Marriage proposals can make even the most stiff-upper-lipped among us get a little teary any time of year. The holiday proposal is special because December's a time when many families gather and celebrate with traditions. After Australians' historic vote last year to legalize gay marriage, the prime minister set an "enact before Christmas!" deadline. Plus, who can resist twinkling lights, sugar cookies, and a Burst Cluster Diamond Ring? There are a few things to know about shopping for an engagement ring and popping the question at that time of the year, but with our holiday proposal guide, you'll be able to come through on one of the eight days of Hanukkah or secure a permanent spot on Santa's Nice List.
1. Finding the Right Engagement Ring
If you've been talking marriage, your partner has probably dropped a few hints about favorite ring designs or shared preferences with someone close to you both. (Check out our advice on buying a perfect engagement ring without your partner knowing.) Ask around or just ask your partner directly. That's totally fine! The proposal itself can still be a meaningful surprise if you'd like.
Before you visit a Bario Neal showroom, try to get a sense of what ring styles and metal and gemstones your partner likes. Many clients fall in love with our classic solitaire Avens Princess Diamond Ring, but not everyone dreams of a white diamond engagement ring. Ask your partner about ring size so you'll be able to slip the engagement ring on with the "Will you marry me?" and keep it there. The closer you get to a perfect fit, the better. If you do need a resize, it will take a couple weeks (and sizing down more than one size may require extra time). Certain rings can't be resized; see our lists here and here or ask us during your appointment.
2. Proposing With THE Engagement Ring
If you have a good idea of what your partner wants in an engagement ring and want to pull off a holiday proposal, get in touch with us ASAP. We can work with you to make it special and advise you on lead times and planning. The run-up to the December holidays is one of our busiest times of year, and Bario Neal engagement rings are handcrafted to order. Typical turnaround times for our collection rings are on our website. Go to a specific ring, and click on "Lead Time & Returns" for details. Our Nikko Diamond Ring, for example, takes about six weeks. Custom rings, like this Custom 1 carat Cushion Cut Diamond Cluster Ring, take a minimum of eight weeks, and have no set lead time as we craft a one-of-a-kind ring just for your love. Rush orders are possible on collection items, for an additional fee, but if you're custom-designing a one-of-a-kind engagement ring with us and won't hit your deadline, you can always propose with a temporary ring! Read on for how to make that work in No. 3 below.
3. Proposing Without THE Engagement Ring
If you've worked with us to sketch out the perfect personalized engagement ring but you didn't leave enough time before the holidays for your custom order, that doesn't mean coal in your stocking. We have pretty, simple in-stock rings you can get in a week or less to use as a placeholder for the proposal. Our Ready Ring can be picked up from our Philadelphia location same day, or ordered online with shipping in two days. You can even return the Ready Ring with zero fees when your personalized ring is complete. The romantic Knottedrush Ring and delicate Milla Ultra Thin Band have very short lead times too, and can work as st and in's while we finish your final ring.
4. Planning a Romantic Surprise Engagement Ring Appointment
If you're thinking, "Buying an engagement ring is a huge decision, so why wouldn't I want my partner there with me?" You aren't alone. Many of our clients choose to go engagement ring shopping together. Teamwork is romantic. There are still plenty of ways to elevate the outing above a Saturday to-do list and make the day extra special. Plan a day (here are tons of suggestions if you're visiting our Philadelphia showroom) with a great meal before or after an appointment. For a surprise: Get your partner to our neighborhood in NYC or Philly, and then pop the question outside of our showroom and let them know now's the time for engagement ring shopping. We'll be ready inside to make the visit fun and memorable for you both, just give us a heads up when you make the appointment!
5. Wrapping an Engagement Ring
Even if you don't plan to get down on one knee and slowly open a box for a big engagement ring reveal, Bario Neal's handcrafted porcelain jewelry boxes are a beautiful way to make a holiday proposal more special. We designed these exclusive boxes ourselves, and they are hand cast by a small studio in Portland, Oregon. You'll get extra credit for giving your partner a pretty place to store the engagement ring when necessary in the future. Remember: If you're a planner who gets the ring well before the proposal, you'll have to find a good, safe hiding place if you're going for surprise.
Whatever the date on your calendar, if you're thinking proposal, get in touch with us today to get all the details about our engagement rings. We're happy to talk about lead times and guide you through what you'll need to know, particularly for planning a holiday proposal. Advance planners and last-minute shoppers alike can make the upcoming (really, it's right around the corner!) season extra romantic this year.