So your boyfriend has been acting kind of strange lately. You caught him rummaging through your jewellery box. And now your favourite ring is missing. Your bestie books a surprise manicure for you. What’s up?
If you noticed that he has been penny-pinching the last while, it could very easily be that he has been saving up for the perfect engagement ring. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be in for a romantic proposal.
A proposal needs a ring and this can be tricky territory – do you surprise her or do you rather go shopping together? Ann Jones poses the question in her latest blog – “Are diamonds still a girl’s best friend?” Her resources suggests not: “More and more Millennials are choosing alternative engagement rings for a variety of ethical, financial and expressive reasons.”
Millennials are taking longer to make important life decisions and buying an engagement ring worth a few month’s salary is just not an option. Paris Hilton set the bar high with a 20 carat, 2-million dollar diamond engagement ring. Millenials tend to be more realistic and would rather spend this on a home of their own.
Engagement rings don’t have to have be diamonds. Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Penelope Cruz all chose blue Sapphires. Halle Berry sported a green Emerald, Lady Gaga a pink Diamond and Mariah Carey a pink Sapphire.
Salt and Pepper diamonds are hugely fashionable at the moment. Firefly Jewel describes it as infused with unique characteristics … 100% natural and completely and utterly one of a kind. “A Salt and Pepper Diamond is one that has a mix of many black and white inclusions or flaws. Inclusions are blemishes like white spots, black carbon spots, feathers, cracks, clouds or chips. There simply are no two in the world that are alike.” For a generation who wants to be unique and have a one of a kind statement ring, this is it.
But to me the ultimate romantic gesture recently came from a couple who have signed up for a jewellery making course – not only will their designs and reflect their unique personalities, they will always be able to look back to this bonding experience with great fondness. This is truly the best of both worlds where gifting an experience trumps all other gifts.
Online shopping , while rather unromantic, adds a whole new dimension to picking an engagement ring. If you are petrified that your idea of the perfect ring and hers may not be the same, spend some time browsing on Pinterest for ideas. Buying an engagement ring online may be easier on the pocket with financing options being available.
READY FOR SOME PROPOSAL IDEAS?
While going down on your knee in a romantic restaurant still makes us swoon – it’s such a chivalrous action – 2019 brings loads of novel ideas for marriage proposals. We list some of our favourites:
USE THE FRIDGE
Have you counted the number of times you open the fridge door on any given day? Make this work for you – a really practical early-morning solution to the proposal dilemma, which can be easily done at home, a hotel room or self-catering venue. We recommend that you book a honeymoon suite of your favourite hotel and make sure it has a bar fridge!
Options are endless:
- Clear out a whole shelf, replace it with a row of cupcakes and insert the engagement ring in one of the cupcakes.
- Spell out “Will you marry me” by sticking the letters onto items inside the fridge.
- Place rose petals, a bottle of champagne and a note saying “Will you marry me” in the fridge.
- Design your own poster with favourite couple photographs dotted around the words “Will you marry me” and place it inside the fridge. Be sure to follow up with a breakfast fit for a queen.
Whichever option you choose, be ready for some excited squeals coming from the kitchen. Cook a breakfast fit for Kings and savour the moment in your PJ’s.
ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM
Photo credit: Allyson William Photography
For a fun and seriously photogenic proposal, a row boat on a quiet lake stirs any romantic soul. If budget allows, arrange a photographer with a long lens to capture spontaneous moments. With this proposal idea I am leaning towards sunset instead of sunrise, but you will know your other half best. Ask your chef to prepare a picnic basket – morning delights could include muffins, freshly brewed coffee or maybe croissants. A sunset basket would do well with canapes and champagne.
Decide beforehand if you will be positioning the engagement ring in a cupcake or present it the old fashioned way. Take note that going down on one knee is a tricky business on a boat and would not be my first choice at all. I would go as far to tie a secret little cord or fishing line to the ring and the other end to a cork – or anything that floats for that matter.
If the idea of your well-earned cash ending at the bottom of a dam freaks you out (no blame!), it may be a better idea to ask the venue to prepare a beautiful table for two on the banks of the dam and rather have the precious ring on terra firma.
UP, UP AND AWAY
Photo credit: Barossa Balloon Adventures
Treat your S.O. (Significant Other) to a romantic overnight stay. Rise early for a hot air balloon trip and while up there, pop the question. Since your S.O. cannot go anywhere, the success rate of this proposal is usually quite high. Excuse the pun. You will need to be in cahoots with the pilot who needs to stock up on chilled champagne and need to look the other way when it looks like you are aiming to go on one knee. Arm the pilot with a camera or good cell phone to capture the moment.
Adam Fillmore, Owner of AirVentures Hot Air Ballooning confirms how popular hot-air balloon proposals are: “We do many proposals a year, especially during Spring and Summer season. Our private balloon for two is fully booked every weekend even though we don’t advertise this – we want to keep it feeling as a unique experience for couples.”
Add fun to the proposal by having friends make up a huge banner saying “Will you marry me”. As you descend, you can prompt her to look down and voila – there it is.
For the ultimate over-the-top hot air balloon proposal click here – it may spike some ideas. 26-year-old Australian photographer Jake asked his German girlfriend Marie, 28, to pose for a photo in Cappadocia, Turkey but she got so much more than she expected!
PUPPY AND PET PROPOSALS
The cuteness factor of using your pets to ask the big question is unbeatable. Not only does it become a family occasion with your furry friends, but it also makes lovely photographs. Tie the ring to your pet’s collar with a satin ribbon and make a “Marry me“ sign to go with it.
If your other half tends to go through the social media feed before morning coffee, we have the proposal trick of all times. If you could get your pet to sit still for a few minutes, take a beautiful photo of the dog or kitty with the ring, and use this on social media. Make sure it’s plastered over all channels…. If you are a Hootsuite Pro, scheduled the posts beforehand and for every 15 minutes. This would be a social media morning to remember!
Barkpost.com captures the imagination with these 16 fabulous proposal ideas with dogs.
SPELL IT OUT
Find a small chapel or secluded area (Balconies, fountains, garden benches are ideal) and fill it with balloons and décor. Spell out your marriage proposal in no uncertain terms with LED lights, balloons, banners, rose petals…
“For whatever reason, balloons seem to be less girly for men to discuss verses flowers, candles, according to The Yes Girl – a US-based proposal company who specialises in creating jaw-dropping marriage proposals.
For some expert advice from The Yes Girls on the serious do’s and dont’s of popping the question, click here
Being blessed with a country famous for its wildlife and safaris, a Boma safari proposal can be oh-so romantic. Book out the boma of a venue, borrow a friends or go to town with your own.
Since braai-ing is a national pastime in South Africa, prospective grooms will sigh with relief as this is familiar territory to them. Once again the devil is in the detail, or should I say in the décor. A safari theme lends itself to loads of candles, low hanging lanterns, crisp linen and delicious barbequed items.
Even vegetarians would love this – a mushroom-veggie sosatie, garlic-sprinkled corn on the cob and jacket potatoes are unbeatable. Don’t be shy to add your grandmas silver candelabra and a huge antique silver bowl for champagne and drinks.
With so many proposal ideas, make sure you leave your ring size lying around somewhere. Like shoe sizes and lingerie sizes this is essential info for a S.O. to have around Valentine’s time.
Wishing you a romantic Valentine’s day armed with creative ideas for the ultimate proposal. And if 2019’s Valentines dinner date did not pan out as you hoped it would, there is always 2020. Did we mention it’s a leap year?