There is no denying that 2020 has changed the definition and expectations of what is socially acceptable. This applies to engagement ring shopping, where traditionally couples followed certain rules that were deemed “the right” way of doing things. But haven’t you heard? All rules are off! The process of engagement ring shopping and proposing has changed indefinitely, and in the spirit of change we break down three popular engagement rules that you can (and very much should) consider breaking this year. Because you know, #coronatimes.
1. He has to Propose
One of the most traditional engagement rules that couples are familiar with is, “the man” must propose in the relationship. However, times have changed as we are seeing a large advocacy for feminism and inclusivity for LGBTQ+ couples. Gender roles are no longer restricted to one sex. It’s no longer the story of “How He Asked”, but “How They Asked.” While it’s rare for women to propose, a 2018 Pinterest study revealed a 336% search increase of women seeking “engagement inspiration” and “proposal ideas.” And if that is not enough to convince you that any sex can propose check out the following stories of people who have broken the rules:
- Simple Picnic with Brook and Laura. This beautiful couple met through friends and Brook asked Laura to dress up for a hillside picnic among a beautiful buttercup field. “I gave her the easiest yes of my life,” said Laura.
- Scavenger Hunt with Erica and Jordan during COVID-19. While 97% of cis-gender men propose to their partner, Erica decided to create a unique proposal on their 2 year dating anniversary. “He’s such a feminist and said if it ever came down to it I’d be the one to propose,” Erica said.
- Proposing together with Susannah and Taylor. College sweethearts, Susannah and Taylor equally wanted to propose to each other so they decided to work together to make this engagement special. They had planned before shelter-in-place began and still made it happen on May 15, 2020. Susannah and Taylor made an engagement video with a country beat to remember their special day.
2. Proposing with a Ring
I know Beyoncé made a literal song about how you have to put a ring on it, but do you really? The current pandemic has created incredible hardships and disruptions and ring shopping is not necessarily the same experience we had before. Shipping delays, limited stock, and not being able to see rings in person have really shifted what type of items people are proposing with. Here are three ideas to make your proposal an enhanced experience with or without a ring
- Other jewelry can be a substitute or temporary option to invest in. A watch, necklace, pair of earrings or bracelet can be just as pricey if not more expensive than an engagement ring. Highly recommended if your partner is not a ring-wearer or you aren’t sure what type of ring to invest in yet.
- Pet proposals add that extra bit of fluff to your moment. As people are working from home in 2020, an increase in foster parents and adoptions have occurred. It’s the best time to expand your family and sweeten the proposal to your significant other. Read a couple’s pet proposal here.
- Musically enhance your proposal with a song or dance. Tender moments with your partner can best be expressed with romantic lyrics and good music.
3. Breaking Your Budget
Another old rule when shopping for an engagement ring is that the item should cost the buyer about two month’s salary. We believe that your investment should be manageable and a personal choice. Creating a budget is a helpful way to narrow down the perfect ring that reflects what matters most to the buyer. Consider the following items when finalizing your budget:
- Making craftsmanship a priority? Cartier and David Yurman are famous for their ring settings and quality jewelry. Engagement rings by these designers are for individuals who want to invest at least $5K and more on a traditional diamond ring. You’re buying craftsmanship, quality, name brand bragging rights, and there is nothing wrong with that.
- Does sustainability matter to you? Jewelers like Tiffany & Co. have pledged to be a part of the initiative along with other leading companies to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050. Tiffany & Co. is one of several popular jewelers that are committed to traceability of each gemstone or diamond and following the criteria for responsible mining practices of precious metals.
- Looking to add a splash of color? Adding gemstones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires can make your engagement ring unique and most likely not affect your budget if you are shopping in the $3-5K range. Other less expensive stones like tourmaline, aquamarine, and topaz have also become increasingly popular.
If 2020 has reminded us anything about life it’s that love is a force that empowers us through tough times. Love is inclusive and explores well beyond traditional gender role boundaries. The bottom line, don’t be afraid to break all the rules when shopping for an engagement ring. Set your own standards and invest in a purchase that reflects your partner and yourself as a unit that will stand the test of time.