Engagement Season: What You Need to Know and How to Prepare
You might not be aware, but there's a such thing as an engagement season. This time frame means different things for the proposer and the proposee. One is dutifully preparing to ask one of the most important life questions to their significant other while the other is anxiously preparing for that fateful day. With the help of The Knot's recent engagement and real weddings studies, we'll give you all the guidance you need before you propose, from what engagement season is to hiring proposal vendors. Plus, four tips on what to do if you suspect your partner is about to ask for your hand this proposal season.
In this article:
- What Is Engagement Season?
- When Is Engagement Season?
- Things to Do Before Proposing
- How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Proposal
What Is Engagement Season?
Engagement season is the time of the year the majority of wedding proposals happen. This time, also referred to as proposal season, isn't the same as the wedding season, which is when engaged couples get married, typically between summer and early fall.
When Is Engagement Season?
Generally, the engagement season is during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. So it makes sense that engagements happen during this time frame since many couples spend the holidays with family, making it an opportune time to celebrate the engagement with loved ones. Based on data from an internal study conducted by The Knot, December is the most popular month to get engaged and the most popular day to get engaged is Christmas Day. The next most popular times are Christmas Eve, New Year's Day and Valentine's Day.
Things to Do Before Proposing
Proposing to the love of your life is a big deal, so you want to make sure you do it right. Read below to learn how to prepare a marriage proposal.
Talk to your partner about the future.
You and your partner should be on the same page for your future together as much as possible. It's important to have conversations throughout your pre-engaged relationship about a myriad of topics, from having kids to living together. According to The Knot 2021 Jewelry and Engagement Study, more than 50% of couples have owned a pet together, lived together, and talked about political affiliations, finances and the possibility of having kids before getting engaged. This may seem obvious, but you should also ensure that your partner is comfortable with getting married. The Knot 2021 Jewelry and Engagement Study found that 89% of couples discussed at least one aspect of their wedding before getting engaged. Not only does this help reassure you that you're proposing to someone that wants to be married, but it also helps you and your significant other have a foundation for your future wedding planning. So take the time to speak with your partner about what's important to you and listen to their thoughts too, before popping the question. Remember, communication is key.
Ask your S.O. if they want to be involved in the ring selection process.
So it's engagement season (or before it) and you don't know what kind of ring to get your partner. If you need an answer but want to keep the engagement a surprise, we suggest asking your partner directly what kind of engagement ring they would like far ahead of when you plan to propose. This way, you keep your partner on their toes. Another way to determine the engagement ring choice is by listening to any hints your partner may drop––The Knot 2022 Jewelry and Engagement Study found that 8 in 10 proposers say their significant other hinted about their ring preferences. But if you have a partner that loves planning, and shopping or simply doesn't care about the surprise element surrounding the ring, ask them if they would like to go ring shopping with you. And don't worry, this doesn't take away the magic of the proposal, plus it leaves everyone happy in the end. According to The Knot 2022 Jewelry and Engagement Study, 75% of proposees say they were involved in selecting or purchasing their engagement ring in some way.
Start saving money.
Once you've figured out what kind of ring your partner wants, you can start saving money for it. On average, the cost of an engagement ring in 2022 is $5,600, which is a hefty price to pay, that's why we highly suggest setting a ring budget that works with your finances. The Knot 2022 Jewelry and Engagement Study showed that 81% of proposers had a budget and 94% of propers paid for the engagement ring on their own. Having a budget decreases your chances of overspending, which can take away from your wedding budget.
Plan the proposal.
The most important thing you need to do to prepare for your proposal during engagement season is to plan the proposal. Think about what your partner loves and what their dream proposal would be. The key to making an epic proposal is to make it as unique and personal to your partner as possible. Does your partner love watching movies and spending time outdoors? Set up a projector screen outside with blankets, pillows, their favorite foods and play their favorite movies before popping the question. Remember to keep their likes and desires at heart when deciding how to propose.
Your next step is to decide if you need any wedding vendors for the proposal. This isn't a necessary addition and depends on your budget, but The Knot 2022 Jewelry and Engagement Study found that 1 in 4 proposers hired a vendor or vendors to help with the proposal. So if you want to take part in this proposal trend, enlist the best wedding vendors to help make the proposal special. You can find amazing secret proposal photographers to take engagement photos, florists, musicians and much more on The Knot Marketplace.
Finally, figure out what you're going to say during the proposal. You can go the traditional route and say, "Will you marry me" at the end of your speech (86% of proposers do) or do your own thing. But no matter what you do, make sure you speak from the heart and practice your speech before the big day. By rehearsing ahead of time, you'll feel less nervous on the proposal day. But don't feel worried about stumbling over your words––it's an emotional moment full of excitement and jitters, it happens.
Think about possible wedding dates.
A direct conversation about when your wedding will take place may have come up during your talks about the future, but if not it's okay. If you have a general idea of what time of year, like the season or month, you and your partner want to get married, that can help determine when you propose. According to The Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study, the average engagement length is 14 months for couples who didn't need to postpone their wedding. So think about if you want a long or short engagement since that impacts how much time you and your partner have to save and plan for the wedding.
How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Proposal
Think you're getting proposed to this engagement season? Here's what you need to do before your partner asks for your hand in marriage.
Think about how you want to respond.
Of course, saying yes to the proposal is the obvious response, but we suggest you think of some sentimental things to say to your partner after the big question. You don't need to have anything memorized or practice a speech ahead of time, but it would be a sweet gesture to say how you feel about your future fiancé or fiancée and how excited you are about your new future together.
You'll need to take extra care of your hands.
It's no secret that winter takes a toll on your skin. But your hands tend to get extra roughed up during engagement season. Prepare for ring photos by doing some double-duty moisturizing. Slather up your hands every night before bed with your favorite hand lotion (with gloves to lock in the moisture, if you so choose) to make sure they look perfect for those professional photos and Instagram selfies.
Understand that your ring might not fit properly right away.
Don't get it resized unless it seems too roomy. Your fingers swell in the heat, so if you do decide to size down, it'll be very snug during the hotter months (and you could risk it not fitting at all). And in cold weather, your ring might be looser than normal. To combat this, you might have to adjust it to its proper position every time it swings around your finger. Annoying, yes, but it'll look perfect once spring rolls around.
Consider how you want to announce your engagement.
There are a couple of engagement announcement dos and don'ts, but the most important one is to enjoy the moment with your partner before calling your friends and family and posting on social media (in that order). Bask in pre-nuptial bliss for as long as you can then tell the world the good news. (Check out these creative and cute engagement captions before making your future social media post.)