Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Let’s Talk Engagements and Engagement Rings

wedding proposalOver in the forums there are a couple of discussions going on regarding engagements (and proposals) and engagement rings, and I thought it was worth bringing the topics over to the main page for deeper thought. First: engagements. It’s the 21st century. What do you think about this idea of women waiting around for their men to propose to them? I mean, on one hand there’s a place for tradition and, if both partners like the idea of the dude down on bended knee (or if one is really into the idea and the other is willing to go along with it), then they should go for it.

I myself had a traditional proposal where Drew popped the question to me, but we had had numerous conversations leading up to it and were on the same page — and I’d even given him my great-grandmother’s engagement ring and told him to give it back to me when he was ready (knowing very well he was ready and it was just a matter of his figuring out a way to propose; we’d also discussed a summer wedding, so I knew I wouldn’t be waiting very long for a proposal). I may be wrong about this, but I think we were both wanting a traditional proposal and thought of it more as a fun way to celebrate the milestone than a formality making it official. That said, if it had seemed like Drew wanted to get married but had no interest in a traditional proposal or whatever, I’d have just said, “Fine. Let’s set a date,” and we’d be engaged. Maybe not as “fun” (for us), but we’d still be on the road to marriage, and isn’t that the whole point?

Anyway, I get so many letters and see so many forum threads about women feeling completely frustrated with waiting for their boyfriends to propose (and I’m using heteronormative terms here because it is almost exclusively in straight couples where I see this issue). Is it really a proposal they’re waiting for, or is it an agreement to get married? They’re different things, after all. I feel that, if your guy isn’t willing to even discuss a timeline for marriage and you are ready, like, yesterday to walk down the aisle, then maybe you two are at different places and it’s time to move on. Or, you decide how much longer you’re willing to wait — a month, three months, six months max — and move on if the discussion hasn’t progressed at all.

But if you’re both in agreement and it’s just a proposal that’s standing in the way of making it official, why not just do the proposing yourself? Or, say, “Hey, let’s be engaged now!” And then you’re engaged. Maybe that’s not as fun and festive, but, if the waiting, waiting, waiting is really driving you nuts, cut it out. Take some ownership of the situation and make yourself a fiancée. And if you need a ring to make it feel real, here are some more non-traditional ones that I love, ranging from the price of a movie ticket and milk duds to the price of a new Nissan:

1.55ctw Emerald & Diamond Ring • $2,495.00

KALAN by Suzanne Kalan White Topaz & 14K Yellow Gold Ring • Suzanne Kalan • $462.00

Ippolita 18k Rock Candy London Blue Topaz Ring • Ippolita • $1,395.00

Monique Péan Diamond & Fossilized Woolly Mammoth Ring • $2,345.00

Janna Conner Fine Jewelry Petite Diamond Ring • Janna Conner • $220.00

Monique P?an Diamond Slice Ring with Triangular Diamonds • $14,160.00

Aurora by EFFY Opal (1-3/8 ct. t.w.) and Diamond (1/4 ct. t.w.) Oval Ring in 14k Rose Gold • $1,199.00

Ceylon Sapphire Gold Twig Solitaire • Michelle Oh • $783.00

Skyline Silver Pave Style Round Cut Ring • $24.99

MP Mineraux Rose-Cut Black Diamond & Platinum Ring • Black Diamond • $13,090.00

city x city Pure Silver-Plated Cubic Zirconia Vintage Engagement Ring • jcpenney • $42.00

135 comments… add one
  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark February 24, 2015, 1:02 pm

    Eh… Honestly? Wedding rings are just overpriced slave collars. Discuss!! 😉

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      SpaceySteph February 24, 2015, 1:19 pm

      Not all of them are overpriced. But $13,000 is one heck of a slave collar!

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      Ale February 24, 2015, 1:42 pm

      YES.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki February 24, 2015, 1:46 pm

      I got a real slave collar for my husband instead 😛 But yeah, not all are necessarily overpriced. I can’t understand spending thousands and thousands on a ring.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 1:53 pm

        Yeah, I’m not going to defend my ring. I know it was on the pricey side, but it was far from a hardship for Bassanio to get it. If it was, we would be returning it and getting something way cheaper, and possibly I would be sharing the costs. Although if we were sharing the cost, I’d be getting him an engagement ring, so it’s probably best it turned out this way (he didn’t want to wear one, but I kinda wanted him to). Maybe I should get him a slave collar instead…

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki February 24, 2015, 3:42 pm

        I think as long as its something you can afford, then its not really “pricey” necessarily. I think its all relative. I know people who aren’t in a position to buy an expensive ring, but take out a credit card or something to do it. That seems crazy to me.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 3:54 pm

        That is crazy. And yeah, it is relative. I’m purposefully keeping myself in the dark about how much it cost because I want plausible deniability when people ask how much it cost. Sidenote: why the heck do people think that’s an appropriate question?

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        jlyfsh February 24, 2015, 3:56 pm

        the same reason they think they can ask when you’re having kids. if you’re having more kids. if you’re not why you’re only having one kid, etc. etc. people are nosy!

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 4:00 pm

        I think if peoplw ask about having kids, I’ll say, That’s a good idea! Come on Bassanio, let’s go home and make one right now!

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        RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 4:39 pm

        Just tell them you have sex all the time, you’re not sure why it isn’t working. That should shut them up.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 5:38 pm

        I like your style!

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        MissDre February 24, 2015, 1:54 pm

        When I went to look at rings by myself (and we all know how well that worked out) the ring I wanted was $750. I figured that wasn’t bad.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki February 24, 2015, 2:50 pm

        My *actual* wedding ring (engagement + wedding band) was $750. It was what we could afford and I love it. But right now I actually have a “second” ring that was like $100 and has all CZ except for the center stone which is a black diamond. I wanted a black diamond but when we got engaged it was nearly impossible to find.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra February 24, 2015, 1:13 pm

    I think if the woman isn’t comfortable or isn’t willing to talk to her boyfriend about a timeline towards engagement/marriage, they aren’t ready to get married.
    .
    Navy Guy brought up the possibility of getting engaged first, at about a year of dating. We had kind of talked about it before that, but in offhanded ways, like talking about our hopes for the future and future kids and stuff. I really admire him for talking to me about taking the next step, because I KNOW that conversation was really hard for him to initiate. Plus he wanted to make sure that we were on the same page before popping the question.
    .
    It saddens me when women don’t feel like they can talk to their significant others about this kind of stuff. I mean your significant other *should* be the person who you feel like you can trust most…and it’s your life…why sit waiting and waiting and waiting?

