Curious how US couples get engaged vs elsewhere?

posted 2 years ago in Engagement
  • poll: How did you and your fiance get engaged?
    You picked the ring together and then waited for the proposal : (44 votes)
    46 %
    He surprised you and bought the ring himself and proposed : (28 votes)
    29 %
    He proposed with a token ring/ stone/ other and then you picked the ring together : (10 votes)
    11 %
    Other please elaborate : (13 votes)
    14 %
  • Post # 16
    23 posts

    I’m a U.S. bee and I don’t get the waiting thing, either. That would have driven me crazy, plus it seems odd to talk about getting married and pick out and purchase a ring together, but still not consider yourselves engaged. My fiance’s proposal was a surprise and sort of spur of the moment, so he didn’t have a ring when he proposed. We picked out a ring together a few months after we got engaged.

    Post # 17
    687 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    I’m German and I do rather marvel at US customs, too. 

    In our case, we moved in together and I told him that I thought it best to wait at least half a year before getting engaged. By the time 5 months were up, I felt more than ready and I had actually bought a ring for him before we even moved in together. I had shown him rings online that I hoped he’d like. Admittedly, this is not a typical German proposal.

    But then his brother was also proposed to by his girlfriend. 

    Looking at my friends and acquaintances, there’s generally less fuss around engagements. Most of them basically said “hey, we should get married” and then did. Some got a ring, others didn’t. 

    In Germany we also don’t do bridal showers or rehearsal dinners. And large wedding parties are unheard of – most weddings I’ve been to didn’t even have bridesmaids, even if the wedding itself was pretty big.

    Post # 18
    4086 posts
    Honey bee

    jazzyj30 :  US bee here. My SO is European. In general, engagement rings, proposals are not as eleborate or even sometimes do not even exist where he is from. I dropped hints about what ring I wanted and purposely left out Tiffany & Co. magazine ads but we never physically went to a store together and checked out rings. He got the actual ring I wanted though luckily.  This was during the time when Tiffany’s & Co. had “The most beautiful ring in the world campaign”. I think the “US style proposal”, he all learned about that from talking to me. 

    Post # 19
    922 posts
    Busy bee

    My Fiance and I had been talking about getting married for about a month when I suggested to him how I’d like to get married. He really like my idea, so he proposed to me right then and there – in bed. 

    We are getting my rings custom made. I know where and approximately when (within a 15 minute window) Fiance will “officially” propose to me. The official proposal is more for friends and family, as Fiance says we are not telling people we got engaged while cuddling after having sex one morning 😂

    Post # 20
    246 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2019

    My Fiance and I discussed getting married quite awhile before he proposed. At one point he asked what my preferences were, I told him I wanted a sapphire ring in white gold with a little bit of bling. He went shopping for a ring at the same time he was Christmas shopping, so I had no idea he was shopping for the ring. He found the one that he liked that fit in my specifications, and then he proposed a few weeks later while we were on a weekend trip for my 30th birthday. He completely surprised me, I thought he was going to propose 6 months later on a different trip we were taking in the summer. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. 

    Post # 21
    746 posts
    Busy bee

    jazzyj30 :  “when you are out just randomly shopping and ye pass a jewellers window and he asks what rings you like”

    In this scenario you give, it does sound like the couple is pretty much picking out the ring together for a proposal they know is coming at a future date. Saying, “I like round stones and halos like that one there” is pretty much picking out the ring. They are just not being as open about the details as the couple who set out to go ring shopping together.

    I live in the US and I really think that if you are in a relationship in which you discuss these things, there is no big surprise element. And it’s 2018–both partners should discuss the decision to get married rationally and have equal say and investment in it. I have some friends who were proposed to when they weren’t expecting a proposal, and before they had had a “we should get married” discussion with their partner, and I just can’t imagine being put on the spot like that. I’d rather talk openly about my feelings, what I want for my relationship in the future, and have an equal say in everything related to our future together (and that includes the idea and decision-making related to getting married).

    Post # 22
    311 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    jazzyj30 :  It does sort of make the surprise part go away…but I’d rather have a say in the idea of marriage as opposed to it being all on my partners choosing. We are grown adults and we had a discussion about marriage and decided together that we wanted to get married. So once we made that decision we chose and purchased a ring together so that he could “officially propose” because he wanted a little of the romance in there and that tradition of asking. 

    There still was the surprise of not knowing exactly when and how he would be doing it…and then also I chose to not see the ring in person (we ordered online) until he was proposing so that was exciting too!

