When you’re thinking of proposing to your partner, you may find you’re a bit hazy on some of the finer details of this momentous event.
It’s an exciting time but also a period that often highlights how little you previously knew about proposals and engagement. After all, you hope to only propose or be proposed to once in your life.
Working closely with our customers daily, we guide them as they select their partner’s perfect engagement ring, and we often answer questions that crop up regarding engagement — for example, many people are unaware of which finger the engagement ring sits on until they come to buy one.
As we also sell our engagement rings online, we thought it would be helpful to list some common questions and answers for those who are shopping remotely.
So, let’s dive straight in to the questions we get asked frequently.
What is the difference between engagement and marriage?
Engagement is when one partner proposes marriage to the other; the wedding is the official ceremony, and marriage is the period after the wedding.
What do I call my partner when we are engaged?
When you are engaged to be married, it is common to refer to a male partner as a fiancé and a female partner as a fiancée. These words are Latin in origin and come from the past tense of the verb meaning “to pledge”.
How do you get engaged?
In simple terms, one partner proposes marriage to another and, if that partner accepts the proposal, the couple is then engaged.
However, there is often a little more to an engagement.
Firstly, you should determine that both yourself and your partner are ready for marriage. Consider your age (as you are more likely to rush into something when you’re young), finances, personalities, and how long you’ve been together.
It’s also crucial to discuss future plans, such as if you would like to have children and where you would like to live; if you disagree on such points, then you may not see a future together.
Traditionally, a male partner asks a female partner’s father for her hand in marriage before he proposes; however, this is a personal preference between heterosexual couples in modern times. While some women find this gesture respectful, others may find it offensive.
In addition, couples, of course, don’t all consist of a female and a male, so give this action some thought and decide what your partner would like you to do.
Next, you can plan the proposal and purchase an engagement ring.
Then it’s time to pop the question! If you’re stuck for ideas, you’ll find a list of 10 great ways to propose on our blog.
Following a ‘yes’, couples often choose to tell close family first —then friends and extended family — before announcing it to the world on social media.
You can learn more about how to announce your engagement on our blog.
How long after engagement should you marry?
There are no rules for when you should marry post-engagement.
Some couples marry within the year, and others are engaged for three, 12 or 20 years before making it down the aisle.
A customer recently asked, “Is it OK to be engaged for three years?” as he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend, but she was starting a university degree, and so it would make more sense for them to wait until she has completed her course and has the time to plan a wedding.
You can be engaged for as long as you like, so don’t put pressure on yourself.
Engagement ring questions
These questions all relate specifically to engagement rings, so we’ve grouped them together.
Which finger does an engagement ring go on?
Where an engagement ring is worn varies between countries, but in the UK, your engagement ring is worn on the ring finger of your left hand.
Should I wear my engagement ring every day?
Most people wear their engagement ring every day, taking it off only in certain circumstances — such as when swimming or washing up.
If you’d like to learn more about when to take your engagement ring off, take a look at our blog post, ‘The five times you should remove your engagement ring’.
You can learn how best to care for your engagement ring on our blog, too.
Should I sleep with my engagement ring on?
Most people choose to sleep with their engagement ring on as it is unlikely to come to any harm while you rest.
If you are concerned for any reason — if you use hand cream, for example — you can remove your ring and place it on your bedside table, ready to put back on when you wake in the morning.
How do I know what size engagement ring to buy?
We wrote a whole blog post on finding out your partner’s ring size.
If you are struggling to work it out, don’t fret; we offer a ‘not sure’ option on all of our engagement rings, where we supply a size we have in stock, and then we can resize it for you for free up to 60 days after your purchase.
How much should I spend on an engagement ring?
This is such a common question, we have written a complete guide on it, which you can read here.
In summary, though, the most important considerations when deciding how much to spend are your budget and your partner’s expectations.
How do I wear an engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring?
Last month, we wrote a guide on this topic, entitled, ‘How to wear your engagement ring and wedding ring’, so you’ll find the answer there.