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    TheRascal February 24, 2015, 1:17 pm

    Is that…a fossilized wooly mammoth???
    *
    ” Is it really a proposal they’re waiting for, or is it an agreement to get married? They’re different things, after all.” — I TOTALLY AGREE.
    *
    I find it nearly incomprehensible for a partner to ask another to marry him/her without ever having discussed the possibility of marriage, anyway. Like, it makes zero sense to me.
    *
    It’s your life and the life you want to build with someone else at stake. You have to be willing to talk about it, even if it feels scary at first.

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      MissDre February 24, 2015, 1:22 pm

      In my case, we talked about it many, many times. I told him I didn’t need a proposal, we could just agree to be engaged. I told him I’d pay for half the ring. I told him I didn’t need a big wedding. I told him that if marriage wasn’t what he wanted, to just be honest with me about it. But he kept stringing me along and making empty promises, and I kept waiting and waiting and waiting.
      .
      Why didn’t I just propose to him? Cuz I knew in my heart that he’d say no if I did. Maybe not an outright no. But there would be some excuse or another why “now is not the right time”.
      .
      Glad I walked away. I’m much happier for it.

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        TheRascal February 24, 2015, 1:32 pm

        The key here is that you were willing to talk about it — and through communicating, you got your answer, eventually. Even if it wasn’t what you had thought it would be, sadly. BUT — as you said — you are happier. So the best thing you could have done is what you did. You talked about it.
        *
        The next step after talking would be active planning. In some cases, it’s wedding planning. In others, it’s looking for a ring. Maybe some just go to the courthouse. I know that your breakup was difficult and that it stalled with your ex because he was not willing to use those conversations and initiate an action.

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    • Portia

      Portia February 24, 2015, 1:44 pm

      Omg, I had to look at that one. I’m stuck between WTF and awesome on that one. There’s also a dinosaur bone ring. I didn’t realize this was a thing…

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    MissDre February 24, 2015, 1:18 pm

    So effing happy that I left my previous relationship. That’s all I got to say. If a guy can’t even talk to you about a timeline, he’s not worth waiting for.

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  • gigi

    gigi February 24, 2015, 1:31 pm

    That Opal ring is about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Maybe I shall get engaged to myself just so I can have it!! Kidding….sort of.

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    • othy

      othy February 24, 2015, 3:57 pm

      I have a family heirloom opal ring that is very similar to that one. Sadly it’s too small to fit me. At some point I need to look into getting it resized.

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    Kay February 24, 2015, 1:33 pm

    It definitely should be more like what you said, Wendy, with both of you celebrating the event rather than a formality. I think society has programmed women to think that marriage has to happen and has to happen NOW because the timeline has to be in the twenties to early thirties, so some women push after a period of time with their SO without considering that maybe, just maybe, the SO can’t read their mind.

    Not to mention, with the trend of those big blow up proposals…I feel that it’s all becoming more about the show rather than the deeper meaning of what the entire thing is about. But that’s just me.

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    shakeourtree February 24, 2015, 1:42 pm

    My dream is to get married on 4/20. The next time it’s on a Saturday is 2019, so I told my boyfriend has 4 more years to get used to the idea. I’m joking obviously, but 4/20 really would be the best anniversary.

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    • Portia

      Portia February 24, 2015, 1:46 pm

      I kinda want to go down to the courthouse or file the paperwork or something on October 21, 2015. Points to anyone who knows what that date means…

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        shakeourtree February 24, 2015, 1:48 pm

        Haha, it’s back to the future. Shouldn’t we all have hoverboards by now?

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 1:54 pm

        Right? Someone needs to get on that, for real this time…

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        MissDre February 24, 2015, 1:56 pm

        Have you ever read that article on Cracked about how Inspector Gadget predicted the future? It’s pretty funny….
        .
        http://www.cracked.com/article_20181_5-ways-inspector-gadget-totally-predicted-future.html

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 2:04 pm

        This is fantastic! I loved that show as a kid, and we all knew Penny was the real star. I named a stuffed animal after her.

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      Seriously? Seriously! February 24, 2015, 7:46 pm

      Question related to that: I got engaged about 3 weeks ago and want to get married this year. Due to a lot of complicated circumstances, it needs to be in late october, early november. I found the only venue that I’ve liked and can fit all of our people, but the only opening is October 31. I It helps that it will be the 2 year anniversary of when we met, but I defintely do NOT want a Halloween-themed wedding (I know some people do it and love it, but it isn’t me).

      Is an amazing venue that fills all of my needs for something I can afford worth having an anniversary on Halloween forever?

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        RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 9:17 pm

        You can always celebrate your anniversary on a different day. My husband and I do that anyway if it doesn’t fall on the weekend. On the day, you say happy anniversary and maybe give a gift if you’re doing that. And then your nice dinner out or whatever is on whatever day you want, kind of around the 31st. It’s probably not a big deal. We almost got married on Valentine’s Day, because of venue availability. It would have been annoying because it would be hard to do an anniversary date when everyone else has the restaurants all booked up for Valentine’s. But with Halloween you won’t have that kind of problem. People don’t go to nice restaurants, they don’t go on weekend trips, etc. In fact it’ll probably be easier for you to find somewhere to go. 🙂

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:17 pm

        If you don’t want a Halloween themed wedding, don’t get married on Halloween, plain and simple. One of my venue choices had an available date on Halloween, and I did seriously consider it. But with the overall feel of my wedding being simple and elegant and classic…Halloween did NOT fit the bill. You will find another place, promise. I had all but given up until we found our reception venue, which quite honestly is even more perfect than I thought it could be.

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        Seriously? Seriously! February 25, 2015, 10:25 am

        Thanks for this. The venue quest seems totally hopeless. Plus, I live in the Northeast and every weekend we’ve planned to go venue shopping and have had a freaking blizzard.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 25, 2015, 7:37 am

        The only way you’d have a Halloween-themed wedding is if YOU planned a halloween-themed wedding. What difference does it make if you have the wedding on Halloween? Do you think the venue is going to put up Halloween decorations? Do you think your guests are going to come in costume? I mean, if you’re really worried about it, put a note on the invitation that the dress code is formal or whatever. Honestly, I think it’s sort of dumb to give up your venue of choice because it falls on some silly “holiday” most adults don’t really even care about.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 25, 2015, 8:08 am

        I considered Halloween as a date. It’s just a date, honestly. And you know what, because it’s on a holiday, people are more likely to remember it on your anniversary! The only friends’ anniversaries I remember are on holidays.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 25, 2015, 8:10 am

        The only dates I didn’t consider were holidays or other weekends that people were likely to have plans a year in advance.

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        Seriously? Seriously! February 25, 2015, 10:22 am

        I guess I meant more about the anniversary — NEVER being able to celebrate on the anniversary because of taking the (eventual) kids trick or treating, and such. And when I emailed to my immediate family about date availability, and indicated that it wouldn’t be a halloween wedding, my bro responded he’d be coming as James Bond. Which I know seems cute but just reinforced that no matter what I do regarding decorations and such, it will be halloween for everyone else.

