How Couples Are Getting Engaged In 2019, From The Ring To The Proposal

Did anyone else know that the months between November and February are engagement season? To me, it feels like every Sunday is engagement season, just based on the sheer amount of engagement posts I see on every social media channel. But just because I’ve been single and fabulous since 2014 doesn’t mean I don’t love to kick back at the end of a long day and read up on my bridal content—especially The Knot, which just released its annual Jewelry & Engagement Study. As you can guess from the title of the study, it’s all about proposing and the jewelry that accompanies it. After reading and internalizing the study, I’ve deduced that proposals nowadays, especially for millennials, are all about personalization. People aren’t just opening a ring box to reveal a diamond as they kneel for a few seconds anymore. Now, it’s a whole big thing and, I mean, good? You’re asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you, so making it as personal and thoughtful as possible seems like a step in the right direction here.

One important thing I noticed from The Knot study is that most people getting engaged today are between the ages of 25 (cool cool cool cool, just kill me now) and 34. If you’re wondering what constitutes “most people,” it’s a whopping 67%. And if you’re wondering how old the proposers are, 38% of them are 25–29 and 27% are 30–34 years old. Just judging off the ages of the people I know who are getting engaged, this is not that surprising, but still slightly depressing for me, a very single person.

But before we get into the way most proposals are going down, let’s talk about the jewelry. According to the study, “More than 85% purchase new rings for the occasion, with 45% being custom designed.” So I guess holding on to your great-grandma’s family heirloom just isn’t what most people are doing these days. I can imagine it feels great to wear a ring that symbolizes you and your partner’s love for each other and to know that no one else has the same one. I remember that episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte proposed to herself (yikes) and then marched right on over to Tiffany to pick out her ring and claimed it was the most romantic experience of her life. I mean, I definitely wouldn’t say no to a Tiffany diamond, but in my and other millennials’ opinion, it’s more romantic to say yes to a ring that your S.O. designed with you in mind. Speaking of, more than 7 in 10 proposees say they were “somewhat” involved in picking out or buying their ring, which I support. I’d rather have more input in the piece of jewelry I will be wearing every day for the rest of my life than be 100% surprised. 78% of proposees dropped hints about what they wanted their ring to look like (hopefully, not subtle hints, because we know men can be, shall we say, oblivious?), and more than 70% said it’s important to see the ring in person before buying it.

When it comes to sourcing ideas for the perfect ring, the study found, “the majority (81%) of proposees turn to social media for engagement ring inspiration.” This makes sense, given that just about every other aspect of a wedding is sourced through social media. How did people get ideas for weddings before Pinterest?? Serious question.

And since the first thing I wanted to know was how much these bespoke diamonds are costing people, the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,900—though it’s dependent on region. If you’re in the Mid-Atlantic, for example, couples spend on average $7,500. And, just as every aspect of living is cheaper in the Southeast, you can expect to spend less on the ring too, with the average cost being $5,400. But perhaps most surprisingly is that 94% of people who proposed paid for the ring on their own, a statistic I will direct every Boomer family member to whenever they try to call millennials spoiled.

Speaking of Instagram, it may seem like all couples today do is post those selfies with “I said yes / Can’t wait to marry my best friend” captions, but a surprising amount of couples (51%) get engaged in private, and 40% get engaged in public, which is down from 45% last year. My Instagram would indicate otherwise, but ok, I’ll take it. To quote the study, “This year, those proposing spend an average of three months planning hyper-personalized, intimate moments to ask their significant other to marry them. While more than half (51%) of proposals occur in private, nearly one in five (18%) take place in locations significant to the couple’s past, like the couple’s favorite date spot or the location they first met.” Yes to all of this. Coming up with a way to ask someone you love to spend the rest of their valuable time on Earth with you should take a few months of planning! Even if it’s a low-key proposal, it’s worth putting some thought into.

To wrap it up with a classic summary of what have we learned: Instagram (shockingly) isn’t reality, at least when it comes to wedding proposals. The majority of proposals occur in private, take three months to plan, and involve a custom ring to seal the deal. Of course, if some of these elements are not your vibe, that’s completely okay. That doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong or that your proposal or ring is less special than your friend’s; it just means that you have different tastes.

