Planning the Perfect Proposal

For us, there's nothing more romantic than when someone gets down on one knee and asks the love of their life to marry them. With thought, care and plenty of planning needed to execute the perfect proposal, it's not unusual to have butterflies in your stomach as you prepare to pop the question.

When it comes to planning, the engagement ring itself isn't the only thing to consider... When and where will it happen? How will you ask? And what might go wrong?

We decided to carry out a survey, asking over 1,000 members of the British public about the proposal process, including what we worry about most when the time comes. Here's what we found out:

Permission from the Parents

Before you even ask your betrothed for their hand in marriage, tradition states that you should get permission from the bride's father. While this isn't a vital prerequisite of getting engaged in the modern age, it is still an important custom for many.

Almost 10% of those looking to propose found asking for their spouses' father's permission to be a particularly challenging part of the proposal process. On average, it took an average of five attempts to build up the courage to ask the father's permission to marry them, compared to just three attempts to propose

The One (Ring)

With potential issues around trying to get the ideal stone, style and size, picking out the perfect engagement ring can be one of the more stressful aspects of proposing.

According to our survey, the most important aspect when picking out an engagement ring was the type of metal, interestingly taking precedence over the cost (from the buyer's point of view) or the size of the diamond (from the recipient's point of view).

Other important aspects included the shape of diamond/stone, the size of diamond, the cost, and the cut of the diamond.

When it comes to cost, our previous research revealed that 1 in 3 expected an engagement ring to cost the same as a month's salary. However, as many as 1 in 50 big spenders expected the ring alone to cost an entire year's salary!

Key considerations and concerns when on the hunt for the perfect ring included the overall design of the ring, whether it was practical, whether their intended would like the ring, and of course worrying about if their potential fiancé would actually say 'Yes!'.

Interestingly, it's not just funding and aesthetics that are at the forefront of people's minds, with 12% being drawn to their ring choice due to it including an ethically sourced stone. This was a major consideration for the youngest demographic (18-24-year olds), with almost a third of this age group stating this as a key factor when picking out a ring.

Ring Size (and Style) Matters

One of the biggest obstacles faced by those planning a proposal is, of course, being able to subtly find out their partners ring size without giving the game away. A lucky 13% guessed their potential fiancé's ring size correctly, but it wasn't plain sailing for the majority.

Ensuring that the ring they pick is to their partners taste was also another potential minefield. Many used their partner's fashion sense or existing jewellery as a starting point, but we wonder... what happens if, despite careful planning and thought, your other half doesn't like the ring? The most popular option was to simply replace the ring, purchasing another style but this time with input directly from their partner.

More than a quarter of people would be willing to pay the difference in price for the ring they really wanted, but almost one in five said they'd make their partner fork out to do so - so it pays to get it right first time if possible!

Almost half of our respondents opted to forgo picking out a ring themselves altogether, instead choosing to make the decision with their other half from the outset, to avoid any issues.

Trials and Tribulations

Nearly three quarters of Brits faced some trials and tribulations during their own proposal process. The most common ones included struggling to account for the cost, finding out the ring size, and keeping it a secret from their partner.

Other issues included lack of knowledge around the process itself, nerves, and figuring out the actual location that the proposal would take place. Nerves can prove problematic, getting in the way of even the most carefully planned proposals. The anticipation proved to be much for 10% of UK proposers, who admitted to throwing up at least once during the process. 14% of people also injured themselves during a proposal due to the adrenaline ahead of popping the question.

Those hailing from Sheffield admitted that nerves were the biggest worry when proposing. For Londoners, the biggest worry was family not approving of the relationship. Regarding splashing the cash, the cost of the ring was most important to Belfast residents.

A fifth of those surveyed had proposed at an unplanned location, due to things not going to plan, so flexibility and adapting to the situation can be key!

What Our Proposal Planning Survey Revealed

Basically, our advice when you're looking to invest in an engagement ring is do what works for you. Don't worry what you think is expected of you, stick to a budget and remember their style and tastes - and don't panic, size isn't everything!