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        jlyfsh February 25, 2015, 10:32 am

        He was probably just joking though and I’m sure doesn’t realize you have issues with the idea of it being on Halloween. It might be Halloween to them, but they’re not going to be at your wedding celebrating Halloween. I’ll also say I’ve never actually celebrated my anniversary on the actual day. It’s too hard as an adult (or at least for us, even without kids) to manage to celebrate when it falls on a Tuesday. And honestly after your wedding day your anniversary will be fairly meaningless to everyone else anyway. I don’t remember my friend’s or family’s anniversaries as being the most important thing on that day years later. It will really only be important for you.

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        Seriously? Seriously! February 25, 2015, 11:29 am

        thanks! thank you for not ripping on me for being a little (lottle) sensitive about this and giving some perspective. What is nice is that my fiance and met over the summer, went on two dates, and he never called. We ran into each other at a saturday night halloween party, on Oct. 31, actual halloween, he apologized for never calling, and asked me out again. The Oct. 31 that the venue has available will be the second anniversary of that saturday. So it has a significance for us, but my fiance REALLY does not want a “halloween”-y wedding, which is why we’re nervous.

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        Seriously? Seriously! February 25, 2015, 11:55 am

        Oh and bro was definitely joking (it was just a tux joke). But both me and my fiance can run a little sensitive and if everyone makes jokes about it and we’re sensitive, that may be hard for us. Not saying that the people making the jokes are wrong, especially when its good-natured and they wouldn’t think of like, showing up to the wedding in costume, but just that we are a little over-sensitive, so maybe it’s something we should avoid.

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      • mylaray

        mylaray February 25, 2015, 8:15 am

        I agree it’s just a date and it’s all about how you make it. I have some friends who got married on September 11 a few years ago and it wasnt weird or uncomfortable.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark February 25, 2015, 12:26 pm

        Eh… I would so, so, so NOT advise getting married on Halloween. Why? That holiday has become so big somehow. I know many, many, many people (especially here in LA) who loudly have proclaimed it to be their favorite holiday… NONE of them would want to miss out on all its crazy festivities just so somebody can get married due to poor planning… I just wouldn’t do it. It’s like getting hitched on Christmas Day. Some WILL have other plans… The others? Will be wishing they did…

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      MrsMarcie February 24, 2015, 8:11 pm

      My husband, best friend, and dog’s birthday are all on 4/20!

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        Shakeourtree February 25, 2015, 11:23 am

        I would looooove to have my birthday on 4/20! It would be the perfect excuse to ask my friends to give me weed as a bday present! It’s also Hitler’s birthday, though, so that kind of sucks, but with enough weed, you can forget about that.

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        Seriously? Seriously! February 25, 2015, 11:30 am

        It’s also Hitler’s birthday. It’s my aunt’s birthday and people bring that up way more than …ehm.. other 4/20 significances.

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    Ale February 24, 2015, 1:52 pm

    I decided recently that I would like to get married (after years of going back and forth lol). I definitely do not like the idea of a ring. An engagement ring to me, is like a sign of possession and I do not like that. If the guy wore an engagement ring as well, maaaaybe I would take it into consideration, but to wear a ring to show everyone you’re “taken” by a guy, it just doesn´t feel right. Also, I don´t wear rings that much, so spending that amount of money on a ring doesn’t seem good to me.
    A proposal isn´t of my liking either. It makes it seem like it is the guy who decides to get married. But the decision to get married should come from both of us. Me and my boyfriend have discussed about moving in together and getting married (not that serious though, we´ve only been together for six months), so when we decide to get married I think we will both have a say on it and then we´ll tell our family and then we´ll set a date.
    He´s told me many times that he wants to marry me and I have told him that I dont like rings and proposals and he´s ok with that. Some people care more about the ring and the wedding than the marriage. I´ve seen girls cry because they didn´t like the ring or the proposal…

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      snoopy128 February 24, 2015, 10:17 pm

      I feel ya! I’m constantly torn between ring (because pretty shiny jewelery) and no engagment ring or us both having one because they signal possession. My cousin and her fiance just both got rings. Those rings will be their wedding rings and they both wear them right now because to them, the wedding it a formality, they are in it forever.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana February 24, 2015, 2:07 pm

    This is timely as I am in 2 weddings in the next few months, and a guest a few more and basically brides and a lot of bridesmaids are off their gd rockers. First of all bridesmaids having to pay upwards of $300 for a dress, take 3 days off work or more (2 for bachelorette and 1 for the wedding) and then get hotel rooms and shit as well as planning bridal showers (which are insnaely unnecessary for a couple who just bought a $500K+ house is one of the richest areas of the country) is just really a stupid concept. People need to get a grip and its not only brides, some of my best friends who are bridesmaids with me are just looney tunes about what we should be doing for the bride. Like no offense to people who are engaged but you getting married isn’t a huge deal to really anyone but you, your fiance and maybe your families. The world is not coming to an end, you are not reinventing the wheel, my life does not stop because of it. I am just so over this sick mindset and think weddings today represent a microcosm of everything that is wrong in the culture I grew up in and am a part of. I know people will say “well don’t agree to be in the bridal party then” yeah great-sometimes you don’t know how a bride will respond or act until you are in the bridal party and also its not even about that its just that people feel so entitled to all of this stuff, and peoples time and everyone wants to be this mini celebrity for a day. No one or few people even consider the ramifications of their special day, as in you know a lifetime of marriage to a person. Weddings have become total spectacles and ways to show off and one up people vs what they should be, which is a ceremony about love between two people and commitment they are giving one another before their loved ones and god if they so choose.

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    • Portia

      Portia February 24, 2015, 2:14 pm

      $300 for a bridesmaids dress, whaaa?? That’s what my (possibly unrealistic) budget is for my wedding dress.
      .
      I’ve heard some stories recently of weddings my friends are bridesmaids in and I agree that it can be brides or their attendants that are off their rockers. After my friend was going to be involved in this crazy bachelorette party, she hit her breaking point (and budget point) and actually talked to the bride about what was going on. Turned out it was the maid of honor going a little planning crazy and the bride didn’t know how much of a financial burden this was turning into, so she talked to the maid of honor and shut that down.

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        Sunshine Brite February 24, 2015, 3:21 pm

        Yeah, I had a work friend who’s bridesmaids picked out dresses for her wedding between $300-$400. She couldn’t understand it. She was telling me, what are they doing? Whatever, they all seem to be in agreement.

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        Girlchrisesq February 24, 2015, 7:06 pm

        I just went to David’s Bridal with a friend this weekend for her to pick up her bridesmaid dress. The dress itself was $180, which she said was at the height of her affordability. On top of that, the alterations (taking in the bust and hemming 3 layers on the dress) was $120! So she spent a total of $300 on her dress, which I think is probably on the low-end of things. I’m planning a November wedding currently and know a couple of my bridesmaids don’t have a lot of money, so it’s something I’m keeping in mind. But damn!

