When a couple decide they want to get married, they will usually be engaged for a period of time first. It is still traditional for the person who makes the proposal to seek permission from their intended’s father before they ask the question, and they should be fairly certain of the answer before they get to this point. An engagement is seen as a promise of marriage by older generations, but it is not unusual for people to have a couple of broken engagements behind them before they walk up the aisle. The timing of the engagement is a personal thing and we still hear of whirlwind romances even in this cynical age. Elaborate proposals have become a trend, with people seeking more unusual settings or scenarios for them to pop the question, from flash mobs, to surprise trips, messages written on beaches or spelled out in flowers, an engagement ring hidden in a glass of champagne or a video proposal including the couple’s children.
It can be a daunting prospect to make a lifelong commitment, and some couples seem to get engaged and then come to a halt; but planning the perfect day can be a really special time in their relationship, making decisions and reaching compromises, choosing the things that symbolise their partnership and making the statement that they are together by sharing their day with those closest to them.
There is no age restriction in the UK for becoming engaged, but coupes cannot marry without their parents’ consent until they are 18 in England, or 16 in Scotland, which is why Gretna Green just over the Scottish border became so popular with young couples who eloped. The majority of newly engaged women will choose to wear an engagement ring and with the increase in civil partnerships and their conversion to marriage status there is also the opportunity to purchase so called “men-gagement” rings. These are usually band rings set with one or more diamonds, rather than solitaire styles, and can later double up with a matching slim wedding band or moved to the right hand, leaving room for a wider wedding band on the left hand.
Whether you are engaged for two weeks or two years, it is a very special time for you both to enjoy, taking the time to plan your perfect day and going on to hopefully enjoy a long and happy marriage.
[image courtesy of Michael Lorenzo www.rgbstock.com/gallery/nazreth]