Engagement Ring Shopping Together as a Couple

Engagement Ring Shopping Together as a Couple

There was a time not so long ago when there was only one way to get engaged. The man in the relationship would decide when it was time to get married, secretly buy a diamond ring and surprise his love by getting down on one knee and asking for her hand in marriage. But times have changed and these days more and more couples are choosing to shop for an engagement ring together, instead of it just being up to the man. And let’s not forget that marriage is no longer just between a man and a woman and the traditional rules may not apply at all. So now that we have options, how does one decide which proposal style is right for them? Do you choose to go the traditional way with the big surprise or the more modern route where you pick out the ring together? Let’s look at the pros and cons of picking out an engagement ring as a couple.

Pros and Cons of Engagement Ring Shopping Together

Pro: It avoids all the pressure from being on one person. It can be extremely stressful for the partner who is trying to pick out the perfect ring for their significant other. There are so many different factors to be decided when choosing a ring, from how much to spend, design style, metal choice, one stone or multi-stone, diamond or gemstone or synthetic stone, and the list goes on and on. Choosing an engagement ring together takes away the stress of buying the “wrong” ring, ensuring no regrets or disappointments.

Con: The proposal will not be a surprise. Having gotten engaged myself this year, I can tell you that the very first question everyone asks first is “Were you surprised?” and then wants to know EXACTLY how it happened. If you or your partner’s idea of a perfect proposal resembles something out of a Disney fairy tale or Jennifer Lopez rom-com, then not having that big surprise moment might be a letdown.

Pro: You know the ring will be the perfect. Forget about fairy tales for a minute, and let’s recall the infamous scene in Sex and the City when Carrie accidentally finds the ring that Aiden is planning to propose with… and barfs. If this scene is your biggest fear, then shopping for the ring as a couple might be the best idea. Only one person is going to be wearing the ring on their finger everyday for the rest of their life, so it is important that the ring is just right.

Con: It can seem less meaningful. It might seem like the decision isn’t as important or meaningful if the one partner didn’t spend the time and effort to find the perfect ring themselves. Of course, it is very romantic when someone picks out a ring for their significant other without them knowing and it ending up being their dream ring. However, most people need a bit of help from their partner, family or friends in figuring out just what the other person likes, and I don’t think that makes it any less meaningful.

Pro: Choosing together is about partnership. While it isn’t traditional, it can be very romantic for a couple to visit a jeweller together to pick out the perfect engagement ring. It is a big decision and making it as a couple can really help cement the fact that the two of you are a team. The moment you decide together that a ring is “the one” is a moment that you will remember forever.

Con: Knowing the price of the ring. If you decide to buy the ring together you will have to discuss the unromantic topic of how much you want to spend on it. Some people don’t feel comfortable disclosing how much they are going to spend on an engagement ring and prefer to not have their partner know the cost. Then there are couples who are very open about it and have decided together on a budget for the ring.

To Buy the Engagement Ring Together or Solo?

Now that we have covered the pros and cons of buying an engagement ring together, I think an easy way to decide which route to take is to have a conversation about it with your significant other. Most serious couples discuss getting engaged at some point in their relationship, and you can ask your partner if they would like to be a part of the engagement ring buying process or if they would prefer a complete surprise. If you don’t want to ask them directly, their friends or family members should be able to lead you in the right direction.

There are also ways in which you can have a surprise proposal AND your partner’s input on the engagement ring. One option is going to a jeweller together and picking out or designing a ring, but not buying it that day. Then later you can go back secretly and purchase the ring and plan a whole surprise proposal. If you don’t want your partner to have any idea you are looking at engagement rings, you can also propose with a temporary “loaner” ring. You get to have the whole fairy tale surprise proposal, and when they say “Yes!” let them know that the ring is just a placeholder until you pick out their dream ring together.

These days there are so many options when deciding how to get engaged. Whether you want to go the traditional route or with something more unconventional, it’s about choosing the way that fits you best as a couple.