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady February 24, 2015, 8:16 pm

        I had my bridesmaids get a regular dress at a store in the mall. They were on sale for $25. And everyone looked lovely.

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        ktfran February 25, 2015, 8:48 am

        My JCrew dress that my sis picked out for her bridesmaids dresses was $150. It’s navy and I can wear over and over and over. And I can change up the shoes and accessories. Well done sis.

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      RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 4:09 pm

      It’s a product of the wedding industrial complex, I think. In Canada it hasn’t gotten hold as hard, so we’re a bit more free of this crap. I’ve never heard of anyone who had a destination bachelorette, for example. Well, I guess I technically did, but it was just a couple hour’s drive away and it was basically an excuse for touring wineries. There was no pressure for anyone to come who didn’t want to, and in fact my sister/maid of honour didn’t come and I was fine with it. The only thing that’s a “command performance” is the wedding itself, and then probably at least the dinner portion of the reception.
      .
      As to dresses, it seems to be getting pretty common that the bridesmaids choose their own, just staying in the same colour family. I checked with all my bridesmaids that they could afford it, and my mom helped out my SIL who couldn’t afford it. I paid for hair, and told them that they could wear whatever shoes they liked. Anyone who doesn’t take their bridesmaids’ budget and time into consideration is a huge jerk, frankly. Your bridesmaids are doing you a favour. You don’t get to crap all over them for it.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana February 24, 2015, 4:47 pm

        yeah not so lucky. one of the bach parties I am going to we had to pay for everything for the bride, like her accommodation all of her food/drinks/transportation when there. It isn’t really like you have a choice either, a bunch of us tried to be like umm no we aren’t paying for her 4 night stay and the MOH totally bypassed us and just told us all what we owed which included the bride’s prices. Then when you are in the moment its like oh we will pay for this and it just adds up, its crazy. The brides I have been in weddings of do not go the choose your own dress in this color, they pick a color and fabric and retailer, usually bridal or Jcrew and you can choose your style, but it usually is equal to about $250 for something you’ll never wear again.

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        SpaceySteph February 24, 2015, 4:54 pm

        Not only did I pay my way to my own bachelorette party (which was destination because of the 5 of us we lived in 4 different states, so we didn’t really have a choice but to travel but I paid for the hotel for all of us and the rental car. We stayed in a suite with a full kitchen and ate breakfast at home every morning to save $. My MOH organized that everyone would chip in for one dinner for me not to pay for, but I was fully prepared to pay for it too until they stole my check.
        But I agree, sometimes paying for the bride sounds reasonable and even like something you want to to do, and then it can add up to hundreds per person.

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        RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 4:56 pm

        WHAT? That is unbelievable. My husband and I paid for our own hotel room when we did our destination bachelor/bachelorette (we did them the same weekend, same place). I wouldn’t even dream of having everyone else pay for us, that’s ridiculous. My mom paid for my dinner when we went out, and then my friends paid for cover at the bar and bought me some drinks, that’s it. I don’t know if I could keep being friends with someone who just expected me to drop that kind of money on their wedding.
        .
        Bridesmaid’s dresses are expensive here, we don’t have as many options as the US does, and there isn’t as much competition to drive down prices. And then we get the usual Canadian price-gouge where they just mark it up 35% from the US price. $250 would be about the upper limit here though, I would think. Even with the price-gouging. I made sure the one for my bridesmaid’s was under $200, and that they were all ok with that, before finalizing it. If one of them had said it was a bit much, I would have switched. Actually I did offer a cheaper option, but none of them really liked it, so we didn’t go with it.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 25, 2015, 12:00 am

        If you can still back out of that bachelorette party, I would. You’re not obligated to go. And lordy, you don’t owe her to pay for her accommodations. I get paying for the bachelorette’s drinks or something and I’ve done that before, but a 4-night stay is insane. Some people just need a reality check (bridesmaids bailing on bachelorette parties for example) that they can’t dictate what their bridesmaids pay for.

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      SpaceySteph February 24, 2015, 4:49 pm

      Ugh I was in a wedding with 9 (yes NINE) bridesmaids. Three of the local ones got together and tried on dresses and picked one for all 9 of us– $260, plus another $75 in alterations (which David’s Bridal did a horrible job at and the dress was nearly too tight) and I also had to buy shoes. And the dress is terrible and I will 100% never be wearing it again, except maybe if I run a 5k dressed as Cinderella.
      Also, for her bachelorette she wanted to do it over Thanksgiving weekend, in our hometown (where 6 of the bridesmaids and her live) because, she claimed, “everyone” would be home for it. Her sister and I (2 of the 3 out-of-town maids) work in 24/7 occupations (me in mission control and her in a hospital) and we both agreed that it was actually easier for us to get off on a random weekend that wasn’t a holiday (plus cheaper to fly) but she was stuck on this idea that thanksgiving was most convenient. Probably because, as a teacher, she got a convenient 4 day weekend there.
      But like others have said, sure you can say no to being a bridesmaid, but I didn’t know when I accepted that she was going to end up as one of NINE and with all these requirements. Some people get engaged and suddenly reason escapes them.

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    • Portia

      Portia February 24, 2015, 4:59 pm

      Thanks everyone for making me 10 times more sure I don’t need to have bridesmaids. Seriously, you say “wedding” and people lose their damn minds…

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 6:06 pm

        I had bridesmaids mostly because people expected it. But we were just reasonable about it. It only cost about $250 more than the cost of just attending the wedding itself. Not that I charged for my wedding, lol, but my sister and sister-in-law live out of town so they would have had hotel costs anyway. 🙂

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 8:16 pm

        Oh of course it doesn’t have to be like that, and I made my choices for other reasons (mainly because I want every friend I’ve invited to be my bridesmaid, as well as Bassanio’s 6 female cousins). But it makes me feel better when I hear about the possible craziness I’ll avoid.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 8:19 pm

        Also, I’m asking my sister to be my MOH tomorrow when we’re stuck in airports and planes for 6 hours. What do you guys think, get drinks in the airport bar? Get drunk on the plane?

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 8:19 pm

        Maybe I’ll just bring her a cupcake…

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    • mylaray

      mylaray February 24, 2015, 8:58 pm

      I wouldn’t even buy a $300 dress for myself. When planning my wedding, I tried to ask myself if I would spend that amount myself (like registry items, food for a regular party, etc) and did my best to keep myself in check. I asked my 2 best friends who were only loosely bridesmaids to wear a purple outfit (I’m not really a dress person and that drives me crazy about bridesmaid outfits)and I paid for it because they both made huge travel sacrifices to be there (8000 miles and 1000 miles to travel) and I wanted to accommodate them since then being there was all that mattered to me.

