Rules of Engagement: Is the Ring Shot a Faux Pas?

Over the past week, an article from British fashion magazine Tatler (which is published by Condé Nast), has been making its way around the web. In it, “The Wedding Social Media Rules All Brides Need to Know” lays down the law of social media wedding etiquette, with suggestions that members of the industry may find particularly interesting.

I’m mostly referring to the guidelines for announcing an engagement on social media, “a taste of things to come,” as the author of the article refers to it. It suggests avoiding any close-up photos of the engagement ring, as it “looks too smug and braggy, and, most importantly, will leave followers wondering who you got engaged to.” As for more than one photo of that new, precious piece of jewelry? “We also suggest not posting a ring slideshow, everyone will see how long that took.”

Tatler is a magazine geared toward the British upper-middle and upper classes, with a focus on high-society events, fashion, and more. It’s got history: The first Tatler—quite literally the term for a gossip—was published in 1709 by essayist Richard Steel, known as the originator of society gossip.

Via: @xlrb

To be fair, the rules don’t advise against showing off the ring at all costs—it simply requests that the bride-to-be appear in the photo with it, alongside her betrothed. These “rules” weren’t necessarily written for the average consumer (read: nonmembers of high society). I mean, if we think of it in celeb terms, maybe we would find it gaudy or braggy if they posted a bunch of photos of their ring, and maybe it would look weird if they dedicated an entire slideshow to it. Then again, maybe the jewelry industry would get a really good look at the drool-worthy jewels we love to talk about. It doesn’t happen often enough, truly.

Via: @linacardona01

The internet being the internet means that anyone—not just the demographic this article was written for—can read and follow these words. And since high society is a status people aspire to, you can bet they’ll take these words to heart. And I get that, I really do. But an Instagram without engagement ring photos? I think the industry can agree that, frankly, that would suck, right?

Via: @evyandtheworld

Because in this industry, we’ve seen the power an engagement ring has on a person. For many, it’s the most important piece of jewelry they’ll ever own. For some posters, yeah, maybe they are bragging that they scored the 7 ct. cushion cut they had their eye on. But what part of Instagram isn’t at least slightly braggy in one way or another anyway, even if not purposefully? You can be proud and excited to share things that are important to you. This ring, from the largest internally flawless diamond to a demure, warm, solid gold band, symbolizes the start of a life. It’s love. It’s commitment. And we like to see what consumers (and our family and friends) are choosing to represent all of that.

Via: @juellzz

I asked Severine Ferrari to share her opinion on all of this, given that her ventures, Engagement 101 and ProposeToo, focus very heavily on several aspects of the engagement process—not least of all, photos of the wedding jewelry.

“I feel that most people who embrace social media want to share their story,” says Ferrari. “It’s hard to tell a proposal story with one shot most times, which is why we see slide shows and live engagement videos. For some couples, the ring itself might be a side note to their engagement story, but for others it is an inherent part of it. Who among their friends, family, and even strangers isn’t interested in seeing a close-up? No one.”

Via: @laurettta89

So, while that article may speak volumes to members of Britain’s upper crust, I know I’m not alone in this industry when I say, let’s encourage customers to share those ring photos—as many as they please! And for those who do find themselves mentioned in the pages of Tatler, well, is it so wrong to want to see the engagement rings they’re rocking?

(Top image via: @blazkabezovsek)

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JCK Contributing Editor

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