but this year I had a certain hop in my step. My lovely fella popped the question!
In a way I think he might be crazy to have lumped himself with me, but crazy none the less, I feel very lucky and my hope is that he does too! And of course my ninja organisational skills sure are kicking into action to get a beautifully creative wedding planned before the year is out!
So you have to wonder how the hell a man chooses a engagement ring for a girl who designs, makes and obsesses about jewellery? Yes well I think he asked himself this many times! But I knew I needed to marry the man who got it right, so I thought it only right to honour his cleverness and offer up some tips to those brave men out there who may be thinking of doing the same!
Tip 1: A Pinterest Board Full Of Jewellery ‘Inspiration’!
That’s right, girls do you have one? Have you accidentally mentioned to your chap how much you love Pinterest and how useful it is planning your ‘style’?! Boys, does she have a Pinterest account? Can you enquire? This is the fountain of all desires and dreams of many girls and my love of design shines through all the 33 boards (!!) that I have! The ‘Dream Wedding’ and ‘Dream Jewellery’ may have given the far from subtle hints that were needed for such an intimidating task to be undertaken!
Tip 2: Know Her Style
Boys, what’s her style? What kind of brands, clothes and Designers is she in to? Is she someone who you know would love to show off a big rock or would a more intriguing coloured stone such as a Sapphire, Emerald or Ruby be more her thing? What kind of jewellery does she wear already? Is it dainty and feminine, classic and chic or does she like to take a risk and wear larger scale, unusual pieces?
Jon knew that for me “Tiffany’s would not do” and he was right (luckily). For me, the size, colour, cut and clarity of the diamond was not going to be what ‘floated my boat’, however the uniqueness, the handmade quality of the making and thoughtful sentiment were the things that got the tears rolling (and really boys that’s the impact that you’re going for!). It’s not too much to ask for right?!
Tip 3: Do Some Digging
Do you know her ring size? Do she have a trusted best friend that might? Perhaps she’s close to her Mum and you could ask her? Maybe if you catch her at the right moment you could get the information out of her without being too obvious? Whatever you do, only speak to people that you know are good at keeping a secret, as there’s nothing worse than a surprise engagement … that’s well … not a surprise!
It may be that she already wears a ring on her wedding finger? (Left hand, finger next to the little one!) Can you sneak this ring away for the afternoon and get it sized up by a jewellers on the high street? If you can get this right, then she’ll be over the moon that not only have you managed to keep it a secret AND got the size right but she can wear it with pride as soon as you propose too!
Do be aware however that US/UK/EU ring sizes all differ but can easily be converted. There’s also lots of handy printables online via search engines that can help you with sizing, here is an example of what you might be looking for, then get her ring and see which matches, et voila!
Tip 4: Collect Some Research
You’ve done the hard work, you know what she loves, you’ve got her style down to a tee, you’ve even figured out her ring size, now you need to communicate that to somebody else! Whether it’s the jeweller coming up with the bespoke, unique engagement ring that’s currently in your head or it’s the shop assistant helping you select the perfect ring off the shelf, it’s good to have an idea of what you want before making the fateful trip. The last thing you want is coming out of the boutique or away from the first commission meeting with a completely different ring than you had in mind. (Though of course do listen to the experts too!)
Print out the things that you have found that you’ve liked, scribble down ideas (however sketchy) or simply send a link to her Pinterest board to the person helping! This will help you and them to have a clearer idea of what you’re aiming for.
Tip 5: Set the Budget
If your girl is anything like me (or most girls come to that!) she will be so excited by the proposal that she’ll want to get cracking on planning the most exciting event she’s ever planned for! For you this means, the wages over the next year or two will need to stretch! Therefore what is the realistic amount you can afford to spend on the ring? It is a good idea to have this set in your head before you stumble into a shop and get bombarded with rings way out of the price range! Tradition suggests that you should spend a months wages on the ring (supposedly conjured up by De Beers – who own the majority of the worlds diamonds so it’s hardly surprising!), I say set the budget at whatever makes sense to you (and your partner).
Once you have a figure in mind it enables expectations to be established between you and the sales person/designer. Any good boutique representative/designer should be able to offer you options for your money so that you don’t feel like you only have one option within your budget. For example, perhaps you can get the bigger diamond but with a lower gold carat or alternatively a number of diamonds which are smaller in size but the same amount of Platinum? Don’t be pressured into anything that does not feel right for you and do see whether there’s room for negotiation, make your money stretch as much as you dare!
Tip 6: Consider the proposal
You’ve worked too hard to rush into a proposal that doesn’t pack as much punch as the engagement ring itself, so do take some time to think about how and when you might get down on one knee to do the deed. Will you ask her Father permission (personally I’m a sucker for tradition when it comes to this but then I’m close to my Dad), should it be just the two of you or do you want to surround yourselves with family and friends? Are you going to hide it in a box of chocolates or present her with the box for her to open herself, perhaps your pampered pooch might present the rock in a pouch around his collar?
Whatever you do, make it special for her and for you two as a couple. It doesn’t have to be fireworks and bling if that’s not what she’s about, but if she is then go big in a thoughtful way, without breaking the bank!
So after all of this process, what did Jon come up with? …
- When: Christmas Day Morning
- Where: At home in Shropshire with snow falling on the ground outside the window
- How: A Poem in the last envelope of our handmade advent calendar
- What: A 5 carat rough diamond, set by hand in 18 carat gold
- Who: Designed by Jon and made by the wonderfully talented Sophia Hargreaves Jewellery
And the rest as they say is history …