Proposal Ideas: Traditional or Modern
A friend of mine recently made the decision to propose to his girlfriend of eight years. He decided to purchase the engagement ring overseas with the Army. When he consulted with his sister for advice on the subject, she was horrified at the thought of him buying the engagement ring without first speaking with his girlfriend. Regardless of the advice, he went ahead and followed his instincts, choosing to get the ring and propose to his girlfriend in the restaurant where they first had dinner together. Thankfully, she said yes and loved the ring.
The advice offered by his sister is an opinion that seems to be shared among many women today- that men should either consult with their partner before purchasing an engagement ring, or propose with a temporary engagement ring first. Research indicates that many men are heeding these warnings and leaving the decision with their partners. So, are romance and tradition officially dead and what other guidelines and deathtraps should men be aware of?
Asking Her Father
In the past the custom of a man asking the father for permission to marry his daughter was due to a contractual agreement, in that the family would no longer have control of her dowry and her new husband would take on the responsibilities that her father once had. Times have changed somewhat and it is no longer a necessity for the man to ask permission. That being said it is still advisable to judge the situation by its merits.
Here are some thoughts to consider.
- Is the family traditional? If they are it will probably be in your best interests to approach her Father.
- If it is a non-traditional family it’s less important, but you will still earn the respect of her parents for showing respect to them.
Asking for her Father’s blessing (rather than his permission) for the engagement shows respect to the family and displays your independence, as the proposal is not dependent on the outcome of his answer.
When and How to Ask Her
This is something that you don’t want to get wrong as it will be remembered forever. There are a vast amount of options and a lot of them will depend on your partner’s personality, so knowing what she likes and doesn’t like will be a good start.
Research in the UK has given some pointers with regard to what women want. 20% of women want to be proposed to on the anniversary of the day they first met, while 22% believe that St. Valentine’s day is the most romantic day to get engaged. Christmas Eve is the most popular day of the year for proposals.
Social media is becoming increasingly popular for proposals, with actress Kristen Bell asking her partner to marry her via Twitter last year. 15% of women would like to be proposed to using some form of technology and incredibly, 40% of women would like to be asked via social media. Imagine the humiliation of being rejected in front of your 1,000 Facebook friends!
Where to Ask Her
The main decisions to be considered here are whether you want it to be public or private and whether you think she would appreciate a grand gesture or something more reserved. Again, this will depend on the personality of your partner. You could take some tips from celebrities for inspiration.
- Heidi Klum and Seal: Seal had an igloo specially built on top of a glacier 14,000 feet above ground level. Safe to say there were no paparazzi.
- Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise: Tom chose a more public setting by proposing to Katie at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
- Brooke Mueller and Charlie Sheen: Charlie took Brooke to Costa Rica and gave her a designer watch engraved with, “Wanna get married”. He followed this with an 11 carat, natural yellow diamond set in platinum.
How Much to Spend on the Ring
While current trends suggest that many women now want a say in their engagement ring, there is also increasing pressure on the man to spend a significant amount of money on the ring. In fact, a quick internet search on the topic in Ireland alone produces 238,000 results. It seems that traditionally three month’s wages was deemed to be the accepted amount to spend, but realistically it is dependent on budget and everyone has different personal circumstances.
The most popular engagement rings in Dublin at present are the traditional diamond engagement ring. Prices for these rings vary and can start at around €2,000, but generally there is something to suit all budgets.
So to recap it seems that more women are determined to have the perfect engagement ring, the perfect proposal and the perfect day. Some might argue that this takes some of the romance and tradition out of the occasion. However, it is all dependent on your partner’s personality and how she will react to how you propose. If you’re going to spend the rest of your life with her, you will probably already know the answer to these questions.