      Reply Link
      • lynn

        Lynn February 25, 2015, 9:02 am

        I hear ya @mylaray… I’m in two weddings coming up, both dresses were $200… haven’t done alterations yet. When it’s all said and done, I will have spent about $4K total for both (dresses, travel, bach parties, hotels, showers, etc.)… and it really isn’t about the money, but more the fact that it’s batshit insane that a bridesmaid could even spend that much, haha.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:25 pm

      Yeah, this is why I told my bridesmaids this when I asked them to be bridesmaids: “I will do everything possible to keep your costs out of pocket down.” My goal is for them to ONLY pay for a dress which is likely going to be $100 or less…and something they can wear again. Obviously plus undergarments, and maybe shoes. I’m footing the bill for hair and makeup as well as pedicures, and I plan to get them their jewelry as well. I told them not to bother with shower gifts because it’s MUCH more important to me that they are there with me instead of having to back out due to it costing too much.
      .
      Quite honestly I would seriously question my relationship with someone if they asked me to fork over $300 for a bridesmaid dress, plus everything else. Personally I really like the opportunity to celebrate with friends so bachelorette parties are fun for me and I’m willing to take time off work if need be. My friends aren’t the kind of people to have traditional bachelorette parties (we usually go camping or something), but we always have a ton of fun together. I’m more than willing to make time for good friends for that.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Samba February 24, 2015, 2:07 pm

    I agree with you 100% Lyra.
    .
    I think I like the Target ring best, which is ironic since I definitely had a freak out when we went to look at engagement rings. I was torn between just wanting to get a good deal on some non-traditional ring and move on, and the need to have something really shiny and big and like “this is FOREVER AHHHH.” I never spend a lot of money on jewelry, clothes, purses or shoes…I see nice stuff and like it, but I usually just tell myself I don’t really need it and I could totally find $10 earrings that look similar to that $200 pair (even though the quality is obvi not the same, but when I have something expensive I’m almost afraid to wear it lol!). But there’s a ton of external pressure and I guess subconsciously it was looming around. It bubbled over in the most embarrassing and awkward manner one day, when we went to a discount jewelry store and the lady asked my now-husband what he wanted to spend, just to write it down. After, she came back with this very unattractive small ring–it looked like it should cost $15 and he had suggested a pretty reasonable price range for a ring–and essentially gave me a disgusted look when I said I didn’t love it and sighed, “well there’s not much else in that price range but I’ll see what I can do.” As soon as she walked away I burst into uncontrollable, snot-dripping-sobs lol–it just was the last straw. Like going into Payless and saying you want inexpensive shoes and then the clerk being disgusted with you haha! Ridiculous. He was great about it but I felt silly. It’s just amazing how that stuff can get to you even though you swear to yourself you’re never going to be that girl 😛

    Reply Link
  • Portia

    Portia February 24, 2015, 2:28 pm

    I think the most important distinction in this (and in some of the recent forum posts) is “Is it really a proposal they’re waiting for, or is it an agreement to get married?” I have some friends who are obviously more concerned with the proposal and wedding than relationship and marriage. It’s definitely possible to be excited about and looking forward to all those things, and centerpieces and rings are easier to talk about with your friends than the state of your relationship because they’re more concrete. But when it comes to your relationship, you have to be able to talk about your plans for the future and be on the same page as your significant other before you even start thinking about proposals and weddings. It’s like some people say about sex: if you can’t talk about it and be on the same page about it, you shouldn’t be having it.

    Reply Link
    • Portia

      Portia February 24, 2015, 2:49 pm

      My parents didn’t have a proposal, which was disappointing to me as a child. Probably because the way my mom described it was that they “just decided.” I like the idea of having some sort of story you can tell, even if it’s already been decided. Of course, instead of our official proposal story, I could also tell the other story where years ago we were talking about our future and Bassanio said he felt like we were a family, and I said I felt the same way, and that we would build our future together, and then we did. That was far more meaningful than any proposal, the rest is formalities and paperwork and parties.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 4:33 pm

      I didn’t get my husband an engagement gift, but I paid for the bulk of the wedding. It was about 10x the cost of the engagement ring, so I think he did ok. I didn’t need an engagement ring, either, but he wanted to get me one. I didn’t want anything super fancy so mine’s relatively cheap (compared to what my friends have). It’s still more expensive than I really thought I’d want to wear every day, but eh, you get used to it. The money’s gone, might as well wear the ring. 🙂

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 4:33 pm

        No idea why this showed up as a reply to Portia! It should be its own comment. 🙂

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 5:34 pm

        No worries! Hey RR, how’s it going?

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 6:07 pm

        Hahahaha, it’s going, it’s going. 🙂

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    • Lyra

      Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:34 pm

      In addition to what you mentioned, I think another thing that people need to distinguish if they’re wanting the marriage or the wedding. It’s SO EASY to get caught up in wedding stuff. Heck, I’m a super low key, easy going person, but I’ve found myself getting caught up in stupid wedding stuff that in the grand scheme of things DOESN’T MATTER. And I remind of myself all the time, but it’s easy to think “oh I want this to be PERFECT” and get caught up in dumb things.

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  • niki

    niki February 24, 2015, 2:29 pm

    My now husband and I got engaged through a mutual discussion of our future. We talked about wanting to get be married, when we could foresee that happening, how we foresaw it happening and came to an agreement. We considered ourselves engaged in that moment. A couple weeks later we went shopping and purchased our rings. I was able to pick out what I wanted, and it was a really happy memory. I don’t regret not having a “traditional” proposal. I have a wonderful marriage. We have a wonderful daughter and a son on the way. We respect each other and love each other deeply. I feel safe and cared for. I didn’t need a surprise/bended knee proposal to get that. Isn’t the happy successful marriage the goal? I don’t have anything against tradition, and I don’t think there’s a perfect or right way to get engaged, just try to keep it drama-free. All that drama is not a good foundation for a successful marriage.

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 2:57 pm

    Well, I’m a little drunk at the airport bar because I hate flying especially on small planes like the 34 seater I’m going to get on in an hour and half. I personally think the whole engagement process as a little outdated. But I do believe a proposal should not be a surprise to either party and many concrete discussions about marriage should be had beforehand. Now engagement rings annoy me a little bit, I think they’re outdated, but since I don’t see this tradition going away anytime soon, I think the man should be gifted something as well, like a watch, I would say ring, but I have dainty hands and will never wear a ring because I don’t want any attention being placed on them, but I digress.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Kate February 24, 2015, 3:00 pm

      I buy all my hubbands an engagement watch!

      Reply Link
      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:24 pm

        Well I’m glad someone is helping with this tradition

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    • Portia

      Portia February 24, 2015, 3:19 pm

      How about engagement cufflinks?

