It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of reasons — for many couples, it’s because they’re going to get engaged.
You’ve probably noticed the sheer number of Facebook and Instagram posts, tweets and texts announcing somebody just got engaged during the winter holiday season. It’s not surprising; more than a quarter of all engagements occur from Thanksgiving to New Year’s annually. Valentine’s Day accounts for about 10%, according to jewelry industry sources.
Is this the time for you?
The holiday season is already filled with love and joy, parties, friends and family. Everything is decorated, hung with twinkling lights and looking beautiful. It’s an enchanting time.
An engagement at this time of year feels natural, adding one more beautiful memory to a lifetime of holiday experiences. Whether the engagement ring’s wrapped as a stealthy present, in a stocking or presented at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s the highlight of an already over-the-top time of year.
If you decide this is the time to propose or to announce your engagement, be prepared for a few things:
- If you’re going to propose when the family (your partner’s, yours or both) is gathered, it’s best to be sure your intended will say “yes.” The alternative is cringe- and wince-inducing.
- Accept that as important as it is to you, it may not be as primary to everyone else. Yes, they’ll be thrilled for you, but don’t expect everyone to stop their own celebrations and don’t get bent out of shape if they don’t.
- Have at least a vague wedding date — “sometime next fall” is just fine — because that will inevitably be the follow-up question to your joyous news.
- Be aware of others’ feelings. If your brother just got divorced or your sister’s desperately waiting for her own proposal that never seems to happen, be sensitive.
- Get used to saying and hearing “my fiancée” or “fiancé.” It’s a little weird at first, but also great — even if you verbally stumble the first couple times.
Where to begin?
So you’re set on popping the question during the holidays — now you’ve got to get an engagement ring. You know you want to get her one she’ll adore, but if you’re not positive on what ring she may like best, get a better idea by taking the quiz What's my Bride-to-Be's Style?. Once you get a sense of ring styles she may like, figure out what your budget is and get out and into the stores. This purchase is so individual that seeing diamonds and rings in person is your best strategy.
If you have the engagement ring of your dreams, now’s the time to insure it. If you got engaged without an engagement ring, you get to go shopping for one together — make it special. You can start by curling up in front of the fire with a tablet or smartphone and do some research on a blustery night. Plan a special lunch, afterword go see diamonds and rings in the jewelry store.
In January, start wedding planning. See venues, sample caterers’ offerings, look at gowns and tuxes if you’ll be going a formal route. Because November-December is so popular for engagements, January is filled with wedding planning for a lot of people. Don’t wait too long, or you’ll be competing with the next wave of newly engaged couples when February and Valentine’s Day rolls around.