When it comes to engagement ring etiquette, you want to get everything right because it's the essential piece of jewellery you'll ever own. Before getting engaged, there are several crucial engagement ring considerations, from who should choose the ring to how much to spend. And how can you keep your composure if you do, on the off chance, come to dislike your ring?
Giving and receiving an engagement ring is a traditional ritual that ushers in a festive period of your life. Given the many ways and expectations surrounding this important milestone, becoming engaged may also be a sensitive moment. Discover the different facets of engagement ring etiquette to assist you in making the best choice for your circumstance.
Cultural Traditions Of Engagement Rings
In Ancient Egypt, lovers tied reeds or other plants around their left ring finger because they believed a vein in that finger led straight to the heart, thereby beginning the engagement ring tradition. Gold armbands were worn similarly by the ancient Romans. The Archduke Maximilian of Austria commissioned a one-of-a-kind diamond engagement ring for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, and presented it to her in 1477.
It wasn't until 1947 that De Beers introduced the slogan "A Diamond is Forever," which helped to popularise the diamond engagement ring as a symbol of eternal love, that diamonds and other gemstones enjoyed a sustained period of popularity.
Engagement rings have come and gone in popularity and form over the centuries. Engagement rings have been a common rite of passage for Western couples who decide to tie the knot, but this custom is not universal.
How And When To Ask
There is no one correct way or time to pop the question. Most couples wait six months to a year before making such a lifelong commitment, as tradition requires, and the proposal should be a surprise for the bride. But if you wait for the right moment, you can ask whenever you like.
Some engaged couples wait until later to shop for an engagement ring. However, even when a couple decides to become involved and chooses the ring together, the man will frequently still try to keep the actual proposal a surprise. We encourage and promote all partnerships, and we hope that whoever feels most comfortable proposing to whoever does so with confidence and courage.
The proposal should be tailored to your unique relationship, but as a general rule, it should be well-thought-out, meaningful, and memorable (maybe involve your hobbies, a callback to your first date, etc.). If your intended is shy and easily embarrassed, you shouldn't plan a big public proposal.
The ring can be a surprise, or you can shop for it jointly if that's what you prefer. The best way to choose an engagement ring she'll adore is to follow your girlfriend's lead, whether she's just dropping clues or has shared a Pinterest board full of ideas. If you want the proposal to be a surprise, you should probably ask her out on a particular date before looking at rings.
Who Pays And How Much?
The subject of the budget is an apparent one when shopping for an engagement ring. As a general rule of thumb, it is customary for a man to spend two to three months' pay on an engagement ring. Although that's the norm, the only rule that matters is that you pay for what you can comfortably manage. Do not buy an expensive ring if spending two months' wages on it will prevent you from paying your rent.
Choose an affordable ring and save up for an upgrade on your wedding anniversary if you feel it's not enough. Many couples opt to preserve their more modest engagement rings as a reminder of their love and where they were in life when they got engaged, rather than buying a new, more extravagant one.
It is customary for the man to buy the engagement ring for his future wife (often, this has been because the bride and her family regularly end up footing the bill for the wedding). Modern couples often divide and share marital expenses, making the practice increasingly common.
Due to this trend, some couples are sharing the cost of the engagement ring. Bringing up the subject of a possible breakup with your partner is inappropriate unless she initiates the conversation by making an offer or becoming insistent. Unless she gives you a better idea, you'll have to pay for the ring. His and her engagement rings are also popular among today's engaged couples. You probably won't want to split the cost of an engagement ring if she's also buying one for you if you decide to go that route.
Selecting an Engagement Ring
When there are so many options for engagement rings, it is essential to consider various etiquette-related factors when deciding what kind of ring – if any – is appropriate for your relationship and how to make this necessary purchase. This is because there are so many options for engagement rings.
Even if she already has an engagement ring, some engaged couples want to ring shopping together so that they can make the final decision. Some couples get caught up in a sudden proposal long before a ring is acquired. If a team wants to get engaged but needs more time to save enough for a one-of-a-kind engagement ring, they should consider waiting on the ring. It's also possible to forego the engagement ring altogether. Traditional wedding bands are beautiful, but they are not required.