      Reply Link
      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:21 pm

        @Portia, I would love engagement cufflinks, but I don’t wear cufflinks more than once a year. A watch, I wear everyday. Also, if you were to go similar value, that would be preposterous to pay for cufflinks.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 3:28 pm

        You don’t want to know how often Bassanio wears cufflinks… I think they’re his favorite accessory. He wears the heck out of his watches, so is be afraid it would break within a year or two.

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:25 pm

      Also, I’m on my third whiskey coke

      Reply Link
      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:25 pm

        I meant to say double whiskey coke

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray February 24, 2015, 3:29 pm

        then i’d say now is the right time for you to snap a picture of your hands and upload them on photobucket and copy the link here, mmmkay thanks.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 3:31 pm

        Seconded! Now you have to.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:40 pm

        No way :p I’m not that drunk, there is a family sitting next to me while I drink, and the one kid asked why my coke is so small and so expensive. I said you’ll find out when you’re 19.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 24, 2015, 3:30 pm

        Ok everyone, ask mrmid all the questions you’ve ever wanted to ask!

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:34 pm

        No hand pictures, sorry ladies. But I will admit to it being very difficult to glove shop.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray February 24, 2015, 3:40 pm

        I found a picture of Mr. Mid and his hands!

        https://emilybordon.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/4.png

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:42 pm

        bahaha, not quite that tiny

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray February 24, 2015, 3:42 pm

        prove it.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 3:49 pm

        haha, well look at the time, better get to me gate.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray February 24, 2015, 3:29 pm

      link a picture of your hands. do it!

      Reply Link
      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 24, 2015, 9:53 pm

        Well you guys should know, that I have arrived in Baltimore after a bumpy ride and a lot more drunk for the wear and tear

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  • avatar

    Eve February 24, 2015, 3:02 pm

    Remembering how up until just recently I truly believed that men really proposed totally out of the blue and the women honestly had absolutely no idea it was coming, no discussions involved at all. (I blame romantic comedies and lack of experience lol)
    When I started reading on forums how things actually work I was almost heart-broken, my little bubble of romantic cheesiness was popped haha 🙂
    But anyways, even after the discussion which precede the actual engagement/date setting, I’d still definitely want a traditional romantic proposal. I don’t want a huge expensive over-the-top wedding, but I do want my romantic proposal! Much like the one Wendy or Lyra have described (and yes, Central Park proposal would be a dream come true for me since it’s been my dream to visit NY and San Francisco since I was kid 😉 )
    I don’t know, if a guy just randomly throws at me “so when are we picking the date” while I’m washing the dishes or something…. I’ll probably throw a plate at him lol
    Not to mention that I am soooo easy to read, expressive, emotional and honest about pretty much everything, that if he hasn’t figured out by the time we’re meant to get engaged what kind of proposal I’d be into, then he might as well not bother proposing haha

    Reply Link
    • Lyra

      Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:43 pm

      Well, NG brought up the talk about our future when we were on the way to the grocery store. He was driving. I was talking about work. It was definitely not his most romantic moment! Haha. But still, now when I look back, it WAS romantic in a way. He wanted me to know I’m his equal in the whole process and he wanted me to be 100% on the same page as him. And he is fairly traditional like I’ve mentioned, but he still wanted to have the “where are we relationship wise?” talk. I know bringing it up, even to someone he trusts completely, was really hard.
      .
      For the record, I was 99% sure I knew it was coming on Christmas, but it still felt like a surprise. I mean, in addition to our talks about it, he had wrapped it in a small box and he was fidgeting and insanely nervous right next to me on the couch when he gave it to me to open. It’s a crazy emotional moment, and even when you KNOW…it’s like “hot damn, this is really happening!!!”

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Eve February 25, 2015, 5:25 am

        That’s so sweet Lyra 🙂 Yeah this is sort of what I mean, after he already knows you’re on the same page by discussing it with you he still made a traditional proposal which left you feeling emotional and happy and with something to remember and talk about in the future. 🙂

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  • avatar

    Kate February 24, 2015, 3:08 pm

    Totally agree, I’ve done the engagement watch both times.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh February 24, 2015, 3:29 pm

    My husband bought my ring about 6 months before he proposed. But, we talked about that and actually set our wedding date and then just said hey I guess since we did that it means we’re engaged and I started wearing my ring. Which wasn’t expensive by my choice. I’m just not a big jewelry person. My wedding rings and pearl earrings my Grandparents bought me like 10 years ago are the only jewelry I wear every day. So if you want an alternate to a ring, get a good pair of engagement pearl earrings. I wear the crap out of mine.

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  • avatar

    g February 24, 2015, 4:03 pm

    I’d be terrified if someone out of the blue proposed marriage to me. I cry really easily & I know I’d completely lose it & definitely say no if it was an actual surprise. Even if it wasn’t a total surprise, & there had been conversations beforehand, I would really hope it wouldn’t happen in public or with any big to-do. I will cry. & get very very scared. Same with a big rock in a box. No, thank you!! I do want to get married & I do want a wedding (for family & community) but the proposal/ring business better go really slowly & with both of us on the same page. I love the ideas about an engagement watch : D

    Reply Link
  • othy

    othy February 24, 2015, 4:06 pm

    I’ve always thought you should never propose unless you know the answer will be yes (meaning, you two have talked and reached the same conclusion). I do think there’s a difference between a proposal and an engagement to be married, and the agreement should come (in some way) before the proposal itself.
    .
    When Othello proposed, we had decided that we were going to get married, but I wanted something ‘romantic’ to tell my family and friends. So, he took me into NYC and proposed to me in Little Italy, and then we went and got ice cream. Best day ever 🙂
    .
    Also, I love the idea of a getting a man an engagement gift. A friend of mine had spent a number of years in England, where there is an old folk tradition where the man gives the woman either a ring or a hand carved spoon (depending on their income) and the woman gives him a knife in return to accept his proposal. My friend was ready to marry long before his now-wife was. And he let her know. So when she was ready, she gave him a knife with an expectation that he’d give her a ring in a short while, so she’d still be surprised.

    Reply Link
    • Lyra

      Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:45 pm

      I once saw a public proposal at a baseball game on the jumbotron where she said no. It was awkward and I felt bad for the dude. The announcers couldn’t get away from them fast enough!

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  • avatar

    Simonthegrey February 24, 2015, 5:17 pm

    I teach at a college. My husband and I met there. He proposed by showing up at the school on a random day when I was teaching, waited until one class let out, bribed one of my students to keep everyone in the hallway, then came in wearing a suit with a dozen roses and got down on one knee. Not at all what I imagined, but absolutely very perfect.

