It is definitely easy to get swept up in the romance of a proposal, and consequently forget about all of the tedious details that come with it! If you are not an expert in proposing, the task may be daunting. So, here is a little list of tips to help get you started:
1. Determine Ring Style & Size
Before you propose, you of course need the ring! Steal a ring of hers that has been worn recently and bring it to a nearby jeweler to determine the size. This is crucial so that your future fiancé doesn't have to wear a brand new engagement ring on a thumb or pinky after the engagement!
Pay attention to the jewelry that she wears often. Does she tend to wear larger statement pieces? Or does she lean towards smaller, under-stated items? Does she wear more silver or gold color metals? If she prefers larger statement pieces, try a halo setting or incorporating colored stones such as emeralds or sapphires. If she likes the latter, a solitaire setting might be better. If you feel comfortable about it, talk with your fiancé about what she wants in terms of style and shape, especially if she is very particular. You can also ask family members for input if you think they can keep the secret!
Another great option is utilizing unused or antique piece of jewelry. If your partner or yourself had jewelry passed down that isn't used, that is a great way to use those stones to create something new and unique. Most jewelers will be open to re-purposing stones from old rings, or brooches to make a brand new ring.
2. How Much to Spend
The classic theory says that a person is to spend 2 months salary on an engagement ring. However, this decision is really up to you. Do not spend beyond your means. You can always upgrade the setting later and use the gemstone from the original engagement ring in another piece of jewelry or add to the original ring. Most importantly, remember that what the ring stands for matters most, not how much it costs!
In terms of the breakdown: If you are planning to purchase a diamond engagement ring, we recommend spending at least 75% of your budget on the actual diamond or stone and the leftover amount (25% or below) on the ring.
3. Asking the Parents
If your future fiancé has a more traditional family or values, you may want to think about asking for permission from family members. This does not have to be a large ordeal, it could be as simple as pulling the father aside at a family party or event and asking for permission or any words of wisdom.
4. When to Propose
Your future spouse naturally needs time to process the big proposal! Getting down on one knee before she heads off to work is not going to fly. A large, extravagant proposal isn't necessary, but a well-thought through proposal is key. If possible, make a day or weekend out of it to preserve the excitement or have family and friends ready to celebrate after the news breaks!
5-6 months before- Start gathering ideas or thoughts about shape, color design etc. Save up money for deposit and payment.
3-4 months before- Decide on a ring and purchase or have it designed.
1-2 months before- Start planning the proposal and pick-up the ring.
Enjoy the big day!