If you didn’t read my last weekend happy post where I mentioned our engagement, then it’s probably best for me to start this post with the announcement! Yep, the other half got down on one knee on Sunday night and popped the question. It was all very romantic, I had tears in my eyes and honestly, I was caught by surprise because I wasn’t expecting it that night.
I was however, expecting it.
We had made a mutual decision to get engaged. We hadn’t been in a position to do so and then we were very kindly given some money and it just made sense. I mean yes, we could have found something else to do with it, but it put us in a position where we could actually get engaged. And rather than having to save up for an engagement ring, we could move straight onto saving for an actual wedding. And so after mentioning it to the other half, leaving him to ponder over it and then mentioning it more seriously, we decided to go ahead.
Of course, he wasn’t 100% happy that the romantic part of it had been taken out of his hands. The secret buying of the ring, the planning of the proposal – all the things that are supposed to happen prior to me saying yes! But equally, he knew this was the perfect opportunity to do the only thing left to commit us as a family. We have the mortgage, we have the children – the last thing we want is the marriage.
After we had decided though, I started to worry that we were doing the wrong thing. Not because it was the wrong thing for us – it was absolutely the right thing to do. But I worried what people would think. Would people think it was weird that he hadn’t spent his very own money on the ring (even though all of our money goes in one pot so technically it’s just ‘our’ money anyway). And would people think it was even weirder that we were going shopping for it together? But I mean, it’s not like I haven’t spent the last five years pointing out the style I like in the jewellery shop windows – it’s not that much different to literally going inside and trying them on!
Then I remembered that one of our really good friends had chosen her engagement ring and then it had been put away ready for her now husband to decide the right time to propose.
And I also went to one of my wonderful Facebook groups that I am a member of, to ask if they thought it was weird. And they totally put my mind at rest by telling me their own stories.
Leslie from Messy Blog said, “I proposed in a blog post. My ring was a joint choice”.
Sarah from Let Them Be Small said, “I bought my own engagement ring and we agreed after having a chat outside M&S that we might as well get engaged as it made sense as we wanted to move things on. No romantic proposal etc. The buying the ring, this is academic though as we just have a joint bank account and all things like that are shared”.
Kate from Counting To Ten said, “I bought my own engagement ring. It was a mutual decision”.
And Chloe from Sorry About The Mess said, “My partner and I got engaged as a mutual decision. First, a casual discussion in the car. Then a conversation through gmail. This was Sept 2016, we are getting married in 7 months, and I’m still waiting on an engagement ring. Totally tempted to buy one myself at this stage!! I’m not really a jewellery person and we have discussed just having the one ring for engagement and wedding, which I quite like the sound of”.
I breathed a sigh of relief and carried on with my plans to have this mutually decided engagement!
And when it came to it, do you know what? It was blooming wonderful.
For me, a ring is a very personal decision. I am pretty fussy with jewellery and my other half knows that. When I first showed him years ago the kind of style I wanted, he was totally surprised as it was completely different to anything he would have got for me! Even in the shop he was saying, but don’t you like those ones!
So, it all happened when we went to Westfield Stratford on the Friday after Christmas. We were going to see Star Wars and for a meal afterwards and we had said we would have a little look round the shops. For him, this was a we’ll have a little look. For me, this was a we are leaving here with a ring because we never, ever, have this time together without children and I therefore don’t know when the next opportunity will come our way!
We bought our cinema tickets and then spent the half an hour before it was due to start, having a little look at a couple of jewellery shops. And one shop in particular grabbed our attention (which surprised me because I thought the other one was the better of the two!). There was such a gorgeous selection, but of course, at that point we didn’t have time to do any trying on. So off we went to the cinema (3 long hours – although a really good film!), and then off to dinner (I was over the moon when we were served so quickly as it meant more time at the all important shop before we had to go get the kids!).
And then we headed down there, went in, had a little look and asked for assistance.
Now initially, I had in my head that I wanted a round halo ring, because they were the ones that I had been eyeing up for years. I tried a couple on, and whilst they looked lovely, they just didn’t give me the wow factor that I thought they would. There was something that just didn’t look 100% right on my finger. And so I then asked to try one of the square cut halo rings – and immediately it was better. It just looked like it suited my finger. But to the left of it, there was another one. Almost identical really, but as it was slightly more raised, it just looked different in the cabinet. So I tried it on. And that was it. It took my breath away. I fell instantly in love with it. And so did he. He agreed that in comparison, the round cut ones didn’t look as good on my hand. That the oval one (that I tried on just in case), didn’t work. That the other square one that I tried was lovely, but that this one, this beautiful one, was THE ONE. And we were both smiling. We were both looking at it. And we both knew at that moment that we were buying it.
And that right there. That is why it is TOTALLY OK to choose your own engagement ring. Because despite thinking that I wanted a slightly different style, we both completely agreed that it didn’t work. And instead, I have ended up with one that for me, is spectacular.
And standing in the shop with my other half, trying rings on, comparing them, all whilst happily grinning at each other because we both very much want to get married. It WAS perfect. It WAS romantic. And I have absolutely no regrets about the way that we done it.
And from then on, all of the decisions were very much down to him. HE went and collected it when it arrived in store. HE looked at it first, brought it home and put it away in the cupboard. And HE decided when he would propose. HE bought the secret bottle of champagne that I knew nothing about. HE set up the candles on the table. HE changed all the letters on the light-box to aid his proposal. And HE got down on one knee when he popped the question. And I wouldn’t have wanted any different of a proposal. It was perfect. And even though I had seen the ring in the shop, tried it on my finger – I was still taken aback at the sheer beauty of it when it was put on my finger by my fiancé. Gushing as I read the story of the diamond, where it was found, where it was cut, how the ring was designed in New York and finally set together in Mumbai, before making its way back here to be bought…by us.
And now? I can’t stop looking at it! Can’t stop playing with it. Can’t stop reminding myself that we are engaged. Can’t stop thinking about the future wedding that we are going to have.
It really doesn’t matter who chose the ring. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t secretly go out and buy it. For us it has worked out perfectly and we are so, so happy.
So I just want you to know, that if you find yourself in this position. Where you are making a mutual agreement to get engaged, choosing the ring together and using your joint finances to purchase it. You are totally not weird. The situation is totally not weird. And by reading this, you hopefully don’t need to keep Googling whether or not it’s the right thing to do. What matters is that it’s the right thing to do for YOU. And as long as you are both happy with those decisions then really, that is all that matters.