Rules of Engagement

So, against all the odds, you’d like to ask that significant other of yours if you can put a ring on it.

The actual proposal doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be thoughtful.

Sure, some guys have rained on your parade with flash mobs and cinema adverts but remember you’ve still got an engagement party and a wedding to go, so don’t set the bar too high, otherwise you’ll end up releasing 10,000 doves, hiring Coldplay and trying to wrangle a Woman’s Day “exclusive”.

Pay attention. Have a rifle through her jewellery box when she’s not there but put everything back as you found it or she might think she’s been burgled.

This is important to estimate both size and style of the ring. If you’re still not sure, then get her bestie on board, but make sure she knows the difference between “dream ring” and “the most you can spring for that will probably make her happy”.

Not every proposal includes the Actual Engagement Ring.

If you don’t know what kind of rock she’d want to rock — and live in fear of getting it wrong — then get a cheapie (that fits) with the promise you’ll go and purchase her dream ring that week.

And by cheapie I don’t mean something edible, like a jelly sweet or a burger ring.

Ring sizes matter. For the record, it’s the fourth finger of the left hand you’re aiming for.

It’s not a disaster if you’re a bit out — resizing of the ring is par for the course, but try not to buy something that says “you have fat, fat hands” or a ring she can’t even get over her first knuckle. Because there might be tears. Tears of joy, mingled with disappointment.

You can always attempt the old “wrap a piece of string around her finger to measure it while she’s asleep” trick, but this is rarely successful in practice.

Do not, under any circumstances, hide the ring in a dessert or a glass of champagne unless you think a trip to the emergency room is romantic. Nine out of 10 dentists say they have encountered engagement-ring injuries.

How much should you spend?

That old rule of thumb of about two months’ wages is nonsense. Bear in mind she’ll wear this (hopefully) forever.

A couple of grand is just fine. Consider your joint income. And that diamonds are lovely. Basically an investment, really. So push it as far as you think is reasonable then add a bit more.

It’s your lady, it’s your engagement. Do something that’s lovely for both of you.

If you think she’d like a cast of thousands, go for it. But only if you’re 99 per cent sure she’s not going to run off screaming and move in with a friend for a while to “think it over”.

© The West Australian

More wedding inspiration at The West Australian Wedding Guide.