    To each their own on how couples decide to go through the process…but my fiance and I are too open with eachother to not talk about anything and everything and that included conversations of wanting to get married. 🙂

    Post # 23
    1768 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    We had several conversations about marriage, then we visited a jewellers to figure out our ring sizes and fav styles.  Then I flat out told him I wanted a sapphire, vintage, and not too much bling. He jokingly messaged me a crazy blingy diamond ring wedding set. I loled and started sending him a ridiculous number of etsy listings similar to what I wanted.

    We continued talking about our future and even wedding planning stuff. I knew he planned to wait until after he got his tax refund to buy the ring. So I figured he’d propose on our February cruise. Well, I guess he realized the kind of ring I wanted was really cheap, so he ended up buying it about 2 weeks after we went to look at rings. It wasn’t one I had seen on etsy, but he did buy me exactly want I wanted and I love my ring.

    He hinted strongly about a Christmas proposal, but never told me directly it was coming. Still, it was like, the worst kept secret lol. We even had dinner with my parents the Monday before so he could tell my dad he was going to be asking me to marry him.

    He ended up proposing on Christmas Eve in a perfect moment. It still makes me smile. I know he wishes it has been more of a surprise, but I’m not crazy about surprises and he already knows I can’t keep secrets, so this was really the best route for us.

    I do have a sister with precise tastes and her hubby knew a jeweler, so they had the ring custom made by that jeweler. It’s a lovely opal. I have another sister who has a white gold and jade ring and they went to the jewellers to pick it out together. I have another sister, the one who got a diamond, and she is the only one who had no input into her ring. She’s the only divorced one, I wonder what she did with her ring….

    Post # 25
    9809 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    We went to the store, I narrowed it down to like two rings and asked him which he liked better. He picked the one he liked better, we left.

    Later that day he went back and bought said ring then proposed later that night. It’s a good memory for me so I don’t feel cheated out of a “surprise”. I can still remember everything we did that day from being at breakfast and talking about going to look at rings, to him picking the ring because it reminded him of the space needle in Seattle, to the movie we went to with friends later that night. It was a good day. The only thing I don’t remember is what he said when he proposed, no clue there.

    We had clearly communicated the entire way through our relationship our timeline goals. We actually started  backwards and mutually made a decision of when we wanted to have children by (30, for the first) and then worked backwards from there to figure out what age that meant we should be married at, what age that meant the proposal should come, etc.

    Now, had we had the money to get engaged sooner we probably would have but we waited for husband to get a good job and have a good check coming in before buying the ring. But this was very open and never anything hidden, I never had to question his intentions because I knew exactly what the finances were and if we were in a position to purchase a ring. So no waiting or anxiety on my end, just about life lining up right and when it did he proposed immediately. 

    Post # 26
    185 posts
    Blushing bee

    Updating for clarity. Fiance, and I had countless converstions about our future over the years. This year we narrowed down our engagement date via a timeline. We planned to get engaged while visting friends on a trip, and propose to each other. He proposed first on a hike at the top of a mountain. I proposed to him the next morning, and he felt it was much sweeter than his! We each had an engagement gift for the other that we each picked out, and brought them on the trip–a ring for me, and gemstone cufflinks for him.

    Post # 27
    1963 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

    We’re Canadian but he surprised me with a ring and a proposal the only thing that we had discussed was that I didn’t want to be in school when we got engaged. I graduated school April 2016 and he proposed July 2016 and we were married September 2017

    Post # 28
    2124 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2017

    I didn’t give my Darling Husband any hints beforehand and we did not go ring shopping together. He had informally asked me to marry him–we had just had an argument, he kissed me and said “Would you marry me?” I said, “After all these years, I want a formal proposal with a ring and everything.” So, he went out on his own, picked out a ring, and surprised me with a proposal. 

    Post # 29
    487 posts
    Helper bee

    I proposed to him actually. And we chose my ring together later on. 

    Post # 30
    399 posts
    Helper bee

    jazzyj30 :  UK bee here. Second marriage for both of us. My first marriage -the proposal was drunken and slurred at midnight on New Year’s Eve when I was too young, and the pub landlord gave it away by congratulating me drunkenly about an hour before. Ex then bought me a crappy ring for £60. Should’ve known that the marriage was doomed from the start. This time round we always talked about “when we get married “ and we finally decided together we should get married after about 6 years together while we were lying in bed watching tv!! I chose a ring and we waited until it arrived before telling everybody. Not especially romantic and I’d be lying if I didn’t sometimes wish I had a cute proposal story to tell but also am quite glad that I didn’t have the stress of waiting until he decided he was ready to ask. It’s nice that it’s something we decided together. 

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