As the short work week winds down and spiked eggnog for breakfast takes over, there’s one thing on the minds of not-yet-engaged gals: “Will this be the holiday season that I finally get a ring?” Even though the pandemic is putting weddings on the backburner, engagements are not slowing down just because we’re stuck at home. If you’re finding yourself getting more and more desperate with your not-so-subtle “I want to get engaged” hinting tactics, you’re not alone. According to a recent study conducted by, well, us and WeddingWire, lots of people are giving their partner little nudges that they want that ring.
We teamed up with WeddingWire to conduct the #DropAHint Study to see if we were the only ones who’ve been hinting about being ready for a proposal since like, the first date. Over 500 women aged 18-29 from around the U.S. revealed how they’ve been letting their S.O.s know they’re ready for the next step. “We’ve seen that many of our audience members aren’t shy when it comes to letting their partners know exactly what type of rings they want and when they want to get engaged,” said Aleen Kuperman-Dreksler, CEO and co-founder of Betches.
So, behold: Literal proof you’re not insane for changing your S.O.’s screensaver to a picture of the engagement ring you want. Or at least, you’re not like, more insane than the rest of us.
Hint Like Your Engagement Depends On It
Basically, the #DropAHint Study looked at how directly (or indirectly) couples share their proposal and/or engagement ring preferences with their partners, and it’s eye-opening, to say the least. Of the couples surveyed who have already gotten engaged or married, 35% said they discussed the proposal in advance. From TikTok wish lists to Pinterest boards to casually mentioning ring preferences and even repeating the words “engagement rings” into their partner’s phones for ads, these hint methods are getting majorly clever.
As for how often people are hinting, in a recent Betches Brides poll over 60% said they plan to drop hints weekly to monthly. In total, about 0ne-third expect to drop more than 15 hints before they’re actually proposed to, which means gone are the days of silently suffering for years while your lazy S.O. takes his or her sweet-ass time.
Talking About The Proposal Is Normal
While hinting you want to get engaged is one thing, outright saying it is another. And according to our study, it’s actually super common (not to mention mature. Healthy communication and coming to a mutual decision that you both want to get married? Yes, please). Out of the people who envision themselves getting engaged within the next few years, 72% said they’ve already discussed it with their partner and 39% have even chatted about what their future wedding might look like.
When it comes to the actual proposal, 14% say that know exactly how and where they want it to take place, so if you have every detail planned in your mind, don’t feel absurd. Just make sure to talk to your partner and/or adjust your expectations so you’re not disappointed if it doesn’t go down exactly how you dreamed.
Talking About The Ring Is *Also* Normal
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Going hand in hand with an engagement is the ring, and the majority (over 70%) want some bling included in the proposal. Of those, 25% know exactly what they want their ring to look like and 20% have already hinted at their preferences (and 21% say they plan to hint before their S.O. gets down on one knee). And while there are a lot of components to an engagement ring, the most popular to hint at are style and setting (55%), cut (51%), size/carat (48%), and color (39%). Additionally, 38% have dropped hints about what they don’t want. Taking it a step further, 25% have decided to have open, honest conversations about what they want in a ring and have outright told their S.O.s as well as shown them pictures.
The Holidays = Engagement Season
If you’re trying to figure out when, exactly, you might get engaged (if you’re not part of the group that already has it all planned out, that is), it looks like “engagement season” is shifting. In fact, according to the wedding pros, there’s a chance you might find a ring wrapped under the tree or presented to you in celebration of the New Year.
“Although some may think spring or summer are the most popular times for engagements, according to the 2020 WeddingWire Newlywed Report, seven out of ten of the most popular days to propose are in December, with Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day ranked as the three most popular,” Jeffra Trumpower, senior creative director at WeddingWire told Business Wire. Whether it’s all the engagement ring ads that run during the holidays or just that fact that you’ve been stuck together for nine months and have been hinting endlessly, there will definitely be a proposal surge at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021.
TL;DR: Hinting Is Not A Bad Thing
The point is, waiting around for the person you’re dating to decide whether or not you should get married is, frankly, absurd. This is 2020, and while the world is basically one giant dumpster fire, that doesn’t mean your relationship has to be. If you think you’re ready to get married, that’s a decision you and your partner can make together. It’s fair for you to talk to your S.O. about wanting to make things official. In fact, it’s worked for at least 35% of responders. They talked about proposal preferences prior to getting engaged and now they’re all happily in love with rings on their fingers.
