I have many questions on this, I get the general idea of it all, but I’m a little iffy around the part as to where and when I should buy the ring. Will she like it? Do I buy 2 rings? 1 Engagement and one Wedding? Do I buy one for myself? (she can by no means afford one for me). I’m a little confused on the ring part of this… if anyone can help, and any other advice is great as well, thanks.
Men don’t traditionally wear engagement rings, so women don’t traditionally buy 'em. If you want to buy one though, go for it!
You definitely don’t need to buy the wedding ring at the same time. Not everyone proposes with a ring at all, plenty of 'em wait until afterwards to buy it. Just take her out somewhere nice and get down on one knee and pop the question!
We went ring shopping together. His proposal and my acceptance sounded like a comedy routine. I can’t imagine what it would have been like with a ring involved. Besides, I kept him from going overboard on a 1/2 carat stone (the ring I chose had a 1/5 carat stone and is still the prettiest ring I’ve ever seen!). It was a set–engagement and wedding band for about $300 at Kay Jewelers (this was about 19 years ago), but I bought his ring elsewhere… a simple gold band with a beaded edge (which you can’t even see anymore after 18 years of constant wear) for about $200.
The only other person I know who actually bought the ring before he popped the question was my brother-in-law (he of the 11 children) and he got the right ring size when he and his girlfriend (not fiancee yet) were browsing in a gift shop and he jokingly slipped one of those cheap adjustable rings on her finger and tightened it to her size. Then he bought the ring without her knowing about it, took it to a jeweler and had them order the right size ring. I assume she liked it; she’s kept it for 18 years (and, as I said before, they have 11 kids!)
Have you considered sterling silver wedding bands? When my oldest brother-in-law got married, he gave his fiancee his grandmother’s diamond ring as an engagement ring and together they bought matching sterling silver bands from Bob Siemon (a Christian jewelry company.) They have some lovely ones with wedding symbols on them (the cross, the dove) or verses (“My Beloved is Mine and I am My Beloved’s”) or at least they used to, my BIL was married 13 years ago. I believe they have a website and their rings are available in either gold or silver. Silver is a lot less expensive (I think their bands were under $100 for BOTH of them) and quite beautiful.
Congratulations - sounds like you are gearing up for a wonderful life with the person you love! About the engagement ring…my DH was in his last semester of school student teaching with no real income except some work-study funds. He decided he wanted to get a ring for me - it is my favorite piece of jewelry along with my wedding band, of course! He wishes he could have afforded more, but I love my modest ring, especially knowing the love he put into it. However, a ring is not necessary…and if you really want to do the ring thing, get what you are able to without risking your financial well-being. The worst thing you can do is go into debt for something when you may want to put money away for your marriage (not necessarily the wedding, but the marriage - the most important thing of all)!
DH proposed to me at sunset, a special time for many couples, on All-Saint’s Day, at a special place. If you hav
e a special place together - a park, the beach, your backyard…maybe not right near a river like DH did - he almost fell in from nerves, lol!
As far as wedding rings are concerned, most couples I have known, including us, have done that together, picking them out. DH decided on a modest wrap-style band that had a few small diamonds on it for me, and he wanted a plain band for himself. We discussed our budget…I think usually the bride-to-be purchases the groom’s band and vice-versa, though I think whatever you and your fiancee (does that sounds great to you?!) decide is up to you.
Don’t worry about prices for wedding bands…you can find petite, narrow gold bands for the bride for around 19.99 each! Check out the prices at a few different spots though - sometimes the chain stores have decent enough prices, and sometimes you can find a local Mom and Pop shop that have even better ones!
Anyways, sorry to go on and on! Have fun with it - anything you do with love in your heart will be well-received I am sure!
OK, I’m a girl, and I’ve been proposed to, which is the beginning and ending of my authority on the matter.
My husband (I said yes) and I had been talking about getting married for a long time (we were in college and so we had to wait a few years). I had a diamond my grandmother had left to me. We went together to choose the setting. We did not buy the wedding band at the same time (although it might have been a little easier to find a match if we did, but it all turned out beautifully anyway). So he bought the setting we chose together (OK, mostly I chose it) and he kept it until a good time came up to propose. Sure, I knew he was going to propose, and even roughly when, but he planned the moment. Later, during our engagement, we went shopping for wedding bands together.
