Here's something we have never considered;-
Did you know that for most men, the biggest moment of their lives is the proposal? The wedding day, he thought, was the big event for a woman, but for a man, the whole magnitude of it was in the proposal.
And so gentlemen, now you're reading the Rowton Castle blog, is contemplating your wedding only the second most important event?
How did you do it? Did you fall on one knee and utter the time old words? Or was it a quiet mumble while unloading the shopping? If it's the second, better do it again over an intimate dinner. People will ask about it, and you wouldn't want it to be remembered as a scrabble over the carrier bags.
If you're trembling on the brink, knees knocking, then a bit of planning is in order.
Perhaps we should understand that it is of monumental importance however it's done, and give it the attention it deserves, after all this is that special moment when futures are decided, and promises made. It's the culmination of meetings, courtships, and the ultimate question.
The decision to ask, knowing rejection might follow, takes a different kind of courage... and a ring!
Should you have the ring with you when you propose? The consensus seems to say 'yes', which brings a second batch of decisions to be made, because she'll be wearing it for the rest of her life, and has to think it, and you are wonderful.
Here's a bit of a guide about buying it;-
They come in gold and in platinum, and it's wise to try to work out where her tastes lie. If she wears a lot of silver jewellery, then she may prefer platinum. It's more expensive than gold, being less plentiful, and it's also harder, so there's less chance of damage, but it can be dull, and doesn't have the bright beauty of gold. However, the most expensive diamonds are often set in platinum.
Gold comes in several qualities from 9ct through to 22ct. The last is the most pure, but also the softest and so most gold engagement rings are made in 18ct. It comes in several colours, yellow, white and rose, which is almost gold, but with a soft pinkish hue, due to a high copper content. Gold is renowned for being incorruptible, and this incorruptibility is symbolically transferred to the marriage it represents...a kind of magic mix along with the circle for eternity.
Some antique Georgian and early Victorian gem set gold rings have a mix of metals, the ring itself being gold, with the stones set in silver for hardness.
As an observation, the white metals will reflect the whiteness of diamonds better, and make them appear larger. Yellow gold will give a softer more time-honoured look.
The general rule is that the stones should be diamonds. They are the hardest jewel we know, and will never chip, scratch or dull, so forever is probably only a minute in the life of a diamond. They should be clean, white and clear, and because of this, are a symbol of purity...again part of the magic mix, this time with indestructibility thrown in for good measure.
Diamonds follow the four c's..... Colour, cut, clarity, and carat (which is the weight). Choosing cut is a minefield, but the most common is the round brilliant, which will stand by itself as a solitaire, in a trio, and as a five stone ring. It must sit beside a wedding ring eventually, and so the design should be comfortable and stackable.
The flaws in diamonds are called inclusions, and you should look through the jewellers loop (eye glass) to check for them. They look like specks of soot, and possibly are.
Buy the biggest, clearest, whitest stones you can afford, and you won't go far wrong. She will love it for the rest of her life.
Now you have it...it's in your pocket in a lovely satin lined box.
All that's left is the proposal; you know what to say..." Please marry me. I love you"... Just six little words to change a lifetime. Don't forget the kneeling...how could she resist?
When all the fuss has died down, you might consider coming to Rowton for one of our Showaround Days. Obviously they're designed for prospective wedding couples to come, meet the team, see the castle in its beautiful surroundings, but there's another aspect to them...they allow you to spend time alone together, where you can contemplate your future walking hand in hand through the woodland, form a picture of your wedding, and maybe glance back over your shoulder for a second, to glimpse that special moment, when he said "will you?" and she said "yes".
You'll remember it forever.