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  • Miel

    Miel February 24, 2015, 5:23 pm

    I grew up with some non-traditional role models (like my parents not being married), so I never dreamed even the concept of being engaged seemed foreign to me for a long time (I thought people just decided to get married and that was it). Now my boyfriend is a bit more traditional so he wants me to have a ring and he wants to (eventually) propose to me. I’m fine with that, but I want a separate process of “deciding to get married”. I see the proposal as a fun activity/memory to have, and then separately the decision to get married in an ongoing conversation between the partners.
    .
    I’m in my mid-20s now and I just see so many people around me getting engaged with HUGE rings and I’m really trying to remember what my definition of marriage is and what I want MY life to be (vs what everybody else is doing). My boyfriend and I have this recurring thing where we’ll plan a nice vacation or special dinner and either he or I will say “don’t propose during the weekend !”. His family thinks it’s really weird. They think we are 1) happy together and 2) planning the perfect escapade (here a romantic dinner, or a cruise or a trip…) and they say “just get engaged, it’s going to be perfect !” and we tell them “but we are not there yet in our relationship !”. They kinda don’t get it.

    Another conversation my boyfriend and I had: we want him to propose with a fake “place holder” ring and then after that we’ll shop for a ring together. I’m just really picky about rings, and he wants me to be happy (and to say yes because of him, not because of the pretty ring), so we like our plan. Again, his family didn’t understand. “It’s simple, just go to Tiffany and buy a huge solitary diamond ring ! No woman will say no to a $10,000 ring !” and I was just “No ! that’s way too big ! I want a small ring, I have small fingers ! I told you I was picky, just let me shop for my own future ring !”.

    I’m really happy that my boyfriend and I are on the same page, because otherwise I would be a lot more stressed about this whole thing !

    Reply Link
    • Lady_Red

      Red_Lady February 24, 2015, 8:34 pm

      I would totally say no to a $10,000 ring. I would be so worried about losing it, plus, you could do so much more fun things with $10,000. Hell, I feel like my $600 ring is too much, but my husband said all the cheaper rings he saw looked really cheap.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover February 24, 2015, 9:12 pm

        I have friends with rings that I’m sure are $10,000 or more. They can afford it, they go on vacations too and have nice cars and houses. People who are buying rings like that can afford them. Or if they can’t, they’re idiots (financially, at least).

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:48 pm

        Ring insurance!! My friend lost her original set because she took it off when washing her hands in the bathroom at Grand Canyon National Park. They backtraced their steps but never found it. Her current set has the best insurance money can buy, and it is protected from theft, loss, or any other damage. I’m glad mine has insurance too. It’s not the most expensive in the world (thank goodness) but it puts me at ease that I’m 100% covered.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 25, 2015, 7:59 am

        I need to get me some of that insurance stuff… But I need to get it appraised first, and resized.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 25, 2015, 8:44 am

        In the long run it’s relatively cheap, from what I understand (NG got it right away so he paid for it, he paid a bit extra for the “lifetime warranty” from the store). I remember my friend said she pays a small amount per year and it covers EVERYTHING.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 25, 2015, 9:30 am

        Yeah, mine is from an auction house, so no such warranties. I know I have to do it, I’ve just been putting it off, mostly because I need to find an extremely reputable jeweler. They can’t mess it up. Also, Bassanio looked it up and technically if you lose it, you can deduct the value of a ring (tax-wise), so he was against insurance. For the moment, it does not come off my finger, except to put it in the box.

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      • Mr. Cellophane

        Mr. Cellophane February 25, 2015, 9:41 am

        You can easily add it as a rider on homeowners/renters insurance. Getting ‘The Ring’ insured is what actually kicked me in the pants to get renter’s insurance back in the day.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 25, 2015, 9:48 am

        I’ve tried, they need an appraisal before they’ll add it.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 25, 2015, 11:07 am

        I’d also like to say, most people have a comparable document from the jeweler they got their ring from, but mine (being an auction house buy) does not have a document like that. Everyone else, it’s worth it to do the legwork to see what your existing coverage and coverage options are!

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 February 24, 2015, 10:30 pm

      I totally agree with the whole concept of a proposal being a fun activity/memory, but totally separate from deciding to get married.

      And that totally sums up why I like the idea of a proposal. I think a cute/fun story is a great thing. Especially because our ‘how we met’ story is so boring. And we have to tell the PG version of it. Ha.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Sue Jones February 24, 2015, 7:25 pm

    The hair ring was free. Actually that was the wedding ring. Never had an engagement ring.

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  • avatar

    cinnamonwhiskk February 24, 2015, 8:05 pm

    I am newly engaged and in a non-traditional way so I thought I’d share. We’ve been together 8 years, and we kind of didn’t care about marriage… until we suddenly did. Then we had a ton of conversations, starting from “if” and leading to “when” we were getting married, but neither of us would jump the gun. A few months ago, I felt like doing it and I proposed to him. He asked if I was serious. I said I was if he was, and we are engaged!

    He is a grad student, so I couldn’t handle the thought of him spending any large sum of money on a ring. We came up with a perfect compromise by re-setting my mom’s original engagement ring diamond. I love that I get to have something pretty, sentimental, and inexpensive.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:50 pm

      Navy Mom’s engagement ring is her great grandmother’s I believe. She just wears her band though. Also my cousin’s husband got his grandma’s diamond re-set when he proposed to my cousin. She absolutely LOVES it.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous February 25, 2015, 2:20 am

        I love heirloom rings like that! What’s cool about our resetting was that at the same time we made mine, we also reset diamonds from my grandma for my mom to wear. So we each inherited beautiful diamonds and made them our own! It was so fun because I was in on it but my mom got to be surprised with her new setting.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 25, 2015, 8:50 am

        My cousin’s husband’s grandma never got to travel much, so anytime she goes somewhere new, she says that she always thinks about how in a way she is bringing her grandma-in-law with her through her ring.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray February 24, 2015, 9:32 pm

    I have an obsession with rings (I regularly wear 5 including my engagement ring and wedding band). And I love all those rings, and I think the the wooly mammoth one is really pretty and interesting. Reminds me a lot of a square moonstone ring I have. Must not buy another ring though.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      snoopy128 February 24, 2015, 10:32 pm

      Amen. I have a ring obsession. Wendy’s links took me down the internet rabbit hole where I found like 10 rings I want to buy (just to have), all way out of anything I can afford.

      How do you find your wedding/engagement ring matches with all your other rings? I often switch between gold and silver rings and I’d be scared to get 1 engagement ring that needs to coordinate with all my other rings.

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      • mylaray

        mylaray February 24, 2015, 10:44 pm

        Ah, yes I want them just to have too, often way out of my price range. For the matching issue, I have a bunch of silver and white gold rings that I don’t wear as my everyday rings anymore because of the matching. Plus sometimes all the colored stones can be a bit much. My wedding band is a white gold and my engagement ring is rose gold, but I feel that they match nicely. Both are delicate looking. And the other 3 I wear everyday are yellow gold (a big, square, white moonstone, a tiny diamond, and an oval ruby ring). I think it’s more about balancing different sizes of stones and gold and silver can look nice together.

