How to Propose Without a Ring
Despite the fact that engagement rings have been a foundational part of the wedding proposal for over 100 years, there’s evidence to suggest they’re inching their way out of fashion. These days, young Americans aren’t buying into the myth of the diamond engagement ring, and many are doing away with the ring altogether. This trend is not surprising since an engagement ring's average cost comes in at around $6,000!
Because of the high cost, it’s also becoming more and more common for couples to pick out the engagement ring together. But foregoing the ring initially doesn’t mean you have to forego a memorable proposal. It just means you have to get a little creative! We can help. Here’s how to propose without a ring, so your grand gesture is still unforgettable.
Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed — Ok, so you won’t have a ring. But that doesn’t mean you should show up with nothing. Gifts, no matter how small or how inexpensive, show you put time and effort into the proposal. Here are some good options:
-A bouquet of your significant other’s favorite flowers.
-A hand-written note expressing your love for your partner.
-A box of mementos you’ve kept to honor your relationship.
-A drawing or painting you made to show your love.
-Something that symbolizes the day you met.
-A bottle of special champagne or wine.
-A picnic with snacks or their favorite dessert.
Present a Ring Alternative — Today, it’s not uncommon for proposers to get down on one knee without a ring so their partner can choose a ring themselves later. This is an awesome idea, as it ensures that your partner gets the exact ring they want in the exact size that fits. With that said, you still want to present something in its place. You can still have a grand proposal without a ring, and you’ll probably still want your pictures and social media announcement to shine. Here are some ideas:
-Simple, affordable silicone wedding rings make amazing engagement ring stand-ins.
-A ring box with a slip of paper that says, “Let’s pick your ring together!”
-A ring box with the business card of your local jewelry store.
-A box holding the primary stone that will be worked into the final ring design (and properly sized) after the proposal.
Do Something Elaborate — At the end of the day, every proposal — ring or no ring — needs to have a personal touch. Adding a thoughtful, somewhat elaborate element reassures your partner that the proposal wasn’t rushed, even though you don’t have a ring (no one wants to get married as an afterthought!). In fact, not having to deal with the ring business beforehand gives you more time to think through and orchestrate your proposal. Consider writing a song, hiring a band, involving her friends and family, hiring a photographer or creating a scavenger hunt.
Go on Vacation Instead — If you’re the average American, you’re going to save thousands of dollars by ditching the diamond. That means thousands of dollars for an amazing engagement vacay! If you know this is something your significant other would enjoy, consider getting down on one knee, asking them to marry you and then presenting the airline tickets or itinerary instead of a ring. If you want it to be a real surprise, work with co-workers, friends and family and jet off the next day.
Gather Intel Beforehand — One of the keys to a happy engagement and marriage is understanding what your partner wants. Be sure you have a good idea of their expectations and desires surrounding the proposal. The fact is, the engagement ring is a well-accepted custom, and it may be expected. In the year or months leading up to the big proposal, try to gather intel on your significant other’s idea of an amazing proposal. They may envision an alternative engagement ring or no engagement ring at all, but you’ll never know until you ask!