When it comes to engagements, there are a lot of traditions that couples follow. One of the most common traditions is who proposes. It's often thought that the man should be the one to propose marriage, but these days more and more women are taking on that role.
Another tradition that is often followed is how much a man should spend on an engagement ring. The average amount spent on an engagement ring in the United Kingdom is £1865, but there are ways to get more for your money when shopping for one.
Why do we propose?
The tradition of proposing marriage comes from a time when women were seen as property. Men would ask the woman's father for permission to marry her, and the father would then give his blessing (or not).
This is where the phrase "asking for her hand in marriage" comes from. These days, of course, women are not seen as property, and couples usually make the decision to get married together.
Nevertheless, many men still feel that it is their role to propose marriage. If you're not sure who should propose, talk about it with your partner and see what they think. A proposal is now seen as a romantic gesture and a way to signal that you'd like to take the next step in your relationship.
Who should propose?
As we mentioned, in the past it was always the man who proposed marriage. These days, however, more and more women are taking on that role. In heterosexual couples, women only pop the question about 3% of the time, so it's still very much the tradition for the man to propose. In same-sex couples, the rules are different, and either partner can ask the all-important question.
How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
There is no set amount that you "should" spend on an engagement ring, but the average cost in the UK is £1865. This number will vary depending on your budget and lifestyle.
Some people believe that you should spend two months' salary on an engagement ring, but this is not necessarily true. The important thing is to spend what you can afford. Some couples would much rather save on the ring and put the extra money towards a house deposit, the wedding, or an exciting honeymoon.
If you are on a tight budget, there are ways to get more for your money when shopping for an engagement ring. For example, you can choose a less expensive metal for the band or go for a simpler design. You can also look for deals and sale prices to get more for your money.
At the end of the day, the ring should be a token of your love, not a financial burden. Spend what you can afford, and don't worry about following any set rules.
Do you have to propose with a ring?
While an engagement ring is a nice gesture, it is not required. If you can't afford a ring or simply don't want one, there are other ways to propose. You could write a heartfelt letter, cook dinner, or even get down on one knee in a public place.
The important thing is that your proposal is personal and meaningful to you as a couple. The proposal is really about the question "will you marry me?" and not about the value of the ring. You could easily pop the question without the ring and go shopping for one together.
How much should you spend?
There's no hard and fast rule when it comes to how much you should spend on an engagement ring, but the average amount spent in the UK is £1865. Of course, you don't have to spend this much; this is simply the average. There are also some great ways to get more for your money when shopping for an engagement ring.
Choose a lab-grown diamond
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, just like the ones mined from the earth. They have the same physical and chemical properties, but they cost far less. In fact, lab-grown diamonds can cost up to 40% less than mined diamonds.
Choose a less expensive metal
The type of metal you choose for your engagement ring can also affect the price. For example, platinum is more expensive than gold, so if you're on a budget, you may want to choose gold or rose gold. Silver is usually the cheapest metal for the band.
Look for deals and sale prices
You can also look for deals and sale prices when shopping for an engagement ring. This is a great way to get more for your money. You can often find great deals online or in jewellery stores during holidays.
Choose an unconventional stone
You don't have to choose a diamond. If your partner like unconventional style, then you could replace a yellow or pink diamond with a yellow or pink sapphire. Vintage rings will often contain less conventional gemstones, including opals, rubies, emeralds and sapphires.
Go for a halo or trilogy setting
A smaller diamond will appear much larger when it is placed in a halo setting. A halo setting is when the diamond is surrounded by a circle of smaller diamonds. This creates the illusion of a much larger stone. A trilogy setting is similar, but it contains three diamonds instead of one.
Compromise on one of the 4 Cs
A diamond is graded by its carat, cut, colour and clarity. If you compromise on any of these Cs, you will be able to get a lot more for your money. For example, while a diamond with a poor colour rating might not be very appealing, if you pair it with a yellow gold band, it will appear whiter in comparison.
The important thing to remember is that there are no set rules when it comes to how much you should spend on an engagement ring. It is completely up to you and your partner. The most important thing is that you express your love and devotion in a way that makes sense to you.