The Changing Face of Modern Marriage Proposals

We are swiftly heading toward the end of 2022 and if there is one thing we can say with certainty this year, it is that modern-day marriages have changed exponentially over recent years.  While the wedding rate in the USA remains steady at around two million a year, people are proposing considerably different from how they did a decade ago.  Not only are more and more women proposing to their partners, but unconventional engagement rings are skyrocketing in popularity.  There are also a number of other traditions, such as asking the father of the bride-to-be for his daughter’s hand in marriage, that are losing their place in relationships.


Either Party Can Propose

For centuries it has been universally accepted that it was the man’s duty to ask the woman for her hand in marriage. Over the past few years, however, an increasing number of couples have started to shun relationship stereotypes. While this is a fairly new concept in many cultures, an Irish folk legend actually dictates that women are allowed to propose marriage once every four years – on 28 February. This tradition is believed to have stemmed from the deal St. Brigid struck with St. Patrick back in the fifth century. In addition to more women stepping up to the proposal plate, many couples are also simply getting engaged through casual conversations instead of formal proposals.


Rings are Less Traditional

Engagement rings that boast traditional designs and sparking gemstones of considerable size will always remain popular.  Just like wedding proposals are becoming less traditional, however, so too are the rings that are being proposed.  Some of the hottest unconventional trends at the moment include a throwback to the art deco styles of the Edwardian period, rings made from natural materials, and rings bearing unusual designs. Rings made from stainless steel, tungsten, chrome, ceramic, wood, and even silicone are rising in popularity fast. Gemstones that are enjoying increased appeal include amethysts, pearls, and peridot.


Permission is a Thing of the Past

Wedding proposals and rings are not the only engagement-related traditions that have taken a backseat over the last few years.  In many cultures, it is accepted practice for the groom-to-be to ask for his bride’s hand in marriage. With people becoming more vocal about not being treated as a possession, this tradition has made way for a more modern approach. Instead, couples are seeking out other ways to receive support for their pending nuptials. This can be achieved through casual conversations and even joyful celebrations such as an engagement party. There are, of course, also countless couples who simply inform their loved ones of their intentions to wed, disregarding any traditions that dictate otherwise, completely.


Every year countless couples vow to spend the rest of their lives together in marriage. Although there are many couples that choose to embrace tradition, engagements, in particular, have undergone a significant transformation in recent years.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

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