A guide to engagement ring etiquette

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Engagement and wedding traditions vary across different cultures and countries. It is tradition for a man to propose to a woman with a diamond engagement ring in the UK. However, it is becoming increasingly common for either partner to propose in all kinds of relationships. Some couples opt to follow the traditional wedding structure, while others form their own traditions.

If you are looking at engagement rings, here are a few things to bear in mind.

Who should pick the ring?

Traditionally, the man would propose with a ring he picked out. These days, many couples look at rings together and discuss different designs and materials. Couples can do this after the proposal or before if they have spoken seriously about marriage. It all depends on the type of proposal and how big of a surprise the engagement is.

Do men wear engagement rings?

Women are typically the ones to wear an engagement ring. However, it is popular for men to wear engagement and wedding rings now. Many women propose to the man with an engagement band for him to wear.

How much should you spend?

Most people say you should spend one to three months’ salary on an engagement ring. Of course, this is a significant amount of money and might not align with your budget. Spending less or more is completely up to the couple and their lifestyle. Your partner is unlikely to look down on you for spending less than two months of your salary.

Follow the four C’s

There are four Cs to follow when picking a diamond engagement ring for your partner. You need to think about colour, clarity, cut and carat. There is a lot to know about diamonds and many different versions available.

You need to think about whether you want a diamond or a gemstone engagement ring. You might opt for an oval shape instead of a baguette-cut. The carat and clarity are dependent on your budget and the style of ring you want. As a general rule, a higher carat size means a higher price point. You will need to go with a higher clarity grade to make sure the stone is clear and bright. You might want to ask your jeweller for advice if you’re unsure about all the different materials and stones.

You don’t need to follow the traditional rules of engagements and weddings. Use them for inspiration, and then find your own way to celebrate your relationship.

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