Planning the perfect wedding is a huge undertaking but for many couples, it begins long before the big pieces – venue, dress and photographer – fall into place.
Choosing an engagement ring and planning a proposal are the first steps along the road to getting married and getting them right can set the tone for the rest of the engagement. Planning a wedding is likely to be a much smoother experience if there’s no lingering regrets over a ring that you weren’t quite happy with!
Of course, I can’t tell you how to choose the perfect ring for you – there’s no one ‘right’ way to choose an engagement ring and tastes differ from person to person. But there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure you get the ring that best suits you and your partner.
- Deciding when to propose
Of course, you ‘ll want to choose the date that feels right for you but there’s a few days in the year that see more proposals than others. It’s a widely held belief that Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February is the most popular time of the year to get engaged but more proposals actually take place during December. Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are especially popular choices.
- Getting the metal right
Platinum has overtaken gold as the most popular metal for engagement rings. Its natural lustre and hardness are a great setting for diamonds and it’s incredibly durable – perfect for a ring that will be worn for a lifetime. And of course, platinum’s rarity makes the ring that little bit more exotic and special. Platinum can be expensive though – white gold and palladium are both less costly alternatives that have a different hue to traditional yellow gold.
- Solo venture or buying together
It’s becoming more and more common for couples to choose their engagement ring together. A recent survey by Bridebook found that while 48% of purchases are by men shopping on their own, 44% of engagement rings are bought by couples shopping together and 7% by women buying alone.
- A token of affection?
Another trend to emerge over the last few years is the idea of the ‘token ring’ – where a partner proposes with a cheaper ring and the couple go shopping together for the engagement ring proper after the big event. It’s a good option if you want to plan the perfect proposal but avoid any awkwardness just in case you choose the wrong ring.
- How much to spend
The ‘rule’ that an engagement ring should cost two to three months’ salary has been well and truly left in the past, with couples spending anything from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands. Choose a ring that suits your budget and don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses. However, if you do stick to the old tradition, someone earning the average UK salary of £27,000 per year could expect to pay from £3,500 to £5,400 for a ring!
- Breaking the news
While some couples prefer to keep things on the down low and tell their family and friends about their big news in person, social media announcements are all the rage these days. A Wedding Wire survey found that 64% of couples are breaking the news of their engagement online.
- Taking care of your engagement ring
If you want to make sure your engagement ring makes it to the wedding day unscathed, be sure to take good care of it. Sports, swimming, gardening and manual labour all activities can all potentially damage or cause your ring to fall off, or even result in injury to your hands. If you want to keep your ring in the best possible condition, take it off when doing any of these activities.
If you’d like to learn more about engagement rings, ROX Diamonds & Thrills have created a definitive guide to All Things Engagement Rings with 100 facts covering everything from ring etiquette to traditions and myths.