Toronto Date Ideas

6 Romantic Summer Date Ideas in Toronto

Toronto is an amazing city with unique neighbourhoods, beautiful parks, great sports teams and a vibrant nightlife. But is Toronto a romantic city? Yes!!! You don’t need to fly off to Paris or Italy to find romance – it is right here! Whether you are planning to propose to your soulmate, go on a first date with a crush, or celebrating a milestone anniversary with your love, we have got the perfect list for you. Without further ado, here are our six ideas for summertime romance in The Six!

1) Sunrise Surprise

Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Toronto are the Scarborough Bluffs, 15km of natural cliffs rising 90 meters above the coast line. Wake up while it is still dark and travel to the Bluffs with your partner, then look eastward to watch the breathtaking view of the sun rising over Lake Ontario. Once it’s risen, travel down to Bluffer’s Beach and take an early morning stroll hand in hand across the sand beside the blue water. The beauty of the landscape will have you both feeling like you are on an exotic vacation without ever having to leave the city.

2) Feel Like a Kid Again

Every August Toronto hosts the Canadian National Exhibition, better known as The Ex, for 18 fun filled days. Embrace your inner child and take your date to experience all the rides, games and food. Show off your athletic prowess by winning them a stuffed animal at the arcade games (or have a laugh at your attempts). Enjoy a kiss at the top of the Ferris wheel and share a sweet (and deep fried) treat from the many options in the food building. In the evening take a ride on the Sky Ride, a sky lift that takes you above the entire fair grounds where you can cuddle up while watching all the action below.

3) Travel Back in Time

A favourite spot for romance is Toronto’s Distillery District, an area of Victorian-era heritage buildings and brick-paved roads that are pedestrian only and are filled with cafes, restaurants and trendy shops. Enjoy a cold drink with your love on one of the many European-style sidewalk patios and watch the people go by (there is a good chance you will see some wedding photos being taken). Sign your names to a lock and add it to the famous Love Lock installation (and of course take a photo of it for the gram!). In the evening the area is lit up with white fairy lights strung above the alleyways, making every moment feel magical.

4) Island Time

A short ferry ride from downtown takes you and your partner to the Toronto Islands where you can wander along nature trails or spend a day lounging on one of the beaches. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and enjoy Lake Ontario, while getting a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline. Another idea is to rent a tandem bike, which is a bicycle for two, and take some cheesy photos to laugh about. For a romantic dinner outdoors, pack a cooler of food and head to one of the many public BBQs beside the lake to enjoy your meal while watching the sun go down. You can then take the ferry back to mainland after dark.

5) Living the High Life

If you are looking for something extravagant to knock your date’s socks off, look no further than the luxurious Thompson Hotel. Book a stylish suite in this high-end hotel located in the trendy King West neighbourhood of Toronto. Guests of the hotel can enjoy the rooftop pool which is ranked as one of the top rooftop pools in the world! After a day of swimming in the sunshine hit up the rooftop lounge where you can enjoy live entertainment every weekend surrounded by 360° views of Toronto. If you want to explore outside the hotel (although you may never want to leave), the neighbourhood is filled with romantic restaurants and bars for you both to explore and get a true taste of Toronto nightlife.

6) Pink Sky at Night

There is nothing more romantic than watching the sunset after a summer day spent with the one you love. While Toronto has many beautiful spots to watch the sun go down, our number one pic is Riverdale Park East. Lay a blanket at the top of the hill, where you will get an amazing panoramic view of the sun setting over the Toronto skyline. The sky will be ablaze in oranges, pinks and purples until the night has come, and then the city’s buildings will light up the dark sky like twinkling stars.

Summer Lovin’

Summer in Toronto always feels special, probably because the season seems so fleeting compared to the winter. It’s also the reason that we get out of our houses and enjoy it so much! This city is filled with a seemingly infinite number of things to do, and I hope we have shown you how romantic Toronto really is. Let us know in the comments if you have a favourite romantic spot in this incredible city we call home!

