New Rules of Engagement

A recently released study from The Knot shows new engagement etiquette is emerging. Its highly trafficked wedding site,, surveyed 1,500 brides to discover the essentials of a perfect proposal. The results reveal that some traditions are starting to change.

Center-stone size. Sixty-six percent rank size as either most important or equally important to quality, while 32 percent say quality takes precedence. Twenty-five percent want only three-stone rings, while 39 percent say a solitaire would do.

Popping the question. More than 70 percent believe the surprise factor is vital to the ideal proposal, while 20 percent think a surprise is only moderately essential. As for the actual location, 19 percent of brides say landmarks are fine, 14 percent prefer a vacation spot, 13 percent want the question to be asked at home, 13 percent want the site of the couple’s first date, and less than 2 percent like the idea of a proposal streaming across a sports stadium Jumbotron.

Parents. More than 50 percent say asking the bride’s father for her hand in marriage is no longer necessary. However, 47 percent do want the groom to ask the bride’s father, and another 21 percent say grooms also should seek the blessing of the mother of the bride.

On bended knee. Forty-six percent believe getting down on bended knee is still essential to the proposal, while 44 percent say it’s preferable. Just one of 10 brides think the idea is antiquated.

Ring settings. A man who insists on surprising a woman with a diamond engagement ring should play it safe and buy a round or princess-cut stone, say the brides. Half prefer the round and 31 percent like the princess. Grooms also should stick with white metals—86 percent of brides prefer platinum or white gold for engagement-ring settings. As for ring styles, 50 percent like classic or traditional looks, 27 percent prefer contemporary designs, and 25 percent want a vintage mounting.