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Where Should You Propose This Winter

Where Should You Propose This Winter

Planning a proposal is hard enough but in the winter, everything from the weather to holiday plans can get in the way! While you might have envisioned a perfect, snow-filled day for your proposal, you might have to improvise if you want to guarantee the setting.

The perfect proposal might not exist but these 3 ideas might give you the inspiration you need to make your engagement right for you.

A Winter Wonderland Destination
Getting away during the winter months is a lovely way to escape the relatives and take some time for yourselves. It also happens to be the best way to as near to guarantee snow as you’re going to get. Travelling north to destinations like Norway, Iceland and Canada is a good idea but choosing a high altitude location such as Austria may also work.

Do keep in mind that you will need to travel with the engagement ring through airport security. To do this discreetly but without raising suspicion, wrap the box in a sock and put it at the bottom of your bag. Attach a small note with a rubber band so that if your bag is opened, whoever is searching it knows to be discreet!

Countryside Cottage
If you don’t quite have the funds for a holiday as well as a gorgeous engagement ring (we approve of your priorities), an escape to the countryside could be the perfect cheap solution. Escaping the hubbub of the city and staying warm by the fire is just what you need to set the scene for a romantic proposal.

To get into the spirit, you might like to consider a vintage style of ring, such as an emerald cut or a halo. Matching the style of your ring to the house you stay in will give your proposal a well-rounded feel and make the whole trip extra special. Heritage, tradition and romance all go hand in hand, after all.

Home Sweet Home
For all that the destination proposal is popular, there is something down-to-earth and lovely about proposing in your own home. You don’t need to worry about checking out, you won’t have to consider who else might be watching and you won’t need to factor in all the expenses of being on holiday. All of which means you might be able to spend a little more on the perfect ring.

To make your proposal special, make a meal together (Prince Harry cooked a chicken roast for Meghan if you’re looking for a royal influence). Enjoy some quality time together, such as going for a walk, cuddling up for a romantic film or slow dancing to your favourite song. Then, when you are ready, you can pop the question.

However you propose this winter, the most important thing is that you do what’s best for you as a couple. There are no set rules for what makes the perfect proposal, so wherever you propose, as long as you have your speech ready and a ring in your pocket, it will be a beautiful moment.

How Much to Spend On An Engagement Ring

How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring

There is a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to engagement rings. How much should you spend? Which stone should you choose? Should you design your own ring? The questions are almost endless and the advice seems to contradict itself at every turn!

Unfortunately, we can’t solve all of these problems in one go. For a start, the ring you choose is a completely personal choice. However, we can shed a bit of light on the cost of an engagement ring and what you should expect to pay.

The Average Cost of an Engagement Ring
Interestingly, the average cost of an engagement ring isn’t just about fashion – it can also be influenced by the economy. This is why the average cost of an engagement ring went down a couple of years ago with Brexit anxiety but has steadily risen once more to settle at around £1,500.

Millennials getting engaged tend to spend a little less than older couples on their engagement ring but they have also started a trend for ‘placeholder rings’. This means that millennials are buying two rings, one to propose with and one, more expensive ring, they can choose together at a later date.

In reality, the average cost of an engagement ring doesn’t really matter to you. Everyone has a different budget and you should keep that in mind. While some people may be happy to spend upwards of £50,000 on a ring, there’s nothing wrong with spending as little as £500.

Does the 3 Months’ Salary Rule Still Apply?
If you are a traditionalist, you will be familiar with the rule that an engagement ring should cost around 3 months’ salary. This tradition, you will be pleased to know, is nothing of the sort. It actually comes from an advertising campaign from 1930s America, when diamond merchant De Beers wanted to encourage people to buy diamonds during the depression. The initial suggestion was to spend a months’ wages but this went up in the 1980s.

Given that this ‘rule’ isn’t really a tradition, you don’t need to set much store by it. Work out how much you are comfortable spending and you will find that there are plenty of rings that suit you and your budget.

So How Do You Work Out Your Budget?
Ultimately, averages and monthly salary are irrelevant to your ring search. When you get engaged, it’s not about what other people do; it’s about what makes you happy as a couple. This is why so many couples now choose the ring together.

The best way to work out your budget is to consider how much your fiance would be comfortable carrying around on her finger every day and what you can reasonably afford. While you shouldn’t be scrimping – you get what you pay for – you also mustn’t break the bank or put yourself under undue financial pressure.

The best thing to do now is to start looking at rings and see which styles and stones appeal to you. From there, you can decide how much you want to spend and start saving accordingly.

