If there was a contest for the best proposals, this would be a top contender.
My Faux Diamond can custom design your engagement ring with inspiration from any of these settings!
Marriage Proposals: What to Say and How to Say It
Photo: Jasalyn Thorne Photography / The Knot
Sure, getting down on one knee while holding a ring box sort of says it all. But because the moment you get engaged should be an unforgettable occasion, it pays to have some eloquent words prepared. Here’s a crash course on finding the right words.
First, sit down to collect your thoughts a day or two before you plan to pop the question — even though you don’t think you’ll be nervous, when the moment comes, you will be. (And, chances are slim you’ll be well-spoken if you put yourself on the spot.) You should probably at least write down a rough draft of what you want to say so you can go over it a few times to prepare. But what should you say? To trigger inspiration for a proposal speech she’ll always remember, ask yourself these questions:
What did you think when you first met her?
Begin by reminiscing about the first time you laid eyes on her. Talk about how you were awestruck by her beauty, or amazed to find a woman who shared your passion for the same sports team, or how you just knew that someone seriously special had entered your life. Say something like: “When I first talked to you at [blank], I thought [blank].” Of course, if your first meeting was less than romantic (you were hitting on her best friend, she spilled her Pinot Noir on your pants), you won’t want to bring it up. Besides, you’ll have plenty of time to relive that moment later, when your best man plays it for laughs during the rehearsal dinner toast.
When did you realize that you might want to spend your life with her?
Try to identify one specific moment when it hit you that you’d found the one. Was it when the four-star restaurant lost your reservation and she cheerfully suggested you head across the street for pizza and beer instead? The time she brought over a stack of kung fu DVDs when you were sick in bed with the flu? Say something like: “The time you [blank], I knew we were meant to be.”
What do you have now that you didn’t before you met?
Focus on how much better your life is now that she’s in it. Has she helped you laugh off little things that used to stress you out? Taught you the value of having more in the fridge than take-out cartons and beer? Show her how much you appreciate and need her by saying: “Before I met you, I was [blank]. Now I am [blank].”
What about her inspires you?
What it is about your sweetie that makes you want to be more like her? Her patience and kindness to others? Her sense of adventure? The value she places on making the world a better place? Revealing how much you admire her will show that you love her for all the right reasons. Say something like: “I love and respect your [blank], it makes me want to try harder to be that way myself.”
What goals and values do you two share?
Talk about the things that are important to both of you, and the plans you’ve discussed for the future. This will emphasize why you’re a perfect match and why you should spend your futures side by side. Say something like: “We both love [blank], and dream of [blank], so together we can [blank].” It’s the perfect lead-in to the words she’s been waiting to hear (drumroll, please): “And those are just a few of the reasons I’m hoping you’ll spend the rest of your life with me. Will you marry me?”
— Celeste Perron
For thousands of years, lovers have used grass, strings, wire, puzzles, and thimbles for centuries to publicly indicate their intent to marry. The ancient Egyptians tied a single gold wire to their finger to indicate their betrothal. The Puritans offered their beloved a thimble as a way to offer sentimental value without indulging in the material possessions of the world. In the 1940s, the DeBeers Company launched an aggressive advertising campaign to combat low diamond sales. Interestingly enough, their campaign slogan, “Diamonds are forever”, has stood the test of time.
These days, engagement rings are still in high demand. Over 80% of women in the United Statesreceive an engagement ring along with their proposal. Despite their popularity, engagement rings are frequently and hotly debated. The purchase of an engagement ring brings a multifaceted (pun absolutely intended) discussion about environmental impact, sociopolitical impact (read: conflict diamonds), economic value, social privilege, and sentimental value.
If you do opt for an engagement ring, how much should you spend? The spectrum of cost is absolutely baffling – ranging from heirloom jewelry that is passed down through the family as a gift to Elizabeth Taylor’s $8.8 billion dollar, 33+ carat ring. One frequently touted “rule” is that one ought to spend three months’ salary on a ring. Depending on your social circle and current financial situation, this may strike you as too high, too low, or just right. In 2013, couples in the United States paid an average of $5,200for their engagement ring.
Every couple has different values and different priorities; this is reflected in our lifestyle and appearances, engagement rings included. Some choose to wear a minimalist gold band and start preparing a travel/retirement nest egg. Some opt for tradition and opt for a modest diamond ring and a comparable wedding. Some opt for a premium ring with the understanding that this ring will become an heirloom, passed down for generations to come.
My fiance and I did not ring shop together; however, we did have some dialogue about the ring beforehand. My three requests: I wanted a (1) beautiful, (2) unique ring (3) on a budget. I picked one out that I was absolutely, completely head-over-heels in love with. It was a small solitaire that cost less than half the national average from a small, independent designer with vintage flair. (Hint: it’s featured below, think you can find it?)
FOR THE BRIDE WHO PREFERS GEMSTONES TO DIAMONDS:
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but they’re certainly not for everyone. One of the easiest ways to set your engagement ring apart from the rest is to rock a precious gemstone. Ruby, sapphire, emerald, even pearls can make for lovely pieces.
FOR THE BRIDE WHO LOVES METALWORK:
Plain bands are classic; pave bands are beautiful… But there’s something particularly lovely about a carefully crafted band and setting that can set a heart aflutter. Whether the band has been carefully hammered or sculpted, it sets itself apart from other rings.
FOR THE BRIDE WHO LOVE UNIQUELY SHAPED STONES:
Traditionally, cushion, round, and square cuts have been very popular. Why not mix things up by choosing an unusual stone cut?
FOR THE BRIDE WHO WANTS TO BE ON TREND IN ROSE GOLD:
So you love to be on trend but don’t want to deal with the fallout of a dated ring. Why not think rose gold? Choosing a classic design in an on-trend metal will make your ring stand out and stand the test of time.
FOR THE BRIDE WHO SEEKS CONFLICT-FREE DIAMONDS:
So you’ve heard about blood diamonds. You know that it’s a bitter, x process that you know you don’t want to be a part of. So it’s important to do your homework: learn about the UN’s Kimberley Process and check for certification. Shop at retailers who exclusively offer conflict-free diamonds, or better yet, shop at retailers who specialize in them.
In the end, my fiance did not propose with the ring I picked out. After my (now) fiance proposed, family and friends “ooh-ed” and “aah-ed.” Their follow-up question was asked if I liked/loved my ring. My response? I love it! Was it the ring I picked out? Not even close… I picked a solitaire, he picked a cushion-cut with a halo and a pave band. Is it a style that I love? Absolutely. Even better, this ring has sentimental value for me. I love knowing that he took time to look for something he could envision suiting my tastes and our future together.
Well, lovely readers, what do you think? Are you (or would you be interested in) sporting an engagement ring? What are you looking for in a ring? Tell us about your favorite ring in the comments below!
PINLauren Miller is a northern born, southern bred girl planning a January wedding. She lives in Memphis with her fiancé, Mitch, and their two dogs, Bosco and Cassidy. She loves dogs, traveling, and fresh food. Check back for regular updates on her adventures in wedding planning, detailed how-to guides, and design inspiration! You can also follow her on Pinterest.