I’d suggest buying the engagement ring at most. I think I’d find it a little presumptuous to buy the wedding band before even proposing. A reputable jeweler will almost certainly allow you to trade it in if she hates it, so long as you are buying up (and they may not want you to engrave it). A jeweler who knows his business will want to make you happy, in hopes that you’ll be coming back for wedding bands, anniversary presents, valentines gifts, etc. Many couples get matching wedding bands, and I personally like that symbolism more than the matched engagement/band set. It puts more emphasis on the wedding bands as the core of this trio, whereas the women’s engagement/band sets tend to focus on the engagement. She should buy your band (or at least be part of the process, even if she isn’t able to afford it), and so it makes sense to shop for a band set together.
You can also propose without a ring. It lacks the drama of the sparkly diamond moment, but for women who are particular about their jewelry or men who are nervous shoppers, it can be a sensible way to go. Personally, I’d buy her a nice ring–simple setting, best stone you can realistically afford, six prongs–from a jeweler who understands that this is a surprise and has a policy in place that will let her choose a different setting, if she really must.
If you really would rather have her with you to shop for the ring, you can always give her something else meaningful to remember the moment of the proposal. If she is also a Catholic, a nice “bridal” style rosary might be a lovely way to say, “Let’s build a life together, but I want you to get to chose the piece of jewelry you will wear for the rest of your life.”
First off, congratulations on finding a great girl to marry!
I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve been married for a year and a half now.
Second, how do you propose:
(1) You HAVE to get down on one knee. All little girls DREAM about their marriage proposal. It’s a video that’s played in their minds for years and years until it actually happens. I was that way and I always envisioned that my future boyfriend would propose to me on one knee. So, please remember this. This is something that’s she’s been picturing her whole life.
(2) I hinted to my boyfriend (now husband) what my ring size is and he later told me that he wrote it down. Actually, what I though was really cute, was we were sitting down one time and he said to me, “FloridaWife, I was going to ask you to marry me this evening, but I want it to be perfect. I was looking at some rings to give to you. I would love for you to look at the rings that I’ve narrowed it down to, and pick which one you most like.” I thought this was the cutest thing. And GREAT!!! And romantic. And he put so much thought into it – he showed me online what he picked out for me, and then I narrowed it down to one.
(3) Then I waited. I didn’t know WHEN he was going to do it. Then one day at a friend’s wedding reception, we were walking around, and he led me to a little gazeebo, and he got down on one knee, and he proposed. He had prepared a very eloquent proposal. Very memorable. (He later gave it to me on paper!!! He had it all memorized when he proposed, by the way.)
As for the wedding rings: You and your fiance will pick these out TOGETHER later as your wedding date approaches.
I think this depends on you and your girlfriend. My husband and I talked about marriage a lot before we officially got engaged. He asked me questions about rings and when I said “surprise me” he said to tell him exactly what I wanted b/c he wanted me to have a ring I loved. So, I sent him a picture with description, since we lived two states away. He bought it at a jewelry store in the mall after doing a lot of shopping around. My mother in law went with him to help. He just bought the engagement ring. However, my parents picked out my mom’s engagement ring together.
If you’re going to buy the ring without her, I would wait to buy the wedding bands especially. That way she can be there to pick them out and try them on. I thought I wanted one thing, but once we started looking and trying rings on, I decided on something completely different.
My husband washed my feet as a sign that he wanted to spend the rest of his life serving and loving me. It was simple, but beautiful and I’ll never forget it :). He also asked my dad’s permission.
Please do not feel you need to involve the whole wide world in your proposal, and PLEASE do not involve other people, if possible. I know that sounds old-fashioned, but I know I would not have said yes (at least not right away) if I had been paraded in front of the 50 yard line at Soldier Field and asked in front of a multitude of Bear fans or had “WILL YOU MARRY ME OUTINCHGOBURBS? PHILOSOPHERGUY” on the jumbotron, for example.
Hiding a ring in food can be a dangerous thing, if she accidentally swallows it.
