Updated: Aug 14
If I asked you to picture a conventional marriage proposal, what comes to mind?
Most people think of the traditional script where a man gets down on one knee and presents his love with a diamond ring. But if you're not a conventional person, and your partner loves to break from tradition, is it really necessary to follow such a predictable script?
Some of my favorite proposal stories come from couples who choose to break from tradition. One way to do that is to pop the question without a ring. So what are the pros and cons of each approach?
For some men, proposing with a diamond engagement ring can be a little scary! A marriage proposal is already considered a very emotional moment, so perhaps it's no surprise that some guys prefer to dispense with the ring. They see the experience as celebrating finding the perfect person, rather than finding the perfect ring style.
For many, getting engaged is about deciding that you and your partner want to spend the rest of your lives together. The engagement ring is merely a symbol of that commitment, not a contract. The decision does not need to come with a ring, or anything else. Any proposal that ends in the decision to get married has served its purpose.
If you're a less conventional couple, it can be seen as more romantic to propose without giving her the traditional symbols of marriage. Sometimes, couples may choose to go sans engagement rings due to finances, or they simply don't wear jewelry!
There is also no hard and fast rule that the man has to be the one to propose marriage.
Many women are bucking tradition, preferring to pop the question to their guys and forgoing an engagement ring.
But it's important not to view proposing without ring as an indication of any lack of seriousness on the man's part. Getting engaged is a big commitment regardless of whether or not an engagement ring is exchanged.
If you have your heart set on getting engaged with a diamond ring, it might be best to talk about your expectations early on. Don't pressure your partner, but if you want to be the one to "pop the question," be prepared propose to her before she can do it first. You don't want to be caught empty-handed when the big moment finally arrives!
Of course, marriage proposals can also go awry regardless of what type of engagement ring (if any) is presented. So keep that in mind if things aren't going exactly as planned during this nerve-wracking time period. Love and marriage can indeed go together like a horse and carriage!
Just because marriage proposals without diamond rings are becoming more common doesn't mean they're inherently better than marriage proposals with rings. There are many marriage proposals that go down both ways, so it's really just a matter of what you feel most comfortable doing.
Do I really need a diamond ring?
Heck no! You can propose with anything! It doesn’t have to be a ring. Get creative. I've seen all kinds of unique engagement gifts. It could be....
One single long stemmed rose... or a whole bouquet.
A Necklace, or earrings
A new car
The ring of a soda can
The ring, like all the examples above, is just a “symbol”, the real deal of the proposal is the commitment. Do it the old fashioned way……get the fathers permission to take his daughters hand in marriage, get down on one knee and profess your love. For advice on asking for Dad's blessing, check this out.
If the answer is yes, then both of you can go wedding ring shopping. Pick out something you both like and you both can afford. Sure the groom might be the one who pays for your ring but soon your finances will co-mingle so technically your both paying.
What if diamonds aren't my thing?
Do a little research. And think outside the box. There are so many stunning gems out there that don't suffer from inflated prices like diamonds. Look at rubies, sapphires, spinel, garnet or emerald. Think about your partner - hopefully they'll be wearing this piece of jewellery for the rest of their life so make sure its something they'll love. Consider a gemstone in their favorite color. Personally, I LOVE pink.
So remember, a ring does not make the proposal. YOU making a lifelong commitment to your partner IS the proposal. Be thoughtful, remember the details. Because you know she will.
If you're still unsure about whether to choose to propose with or without the expectation of a diamond engagement ring, now is the time to put in some hard work. After all, marriage will take plenty of effort on your part regardless of the decision you make now! Get used to it.
The bottom line is that marriage is one big commitment, and there are no right or wrong answers. The only thing that matters is your relationship with your partner and how you both choose to move through the world together. Just make sure she knows how much you love her, so the only ring she'll have on her mind is the ringing of wedding bells!
In conclusion, marriage proposals are becoming more diverse, with some couples choosing to forgo the traditional engagement ring. But marriage is a huge commitment regardless of how it's proposed- so if you're looking for marriage proposal ideas, take time to plan ahead, get suggestions from family and friends, and know what your budget can afford.
And if she pops the question without giving you an opportunity to propose first? Don't worry! It may be that she's a modern woman and just wanted to get down on one knee, too.
Our final words of advice under any circumstances are to make sure there's no confusion about her feelings before making any assumption that she will say yes! Talk about marriage first, to avoid any awful surprises!
Ready to pop the question but not sure where to start? Contact us today!
As San Diego’s premiere engagement consultants, Proposals of San Diego creates moments that reflect the unique love story of each couple. We offer all-inclusive proposal packages, and plan one-of-a-kind experiences for marriage proposals, vow renewals and anniversaries.