Getting engaged is a life-changing event and simply ‘popping the question’ can seem daunting when there are so many things to consider. We are here to help you plan and propose like a ‘pro’ with 10 steps to a successful engagement…
- Start planning
It might feel difficult to plan your engagement and hard to know how everything should work – this is a completely natural feeling. Dropping to one knee might make your stomach drop with fear, but don’t forget that the proposal itself is only one step. Being nervous, feeling pressured, anxious, or stressed is completely normal, so try and channel those emotions in an exciting way. Engagement doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult, it should be much simpler these days.
- Choose your time
Do it when the time is right – research suggests most couples date for two or more years before getting engaged and the average length of engagement is around 12 to 18 months. Getting engaged symbolises the commitment to marriage – are you both ready for the next step? Only the both of you will know and for every couple it will be different depending on the stage in your relationship. Some couples will get engaged quickly and for others it can take a little longer. It’s a big decision and the right timing can make all the difference. It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer.
- Pick the location
Choosing the right location and setting is key – where is most special for you both? Where did you meet for the first time? Where is your favourite place or what do you like doing together? There are so many things to consider when deciding where to ask for the hand in marriage. September is one of the most popular months and going for a walk in the countryside comes out on top. Some people choose to propose on holiday, at Christmas, on Valentine’s Day, during the summer, on a cosy winters evening or another significant date. With location, the possibilities are simply endless but it’s more about the two of you in the right setting.
- Make it personal
The main thing to remember is that engagement is between two people, so make it as personal as you can and do something meaningful that you will remember for the rest of your lives. Who says it needs to be a grand gesture that takes months to organise and costs hundreds of pounds? You can keep it simple. With or without an audience, in front of family or on your own, worry less about what other people think and make the day special for your loved one.
- Talk to the parents?
It used to be the case that the man visits the woman’s father to ask him for his daughter’s hand in marriage – this is a very traditional approach, and some might argue somewhat outdated. While it might be a nice touch to speak to their parents or close family beforehand, don’t feel pressured to take the plunge in this way. Decide whether you want to keep it a secret and think about who you want to tell in advance.
- Shop for the ring
There’s a good chance that your partner may have hinted about engagement rings in the past, so you might be one step ahead of the game when it comes to shopping for the ring. Choosing the right engagement ring is important – do they like diamonds or would they prefer another sparkling jewel instead? All out bling or simpler and more understated? Remember bigger doesn’t always equal better! Find the right size, perhaps sneak another ring to the shop for measuring up. It’s a good idea to do your research, find inspiration from others and take advice from a reputable jeweller.
- Get insured
An engagement ring might be one of the biggest purchases you make in your lifetime, so protecting with insurance should be at the forefront of your mind. Making sure the ring is safe is particularly important, especially if you’re planning to propose abroad – get insurance to cover yourself on holiday. It may not be the most fun part of getting engaged, but insurance which includes accidental damage, is key just in case the worst happens. To make a claim easier, take photos of the ring and keep valuation documents safe.
- Enjoy the moment
Take a deep breath…. now it’s time to pop the question ‘Will you marry me?’ – simple, right? However, and wherever you ask it, no doubt it will feel like a massive weight has been lifted off your shoulders so now is the time to enjoy the moment.
- Announce the engagement
Spreading the word is one of the most exciting moments about getting engaged. No doubt you’ll be chomping at the bit to tell your friends and family. Taking to social media to shout it from the rooftops is a given nowadays and the congratulations will no doubt come thick and fast. Traditionally, couples tell their parents first, then grandparents, siblings, and extended family. Often couples, if they already have children, will tell them before anyone else.
- Time to celebrate!
Finally, it’s time to celebrate – some couples will want a big engagement party while others might want a cosier affair. Whether it’s champagne at your local pub, a meal at your favourite restaurant or a get together at home or in the garden, you can be sure that your loved ones will want to celebrate with you.
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