If you take her to pick out engagement rings, you can always go to the jeweler beforehand and have him set out a tray of them in your price range.
My thinking: Keep the proposal private, in a romantic but not expensive spot. If she says yes, the money you saved can be spent on a better engagement ring.
I love…engagements and weddings!! I still get all smiley…probably because it was only about 2 years ago I got proposed to, and just a few months since I got married.
Personally, I told DH I would not look for an engagement ring with him, and he didn’t want me to do that anyways. We dated all through college, and during that time discussed marriage, and he felt that he had a feel for what kind of ring I would want to have…and I wanted to be surprised. Actually…not even 6 months after we started dating, my roommate had a wedding magazine and I happened to see a ring that I loved (a white gold marquis solitaire…i just liked it…nothing real fancy about it) and I was just like, “Oh how pretty! I love that!” And never thought about it again…turns out, he later called my roomie to ask for the magazine, saved it…and 3 years later took that very pic to the jeweler and said “Make this.” My ring was a total surprise and I love that he picked it on his own. I think he got the proper size from my mom.
Anyways. The wedding bands you can shop for together later, traditionally you buy each other’s, but we didn’t do that. We just kind of split it because his was way more expensive…we had the diamonds removed from my chastity ring that I recieved when I was 16 placed on the INSIDE of his wedding band.
As for when or where…we went to Mass (!st Sunday of Advent) and got some hot chocolate, then went for a walk, looking at Christmas light in his neighborhood, just talking…I was caught totally off guard. It’s a night I’ll always remember b/c not only is it when we got engaged, but 5 mins before the proposal, he told me he desired to be baptized and enter the Catholic Church (he was Jewish). So. A good night Whatever you do, she will remember it and treasure it.
I was pretty inept and don’t have much taste in rings or anything else. My wife and I knew we were going to get married long before we did. So I borrowed the money and bought a diamond-just the stone; a pretty decent one for the time, and from a truly renowned jeweler-flawless. I knew she appreciated romance, so I drove 8 hours each way to specifically ask her father for his permission to marry her. That’s all I did on the trip. A 16 hour turnaround trip is murder, but I was young. Her father knew for a long time that we were going to marry, but he appreciated the gesture anyway, and so did my wife. He told her about it, of course. Although she said I was being romantic and silly, I could tell she appreciated that.
Anyway, yes, I knelt down on one knee and proposed, even though we both knew we were going to get married. I confessed that I had no taste (she knew that already) in jewelry, so I opened up the box with the diamond in it (nice box, with the jeweler’s name on it…I told the jeweler what I was going to do and he prepared it very nicely jsut for the diamond) and asked her to please help me pick out the setting because “I have no taste, but I know that you do.”. That served the romantic purpose but also allowed her to pick what she wanted for the setting (oh, with my “help”, of course.) Anyway, I never regretted any of it.
Do it up like a cavalier, old buddy, and good luck!
The most important thing about a proposal, IMHO, is that it should be in keeping with what you know your bride would like.
My DH decided to surprise me, so he spent a long time (according to my Mother in Law) looking for the right ring and planning how he’d do it. He even called my parents two weeks before he proposed to get their blessing, which they eagerly gave. They did a great job keeping quiet about it.
He took me to a nice restaurant by the beach around sunset, because he knows I love the ocean, and proposed while we were sitting on a bench looking out over the water after dinner. He had his arm around me, and I was resting my head on his shoulder. While we were talking he popped the question. No unnecessary theatrics, just a sweet tender moment. I loved it.
I bought my wife’s engagement ring ahead of time, but we had talked about the styles that she liked. We both wanted a fancy engagement ring, and a simple wedding ring. The idea being the engagement ring (with the expensive stones) could be taken off for housework and when we are outside doing stuff and she would still have the simple wedding band on.
On the actual proposal, do something unexpected and surprise her, but I agree it should be a private and personal thing. Also, don’t be too upset if she doesn’t say yes right away. My wife told me that she had an “acceptance speech” all worked out, but she was speechless when it actually happened. I don’t think she even said yes right away, but her answer was obvious from her reaction.
