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The new rules of the marriage proposal

Getting engaged is a moment neither you nor your partner will ever forget. But don’t let the hype cause stress; we're here to help ensure that the planning proceeds smoothly, the proposal goes off without a hitch, and you can move on to planning the actual wedding celebration (we know you’ve already got your tailor lined up).

Keep the following four points in mind before popping the question, and you'll be hearing wedding bells in no time.

The price of the ring

Let's talk about finances for a second. You want that ring to sparkle and shine, and ultimately get a “yes.” But you also don't want the ring to be the first stop on the road to bankruptcy. Saving on the ring and the big day will allow you to splurge on the areas that are more important to you.There's an old tradition that engagement rings should cost two-or-three months’ salary, but some traditions are made to be broken—especially ridiculous and costly ones. A good ballpark for engagement rings today is about one month's pay, but even that is just a guideline given the growing number of metal and gem options. Let love, not price, be your guide. Also: Consider vintage. If your (hopeful) future spouse is into the shiniest and newest stuff out there, hit up a local boutique you know they dig. But if they are the type to hit antique sales or are obsessed with old Hollywood, there are scores of cool shops across the country selling unique vintage jewelry.

Location, location, location

The three most important rules in real estate…and wedding proposals. Remember, this isn’t about you, it’s about your partner. So, while you might want to get down on one knee at the ballpark and propose on the Jumbotron in front of 40,000 of your closest friends, your partner, um, may not want that. In which case, you should pick somewhere else, perhaps a bit more private or bucolic—or somewhere that means something to both of you. And if that’s a ballpark in front of 40,000 adoring and rabid fans? Well: Love is love is love, anywhere. Speaking of location, it’s pretty important when it comes to your venue too .  

Keep it short and sweet

No one wants to hear a long, dramatic soliloquy before deciding to say yes (and hopefully there’s no game time decision on that “yes”). A couple highlights of your relationship, a few gems about why they are great, a bit of romance, and pop the question. In and out—you can save the sentimental stuff for your vows. This isn't exactly an “Always Be Closing” situation, but it's also not not one. You have your whole lives ahead of you to tell your partner how wonderful they are. (Tip: Make sure everyone in the wedding party— we're looking at you, tipsy best man and weepy father of the bride—keeps their wedding toasts short, too.)

No one wants to hear a long, dramatic soliloquy before deciding to say yes.

Snap pics (and look good)

This will, at some point, end up on the socials. Make sure your future life partner isn’t, like, in raggedy sweatpants with their alma mater’s mascot on it. (If that’s your speed: totally fine.) Let them know something nice is going to happen without spoiling the surprise. This goes without saying in the year 2023, but: Make a plan to get photos of the moment. Selfies? Sure. Hire a pro? Definitely an option. Recruit a passerby to click a few photos? We wouldn't recommend it, but it'll do in a pinch. There are many options. Pick one that fits your vibe and energy—maybe your future spouse isn’t into the “engagement photographer hiding behind a bush” scene—and run with it. Your memory, and your new fiancé, will thank you later. And dress up for the occasion. Effort is an important aspect of a successful marriage. Start off on the right foot. 

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