Paying for the Ring
It is customary for the groom to purchase the engagement ring. On the other hand, some married couples opt to split the bill. Even some of the most progressive women still expect the man to buy the ring, so men should consider their fiancée's preferences before bringing up the topic of joint payment. She will undoubtedly expect her fiance to honour this custom if she is a romantic. Sharing the cost of an engagement ring can be an excellent way for soon-to-be-weds to learn more about each other's financial priorities and habits, laying the groundwork for a secure financial future.
Newer rings can be charged with any gemstone or a combination of rocks, although older rings traditionally use diamonds. Whether you're going for a more traditional setting with a core diamond framed by a variety of accent gems or a more contemporary, daring design with a colourful gemstone surrounded by diamonds, there are a variety of ways to achieve stunning results. It's exceptionally crucial that you get a ring that fits your style and makes you feel good.
Reusing a Ring
Every engagement will inevitably result in a wedding, and every marriage will last "till death do us part." Because of declining marriage stability and rising divorce rates, it's possible that one of the prospective spouses already has an engagement ring in their possession.
Reusing a ring is a highly individual decision; the current owner may prefer the ring's look and not want to buy a replacement. However, a new ring with no associations with previous relationships may be preferable for one or both partners looking to start over. You and your partner should decide this together, and worn rings may constantly be remade or gently reset to replenish without significant improvements.
Diamonds are the traditional stone included in engagement rings. However, any gemstone you choose can be used (and your budget). Sapphires, pearls, and other non-traditional gems are replacing diamonds on engagement rings for many modern couples.
The subject of reusing a ring is a sensitive one. To use a family heirloom is a touching way to give a ring steeped in history and tradition. It's beautiful that you include your spouse in your family's legacy of devotion.
However, if your engagement or marriage has ended in failure, we strongly suggest you do not reuse the wedding or engagement ring. Most couples would instead start their lives together without being haunted by the memories of a previous marriage, engagement, or tragedy. Similar to how it is polite to offer to return the ring if a meeting abruptly ends.
In addition to representing the giver's undying affection, heirloom engagement rings are rich in family history and tradition. For peace and harmony in the family, ensure everyone else understands and agrees with the choice. As an added precaution, have a plan in place for the return of the ring to the family in the event that the engagement ends in tragedy.
Men’s Engagement Rings
Although most men sport a wedding band, others also choose to display an engagement ring. Engagement rings for males are not the same as those for women, but there are still numerous possibilities. A man should be mindful that more traditional family members may interpret his choice to wear such jewellery as a sign that he is already married. The pair ought to have an explanation ready for their desires.
FAQs About Engagement Ring
If you go shopping with your fiancé-to-be to pick out an engagement ring with a diamond, you will make the experience less stressful for him. He will be able to relax and enjoy the process more, knowing that the ring you chose is something that you and he both adore.
Selecting the "ideal" ring can be a stressful experience, but going shopping together might reduce some of that pressure. Coming to a Significant Consensus Together
Wearing The Ring
Although it is ultimately up to you to determine where your engagement ring will be displayed, it is in your best interest to be familiar with the typical arrangement of rings prior to, during, and after the wedding.
The left ring finger of the left hand is where the engagement ring is traditionally worn according to modern custom. Because jewellers recommend wearing right-hand rings that do not suggest a romantic connection, this is the most appropriate approach to signal that you are engaged while also adhering to the conventions of good manners.
After the Wedding
The wedding band is generally worn underneath the engagement ring, which is placed on the finger.
During the Ceremony
The groom will place the wedding band on the bride's finger. Therefore the question of what to do with the engagement ring arises at the time of the ceremony. There are no hard and fast regulations that must be adhered to.
Some ladies choose to keep their engagement rings on their fingers and switch their finger positions at a later time. Until after the ceremony, some people prefer to keep their engagement rings on their right hand.
When the rings are soldered together in advance, the groom can slip them on her finger in the correct order without interrupting the ceremony.
Dealing With Potential Problems
Even while everyone has the expectation that an engagement will go off without a hitch, starting with one ring and finishing with another, this is not always the case. Learn how to deal with the most typical difficulties as they occur so that you can respond appropriately to them.
