2022 is set to be a historic year for weddings with 2.5 million planned in the United States for this year alone — the highest number since 1984, the Wall Street Journal reports. Getting engaged has always been a special step for couples, but modern proposal trends are helping make this moment even more unique and personalized to each couple than ever before. For example, extravagant and/or outdoor proposals in beautiful locations ensure the occasion is memorable and, most importantly, Instagram-worthy thanks to a stunning backdrop.
Additionally, popping the question is also increasingly becoming a collaborative experience in terms of joint ring design, partner proposals, and men’s engagement rings (or man-gagement rings) in celebration of an equal relationship. By incorporating some of the latest trends into your proposal, you can ensure you pop the question in style.
The setting plays a key role in any proposal — and, most importantly, for many modern couples at least, it needs to be Instagram-worthy. Although at-home proposals have surged in popularity of late, outdoor proposals are set to be an even bigger trend with around 75% of recently-engaged couples opting for this route, up from just 40% in 2020, according to the Knot’s 2021 Jewelry & Engagement Study, which surveyed more than 5,000 recently-engaged couples. Outdoor locations in nature — whether at the beach, a scenic observatory spot, or a hiking trail with stunning views — not only make a special change of scenery, but they also ensure amazing photos.
Moreover, that’s why many couples opting for outdoor proposals also hire a professional videographer or photographer to capture the occasion. You can therefore make sure to share this special moment with friends, family, and followers with everything looking as good as possible. Additionally, you also have the freedom to book a trendy AirBnB to help make your outdoor proposal happen. In fact, around 1 in 3 engagements were held during a planned vacation in 2021, which is a 7% increase from 2021.
And, if you want to add a little more meaning to the proposal, you can always pick the site of your first date, the first place you said “I love you” (if it was an outdoor spot), or your partner’s hometown. As long as it’s personal, it’s bound to be perfect. Alternatively, you can even go all out and hire a skywriter to pop the question with a message in the sky. Be sure to pick a beautiful day, head to a pretty and secluded spot, and wait for the proposal to appear in the sky above. Packing a picnic can help make the moment even more romantic. In the summer, go for strawberries and chilled champagne, while flasks filled with warming hot chocolate are great for winter months.
Joint ring design
The age-old tradition of the responsibility for picking out the perfect engagement ring falling squarely on the shoulders of men is becoming increasingly outdated. Couples are now starting to embrace the ring shopping experience together as a team. Around 75% of people who were recently proposed to had some degree of involvement in choosing or buying the engagement ring, which reflects a 10% increase since 2015, according to the Knot. Additionally, nearly 80% of engaged people are at least involved in the design of their ring to the extent they at least drop hints to their partner about their favored styles. As an engagement ring is forever and worn everyday for the rest of your life, couples are also putting more consideration into the ring design to ensure it flawlessly suits the unique tastes of the wearer. For example, a French pavé diamond engagement ring is a classic choice for anyone who enjoys elegance and style. The band is literally studded with small diamonds to create a beautiful continuous sparkle. Alternatively, a petite solitaire engagement ring is a sophisticated design. A simple yellow gold band, for example, looks elegant while working as the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous center diamond. Regardless of the type of ring you and your partner decide on together, don’t make the mistake of thinking joint ring design inevitably does away with the element of surprise in proposals. Even if ring design becomes a shared responsibility, you can still introduce the unexpected into other elements of your proposal.
Men’s engagement rings
Women are no longer the only ones that get to enjoy engagement bling. Men’s engagement rings (or man-gagement rings) are a new trend sweeping soon-to-be-wed couples by storm. In fact, 7% of all men receive and/or wear an engagement ring. Specifically, around 6% of men in heterosexual relationships report being given an engagement ring, while nearly 50% of male same-sex couples have exchanged one engagement ring (and as many as 40% exchanged two). In fact, for the first time in 135 years, luxury jewelry retailer, Tiffany & Co., have revealed a dazzling collection of unique engagement rings for men.
Their range includes an emerald-cut diamond or single round-brilliant diamond measuring up to five carats sitting in an elegant titanium or platinum setting. However, other high-end jewelers are also releasing man-gagement ring collections, while others offer the option of custom-made to facilitate designs tailored to your wishes. But, no matter your budget, you’re bound to find a unique ring to suit your tastes. For example, a gold onyx signet ring looks sophisticated with a striking contrast between gold band and black stone, while remaining casual enough for everyday wear. Or, for a more modern twist, opt for an eye-catching black zirconium band with an elegant half-carat diamond in the center. But, if you’re looking for a really unconventional men’s engagement ring design, why not go for a ring cuff? An attractive copper cuff ring, for example, can be personalized with your initials on either end to make it even more special.
Just as the ring design experience is becoming increasingly progressive, so are the actual proposals themselves. While joint proposals are already common in same-sex relationships, heterosexual couples are now similarly opting for joint proposals to represent and celebrate an equal partnership. After one half of the couple proposes, so does the other half either on the same day or shortly after. There’s no right or wrong time frame or way to do a joint proposal and it differs for each couple. For example, you may want to arrange a rough week or month for both your proposals and hold off from telling everyone until you’ve both proposed to each other.
Or, you may want to set a specific date and each arrange a surprise activity on that day. If you’re adrenaline-junkies, for example, you may want to go bungee jumping to represent the act of “taking the plunge” together. But, you can always keep your joint proposal low-key instead: why not arrange to spend the day together and simply be engaged by the time evening rolls around? There’s no need for either of you to officially get down on one knee or even pop the question if that’s not your style. And, if you want to involve friends and family in the excitement, throw a big party. You can then surprise all your guests with your joint proposals to each other.
Just as previously mentioned, the element of surprise in proposals can still be maintained by planning a fantastic, larger-than-life event your partner will never expect. Just over 40% of proposals are now planned well in advance (at least between one to three months ahead) — which means more and more proposers are budgeting plenty of time to dream up, plan, and execute the perfect moment. Yes, this type of grand event does require a generous budget, but it’s worth it if you and your partner value extravagance. For example, you could hire a floral designer to transform a chosen location into a magical, fairy-tale-like scene.
You can always meet with the floral designer to discuss your ideas and hash out details including budget and cost breakdown before agreeing on a lavish set-up that’s within your budget. Keep in mind, however, the more extravagant you make your proposal, the more stress you’ll likely be taking on. As many as 25% of proposers felt under pressure to pull-off an epic proposal, according to the Knot. So, it’s important to think hard about what’s really important to you and if the stress and anxiety generated is worth it and even necessary in the first place. Remember there’s no such thing as a right or wrong proposal. As long as it’s meaningful and from the heart, your partner is bound to be impressed.
You only get married once, so it’s important you plan the right proposal — whether it’s simple, lavish, or something in between. Outdoor proposals, joint ring design, men’s engagement rings, joint proposals, and extravagant, over-the-top events are some of the newest unique and creative proposal trends couples are embracing.