What To Say When You Propose

What To Say When You Propose

Proposing is one of the most emotional and profound moments in your life. It is where you lay your heart out to your love and hope that they will return your feelings. While the ring is essential, what you say is the real magic of the moment.

So what should you say when you propose?

Plan Ahead
Given the emotional nature of your proposal, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Lots of people get tongue-tied in the moment but if you have a good idea of what you want to say, you can, at least, recover and carry on!

Start by jotting down a few notes or bullet points that you want to cover. Don’t be tempted to write and memorize a whole speech, though. Allow the moment to be organic and let your other half talk too if they want to. This is a shared moment, not a dramatic scene!

You should also think about the location at this point. If you are going to be in a loud, crowded restaurant, short and sweet is probably the best course. However, if you have chosen a more intimate, quiet space, you will have more time to express your true feelings.

Add Personal Details
Any engagement speech should always include personal details, otherwise you could be asking anyone to marry you! Expressing how your life has changed since meeting your other half is a good place to start.

There is a certain vulnerability to proposing so don’t be afraid to get into the deep stuff, even if you only touch on it. This is what will make your proposal as unique as your relationship.

Sometimes, trying to say everything all in one go is difficult so you might want to keep things brief and write a letter instead. This might sound like a cop-out but actually, receiving a love letter that you can cherish is a beautiful thing.

Reminisce and Look Ahead
If you’re feeling stuck about where to begin, it is always worth looking back to the beginning. Describing how you met and how it made you feel is a good start – even if it wasn’t love at first sight. Recounting the good times you’ve had and the milestones you’ve already reached will also help you get into your stride.

Looking ahead will also help you build-up to the big question. What do you see in your future together? What are you looking forward to? What are your plans? All of these things show that you aren’t asking for the sake of it, you have really thought about your proposal.

So now all you have to do is ask…

Pop the Big Question
There aren’t many variations on the question, ‘will you marry me’, so don’t worry about creating an original way of asking this big question.

‘Will you marry me?’ is the perfect accompaniment to revealing the engagement ring you have picked out and showing your intentions. Once your partner sees the ring, no matter how tongue-tied you got, they will know exactly what you mean.

Good luck!

The 4 C’s of Engagement Ring Shopping

The 4 C’s of Engagement Ring Shopping

Every diamond is slightly different, which makes choosing the perfect diamond a little more challenging. If you don’t know your diamonds, how can you be sure that you have chosen a good ring and got good value for money too?

The good news is that anyone can choose a diamond if they know the 4 C’s: cut, colour, clarity and carat. With these simple rules, you can find the perfect diamond ring for you. All you need to do is find the perfect balance of each.

Cut
The cut is often regarded as the most important of the 4 C’s and it is certainly going to have a big impact on the diamond. The cut simply refers to the shape the diamond is cut into. There are many different shapes and each one creates a slightly different path for light to pass through; this is what jewellers call ‘brilliance’.

A modern round brilliant diamond consists of 58 facets, which refract the light making the diamond sparkle. The better the cut and polish, the brighter the diamond will appear. If a diamond isn’t symmetrical, badly proportioned or has a lack-lustre finish, you should not buy that diamond.

Colour
Diamonds come in a wide range of colours which are graded from D-Z. D is the brightest, clear or ‘white’ diamond and doesn’t have any tints of other colours. Z is a yellowish-brown diamond and is rarely as brilliant as other diamonds.

When choosing the colour grade of your diamond, it is worth remembering that even the most experienced diamond trader can’t always tell the difference between D and F grade diamonds. It is also worth remembering that the more facets a diamond has, the more light will pass through it and the less the colour will appear. This means that you can get away with a lower grade colour if you are smart with the cut and the metal it is placed with.

Clarity
The clarity grading system works from ‘flawless’ through to ‘included 3’. There are also codes for the kind of imperfections in the stone, which include surface blemishes and internal blemishes. Every diamond has some sort of imperfection, so the idea of flawless in this context doesn’t mean perfect.

Some cuts are much more forgiving than others so may hide blemishes more easily. An emerald cut or another stepped cut won’t be so forgiving but if you like the imperfection, it could be a nice way to highlight the unique nature of the stone.

Carat
A metric carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams, or 1/5th of a gram but diamonds are rarely exactly 1 or 2 carats so tend to be measured in ‘points’. A point is 1/100 carat, so a .50 carat diamond would be called a 50 pointer.

Ultimately, the cut and colour of your diamond will make the biggest difference to how big the diamond appears. So, while you might have a particular carat value in mind, you must be flexible if you want to find the perfect diamond.

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