Photo credits: Simply Lace Photography, KubaSuba

Marriage Proposals

Am I Ready to Propose?

You have found an amazing partner and your relationship is going great. The two of you have even started to throw wedding talk into your conversations. You may have been together for many years, or only a short period of time, but you know you have found “the one”. Deciding you are ready to propose to someone is exciting and exhilarating, but also nerve wracking. I mean, marriage is a huge deal, and not something you want to rush into until you are confident in your decision. Knowing some signs that you are ready to propose may help you decide when to take the leap.

You love them just the way they are.

Do you love your partner not only when they are happy and having fun, but when they are sad, stressed, angry or hurt? Do you love them even though they are messy and never fold their laundry? Do you love them even though they are imperfect and have annoying quirks? Some people go into marriage expecting that their partner is going to somehow magically change overnight. People don’t change just because they get married, so make sure that you love and accept your partner the way they are now.

You are ready to commit.

Some relationships don’t end in marriage, not because the love wasn’t real, but because one or both partners didn’t feel ready to commit. Maybe you wanted to concentrate on your career and didn’t have the time to put towards your relationship. Maybe you weren’t sure what you wanted and decided to go backpacking across Asia to figure it out. When you are ready to commit you won’t want to put your career before your personal life, and won’t worry that there may be other fish in the sea. You will feel ready to jump in with all your heart.

Your friends and family support your decision.

It is important that you have the support of loved ones behind your decision. It makes life a lot easier when your family and friends accept and like your partner. This is especially important for very tight-knit families who spend a lot of time together, as your future spouse is going to become a part of the family. Also, it is a good sign when the people who know you best accept your choice. That being said, there are people who have married someone that their friends or family disapproved of, and they have gone on to have great marriages. While it is important to take into consideration the reasons your loved ones might disapprove, in the end you must make the decision that is best for you.

You have discussed children.

It is important to know how your partner feels about having children. Do they want them? How many? How soon do they want to start trying? And it is important to discuss what would happen if you were unable to have children. Would you try fertility treatments or look into surrogacy or adoption? Would they be ok if you never had any children? It’s necessary to have these conversations before you get married so that you are aware of your partner’s expectations and don’t run into conflicts in the future.

You can live together.

Going on romantic dates every Saturday night is a whole lot different than actually living with someone. Are you ok hanging out during the mundane moments of life, running errands, doing laundry, cooking dinner, or doing the dishes? Can you live with a messy person if you are a neat freak? Can you sleep in the same bed with a night hawk if you are an early riser? Will you be a team player and make compromises and try to make life comfortable for both of you? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right path.

You have discussed finances.

Yes, talking about money can make people uncomfortable, but if you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone you need to know the facts. Is one person in heavy debt while the other has been saving for years? Do you want to make a joint account or keep things separate? Does one person make more money and therefore will need to take on more financial responsibility in the marriage? These conversations can be awkward, but money is one of the biggest causes of stress within a marriage, so it is good to deal with any potential issues before you get engaged.

You can’t imagine life without them.

This is an important one. If you can’t picture yourself in the future without your partner by your side, it’s a good sign that you are with the right person. Go past the excitement of your wedding day and look further down the road. Is this the person who you want to go through all the ups and downs of life with? Do you see yourselves growing old side by side? If the answer is yes, then you probably don’t need any more signs.

Knowing that you are ready to propose ultimately comes from within you and shouldn’t be influenced by how long you have been dating, or if all your friends are getting engaged. It’s one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life, and one you want to make for all the right reasons. And when you are ready make sure to jump in with both feet, because it’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime!

If you ARE ready to propose and are looking for engagement rings in Toronto, then you’ve come to the right place. Engagement rings are our specialty and we’d love to help!

Perfect Places to Propose

10 Perfect Places in the World to Propose

There are so many romantic and beautiful places on earth that would make the perfect backdrop to a marriage proposal. So many places for an amazing story and a gorgeous photo to show off on social media! While to list all romantic places would be too numerous for one little article, I did put together a collection of what I think would be the perfect place to propose to different personalities.

