Questions on Engagements

I'm planning on proposing to my girlfriend. I know she has very precise taste, so do I need to pop the question with a ring? Can I just propose and then we can choose it together? JT, London
There is no need to feel pressurised into buying a an engagement ring before you propose. Many girls will prefer to choose it together after trying on lots of different styles. You'll have to be prepared to discuss budget with her (in advance of the shopping trip!). You could also think about buying her something else (bracelet, necklace) to give her when you propose.
Related Debrett's Links: Proposals, Engagement Rings

Do I need to buy my cousin an engagement present? We're not that close and there isn't an engagement party. As she's family, will I be rude if I just send her a card? Claire, Haywards Heath
You only need to buy an engagement present for someone who is a close friend or family member. As you and your cousin aren't very close, a card should be fine. If, however, you were attending an engagement party, then a small gift is a nice gesture - a bottle of champagne is usually well received.
Related Debrett's Links: Engagement Cards and Presents, Engagement Parties

Is it absolutely compulsory to have a diamond engagement ring? My girlfriend has her heart set on an emerald, but I am worried that - even if she wears it on her ring finger - it will not look like a proper engagement ring!  Can you help? John, Hastings
Many people choose an alternative stone to a diamond for their engagement ring. Emeralds, rubies and sapphires are all popular choices. If you are very keen on her having a diamond, then perhaps you could compromise by choosing an emerald set with smaller diamonds.
Related Debrett's Links: Engagement Rings

My older sister has just got engaged, and has mentioned that she needs a table for presents at her engagement party. Is it expected to give engagement presents?  The wedding is in nine months time, and I'd rather give a big present then. Lisa, Southampton
Engagement presents should by no means be expected, but you are the bride's sister and there is an engagement party, so you should probably buy a gift. You don't have to spend too much money, but it is a nice to mark the occasion. Your wedding present should be the more generous of the two.
Related Debrett's Links: Engagement Cards and Presents

Which is the correct day to announce a forthcoming marriage in The Times?
You can choose any day to announce your engagement in newspapers. There is no correct day - it is completely up to you!
Related Debrett's Links: Newspaper Announcements


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