When it comes to your relationship, your engagement, and your marriage, the only thing that matters is it works for you as a couple. Whether that means you quietly wait for a proposal, hint like your life depends on it, collaboratively talk about it, or bypass the whole engagement and elope on the spot, as long as it feels authentic to your relationship, it’s the right move. Now, bring on the holiday proposals and filtered ring shots, because it’s beginning to look a lot like engagement season.
Images: Zelle Duda / Unsplash; Giphy (3)
You know, it’s cute, everyone keeps saying things like “love is not canceled,” and it’s inspiring, really, it is, but if you were a bride planning on getting married this year, and now your plans are f*cked, it’s hard not to feel like love is pretty damn canceled. But brides- and grooms-to-be are taking it in stride and serving up proverbial “F you(s)” to the virus with their socially distant elopements, live-streamed and drive-by weddings, and hilariously self-aware change-the-date announcements. But the fact of the matter remains, we still have very few answers about when all this insanity is going to go away and when the wedding world can rise from the ashes.
We’ve been obsessed with all the #quarantineengagement content filling our feeds, so much so that it’s kind of making us wonder if being trapped in a tiny apartment with your S.O. for months could actually be good for your relationship. Like, if you want to put a ring on it while trying to coexist in isolation, then maybe you’re really in it for keeps?
After speaking with a handful of newly engaged couples and a few engagement experts, one thing is clear: a global pandemic isn’t hurting the proposal game. The ‘Rona might be a raging bitch, but guys and girls ready to pop the question aren’t about to throw all their plans out the window.
College sweethearts Kristi and Kelly got engaged with a pretty epic double proposal on Leap Day, just two weeks ahead of the lockdown. After a trip to the Point Pleasant boardwalk, they headed to the arcade to feel like kids again.
“We played for a little and then we decided to take a photo booth picture (it’s become our thing over the years),” Kristi recalls. “We were taking the third picture for the strip when Kelly said ‘let’s do a silly face!’ So, I immediately closed my eyes and stuck out my tongue… when I opened my eyes she was holding a ring! I was in shock and immediately started crying.”
But Kelly wasn’t the only one with a proposal up her sleeve that day—Kristi, completely coincidentally, had also chosen that day to pop the question. It took some urging to get her back home, but once they arrived, Kelly saw that the apartment was decorated with a trail of roses and candles leading to their bedroom.
“She walked into the room and burst into tears,” Kristi says, “because it was filled with pictures of us throughout the years, balloons, more roses and candles, and on the bouquet of roses was a ring for her. I got down on one knee and asked her if she would marry me! She said YES and then we got ready for a celebratory dinner for two with lots of champagne.”
Little did the two know that a few weeks later, a celebratory dinner for two would become the date-night norm for couples in quarantine. Kristi shares that “for about a week we were able to enjoy the bliss of being engaged. We were able to tell all of our family and friends through Facebook, FaceTime, and Instagram, but we have not yet been able to celebrate with anyone in person, which is a little disheartening for us.”
Days after they broke the news to their favorite people, Kristi says that her parents, excitedly, started to plan a June engagement party for them.
“Currently the party is on hold and up in the air,” Kristi explains. “We are trying to stay hopeful that we can have that special time with our family eventually, but at the same time, we’re so thankful that right now everyone is home, safe, and healthy.”
It’s definitely a weird time to propose right now with stay-at-home orders in place, but couples are strategizing how to pop the question in a special way while staying socially distant. If you weren’t stuck safe at home, what would you be doing, where would you be going, how would you be having fun with your future fiancé? That’s exactly where you need to start with your proposal. At least, that’s what The Yes Girls, the beauty and brains behind some of the world’s most incredible and personal marriage proposals, advise.
Having had a part in planning over 3,000 custom proposals since their launch in 2008, Megan Bicklein, Yes Girls proposal planner and designer, is feeling like now, more than ever, they need to show up for their clients. “We are the rock for our clients during one of the most intense, anxiety-ridden, and life-changing times in their lives, so we have to be as level-headed and supportive as we can possibly be, while taking their lead,” Bicklein says.
She explains that while some of her clients still want to go through with their proposals as planned (regardless of the restrictions at play in their respective cities), some are calling “in a panic because their vacation was cancelled and they need to come up with a new plan, some are unsure of what this means for their future, and some just really need a sounding board, someone to vent to during this uncertain time.”