The Foodie – Rome, Italy

For the food lover there is no greater spot to propose than in the eternal city of Rome. Italian food is one of the most popular and beloved cuisines on earth (pizza alone gets my vote for number 1) which makes it the perfect spot for a foodie. While sightseeing around the city make sure to get yourself a treat of their world famous gelato. There are also numerous food tours to take you to the best markets and restaurants the city has to offer.

For the big question you can sign up for a pasta making class with an Italian chef who will teach you how to make pasta by hand while you sip on delicious wines. When the lesson is finished you and your partner get to relax while you eat the meal that you have made together, and you can ask them to be yours forever. Afterwards head up to one of Rome’s hotel rooftop bars to watch the city while you sip on a glass of sparkling prosecco.

The Dreamer – Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Is the one you love a deep thinker, who is always dreaming of a better tomorrow? Then why not whisk them away to the stars! Take a trip to Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, just off the coast of North Africa. Once there take your loved one to visit Spain’s Mount Teide, a 10-mile-wide volcanic crater that is the highest peak in Spain, and is one of the best star gazing sites in the entire world. The universe has 88 constellations, and 83 of those can be seen from Mount Teide on a clear night. You can travel there part way by car and then a cable car will take you to the top for the view. There are numerous companies that will organize star gazing tours and prepare chef cooked meals and beverages while you are up there. Toast your loved one with a glass of Cava while you watch the amazing sunset, and then pop the question while you gaze at the wonders of the universe.

The Book Worm – Dublin, Ireland

Is your special someone the type who loves to get lost in a good book? Is a library the most romantic spot for them? If so head over to Dublin and visit Trinity College, where you can both walk the cobblestone streets of Dublin’s most famous institute. The college produced many famous literary talents, like Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker. You must visit The Long Room, a library that contains over 200,000 books including the Book of Kells which was a manuscript created by Irish monks over 1200 years ago. The beautiful room of old books, dark oak bookcases and marble busts of great philosophers and writers is the perfect spot to get down on one knee. To celebrate your new engagement, walk over to The Brazen Head, the oldest Pub in Dublin, and enjoy a pint like the writers James Joyce and Jonathan Swift did many years ago.

The Beach Bum – Fiji

There are lots of people who love being at the beach, and for whom a beach proposal would be amazing. But how about taking it to the next level with your own private beach in the middle of the ocean! In Fiji there are three small islands – Nukubati, Treasure Island and Royal Davui Island. When you stay at one of these islands, the hotel will provide you with a private picnic on a sandbar! You and your partner will be whisked away by boat and taken to your own private sandbar in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, and given chairs, a table and a champagne lunch. You are then left to yourselves for the rest of the day where, on your own little beach, you can ask for your partner’s hand in marriage.

The Prince or Princess – Prague, Czech Republic

Does your partner think that they are real life royalty? Do they wish they could be in every Disney fairy tale? If so, then consider proposing at a real life castle in Prague! Prague Castle is one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Construction first began in the year 870 and features architecture in both Gothic and Roman styles. After touring the castle, you can head outside to stroll around the many gardens with views of the city and river and then get down on one knee to ask the big question. To celebrate the happy moment head over to Saint Wenceslas Vineyard, an ancient vineyard on the castle grounds, that was restored in 2008. Sip from a glass of wine on one of the terraces and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

The Christmas Obsessed – Quebec City, Canada

We all know that one person who can’t wait until December 25th and who has their tree and house all decorated at the beginning of November. If you are in love with someone like that, then there is only one place to propose… Quebec City! With an average snowfall of 400cm, each winter the city is transformed into a winter wonderland. Starting in early December Old Quebec is turned into an old fashioned Christmas village, straight out of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Twinkling lights, evergreen trees and a sparkling snowfall make for the absolute perfect holiday proposal. Afterwards head over to the landmark hotel Fairmont Le Château Frontenac to warm up with some hot chocolate while you admire all the decorations.

