Engagement Dilemmas Solved

Afraid you’ll hate the ring? Worried about not getting her ring size right, or if her father won’t give you permission? At Weddings Designed we don’t have all of the answers, but hopefully we can give you some advice on engagement etiquette which might help you out.

Can a woman propose?
Let’s face it, it’s the 21st century and the same sex marriage law has been (finally) passed – women have been proposing for a long time. Whether you follow tradition and wait until the magic of 29th February, or take the plunge on any other day, visit our Leap Year Proposal pages for more advice.

Will she hate the engagement ring?
Without giving the game away, it’s hard to choose a ring that you can guarantee she’ll love. If it’s a family ring you’re giving her, that is, a ring that belonged to your relative, be prepared to offer to get the stones reset, or the ring redesigned slightly. If you have bought a new ring, wait until the excitement dies down after you ask the big question, then offer her the opportunity to change it – and make sure you won’t be insulted if she accepts the offer! However, as your Granny would say, prevention’s better than a cure – so why not take her sister or friend with you when you’re choosing the ring?

Should we pick the ring together?
You can propose with, or without a ring – if she wants to marry you it won’t matter to her whether you have a ring to ‘seal the deal’ or not. This writer’s best friend chose the ring with her husband-to-be, but he fibbed about when it’d be ready to collect and he still managed to surprise her with a proposal – so even if you pick it together, you can still be inventive.

Help! I can’t afford a ring!
Did you know that the idea that an engagement ring should cost as much as a month’s wages was first promoted by jewellers? It’s not a tradition, it’s a marketing ploy. Choose something she’ll love rather than something she’ll be scared to wear. If you really can’t afford any kind of ring – speak to your family, your great-gran’s ring could be hidden away waiting for a worthy woman to wear it.

Should I ask permission from her father?
There’s no right answer. Some women will feel offended if you treat her like a commodity and ask if you can ‘take’ her…then again, you could offend her father by denying him the chance to offer his blessing. There’s always ways to cheat the system – if you get on well with her mum, why not sound her out on the subject? Or ask her father after the proposal, but before you both announce it. Of course there isn’t always a dad around to ask, but if her family’s important to her why not ask her brother, or mother, or even her grandfather?

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