Similarly to what couples have been doing to pivot their wedding plans while respecting social distancing cues, The Yes Girls are becoming well-versed in the various virtual ways to propose. “We’re currently planning a proposal right now that plays off of the virtual zoo tours that many local zoos are leveraging to draw audiences in from the comfort of their own homes. The video call will look much like the typical virtual tours being offered right now, but with a fun surprise at the end!”
If nothing else, the pandemic, as horrific and devastating as it may be, is ushering in a whole new wave of creativity and pioneerism in the proposal space.
“What we have seen more of is people caring less about the ‘showiness’ of the proposal and more about the overall mood and experience with their loved one,” says Bicklein. “Before, there was always a ‘how can I make this proposal so over-the-top’ goal behind the events, but now, we’re seeing more clients who just want to give their partner a meaningful memory to have forever. I think once the unlimited resources are taken away, we really get down to the heart of what we do this for: to help those popping the question make lasting and authentic impressions on those they love most.”
And when you’re holed up at home with all those resources taken away, something super simple can be the perfect proposal prelude. For Jess and Todd, who found love through a dating app, breakfast in bed on Sunday, April 12th (six days before her 40th birthday) was kind of everything.
“He woke up before me, which usually does not happen, and when I said ‘what are you doing,’ he said ‘I’m going to make you breakfast today.’” Maybe she was nervous about what would be coming out of the kitchen or perhaps it was more of a “let’s be cute and pretend cook together like one of those influencer couples,” but when Jess offered to help, her guy immediately told her to stay comfy and get more sleep. “He made me a yummy breakfast, brought it to me on a platter with a rose, and when he placed it down on the nightstand, he dropped to one knee. It was perfect!”
Simplicity at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
Susie Saltzman, a NYC-based fine jewelry designer, tells us that she’s seen no dip in engagement momentum since quarantine became the norm. Granted, for her, since 80% of the clients she works with live outside of the tri-state area, Zoom designing and ring brainstorming are nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that she’s any less pumped to “get the ball rolling and get people excited about the life that WILL HAPPEN once these wild days are past us.”
Since mid-March, Susie says she’s finished and shipped 18 engagement rings to clients who are ready “to move forward with their lives in the ways that they can.” And, like The Yes Girls, SS is a big believer in humble gestures to lock it down.
“I have a few clients coming up with really sweet private ways to propose at home,” Saltzman shares. I think people realize how precious ‘normalcy’ is and how much we take it for granted in our day-to-day lives. Tomorrow is not promised, and this uncertain, unprecedented time has been a true reality check for people.” She adds, “I think our inability to do some of life’s simplest activities (like go out to eat with a loved one, celebrate your birthday, take your children to school) has made people really want to embrace life once this is over. People want to celebrate their love NOW—they don’t want to wait to formalize their commitment to one another.”
That’s what Shannon’s fiancé, David (one of her older brother’s besties-turned-bae), was thinking when he proposed with flowers (brought over by his mom) after a “fancy date night in” on Friday, April 17th.
“Since we were unable to go out with everything going on, we got all dressed up and cooked dinner together. Nothing was out of the ordinary until David went to the front door after dinner and got flowers. He said, ‘you can’t have date night without flowers.’ I still didn’t think anything was going on, because before all of this, David would get me flowers all the time. I was going to put the flowers away and was in the kitchen near the sink when I turned around and he was down on one knee. I was so surprised it took a moment to realize that this was really happening. I started bawling, and with the perfect speech he asked me to marry him. I was so happy that I said yes before he even opened the ring box. Despite being quarantined, it was the happiest, most perfect day!”
“I have had a Pinterest board for our wedding for some time now,” explains Shannon. “I have so much in mind for what we want for our special day, but it’s kind of a catch-22. We have all of this time at home to be able to plan, but with so many places closed, we’re pretty limited. Also, who knows when this will all be normal, when weddings can happen, and how many people will ultimately be allowed to be gathered at once when they do.” Despite all the uncertainty, Shannon says, “It’s hard to start planning with so many unknowns, but, right now, we are enjoying being engaged and will start planning in the near future.”
True, it’s a whole new world for the just-engaged set, but somehow we think it’ll all be okay… Especially since you can still actually do a lot of wedding planning while in quarantine. While day drinking. Without pants, even.
Images: Andre Jackson / Unsplash; Kristi Hunt (3); Jessica Pollack; betchesbrides, susiesaltzman / Instagram; Shannon Martin; Giphy