The Fashionista – Paris, France

If you are in love with someone who loves everything about fashion, then the place for their perfect proposal is surely Paris! Paris is the place where both the first fashion designer made his name and haute couture was born. Coco Channel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent were just a few of the many designers who called Paris home.

Take your partner to Paris’ Golden Triangle, located between three famous boulevards, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V. Here you will find luxury shopping, legendary hotels and restaurants. Take a break right in the middle of the action at L’Avenue, a café where you will get the best view of Paris’ fashionable people. Both the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower are a short walk away from this area, and excellent places for a proposal. While there will be lots of tourists around, a true fashion lover will want all eyes on them for this big moment.

The Outdoor Adventurer – Big Island, Hawaii, USA

For those people who hate being stuck indoors and love to keep active, head over to Hawaii’s Big Island for an amazing adventure. On the north shore of the Island you will find the Waipi’o Valley, where ancient Hawaiian royalty are buried. This lush valley features 3000 ft. cliffs covered in taro fields, lotus ponds, streams and waterfalls. You can travel through the valley by 4-wheel drive, hiking or horseback riding with guides. Whichever way you traverse the terrain will not be an easy path, however the life affirming beauty of the views will be well worth it. Where the valley meets the ocean is a black sand beach, where you can propose to your love while wild horses run along the sand.

The Film Buff – New York City, USA

If your partner would like nothing more than a proposal straight out of a movie, look no further than New York City! Some people might be surprised I didn’t say Hollywood but, while Tinseltown is where the movies are made, there is just something so magical about the city that makes you feel like you are in a movie. Whether it’s a kids movie like Big and Home Alone, gangster classics like The Godfather and Goodfellas, or romantic favorites like When Harry met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle or Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the Big Apple is where it’s at! And it isn’t just the movies, NYC is the home of classic tv shows like Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Seinfeld and Friends. Wherever you decide to pop the question, strolling through Central Park, in the hustle of Grand Central Station, on the observation deck of the Empire State Building or right smack dab in the middle of Times Square, you will feel the cinematic romance of the city that never sleeps.

The Animal Lover – Kenya, East Africa

If no proposal sounds complete without animals nearby, head to Kenya and visit the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. This conservancy is home to a diverse group of wildlife such as lions, elephant, giraffes, gazelles, impalas, and warthogs, and is famous for its conservation efforts of the Black Rhino and Grevy’s Zebra. At the Lewa Safari Camp you can stay in one of twelve tents that are finished like luxury bungalows, with thatched roofs, en suite bathrooms and verandas with views of the plains and animals. The central portion has a dining and lounge space with a fire pit and swimming pool. After a long day exploring the area you can head back to the camp and propose during a sundowner – a safari tradition where you watch the spectacular sunset across the plains while enjoying a cocktail. It is said that this is the place where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton and, if it’s the perfect place for a royal proposal, it’s definitely good enough for me!

Your Perfect Spot

Now that I have compiled my list of perfect proposal spots, I really could use a romantic vacation of my own! These places are romantic, meaningful and beautiful and you really couldn’t go wrong with any one of them. However, there are lots of other places that may be romantic because they have special meaning to you as a couple, such as the place you first met or the place you realized you were in love. Or maybe the place you choose to propose doesn’t have to be significant, maybe it matters more that the moment feels right. There is no right or wrong way to propose, and each couple should do what works for them. I would be just as happy getting engaged to the one I love sitting on the couch at home as I would be on my own private beach. That being said, I would still like to go to that beach!

Where did you, or are you hoping to, get engaged? Where is your perfect place? Let us know in the comments below!