Images: Gift Habeshaw / Unsplash; Giphy (2)

8 Diamond Alternatives For Engagement Rings

Yay, engagement season is upon us. Break out the wine and self-loathing and prepare to see no less than 10 engagements on your combined social media channels. If you’re the one getting engaged and are dropping hints left and right for your idiot partner to pick up, it may be time to explore options outside the normal engagement ring, i.e. not necessarily a diamond. Don’t @ me—if a sapphire ring is good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for you. Let’s explore some diamond alternatives, shall we?

1. Emeralds

One of the four precious stones (along with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds), emeralds are the birthstone for May, super green, and perfect for the unique betch. JFK actually proposed to OG Betch, Jackie, with an emerald ring. Word of warning, though—emeralds are softer than diamonds, rubies, and other stones, so be careful which setting you choose.

ShyGems 1.5 Carat Round Classic Emerald and Diamond Vintage Engagement Ring

2. Sapphires

Princess Diana chose her 12-carat sapphire ring from a jewelry collection available to common folk, but it’s still arguably the most well-known engagement ring ever—especially now that Kate Middleton is sporting it. Sapphires are said to promote tranquility and symbolize faithfulness, so they’re a nice choice for a ring signifying that you’re going to forever put up with the same person. They’re typically blue, but they can come in green, white, pink, and even yellow. They’re also super durable, so they’re good for those of you prone to slamming your hand in drawers.

Miadora Signature Collection 10k White Gold Sapphire and 1/8ct TDW Diamond 3-stone Infinity Engagement Ring

3. Moissanite

Moissanite is a gemstone that literally came from space à la meteorites, so if you’re v into your horoscope and the phases of the moon and its effects on whether you’re being a psycho or not, this could be the stone for you. Naturally occurring moissanite is super rare, so a lot of what you’ll find today is lab created. However, it’s nearly as hard as a diamond and can be cut well enough to fool everyone. Plus, it’s cheaper and shinier, so yay!

 

Brilliance Five Stone Moissanite Engagement Ring In White Gold (7.5 Mm)

4. Lab-Grown Diamonds

Okay so this doesn’t technically fall under diamond alternatives, but it does in the sense that lab-grown diamonds are not your traditional diamonds. If you aren’t super pumped about blood diamonds and are doubtful about your rock being conflict-free, it could be time to explore lab-grown diamonds. They’re usually about 15 to 20 percent cheaper than natural diamonds and chemically are EXACTLY the same. The biggest difference is that they aren’t billions of years old and weren’t found in a mine by an underpaid worker; they were grown in a lab by nerds. Clean Origin is a company that launched earlier this year, and the majority of their lab-grown diamond rings are 30 percent cheaper than their natural diamond counterparts. They’re graded exactly the same way, are just as gorgeous, and are, still, literally, a REAL DIAMOND FOR A FRACTION OF THE PRICE COME ON PEOPLE.

Clean Origin Petite Delicate Halo Ring

5. Rubies

Rubies can actually be just as expensive as diamonds. #Themoreyouknow . Sarah Ferguson, kind of former Duchess, had a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. Mark Zuckerburg, reptilian overlord, proposed with a three-stone ring with a ruby at the center flanked by a diamond on each side. Rubies are said to symbolize passion and love with their rich red color (aww). They’re also pretty tough and can survive being banged around at SoulCycle or while washing dishes.

JeenJewels Vintage 1.50 Carat Ruby and Diamond Engagement Ring in White Gold for Women

6. Knots

Not into stones and diamonds? That’s chill—maybe think about telling everyone you’re engaged with a ring with a knot tied in it. Maybe you’re just a super literal person, and you’re super serious about TYING THE KNOT so you need a KNOT ring. C’mon guys, this is so fun.

Audrey Rose Tiny Knot Ring

7. Claddagh Rings

If you and your intended just, really, LOVE Irish and Celtic culture (maybe you’re living in Ireland or met in Ireland while studying abroad or you’re Irish), think about proposing with (or asking for) a Claddagh ring. The traditional Irish ring dates back to Roman times (cool story, Hansel), and was actually used as an engagement and wedding ring in the Middle Ages.

Glencara – Ladies 14K White Gold Silver Claddagh Ring

8. Heirlooms

For the low, low price of probably free, you can guilt Grandma into forking over her vintage two-carat emerald and diamond ring so that you can strategically give it to your fiancé-to-be and force him to propose. On the other hand, dudes, you can get Aunt Diane’s classy heirloom sapphire ring and promise to “finally marry that lovely Jenny girl.”  Heirlooms can be much more meaningful than just heading to the store and picking out something totally new, so it’s worth thinking about.

