How to Propose Without an Engagement Ring

Man proposing to a woman

If Hollywood romcoms and chick-flicks are anything to go by, proposing marriage without a big, chunky ring is simply not done – unless you are Mallory and Mickey from Natural Born Killers, in which case, you will be classed as a couple far from the romantic norm.

Engagement rings have been around for centuries although they weren’t popularized until after the Great Depression when N.W. Ayer & Son’s slogan “A Diamond is forever” started the diamond engagement ring craze.

With glamorous stars such as Elizabeth Taylor showing off their bedazzling bling and the promise of these particular jewellery pieces keeping marriages intact for a lifetime, both men and women felt the pressure to conform to this new tradition – regardless of their social or financial situation.

Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracey getting married

As such, an engagement ring not only became a symbol of a man’s love for a woman but of his capability to care and provide for her: the bigger the rock on a woman’s finger, the wealthier her husband-to-be. Or at least that’s what they wanted you to believe – loans taken out to pay for such a luxurious piece of jewellery over many years, were obviously never discussed.

Although the gift of an engagement ring is a romantic one steeped in tradition, love and marriage should not be measured by material factors, and the right partner will know this.

There are so many meaningful, romantic ways you can propose without an engagement ring, and you can rest assured that it will create memories that will last forever more.

As we sell engagement rings you may think this is a strange post for us to write but we like to help out people who maybe don’t have the money for a ring or at least not straight away.

Here are some proposal ideas you can use without a ring and that will make your partner’s heart shine brighter than any diamond ring ever could:

It’s All About the Right Moment

Have you ever watched your girlfriend happily slurping up a bowl of ramen in her tattered, fuzzy pyjamas, her hair a complete mess, and thought to yourself: this is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with?

If moments like these make you feel all kinds of fuzzy inside, so much so you can hardly stop your heart from beating out of your chest, then who is to say this isn’t the perfect moment to propose to her?

Given her couch-potato-attire and bird’s nest hairdo, it may not be a Facebookable moment, but that’s not what it’s supposed to be about – the right proposal is all about sincerity and these moments can’t always be planned ahead.

If it feels like the right moment to you then it probably is – and should your girlfriend complain about the fact she wasn’t looking her absolute best when you popped the big question, this is the chance to remind her that you love her all day, every day, whether she’s wearing the little black dress or that ridiculous unicorn onesie you hate so very much. Spontaneous proposals are often the most memorable!

Spell it Out

Marry Me? written in sand

If you do want to put some real planning into your proposal – even without an engagement ring – allow the four most powerful words in any relationship to do all the talking for you.

Run a hot bath with her favourite essential oils or a naughty bath bomb, sprinkle some rose petals on top, light a few candles and simply invite her to have a relaxing soak when she comes home from a hard day at work.

Use the remaining candles or rose petals to spell out the words ‘Will You Marry Me’ right outside the bathroom door or in the bedroom – she’ll come out of the bath feeling refreshed and ready to embrace a whole new life together!

This is the relaxed approach – if you want to get a little more adventurous and really make your girl work for the big proposal, send her on a treasure hunt! Make her complete various tasks that will eventually lead her to find her big prize: a small wooden box with nothing but a note inside asking her to be your wife.

Find the Right Setting

If you have a special place that is important to you both, take her there to propose! Whether it’s the coffee shop in which you first met, the movie theatre you visited on your first day, or the mountaintop you climbed on your first anniversary – bringing her back here for this, the biggest of milestone moments, will make this special setting mean even more to you both.

Suitable Stand-Ins

Diamond EarringsEven though you’ve decided to hold off on buying an engagement ring, there’s no reason your marriage proposal can’t be put forward with some other type of jewellery in its place.

A pair of diamond earrings or a diamond pendant both tend to be fairly one size fits all styles of fine jewellery that would be perfect stand-ins for a traditional engagement ring.

Your beloved still gets a bit of bling to show off along with their engagement news, and you both still have the chance to pick the perfect diamond engagement ring post-proposal.

Toying With Your Proposal

Toy Engagement RingsIf your future spouse is inclined to enjoy a bit of fun and you’re looking to give your proposal a quirky charm to make it unforgettable, then you may want to take a more childish approach.

By this, of course, we mean using a toy engagement ring in place of a real one.  Easily obtained from a toy store or grocer’s vending machine, cheap toy rings make an adorable stand in to appeal to your beloved’s inner child.

Even a piece of costume jewellery would suffice, the trick may be to make it completely over the top so as not to lead them to believe the faux ring you are presenting is a real one.

If going this route, you also want to let them in on the joke as quickly as possible, explaining why you want the ring selection process to take place post-proposal.

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