Marriage Proposal Ideas

15 Memorable Marriage Proposal Ideas

You have fallen deeply in love with someone and have decided you want to spend the rest of your life with them. You know this person will be the perfect partner to grow old with, and you buy a ring. You are so excited to propose and cannot wait, except for one small thing…. you don’t know how you are going to ask the question! I am here to help with some creative proposal ideas and, in case my ideas aren’t for you, I’ll also guide you to some expert advice. Let’s start with the ideas…

First Date Memories

Take your love to the place where you had your first date, where you can sit and reminisce. You can present the ring once you are both feeling nostalgic, bringing your relationship full circle.

Beach Time

Go to a nice beach together and when you arrive have “Will you marry me?” written in the sand or with pebbles. The location and message will be the perfect backdrop for all your proposal photos.

Furry Best Friend

Are you a doggy parent? Writing “Will you marry me?” on your dog’s collar or on a sign around it’s neck is a sure-fire way to get a yes!

In the Clouds

Propose in the sky! Hire a small airplane to fly an aerial sky banner or sky-write your proposal in the clouds.

Scavenger Hunt

Create a personalized scavenger hunt around your home, with each clue bringing your partner closer to the ring.

Jumbotron

Propose on the scoreboard during a sporting event. Note that this is only a good idea if the person you are proposing to is a huge fan of the team, and crowds!

Surprise Street Art

Have a street artist or caricaturist draw you and your partner on the street, having previously arranged for them to incorporate your partner’s name and “Will you marry me?”. When the artist presents the finished drawing, it will be a huge surprise.

Holiday Love

December holiday proposals are extremely popular, and no proposal list would be complete without them. Luckily, I previously wrote a blog covering the topic of fantastic holiday proposal ideas.

The Highest of Heights

Propose at a great height, whether it be on a mountaintop or a rooftop patio. If you want to take it even further, go on a helicopter tour or up in a hot air balloon. Something about being high up with the one you love is so romantic.

Meal Time

Say it with food. Take your love to a romantic restaurant and have the chef write the proposal on the dessert plate. Perhaps cook up a gourmet meal at home to pop the question. Are you proposing to a coffee lover? Have a custom mug made with the question inside at the bottom, so your message is revealed as they finish drinking.

Game Time

Play a trivia game with your partner and have one of the trivia cards ask “Will you marry me?”. Alternatively, put together a puzzle that has the same question, so they don’t see the message until it is complete.

Ferris Wheel

Take a ride on the Ferris wheel at a fair or amusement park, and have the operator stop when you reach the top. Then pull out the ring and ask your question.

Photo Book

Create a photo book of memories the two of you have had together. When they reach the last page, have a photo of you on it holding a sign that says “Will you marry me?”.

Fireworks

Proposing during a fireworks display is always a great time, as it is usually a public holiday and everyone is enjoying themselves. It also guarantees your partner will be looking up at the sky and won’t notice when you kneel down and pull out the ring.

Parisian Elegance

In front of the Eiffel Tower! Okay, I know that not everyone can afford to fly to Paris just to propose, but there is no more romantic place to be than in the city of lights. It’s a classic for a reason. If taking a trip isn’t in the cards, then perhaps re-create the setting in your home town. You can set up your living room like a French bistro, complete with a live violinist and fairy lights.

So those are my ideas and while I think it’s a great list, I know that some people are looking for something different. Maybe you want something a bit more personal and customized. Perhaps you want a professional photographer waiting to catch the moment. Or perhaps you don’t know what you want at all and you need someone to help guide you. Well did you know there are professional proposal planners who offer that very service?

Luxe Proposals is a luxury proposal planning company which serves Toronto and Vancouver. They offer customized ideas, full service design and coordination to bring your proposal vision to life. You just email them with your proposal date and a brief description and they will help create your perfect proposal. You can choose from one of their signature packages or have it completely customized. They will create a step-by-step itinerary and will make sure your proposal is kept a surprise. Those who are looking for a truly unique and luxurious proposal need look no further than Luxe Proposals.

There will also be people who don’t want a huge elaborate proposal, but prefer something very simple and sweet. To them I’d say, do what suits you and your relationship best. In the end, the proposal is just the very beginning, and there will be much more to come in your adventures together.