Finding the right moment to pop the question to your other half is a daunting enough task as it is, but location is key. So it comes as no surprise to hear that the vast majority of people prefer to propose where the sun is brighter, the weather warmer and the setting is picture perfect. If you’re planning on proposing while on holiday, here are 5 top tips for the perfect proposal.
1. Plan the ring ahead of your trip
Very rarely do we do long haul trips without planning ahead, even short city breaks require some notice to ensure that you and your partner can both take that Friday off work to avoid a 6pm flight from the madness that is Gatwick airport. If you’ve decided on taking the plunge and proposing while away you must take a similar planning approach with your engagement ring choice, as finding the right one will take a while.
2. Pick the right ring
Men have been told for generations that diamonds are forever. Books, films, TV, they all say the same thing: Diamonds are precious. They’re a girl’s best friend. So in an expanding world of retail outlets and faceless websites, how does a man choose the perfect stone for the perfect lady? Some women will leave a direct hint, it’s never a surprise to hear a woman say she wants “The Tiffany Classic” or “bigger than my sister’s” but how do you come about sourcing this unique piece of jewellery?
Ask yourself a few questions:
What type of jewellery does she wear?
Does she wear any at all?
Is she a girl with a classic style or is she a bit more edgy?
If your partner doesn’t wear too much jewellery or when she does it’s simple pieces like a pair of stud earring then it’s very likely she’s expecting to have a solitaire engagement ring, no bells, no whistles, just one individual piece of sparkle. Equally, if your girlfriend wears big statement jewellery, the kind that makes you wonder how she’s never taken her eyes out, then go with a more ornate vintage inspired design to give her some extra sparkle. If you notice all the jewellery she wears is silver/white gold then buying her a yellow gold engagement ring will probably result in you taking a trip to exchange it after your holiday. A quick scan over a few days of her outfits will help you find out what will be best suited for her. You may be buying it, but she’s the one that has to wear it.
3. Choose the right diamond
So now it’s time to for the expensive part… The diamond itself. No two diamonds are alike so it’s essential that in order to get the best value for money, you need to look at the quality of diamond you’re buying to ensure she’s getting the nice diamond and more importantly that you’re spending the right money. You’ll have heard of the 4 C’s before to explain a diamond quality, but to do this properly, I have 7 factors for you to consider:
This is predominantly the size of the diamond. A 1.0ct will be bigger than a 0.50ct diamond and so on and so forth. Diamonds at particular benchmarks of carat weight are priced at a premium (0.50ct, 0.75ct, 1.00ct, 1.50ct), so look at weights just below to get the best value – 0.49ct or 0.94ct for example.
Most diamonds have some form of imperfection, but for the majority, you can only tell the difference under magnification, so unless your girlfriend works in a lab, the likelihood is she will never see them. You don’t need a Flawless diamond for it to look good, anything from Flawless to VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2) will guarantee a winner.
A diamond cut refers to how sparkly it is – there’s no point in having a diamond if it doesn’t sparkle and all diamonds will be graded from Excellent to Poor for their cut. To ensure the diamond sparkles and makes your soon to be fiancée happy, go with an “Excellent” or “Very Good” cut.
All white diamonds are graded from D-Z. D is the whitest and the lower in the scale you get, the more yellow/brown they become. Stick to H colour or above to ensure your diamond is nice and bright.
Only buy a certified diamond. You wouldn’t buy a car without looking at its documents and this is definitely the case for diamonds. You want to know the diamond is exactly what you’re paying for so ensure you get a full certificate to accompany your purchase. GIA is the largest independent certification board of diamonds, if you can, go for one of these.
This is the shape of diamond… Often confused with the cut of diamonds. Round Brilliant cuts are the most popular as they have the most life and sparkle however shapes like ovals, pears and marquise offer better size per carat weight (making the diamond look bigger and more expensive!) Similarly, if your lady has smaller hands, shapes like emeralds, radiants and ovals will elongate her fingers.
There’s always a cost to anything, but ways to maximise your chosen budget would be to shop around, online jewellery retailers such as 77 Diamonds are able to offer you the high-end quality jewellery and diamonds at better than high street prices as jewellery is made to order. Look at diamond measurements – 0.92ct diamonds may have similar measurements to the 1.0ct diamond that you have your eye on (so they look the same!) but because of how the market is priced you could save up to 20%!
4. Get through airport security
So you planned ahead, you checked her jewellery box, you chose a diamond, you’ve bought a ring, now what? Obviously you don’t want to put your new expensive purchase in your suitcase in case your flight lands in Paris and your case in Panama, and that bulky ring box might not be discreet in your pocket, so you can pop the ring box in your hand luggage bag and the ring in your wallet. As long as you buy platinum or gold, it will not set off the alarms and at least you know it’s safe.
5. You’ve arrived… propose and relax
The proposal is down to you, either a stroll along the Seine, a gondola ride in Venice or a sky dive in the Dubai desert, the way you propose is your personal preference. My advice would be to make it personal; the most memorable proposals are the intimate ones and nothing is more intimate than asking her to marry you. When she’s said yes and the ring is no longer in your possession, celebrate with some champagne and enjoy the beginning of your new life together.
Diclosure: This post is sponsored by 77 Diamonds.