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Education

Proposal Do's and Don'ts November 14 2014

Proposal Do's

 

Do Test the Waters

Before you propose, the two of you should talk about the possibility of getting married. Make sure it’s something that you both want, and agree on major issues such as children. You don’t want her to be taken completely off guard, as such a proposal is almost certainly guaranteed to elicit only a hesitating yes, if not a, “I’ll have to think about it.”

Do Make it a Surprise

Even though you have discussed getting married, the marriage proposal itself should still be a surprise. Find a moment and a way that she won’t be suspecting.

Do Be Prepared

Saying, “Will you marry me?” is a huge deal, and one that leaves many proposers completely tongue-tied. So practice! It might feel silly, but say the words out loud a few times. You might also write down exactly what you’re going to say, to make sure you come off as smooth and confident. Find out what kind of ring to buy.

Do Find The Right Engagement Ring

Since wearing an engagement ring is a lifetime commitment, make sure it’s the right style. You might find an opportunity to window shop for rings when you are walking past a store, or bring it up in conversation. You can also ask her mother or best friend to help choose the ring.

Do Know if She Wants to Pick the Engagement Ring

Most brides want their proposal to include an engagement ring, but others are very particular about their jewelry, and want to be part of the buying/designing process.

Do Talk to Her Parents

We’ve come a long way from when women were property who needed their father’s permission, yet, there is still something nice and respectful about asking for the parents’ blessing.

Do Pick a Personal Spot

Think about your favorite romantic places — choose a meaningful spot to pop the question. It could be as simple as in your living room, or as complicated as whisking her away for a weekend in Paris. Just don’t ask her in a supermarket aisle!

Do Be Creative

Incorporate your personality, favorite things, foods etc. into the proposal. Make it memorable rather than a cookie cutter proposal.

Do Drop to One Knee

It’s not 1950, but there is something so charming and romantic about a man on one knee asking the love of his life to marry him. Even if you’re not a traditional guy, it will add to the seriousness and lovingness of the proposal.

Do Tell Her Why You Want to Marry Her

Don’t just utter those 4 little words, tell her why she’s the one for you, what marriage means to you, and what your hopes for the future are. You might say something like “My life has never and could never be the same after I met you. You’ve made me more joyful, more stable, and more inspired. I can’t picture the rest of my life without you by my side. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?”

Do Share the News

Take a moment to reflect on your engagement, but bring along a cell phone or calling card for sharing the good news.

 

 

Proposal Don’ts

 

Don’t Make it Public

If script-writers are to be believed, every wedding proposal takes place in front of a thousand people. But unless she’s said she wants a splashy proposal, make it intimate and personal. Most brides would prefer to have that magical moment be just the two of you – after all, you’ve got the rest of your lives to tell other people about your marriage but you’ve only got one engagement moment.

Don’t Hide the Engagement Ring in Food

It’s been in a thousand movies and TV shows, and you won’t win any points for creativity. Even worse, you may end your romantic proposal with a trip to the emergency room or the dentist.

Don’t Propose at a Sports Game

Games are loud and chaotic events. Even if she is the biggest sports fan you ever knew, the arena doesn’t allow you to have any of the reflection and focus that making such a momentous decision deserves.

Don’t Do it in Front of Her Family

While your families will merge with your wedding, it is not their decision to do so. Proposals in front of family have an added level of stress that you don’t need. Take this moment to be just the two of you; don’t worry, you can call everyone immediately afterward.

Don’t Make it Too Complicated

While it’s good to be creative with your proposal, it is important to keep the focus on what’s important: the proposal itself. If you are worrying about whether or not the limousine will get to the balloon ride in time, you’re worrying about the wrong thing.

Don’t Propose Too Early in the Relationship

When you’re in the first flush of love, it’s hard not to do impetuous and foolish things. Yet waiting until your relationship is stable will only strengthen your marriage. Make sure you really know each other, and what each other wants from a marriage before you commit to it for the rest of your lives.

Don’t Expect Her to Say Yes Immediately

You’re asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you – an extremely important decision. Just because you’ve asked, doesn’t mean she is ready to say yes. If your sweetheart says maybe, take it in stride and give her some time to consider the proposal. After all, you wouldn’t want this amazing person to marry any Tom, Dick or Harry who asked her, would you? 

 


Ring Styles November 14 2014

Once you’ve chosen a stone for your engagement ring, then the fun part starts: choosing a setting. Although the stone can account for up to 90% of the cost of the ring, the setting is what defines its look and showcases the stone to its best advantage. When shopping, be sure to check out a variety of rings, even those you might not like — these things can surprise you!

First Things First

When shopping for a mounting (the industry term for a setting before it is set with a stone), never let the addition of a wedding band stray far from your thoughts. (An engagement ring may represent a promise but the wedding band ultimately outranks it in significance, and will likely be worn every day.) Consider whether you would rather stack the two (you can always customize a band to fit) or wear the engagement ring on the right hand and/or for special occasions only.

