Every culture has different engagement traditions. Some countries make a huge celebration out of the engagement, while others focus more on the values of marriage. In the UK, engagements are becoming bigger and bolder every year. We celebrate every part of the wedding process – from bridal showers to hen parties.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular engagement traditions in the UK.
It’s common for a man to propose to a woman in the UK. Usually, the man will get down on one knee and present the woman with an engagement. Some people feel this tradition is outdated and inappropriate in the current social climate. Many women choose to propose to their romantic partner – especially on the 29th of February in the leap year. In Ireland, it is tradition for the woman to propose to the man on leap day.
The family is asked
The groom will typically ask the bride’s father for his blessing to marry his daughter. This tradition dates all the way back to the 19th century, and many couples opt-out of it. The tradition objectifies women and suggests that the father owns his daughter. This suggestion is no longer appropriate in the modern world, and brides are free to make their own decisions. Some men choose to share with the bride’s father that they plan to propose as a sign of respect.
The ring is a secret
It’s common for the man to choose the engagement ring he proposes with. The ring is kept as a surprise for the proposal – and there is a lot of pressure for the groom to get it right. Now, more couples are choosing to find the engagement ring together. Some even design a bespoke ring together with personalised touches, like engraved initials. They may make the engagement ring a part of the wedding planning process. After all, the bride should have a say in the ring she wears for the rest of her life.
Most of the UK’s proposal traditions date back hundreds of years. Many couples choose to enjoy these traditions without reading too much into their original meaning.
A proposal should be a romantic and personal experience for the couple. Make your engagement a magical event with the perfect ring and set-up. Remember to think about what your partner would want when planning the special day.