1stdibs- Art Deco Old European Cut Diamond Platinum Ring Circa 1920

Images: Anne Edgar, Unsplash; Glencara; 1stdibs; Audrey Rose; Jeen Jewels; Clean Origin; Brilliance; Overstock; ShyGems
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5 Affordable Dupes Of Your Favorite Celebs’ Engagement Rings

Engagement ring trends are a funny thing. Mostly because they symbolize eternal love blah, blah, blah, but also because they’re something you’re (hopefully) going to be flaunting for decades to come. These aren’t regular trends in shoes that come and go—these are like, v serious trends that you often can’t afford to f*ck up. Obviously, these precious jewels are expensive af and unless you’re, say a celebrity like Ariana or Pete, you can’t afford to buy a giant rock of a diamond and then change your mind a few months later (too soon?). While we’re on the topic of Ariana and Pete, in addition to mistaken early engagements, jewelers have been seeing a spike in colored diamonds and gemstones. Thanks to trendsetter Kate Middleton, tons of people have been wanting to rock a stunning sapphire or more recently, like Lady Gaga, a blinding pink diamond on their hand. If you’re one of those who are obsessed with colored engagement rings (hi, same here) but are looking for a much, much more affordable option, you’re in luck. No need to thank me. Here are some recently engaged celebs who have worn a one-of-a-kind colorful gem and the matching dupes you can buy for yourself without breaking the bank.

1. Lady Gaga

The singer’s rock is said to be a “6-7 carat pink sapphire with a diamond halo totaling 3-4 carats,” according to the president of WP Diamonds.

 

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#AStarIsBorn

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The Dupe

1CT Emerald Cut Pink Topaz And Diamond Ring Crafted In Solid 14K White Gold, $299

2. Gwyneth Paltrow

According to TIME, experts say this “rare blue sapphire” could be anywhere from 10 to 13 carats and be worth up to a whopping $500,000. Must be nice, am I right?

 

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Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has subtly revealed that she and television producer Brad Falchuk are married. The couple are said to have tied the knot at a private ceremony held at Paltrow’s Hamptons home. Both #ChristopherMartin & lovely daughter #AppleMartin sent their greatest love to Gwyneth. ????????Follow us @ellehongkong @gwynethpaltrow @bradfalchuk #gwynethpaltrow #bradfalchuk #couples #wedding #relationship #bride #bridal #tietheknot #ELLEBride

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The Dupe

Jared Lab-Created Sapphire Ring Blue & White 10K White Gold, $579

3. Hilary Swank

Although Hilary and (now ex-fiancé) Ruben Torres split just a few months after their engagement in 2016, she flaunted an emerald-cut emerald stone on a gold band.

 

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Hollywoodskådisen Hilary Swank och hennes pojkvän Ruben Torres har förlovat sig. Paret som har varit tillsammans i nästan ett år. Hilary skriver följande på sin instagram “Gick ut på en promenad och så hände det här! Jag är så glad att kunna dela med mig av de här fantastiska nyheterna… Förlovningen med min älskade Ruben!” Ett stort grattis till det lyckliga paret!

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The Dupe

Kay Jewelers Lab-Created Emerald Lab-Created Sapphires Sterling Silver Ring, $229

4. Iggy Azalea

First things first, Iggy is the realest. She broke up with her ex-fiancé Nick Young a year after their engagement when she caught him cheating. Then, she tweeted about it and later stated on TV that she burned his clothes in a literal bonfire. Honestly, well-deserved, IMO. As for the ring, People says Young designed the 10.43-carat ring himself. It consists of an 8.15-carat yellow diamond and a white diamond halo set into white gold.

 

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Iggy Azalea’s engagement ring???? #onpoint #onfleek #iggyazalea #nickyoung #engaged #diamonds #10.43carat #cushioncut #yellowdiamonds #iggyazaleaengagementring

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The Dupe

1 1/4 Carat Oval Shape Citrine And Two Diamond Ring In 14 Karat Yellow Gold, $499

5. Eva Longoria

When now-husband José Bastón popped the question in 2015, he presented this massive ruby and diamond engagement ring and it’s seriously impossible not to stare at it.

 

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Ummmm so this happened….#Engaged #Dubai #Happiness

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The Dupe

Zales 7.0mm Cushion-Cut Garnet and Lab-Created White Sapphire Ring in Sterling Silver, $109

Photo: Jose Martinez / Unsplash; Instagram (5); Super Jeweler (2); Kay Jewelers; Jared; Zales
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.