Depending on where you live, you may be required by law to return the ring if you received it as a gift. Even though the male called off the engagement, many jurisdictions still allow the lady to keep the ring. In some countries, the bride is expected to wear her engagement ring no matter the circumstances. Though the ring is a family treasure, returning it may be unethical even if it is legally allowed. After an engagement, the lady should offer to return the ring to the man, who is free to decline the gesture if he chooses. For extremely costly or sentimental engagement rings, some couples may decide to draft a prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding.
Disliking Your Ring
An awkward situation arises if you didn't have a say in the design of your ring, but your fiance did, or if the ring is sentimental to both of you and you didn't get to participate in the decision-making process. Communicate openly and honestly to prevent misunderstandings and resentment from festering. Make it clear that you appreciate the sentiment behind the present but that the style isn't right for you. You can either return the ring and choose a new, more suitable one or try to restyle it by keeping the stone but switching out the band and setting.
Engagement Ring Symbolism
As beautiful as they may be, engagement rings are tokens of commitment. It deserves the utmost reverence because it represents the bond between two people. Knowing proper etiquette for engagement rings is essential for showing respect for the ring and the commitment it symbolises.
Engagement Ring Etiquette You Need to Know
To make this wonderful time a little less stressful, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about engagement ring etiquette and provided solutions.
Can I Help My Partner Pick the Engagement Ring?
To date, 62% of engaged couples have jointly shopped for an engagement ring. It's important to let your significant other know if you're uncomfortable doing anything. Just let them know that a romantic surprise is more important to you than going shopping together. The next step is to show your mum, sister, and best friend pictures of rings you like and solicit their advice.
Can My Sister Help My Partner Pick the Engagement Ring?
Absolutely! You need someone familiar with your taste to accompany you as you shop for a ring so that they can steer you in the direction of the styles you like and away from the ones you don't. You can be as specific as you like with your sister. She has to know that you can't live without a beautiful stack of emerald-cut diamond rings on your finger. Send her links to your favourite online ring stores if you've been spending your lunch breaks browsing for engagement and wedding bands.
Also, let her know that you'd prefer a larger diamond with some defects than a smaller one with none. By including your sister in the planning of your engagement, not only will your partner benefit from having someone to bounce ideas off, but your sister will also receive the thrill of being a part of one of the most critical times of your life.
How Much Is Too Much to Spend?
That question can only be answered by looking at the budget of your prospective spouse. It's commonly believed that they should spend around three months' wages, but this is unrealistic; your partner should spend whatever is comfortable for them. They may desire to reduce their spending if, for example, they have a lot of debt or are worried about keeping their jobs. You're probably worried that your significant other may leave you. Are They likely to be tempted to go overboard? Talk about it casually and let them know.
What If My Partner Doesn’t Know My Ring Size?
See our comprehensive ring size guide for a precise measurement if you are unsure about your size. If the proposal is supposed to be a surprise, you might also have your ring size assessed by a jeweller and have a relative, such as a mother or sister, tell your future spouse. Alternatively, you may leave your left ring finger unprotected by leaving out the band you wear most often so your partner can steal it and use it as a size reference at the jeweller.
What If I Don’t Like the Ring?
We would applaud your partner's initiative if they shopped for an engagement ring without any assistance from you. Give them credit where it's due, but also understand that this endeavour can be challenging if you don't like the ring (worst-case scenario). What's a girl to do? Please at least consider this throughout a night's sleep. It's possible that you'll come to like the ring.
Alternatively, tell your intended audience that you are not interested. First, tell them how much you love them and point out the good features of the ring; then, say that it's just not right overall. If you don't want to say anything that would upset them, that's fine. Your love for one another should be more critical than any ring problems that may arise. You should make sure you have some input on the selection of the wedding band.
When two people decide to get engaged, it's a very happy occasion. For the couple, of course, but also for their friends and loved ones. When you become engaged, all eyes will be on your hand to see if you're wearing a pretty ring. (That's probably why many future brides get manicures when they think a proposal is on the horizon, too.)
Possessing a beautiful and unusual diamond certainly has its advantages, but it also raises some legal engagement ring problems that many couples must resolve. Thanks to this guidance, you won't have to worry about the proper protocol for exchanging engagement rings.