Summer: the New Engagement Season
Photos by Colleen Franchesca
We’re all familiar with the summer wedding season, but summer engagements have also been on the rise! Following holiday proposals, the summertime is now the second most popular time to get engaged. Warm weather, clear skies, and tropical vacations are just a few reasons why we love the idea of a summer proposal.
If you’re thinking about asking your loved one to get married in the warmer months ahead, now (April through May) is the time to start planning.
Here’s everything you need to know to plan a summer engagement:
How to Choose an Engagement Ring for Your Fiancé-to-Be
Before you venture into a jewelry store, there’s some key information you’ll first want to gather about your partner’s preferences. The research and planning phase will likely take a few weeks, and even up to a couple of months if you want to design a custom or semi-custom ring. Before we talk ring design, let’s first knock out some of the easier details.
Ring Details You Need to Know
We've divided the ring process into three categories: logistics, basic ring info, and ring design info. Before we get to the actual ring itself, let's first start with some logistics. Here are a couple items you'll want to think about before you start the ring search:
Budget: Before you start shopping for a ring or for a loose stone to build your own engagement ring, you'll need to determine what a realistic budget is. If you're working within a budget, you may have to make some compromises along the way, so it's best to prioritize which items are most important to you (stone type, stone origin, metal type, etc.). Regardless of your budget, the main goal is to purchase or build a ring that you and your loved one will forever cherish. As you work on your budget, make sure to factor in items such as shipping price, rush order request (if needed), appraisal (if desired), and insurance (if desired).
Timeline: The next important consideration is leaving enough time to browse or build a ring without feeling rushed. If you're on a shorter timeline (2-4 weeks), we recommend shopping from our ready-to-ship section. Included in this collection is a variety of one-of-a-kind diamond and gemstone rings that are ready and waiting for their forever home. Most ready-to-ship rings are a size 6, but can be resized for free.* If you want to create your own ring, you'll need to allot more time as the process can take up to 9 weeks. If you're in a hurry and wish to request a custom ring sooner than our standard 9 week turnaround, we offer a rush request, accepted based on availability.
2. Basic Ring Info
Ring Size: You’ll need to know your partner’s ring size. If you’re unsure and want to keep the proposal a surprise, you can use a ring they already own as a guide. A close friend or family member may also be able to help you! If you’re building a custom ring and are still unsure what size to make it, we recommend opting for a slightly larger size to be on the safe side; you can always get it resized later if needed! Many big box jewelry retailers charge for larger-sized rings, but that’s something you don’t have to worry about here at Anueva. We are a size-inclusive establishment and believe that everyone deserves gorgeous, high-quality jewelry that fits them, for no additional cost.
Metal: Another important choice you’ll need to make is the color of the precious metal. Does your partner favor gold, white or rose-colored jewelry? Keep in mind that many people often choose a different metal for their engagement ring than what they typically wear to help it stand out and feel special. This is likely a conversation you’ll want to have with your partner or a trusted confidant who is familiar with their taste! All items at Anueva Jewelry are made with 100% post-consumer recycled metals. Read our article to learn more about how different jewelry metals are made.
Now that we’ve covered some of the more basic info you’ll need to gather, we can start to explore more individualized preferences.
3. Design Ring Info
Stone Type: First, you’ll want to decide what type of precious stone you’re after. Is your partner looking for a more traditional stone, such as a diamond? Or perhaps you may want to consider a lab-grown diamond or a salt and pepper diamond if you’re on a tighter budget. As much as we love diamonds, we equally love less traditional engagement rings that feature sapphires or other less common stones. Some of our best-selling engagement rings showcase beautiful Montana sapphires. The stone itself will contribute greatly to the overall aesthetic of the ring, so you’ll want to be sure you have a good idea of what your partner wants. Also, keep in mind that the carat (weight/size) of the stone will have the greatest impact on its price. If you plan to build your own ring and are diamond shopping, be sure to read our guide about the 4 Cs of Diamonds (cut, color, clarity, and carat). One great tip applicable to all stones is to shop “just shy of,” meaning a stone just shy of 1ct will be less than a comparable quality stone that’s just over 1ct.
Stone Shape: The shape (or cut) of a stone is what gives it character! Does your partner want a classic, romantic shape like a round or oval stone? If they love vintage-inspired looks, perhaps an emerald-cut or old mine-cut stone is the way to go. For bold, modern, or eclectic tastes, geometric shapes are very popular. Check out our four most popular stone shapes guide to help visualize what your partner may love!
