Just as every woman is unique, so is every diamond. If your lucky lady has been dropping some serious hints about what kind of engagement ring she wants, it's one of the best ways to begin designing your one-of-a-kind proposal story. In my work as The Proposal Planner, and after having planned hundreds of dream engagements , I know that the design of the ring she wants reveals a lot about her dream marriage proposal.
Solitaire. The solitaire is the classic engagement ring, but this doesn't mean her marriage proposal idea should be one-size-fits-all. Just like her engagement ring, your marriage proposal should be timeless. Stay away from trends (I'm looking at you, flash mobs) and focus on something that will still be genuine and romantic when you propose all over again in 50 years. Start with a proposal setting such as a national heritage site or historic location. Since these places are typically protected by preservation statutes, they will still be there for you to visit years down the road, perhaps every year on your anniversary.
3-Stone. The three-stone engagement ring was a breakout trend around 2002 and is still a top seller. Sometimes referred to as the trilogy or trinity ring, this style tells you that your future wife is interested not only in your future together, but in the past and present of your relationship. Use this as a cornerstone of your marriage proposal and incorporate pieces of how you became a couple, what your relationship means now, and what your hopes and dreams for the future hold. The past could be represented by favorite memories from your love story. Current day might be photos of what fills your days now: pets, family, hobbies, travels. Your future relationship can be symbolized with pre-sealed love letter time capsules, set to be opened on important days in your future like your wedding day.
Antique. Vintage or antique rings come with a certain air of mystery and intrigue. The lady who covets this type of engagement ring appreciates the history and romance of days gone by. For her marriage proposal, transport her to a different time and place, like the lively, creative Paris of the 1920s as depicted in the movie "Midnight in Paris." Evoke the excitement and boundless spirit of the Wild West like Jane Seymour in "Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman." Channel Don Draper and Joan Harris and transform your evening into a "Mad Men"-esque 1960s soiree. Whatever her preferred era, be sure to do your research -- your attention to detail will appeal to her desire to create a long, beautiful history together.
Gemstone. Princess Diana never knew what kind of trend she would start when she donned the gorgeous sapphire engagement ring that would eventually become Kate Middleton's engagement ring. The ring that launched a million copycats has also opened new doors to different gems beyond sapphires for engagement rings. Celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Halle Berry are showing off ruby and emerald center stones, and there's no doubt the gemstone ring is here to stay. For a woman whose dream engagement ring is something besides a diamond, the run-of-the-mill proposal would mean certain disaster. This lucky lady values uniqueness and standing out from the crowd, so plan your engagement story accordingly. Cancel any plans for a generic dinner involving "Will You Marry Me?" written on a plate in chocolate and instead, brainstorm ideas of how to make a difference with your marriage proposal. For the lady who loves the environment, incorporate a live seedling tree that you plant together after she says yes and then present her with a certificate that shows you've arranged for a tree to be planted in honor of each year that you've been together. If your future wife has a passion for education, sponsor a children's choir and ask them to assist with popping the question.
Halo. Of all the marriage proposals I've designed and planned over the years, this has been the most popular style of ring. A center stone surrounded by a halo of pavé diamonds placed on a pavé band provides an eye-catching engagement ring that is perfect for the glamour girl. She wants to sparkle and show off the bling, so her engagement story should show off a little as well. Arrange for an ultra-fabulous marriage proposal idea that exudes the allure of the "good life." Swing for the fences on an area you know she'll really appreciate; for the woman that loves shoes, pair her ring with a killer set of stilettos. She loves champagne? Buy the bottle she's been dying to try. If chocolate is her indulgence, incorporate a private tour of a local chocolatier.
Modern. A scaffolding or tension-set ring, or a stone with a contemporary cut like the Asscher or Emerald cut reveal that she isn't expecting your run-of-the-mill marriage proposal. However, don't run straight for the flash mobs. The type of girl that selects a modern ring wants a modern proposal. Think twice before asking her parents' permission and consider substituting the traditional "Will you marry me?" for something more present-day like "Will you be my partner in life?" When it comes to the marriage proposal itself, focus on making the moment more of an experience from start-to-finish instead of just a singular moment.
Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner, is recognized as the foremost expert on marriage proposals and is the pioneer of Marriage Proposal Planning. Based in New York City, Sarah and her team at Brilliant Event Planning and Proposal-Ideas.com have designed and produced dream engagements for countless lucky couples around the world and are the go-to source for all things regarding "Will You Marry Me?" Sarah is available for press, speaking engagements and appearances as a subject-matter expert on marriage proposals and wedding planning.