proposal guide

The Ultimate Proposal Guide

At Ernest Jones, we’re proud to have played a small part in so many romantic proposals, so to help you make sure your big moment is extra special, we’ve put together this proposal ideas guide. Read on for advice on all the key aspects of planning the ultimate proposal.

2 December 2020 EDITOR - Ernest Jones

The Ultimate Proposal Guide

Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that just four words can change your life forever! That’s why you’ll want to make sure that your proposal is a memorable, special moment that you and your loved one will treasure forever. At Ernest Jones, we’re proud to have played a small part in so many romantic proposals, so to help you make sure your big moment is extra special, we’ve put together this proposal ideas guide. You’ll find help and advice on all the key aspects of planning the ultimate proposal, from choosing the perfect engagement ring to ideas on the best ways to propose and tips on what to say when proposing.

Planning is key

Even the most spontaneous of us realise that popping the question needs quite a bit of detailed planning, so it’s a good idea to start early, to give yourself plenty of time to formulate the best proposal ideas. However, we know that planning the perfect romantic proposal can cause a few sleepless nights, so it’s important to remind yourself that there is no right or wrong way to do it. The most important thing to remember is that your partner will appreciate all the thought and effort you’ve put in, regardless of whether you fluff a few lines! Here are a few tips to get your planning underway.

  • Set an engagement ring budget

By no means the most exciting part of the process, but the first thing to do is decide on an engagement ring budget. Not only will this help you to narrow down your options, but it will make you feel much more comfortable that the ring you choose is not only something they will love but something you can comfortably afford. Nowadays, there aren’t any set rules on how much you should spend, but setting a budget early gives you some time to save whilst you do your research on the perfect ring. If you don’t want to save up the whole cost in advance, have a chat with one of our friendly team about the interest-free credit options we offer.

  • Should you ask permission before proposing?

Although asking your partner’s parents for permission before proposing may seem a little old-fashioned, for many people it’s still something that would mean a lot to them or their family. Therefore, it’s better to be guided by your partner. If it’s not something you have discussed previously, you could ask one of your partner’s friends or siblings for their thoughts, but only if you trust them to keep the proposal a surprise. And if all else fails, it’s probably better to be safe than sorry and to ask for permission. After all, getting off on the right footing with your prospective in-laws is a very good thing.

  • Should you kneel when proposing?

Similarly, the act of kneeling is seen as a timeless romantic gesture for many people, but for others it just doesn’t seem appropriate these days. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong. Getting engaged to be married is a deeply personal life moment, so do what you feel is right for you both, as a couple.

Choosing the perfect engagement ring
  • Get up to speed with the 4 C’s: Choosing the perfect engagement ring, especially if it’s a surprise, can be quite a nerve-wracking thought. To get you started, you’ll find our ‘Engagement Ring Buying Guide’ full of helpful advice. As well as covering the different styles available, it explains the technical terminology that is used when grading diamonds and gemstones, which include the famous 4 C’s – Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. Understanding these will allow you to prioritise the elements that are most important to you. With a little research, thought, and planning, you can clearly show your partner how well you know them and their taste.

  • Work out what style and metal they’d prefer: Start by paying attention to the kind of rings your partner wears day-to-day. Is their taste simple and sophisticated, or do they like a statement piece with lots of sparkle? Another factor is the metal, so have a look at whether they lean towards silver, rose gold or yellow gold jewellery. It’s a good idea to also think back to whether they’ve ever pointed out any styles they like in a jeweller’s window, or whether they’ve commented on a celebrity’s or friend’s ring. These little hints will help you to work out which style they’ll love the most. You could even casually engage in a bit of window shopping to get some clear indications of the sort of ring that will really hit the spot.

  • Narrow down your options: Once you have a feel of the style your partner will like, visit us in-store or browse our exclusive collection of engagement rings and bridal sets You’ll find pieces from some of the world’s leading bridal and jewellery designers, such as Vera Wang, Neil Lane, Tolkowsky and The Diamond Story. From elegant solitaires to contemporary halo designs and coloured stones to dazzling diamonds, you’ll be sure to find the perfect piece to suit both their taste and your budget.

  • Enlist some help: Although you probably know your partner better than anyone, if you’d like a little reassurance, you could enlist the help of a close friend or family member of your partner.

  • Consider shopping as a couple: If you’re struggling to make the final decision, or you think your partner would prefer to choose their own ring, consider popping the question with a ‘proposal ring’ from our Silver collection. That way, you can still give your partner a romantic surprise proposal, before shopping for the permanent ring together.

  • Find out your partner’s ring size: Knowing your partner’s ring size does make the proposal much smoother, so if you’re wondering how to measure ring size, you’ll find some helpful tips in our ‘Ring Size Guide’, which includes handy conversion charts and guidance on measuring.

Personalising the proposal

When it comes to places to propose, we know that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at all of the impressive ideas online, but remember, ultimately it should come down to what would make you and your partner happy. For example, if your partner is an introverted or shy person, then they would undoubtedly appreciate more private proposal ideas, such as something intimate and romantic like a picnic in their favourite spot or a sunset stroll. Whereas someone you’d describe as an extrovert might love the thought of a proposal where you’ve pulled out all the stops or picked a setting that involved a crowd. If that is the case, make sure you feel confident proposing in front of other people too!

Romantic proposals will always be greatly appreciated, so consider picking a location that has a special meaning – perhaps where you had your first date or your favourite beauty spot. You could even propose on a meaningful date, such as the anniversary of when you first met or the first time you said, “I love you”. For some people, the proposal is made extra special by others being able to share in the moment, such as your child, close family or even a pet. Ultimately, personalising the proposal as much as possible will help to make it even more special.

What to say when proposing

At the very least, you need to be able to express those four little words “Will you marry me?”

Some people like to keep it as simple as that, whilst others want to plan a romantic speech. There is no right or wrong, but if you do decide to say more, the key is to be as honest and heartfelt as possible. Once you’ve decided on the words you want to say, it’s best to practice how you’ll deliver them. Whilst this might feel odd, chances are you are going to be feeling quite nervous when the time comes, so giving yourself enough time to practice will ultimately make you feel much more relaxed and confident.

The moment of truth

It’s natural to feel nervous when you’re about to propose, but try not to let that spoil the moment for you. Just take a few deep breaths and try and stay calm. Once you’ve asked the question and heard a resounding ‘Yes’, carefully place the engagement ring on your partner’s finger. It’s a moment you’ll both cherish forever.

Capturing the moment would be a beautiful keepsake that you could share with friends and family, so you might want to think about hiring a photographer or videographer. If you feel that might give the game away, or it doesn’t fit with the proposal idea you have in mind, simply take an engagement selfie to help mark the occasion. Again, do a little research and find what you consider to be a really stylish way to tell the world your exciting news – then share it, far and wide, and prepare to be flooded with congratulations!

With you forever

Whether it be helping you choose the perfect engagement ring, or even re-sizing it if it’s not quite the ideal fit, at Ernest Jones we’re here to help you at every stage of your wedding journey. Once you are ready to put your plans into action, why not book an in-store or virtual appointment with one of our dedicated jewellery experts, who’ll be happy to help.