It’s a little-known fact amongst women, but the hardest part of any engagement is the proposal.
No, really. I’m not trying to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. It’s just the truth. Most women simply have no concept of the level of anxiety, worry and pressure that men feel when they’re about to pop the question.
Now, that’s not because women are in any way unfeeling or lack empathy. In many cases, the woman has been waiting, sometimes quite impatiently, to be asked the question. In many, but certainly not all, cases, the question of whether to marry has already been comprehensively discussed and the outcome of the proposal agreed.
So, if many men go down on one knee knowing the answer will be ‘yes’, where does all the anxiety and stress come from?
The answer is that the proposal, when you strip away the romance for a moment, is a process of one person making quite important choices on behalf of someone else. And because the proposal is wrapped up in centuries of tradition that includes secrecy, it means the person making those decisions – the groom-to-be – is having to answer questions that, in 99% of cases, he doesn’t know the answer to.
In fact, it’s probably fair to say he is the least well-equipped person to take on the job and he knows it.
To demonstrate, let me ask a few straightforward questions of the fellas who are thinking of proposing and are reading this to get some help and guidance:
Without having to go away and check, what’s the ring size on her wedding finger? Would she choose a solitaire? How many carats is she expecting? How would she want you to propose? What shape should the band be?
If you’ve answered even one of those questions with confidence, you’re doing better than most. The truth of the matter is that she probably doesn’t know the answer to one or more of them (or perhaps doesn’t have a fixed view).
This may be the last decision you’ll be allowed to make without her input and you need to get it right, because the engagement ring is something she’s hopefully going to wear for the rest of her life.
Let’s assume you’ve worked out how she would like you to propose (by which I mean, does she the kind of girl who’d want you to go down on one knee in a room full of friends and sing your proposal to the tune of New York New York, or is she the sort who’s hoping for a quiet proposal over a candlelit dinner for two in the restaurant where you had your first date?)
The next question is the biggie: what ring are you going to buy? And the first step in that decision is to decide whether you’re going to make your purchase from the High Street or from a bespoke jeweller such as myself.
There are pros and cons to both.
There are a few reasons why you might want to buy on the High Street. They might include:
- You’re in a rush and don’t have the time to wait for a bespoke piece.
- You don’t want the added pressure of researching and running from one shop to another.
- You want to keep it simple and don’t want a fussy design. For you it’s more about the diamond and not less about an elaborate and complicated design.
- You’re not sure what you want! By shopping around and trying on different rings, you get a better feel for what suits you best.
But buying a bespoke piece has major advantages as well:
- You want something individual and unique. It’s something she’ll wear for the rest of her life and you want it to have unique meaning.
- You have something specific in mind, and you won’t be able to find it in any High Street shop.
- She knows what she wants, and this is not the time to have your first marital argument.
- You want to be completely sure the metal and the diamonds have been sourced from ethical mines. This is a great way to find that out for your specific ring.
- You may have been left an heirloom from a grandparent, and want to reuse the diamonds from that ring, or just have it re-sized.
So, you’ve thought these things through, all that leaves is the cost. How does that differ?
If you’re on a tight budget, you should start by looking in the High Street. They have rings that start at a few hundred pounds and as a bespoke jeweller, I wouldn’t be able to match that. However the more you spend with me, the greater the saving made versus the price of the High Street. It’s a win win situation.
If you would like to talk about the options for your engagement and wedding rings in more detail, then please do call for a free consultation in our central London Hatton Garden office and we would be glad to help you. Our details are on the main page of the Lewis Malka London website.
Lewis Malka is a highly regarded expert in making diamond rings as well as being a famous jeweller to the stars. All his blogs are his own opinions. He is a member of the London Diamond Bourse (LDB). You can follow him daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.