Woman proposing to man

ladies who
popped the question!

For every traditional girl, there's one who lives by no rules whatsoever. Some women dream and imagine over and over again how their proposal will happen and others... well, others just go out and do it on their own! Our bold readers share their bended knee proposal stories.

With National Proposal Day on March 20, conversations are abuzz, as brides-to-be start thinking about their wedding day. But who has time to wait for the man to ask the woman? (#aintnobodygottimefordat!!) It takes a lot of chutzpah for a woman to get down on one knee and do the asking. Right?

Just like the movies

Julia Stern is a 34-year-old teacher from Ohio. She had been dating her boyfriend for about three years and hinted enough times that she was ready. Finally, she couldn't wait anymore.

One evening after dinner, Carl and I were sitting on the couch trying to find a movie to watch. After scouring the On Demand options, we ventured into the indie films and came across one called Will You Marry Me? We looked at each other, laughed and decided to hit play. As soon as the movie started, I paused it. I looked at him and I said, "No really, Carl... will you... marry me?" He immediately started blushing and thought I was joking, but I wasn't. I popped the question and was awaiting the answer with baited breath. "I'm not joking, Carl. I love you. We've been together for a while now. You are my life and my partner. Will you marry me?" Tears started to swell in his eyes as he said "Yes!"

Two weeks later, when I was absolutely not expecting anything at all, Carl surprised me with a gorgeous ring and a 'real' proposal. He said he just had to be traditional about it, but I love our story. I always tell people I was the one who asked him!

International love

When travel partners Ken Sohi and Tricia Maxx got together seven years ago, they were expecting surprises and adventures of a different kind!

Note: For all you ladies who still want the bling from the man, let them know that according to the important National Proposal Day website (yes, this really exists), "Singles with no special day and date in mind for their marriage proposal are encouraged to propose to their true love on either the first day of spring or the first day of autumn — the day of the vernal equinox or the autumnal equinox, as these are the two days in the year where day and night are of equal length worldwide, symbolizing the equality of the two who comprise the successful marriage." Awww, how sweet!

My now-husband Ken and I were really fortunate for a short period of our lives to be able to travel and not work. We went around the whole world — from Africa to Australia, and even made our way down to Antarctica. As you can imagine, spending time together was a full-time job. It takes two very specially-bonded people to be able to be together through every waking moment of their lives.

I'm the kind of woman who, in the past, would get sick of her boyfriends very quickly and had to move on to the next one. After three years (yes three years!) of travels with Ken, I knew that we'd continue our travel adventures into home-life adventures, once we were finally ready to settle down.

That ended up happening sooner rather than later, on account of a perfect little surprise by the name of Baby Angelique. I found out we were pregnant when we were in India. I decided to tell Ken at the same time that I'd propose. A proposal was never really that important to me because I just knew we'd always be together, so I didn't put a lot of pressure on the situation. But, I didn't want to go into a situation of having a child without being married. So, I took a trip to the market and created a makeshift ring out of some fun fabrics that were blue and pink colored.

When I came home, I brought back blue and pink flowers and Ken sort of knew what was up as soon as he saw that. I told him that we were going to be blessed with a baby and that I wanted to continue our life's adventure together... but now as three. I asked him to marry "us" and he loved it!

How to pick the ring!

Todd Ingwer, lead designer for Leo Ingwer, Inc., offers the following "4Ds" of diamond engagement ring design to complement the widely known "4Cs" — carat, color, cut and clarity.

Dream

Young girls grow up imagining their perfect wedding, and that starts with a spectacular diamond engagement ring, says Ingwer. In fact, research shows that nearly 80 percent of women receive a diamond engagement ring from their fiances. In a committed relationship, the dream of a perfect proposal, with a ring to match, gets closer to reality.

Discuss

ring

Couples don't necessarily sit down together to discuss the specifics of a diamond engagement ring, but "d" is also for dropping hints, notes Ingwer, explaining that 65 percent of brides are at least somewhat involved in selecting the ring. Is the bride-to-be a fan of round center stones, chosen by more than half of all brides? What size stone? Platinum or yellow gold?

A prospective groom should visit a trusted retailer to discuss exactly what they want, including a realistic budget, advises Ingwer. A custom-designed diamond engagement ring has become a popular option for contemporary couples, and as Ingwer adds, is the optimum way to get the ring of her dreams.

In fact, whether they completely designed the ring on their own with a jeweler or made custom changes to an existing design, approximately two out of five grooms are choosing to add personal elements to the engagement ring. Customization is even more popular with the luxury ring segment as more than half of this market is choosing to incorporate custom design elements.

Draw

When handcrafting diamond engagement rings in tandem with couples and their local jewelers, custom manufacturers like Leo Ingwer, Inc. provide an initial sketch showing several views of the finished ring. The sketch will be what the craftsman uses to construct the ring. Todd Ingwer does many of the sketches for Leo Ingwer and has found that "the sketch itself becomes a keepsake of this special moment, and we specially frame them as our gift to our customers."

Develop

Once the drawing for the ring is approved by the client, a custom jewelry manufacturer such as Leo Ingwer gets to work in crafting it. The center stone is selected based on the 4Cs of cut, clarity, color and carat weight that the jeweler or client will have specified, and side stones are procured. The ring takes shape as the metals are molded according to very precise measurements. According to Ingwer, at the last stage, when the stones are finally set and they give the ring a final polish, the bride-to-be's dream ring becomes a reality.

There is actually one more, notes Ingwer — DAZZLE! Get down on one knee, (77 percent of grooms proposed on bended knee), ask for her hand, and dazzle her with a diamond engagement ring that is as one-of-a-kind as she is.

Whether or not you propose or get proposed to on National Proposal Day, the most important thing is that you are happy with yourself and your relationship!

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