Stone Color: Many individuals are (rightfully) very picky when it comes to choosing a stone color. The color of a stone can add so much personality to it. Colored gemstones are growing in popularity for engagement rings and we are here for it! Historically, many colored gemstones were turned away because they were seen as less valuable but this has changed over time. We cherish all stones created by mother nature equally and are glad to see bold and vibrant blues, teals, and greens being selected for such a special ring. Whether your loved one is dreaming of a sapphire, emerald, ruby, or diamond, the possibilities are endless! From champagne or speckled salt and pepper diamonds to soft pastels or deep, rich sapphires, you’re sure to find the perfect stone. Chances are, you’ll have a general idea of what your partner is looking for. Just let us know and we can help point you in the right direction!
Ring Setting: Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to consider what ring setting best suits your stone choice and design preferences. We offer four main categories of settings: bezel, prong, stackable, and low-profile. A ring setting has the ability to completely transform a ring, making it a stunning, sparkly masterpiece, a mermaid or nature lover’s dream, or even a subtle, modern mini, wearable art piece. Your ring setting may also be influenced by your lifestyle. If you’re very active, you may want to choose a bezel setting or a low-profile setting. With nearly 50 different ring setting styles available at Anueva Jewelry, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect vintage, contemporary, simple, eclectic, or bold look you’re after.
How to Pick A Proposal Spot
Securing your engagement ring is crucial step to planning your proposal, but there's still more work to do! If you're planning a summer proposal, you of course want to be mindful of the weather. We love warm, sunny weather, but a sun-scorched fiancé may not be the best look. As helpful as it would be, we have no powers to control the whims of mother nature, so just be aware of the weather forecast on your big day and plan accordingly. If you're wondering how to narrow down the perfect spot to plan your proposal, here's what you'll want to consider:
Activity: What do you and your partner like to do together? Thinking of an activity that you both enjoy doing together can help create a special and sentimental moment. For example, if you and your loved one are adventure-seekers and are excited by the thought of white-water rafting or rock climbing (just be careful with your ring!), choosing a beautiful location to partake in an activity and then proposing is a great option. If nature calls to you, perhaps a botanical garden, easy hike, or a beach picnic would provide the perfect setting. Whatever you choose, try to make it something that connects you and your partner.
Travel: Are you planning to make it a destination proposal? Many people pop the question on a romantic or long-awaited vacation. We love a good travel engagement story, but we encourage you to look up the peak travel times of your desired destination. Europe is often home to many crowds during the summer seasons, so just be aware! Scope out plane or travel arrangements ahead of time as the closer you wait to the date, the more expensive it'll be.
Key Players: Will you invite anyone else to your proposal? If you'd like to include family members or close friends, make sure to share your agenda with them. Opening this moment up to others is a very personal choice; many wish to keep the proposal intimate while others want to ensure a fun celebration with friends and family will immediately follow! You likely have a good idea of your partner's personality and will know whether you wish to keep the moment just between the two of you, or if you'd like to invite others.
Privacy: Would you like to propose in a public space or a private venue? Although the day is a happy one, it's completely normal to be a bundle of nerves! If you choose a public location, will you and your partner be alright if onlookers observe? If either of you might feel embarrassed or overwhelmed, then a private venue or secluded spot in nature may be a better option. This should be a positive experience for you and your partner.
Photography: Do you wish to hire a professional photographer to memorialize the proposal? If you'd like to capture the moment, you may consider hiring a professional photographer to assist. To find a photographer, we suggest researching people who are local to where you plan to propose. If this is in your proposal plan, you'll also want to incorporate the cost into your overall budget.
Be Smart: Have you thought about the logistics? This may seem like it goes without saying, but we've heard one too many horror stories and proposals gone awry (one of our favorite rings was lost in a ski trip!). You have invested your time, energy and money in securing a ring for your loved one; don't lose it in a silly accident! If you plan to travel, or go on an adventure, make sure you have a safe and secure location to keep your ring.
Proposal Spots for Nature Lovers
If you're looking to gather a few ideas, check out our featured city guides. Each guide highlights 10 incredible locations in and around the city. These spots include gorgeous day hikes, hidden gems to catch the sunset over the skyline, botanical gardens, and various other mystical, romantic, and verdant spots.
Begin Ring Shopping
We've now covered many of the basics when it comes to planning your summer engagement. If you feel confident and ready to begin the ring shopping process, we'd love to help! Get started by clicking on one of the options below. Our ready-to-ship collection is great for those on a shorter timeline, or those who have already fallen in love with one of our available rings! If you are looking for a specific stone cut or color, or want to start from scratch, our build-your-own option is perfect. If neither of these sound right and you would like to work with our design team and create a fully custom ring, we'd love to help bring your vision to life.
More Helpful Readings
- The 4 Cs of Diamonds
- The Ultimate Guide to Green Sapphires
- Top Jewelry Picks for Nature Lovers
- How Jewelry Metals Are Made
- What Are Lab-Grown Gemstones?
- What Are Montana Sapphires?
- What Are Salt and Pepper Diamonds
- How to Build Your Dream Ring in 3 Easy Steps
- Why Shop Ethically Sourced Canadian Diamonds