I can’t thank you all enough for the replies so far. I didn’t know that there were 2 rings (engagement and wedding). It’s a relief to know that I don’t have to spend that much money to be ok for it all. Although, I’m concerned about her ring size, not really sure how I could get that number from her without being obvious about it. Like some of you mentioned, if she didn’t like the style of the engagement ring - I could take it back. Would this be the same as if the size didn’t fit her? Would it be able to be resized - smaller and larger? or just larger? Like I mentioned, I’m not too sure about rings in general, thanks for everyone’s help, and I’m loving all the stories!
sorry edit: I have another question : when you get the wedding bands do they somehow attach them to the engagement ring?
The size is the hardest thing to make sure of in my opinion. Most jewelers will resize the ring either small or larger.
In my case, I knew I was doing the right thing when we were all over at my wife’s apartment and her roommates sister came over and was all excited because she got engaged. Girls being girls, they all tried on the ring and it fit my wife perfectly. So all I had to do was ask the sister discreetly later what size the ring was. It was too perfect. I had been trying to figure out how to find the right size when this happened. After I proposed, the biggest question that my wife had was how did I find out the size and I just told that God told me and left it at that.
if your asking of the jeweler does it then no, unless you ask him to to do it. he can meld the band and the engagement ring together and then the set will be like one ring.
why don’t you casually look through a magazine that has rings in it, or better yet, leave one that has rings in it open for her to see and then you can get an idea as to what she likes. women seem to like solitaire type stones sourounded by smaller diamonds around the lone stone.
why don’t you see what other rings she has, and take one to the jeweler and get the size then by her one. if you want, you can simply propose to her first, then take her to the jewelry shop and ask her to pick out a ring? it kind of takes the fun out of it though.
also one more idea, how about getting her an engagement ring with her favorite stone in it? like topaz, or emerald, or ruby? you don’t need to spend alot of money on birthstone engagement rings. sometimes, you’ll find that they are a bit less expensive than one with diamonds in it.
you can also get her one that is white gold ( the rings look silver, but they are gold, not imitation gold either ) or the traditional gold ones. i prefer the white gold mixed with gold because it gives it a two tone effect, and it is quite stunning actually. that is what mine are. again, you do not need to spend alot of money for this.
also, you can do a lay away plan. you can put the rings on hold with a deposit and pay monthly until you buy then out. that way, you do not have to spend the money all at once.
as for proposing to her, do it in a quiet atmosphere if she is the quiet type. or, you can take her out on a romantic dinner, and propose there. those details are up to you:) but be romantic about it:) like tell her you love her, and you’d like to share your life with her. that simple:) she’ll remember it for the rest of her life:)
One other thing, if your worried she’d say no, talk about your parents or friends being married, and ask her how she feels about marriage, ask her if she is the type that would like to wait, or is she the type that would like to be married before she
determines what she wants to do with her future? you can word it so that you know
what she wants.
When I was dating my dh, we talked about “IF we get married,” but he never told me FOR SURE that he would be proposing or buying a ring (I figured as much, but he never told me). Even so, we did go to a Jewelry store once and I tried on engagement rings in front of him. He found out my size and I showed him what style (and color of band - yellow gold, white gold etc.) I liked the most. We went to the store after saying something like, “if we ever got engaged, you can know what will fit/what I like” This happened a good 6 months or more before he proposed - so the proposal itself was still a complete surprise. He did eventually go out and choose the ring himself, but he knew what I liked.
If you and she have talked about marriage, I’d recommend doing something like this. Or if you don’t want to be that specific, ask her what color jewelry (yellow or white) she likes the most. And maybe look at other jewelry with her, and ask “hint-y” questions to get the feel for what shape of diamond she might like. You might even want to go to a jewelry shop ahead of time to learn a little about the different styles of ring yourself so you can catch any hints she might let fly.
DON’T buy the wedding ring. You and she will pick those out later. I agree with what some others have said about how you propose. More than likely, a private moment is what will be most meaningful. And even if she hasn’t imagined it all these years, asking her father, and getting down on one knee are REALLY nice touches that she almost certainly will appreciate. Otherwise, just speak from your heart, and PLAN out your words ahead of time!