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  • avatar

    snoopy128 February 24, 2015, 10:37 pm

    I think I would run away crying if somebody ever did a huge proposal for me. I hate surprises. I hate being put on the spot. And I hate being put at the centre of attention (unless I put myself there, I am a Leo in that respect).
    I would actually probably hate it if anybody was there except the two of us (and like maybe random strangers doing their own thing).
    I don’t understand the dramatic proposal thing that’s going on now. But I guess if that’s your ‘couple personality’…go for it.

    I also think it’s funny how most of the commenters are on the same-ish page with regards to this whole topic. Maybe I should ask my engaged/married friends who have ginormous rings or who had outragious proposals. I’m curious now.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra February 24, 2015, 11:53 pm

      Ugh, dramatic, huge proposals are ridiculous. They make for good viral YouTube videos but that’s about it. I’m actually kind of freaked at thinking about how crazy my wedding is going to be in terms of me LITERALLY being the center of attention. It will be so fun and I’m so excited, but oh man my big Irish Catholic wedding is already causing me to freak!

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    • avatar

      Sandy February 25, 2015, 9:17 am

      I hate the idea of a proposal in front of people too, even a small group. This past Christmas Eve my cousin proposed at my house during a Christmas Party, a good portion of our extended family was there but none of his girlfriend’s family because they had left earlier because a toddler in her family was giving a fuss. She said yes but I could just imagine the pressure she must have been feeling being proposed to in front of HIS family. They are still engaged so I am guessing she didn’t say yes just to avoid any awkwardness in the moment.

      My boyfriend was at the party and I quickly told him to never propose to me in public or like that and he said not to worry because he’s shy too and probably wouldn’t even be able to say anything and would just have the ring out :P. Later on when it came up again I told him I always pictured a really private proposal and he asked like what so I described one scenario to him. So when he does propose in the not too near future he has an idea of what I would like. At the moment though we just have discussions from time to time of where are at and where we are heading.

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      Eve February 25, 2015, 5:34 pm

      I hate lots of attention being drawn to me, I get all red and warm and sometimes get a heart beat even! If someone proposed to me in public I think this would literally be the biggest prank he could pull on me! (even if I feel 100% like saying yes, I’d still die and get mad).
      Speaking in more general terms, the guy would need to be like 100% sure his partner will say Yes because it would be so humiliating (and heart-breaking obviously) for him too. Particularly if it’s front of lots of close family and friends.

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    TheRascal February 25, 2015, 9:05 am

    Some musings from this morning. I’ve turned into such a cornball since meeting Mr. Rascal.
    *
    I never thought I wanted to get married. Or wanted an engagement ring. Or for someone to propose to me. It may have been the result of being in a terribly toxic relationship for the entirety of my 20s, but when that ended, and a year later met Mr. Rascal, my opinion on the institution of marriage changed. All of a sudden I GOT IT — I understood why it was important. And, it was something that I wanted for myself. When Mr. Rascal and I began talking about our future and about marriage, we started talking about engagements and weddings, and I learned how he really wanted to be able to give me something physical (the ring) that would be long-lasting, representative of our bond, and perhaps one day, pass to another generation.

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose February 25, 2015, 11:54 am

    Surprise engagements are the oddest thing to me. Are there really relationships where the couple haven’t discussed it at least once ahead of time? Discussing our future with my boyfriend was an important part of our relationship and part of what helped me to know that I could see us going the distance–him being willing and eager to have serious conversations about our life together/money/my daughter all told me he’d be a fantastic life partner who could handle other serious parts of life.
    .
    I went for just one ring. My engagement ring is a band, and will also be my wedding ring. I’m very minimalist and didn’t want anything big or flashy. Different strokes for different folks, right?

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    Seriously? Seriously! February 25, 2015, 12:02 pm

    Just chiming in: My grandmother’s ring is “mine” and I made sure my fiance knew that I loved it and that he could give it to me (my mom wears it on a daily basis; it was her mother’s, but he just had to ask her for it). I half expected to get it, but he gave me a ring we had picked out together when ring shopping. I was surprised that he would spend the money, but my parents said that, (when he took them out to dinner to ostensibly ask them for my hand, but more just fill them in on his plan), he said he wanted to give me something new and from him to me. It’s stunning and I love it and it is totally me. Re: the money thing, I’m guessing its well over 10k. So sometimes, even though there are other, cheaper options readily available to them, some men really just want to do the whole “proposal, expensive ring” thing.

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      Seriously? Seriously! February 25, 2015, 12:06 pm

      And after a really nice dinner, he took me to a totally secluded part of town that still had all of its holiday lights up, and was covered in snow, totally beautiful, and proposed there. Then he took me to a bar 2 mins away where we had our first really great kiss, and our siblings waiting with champagne. Proposal was just us, but we got to celebrate with family immediately. He kind of knocked the proposal thing out of the park.

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      • something random

        something random February 25, 2015, 12:14 pm

        Aww.

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    TheRascal February 25, 2015, 12:14 pm

    I helped my brother plan his proposal to my now sister-in-law. He asked her out for the first time at the ticket booths in Grand Central, in the main hall. He wanted to propose to her there, so I had to concoct a scenario that would get her there without knowing the proposal was coming that day. So, I made up a story about how I had to get something to my brother, had to catch a Metro North to get to CT for the weekend, and could she please meet me at the clock in the main hall?
    *
    It worked. I met up with my brother 15 minutes prior to me meeting up with her. He had flowers, the ring. He hid on the mezzanine while I waited for her by the clock. She arrived, I texted my bro, and down the stairs he came. I had my camera with me so I was able to catch it all on camera. Then, the three of us went to one of those fancy bars in GCT and had champagne!

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    • something random

      something random February 25, 2015, 12:19 pm

      Who say’s romance is dead?

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        TheRascal February 25, 2015, 12:59 pm

        Admittedly, my brother needed A LOT of help planning this out. He is not the most romantic person. To his credit, he did know he wanted to do the Grand Central thing. But he enlisted my help for everything else.
        *
        I do wonder when Mr. Rascal will propose. We have a trip to New Orleans coming up, and with the two of us actively ring shopping (I am supposed to have all ideas to him by the end of the weekend), it seems like that trip might be the time/place. I won’t go on the trip with that expectation. The only thing I expect to do is eat a shit ton of food, drink a lot, and watch a ton of awesome live music.

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      Eve February 25, 2015, 5:45 pm

      Aw thank you for sharing this. So romantic! It seemed like I was almost the only one who was into the whole traditional romantic proposal thing, at some point I thought there’s something seriously wrong with me hah 🙂 Good to hear there are still people who put so much thought and effort into making this moment special.

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