Set Your Sights

Whether you are buying a set or building an engagement ring from scratch, every aspect of said ring — the stone, metal, and mounting — should be chosen with your lifestyle and budget in mind. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular basic settings from Renée Newman, GG, MA, author of Gold & Platinum Jewelry Buying Guide (International Jewelry Publications). The choices are endless, from a simple solitaire to a number of stones and combination of settings on the same ring. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to reset your stone — and add stones — as your bank account and lifestyle permit.

The Styles…


 

Prong

What it is: This most common type of engagement-ring setting involves three to six “claws” that hold a stone firmly in a metal “head” or “basket”. Prongs can be pointed, rounded, flat, or V-shaped, and act as “pockets” for a square stone’s corners. When deciding between four and six prongs, know that four prongs show more of the diamond, while six prongs are more secure, but can overwhelm a small stone. If you have heart-, marquise-, or pear-shaped stone, be sure its points are cradled in a V-shaped prong for protection. Flat prongs are recommended for emerald-cut stones.

Advantages

 

  • Permits the most light exposure from all angles and therefore maximizes a diamond’s brilliance and “lightens up” richly colored gems.
  • Less metal means less time and money is required than other setting styles.
  • Allows easy cleaning of the stone.
  • Holds even the most fragile (soft) gems securely.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Offers less protection to the stone than other styles since most of the girdle (the perimeter of the stone) is exposed.
  • Can get caught in hair or snag clothing (especially when pulling on a long-sleeved shirt) and panty hose.
  • High-set prong settings can scratch and hurt other people if brushed against, and are hard to fit in gloves. (Lower prong settings are available and more practical for those on the go.)

 


 

Tension

What it is: A design in which the compression-spring pressure of the shank holds the stone firmly in place. The minimal interference of metal can give the impression that the stone is “floating”. Only extremely hard stones such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies can withstand the required pressure.

 

 

Advantages

 

  • Allows a lot of light into the stone.
  • Allows the fullest view of the anatomy of a stone

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Ring is built to fit and difficult to resize at a later date.
  • Repair options are limited; only the manufacturer can fix your ring.
  • Less metal means less protection to the girdle of the stone; recommended for less active people or for special occasions only (not everyday wear).
  • Not recommended for gems other than diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.

 


 

Bezel

What it is: A metal rim with edges fully or partially surrounds the perimeter of the stone.

 

 

 

Advantages

 

  • Protects a stone’s girdle from being nicked or chipped.
  • Conceals existing nicks or chips on a stone’s girdle.
  • Secures a stone well.
  • The ring surface is completely smooth.
  • Metal can be molded to fit any stone shape snugly.
  • A white metal encircling a white stone can make the stone appear larger.
  • A yellow gold bezel setting can enhance the color of red or green gemstones.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • A yellow gold bezel setting can make a “white” stone such as a diamond appear less white because the yellow tint of the setting is reflected in the stone.

 


 

Channel

What it is: Popular for wedding bands, this setting sandwiches a row of stones — with no metal separating them — between two horizontal channels for part or all of the ring. Note: For side stones only, not for the center of an engagement ring.  Round stones cost less to set than square or rectangular ones.

 

 

Advantages

 

  • Protects the girdle of the stones.
  • Provides better security for small stones than a prong or pave setting.
  • The surface is completely smooth and unobtrusive.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • A ring set with stones all the way around (eternity) can be difficult to resize (leave at least one third of the shank unset for greatest flexibility — this saves money, too)
  • Not recommended for fragile gems such as emeralds, opals, or tourmalines.
  • Channel rails will cover up the edges of stones.

 


 

Bar

What it is: This setting can also be applied around some or all of the ring, but instead of channels holding the stones, thin vertical bars of metal between stones secure them firmly in place.

 

 

 

Advantages

 

  • Protects the sides of each stone’s girdle.
  • The surface is relatively smooth and unobtrusive.
  • Puts a contemporary spin on a classic look.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Leaves the top and bottom of the stone exposed.
  • The uneven edges of some designs may cause discomfort.

 


 

Pave

What it is: The French word for “paved”, a pavé setting (pronounced “pah-vay”) involves three or more rows of several small stones fitted into holes that set them level with the surface of the ring. Surrounding metal — white gold or platinum for white stones so as to be unnoticeable — is then raised to form beads that secure the gems. The setting can be flat or domed.

 

 

Advantages

 

  • Gives the illusion of more and bigger diamonds than they really are.
  • Allows an uninterrupted design flow of varying width.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Not recommended for fragile gems, although the proximity of the stones offers good protection for the girdle of each stone.
  • The surface is level but not as smooth as a bezel, channel, or gypsy setting.
  • Beads are not as reliable as other settings for securing stones.

 


 

Gypsy

What it is: Popular for men’s rings, this setting sets the stone “flush” into a hole in the ring so that it does not protrude at all. The ring’s metal is then pressed and hammered around the stone’s perimeter to secure it.

 

 

 

Advantages

 

  • Protects a stone’s girdle from being nicked or chipped.
  • Conceals existing nicks or chips on a stone’s girdle.
  • Secures a stone well.
  • The ring surface is completely smooth.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • More time-intensive to set and expensive than a prong setting.
  • Not recommended for fragile gems such as emeralds, opals, or tourmalines.