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Proposing Without a Ring? 10 Other Options

Last updated on April 23, 2024

We all know the Hollywood proposal scene: the smitten groom-to-be drops to one knee with a dazzling diamond sending audible gasps through the crowd of captivated onlookers. The truth is, proposals can be as unique as relationships are today, and there's no "right" or "wrong" way to express your love and commitment to your partner.

So if you're thinking about proposing without the traditional engagement ring, this article is for you. Perhaps you simply haven’t found the right one, or you’d like your spouse-to-be to help choose a ring they love. You may also still be saving for your ring or looking to try something completely different. It’s perfectly fine to propose without a ring, and by putting some effort and creativity into your proposal, you can ensure you’re giving your partner a special memory.

Try one of the following 10 ideas when you’re proposing without a ring:

1. Use a Different Piece of Jewellery

Just because you’re not proposing with an engagement ring doesn’t mean you can’t use another type of jewellery when you’re popping the question. Buy a pendant or other piece that reflects their style preferences. Ideally choose something that has a meaning behind it, such as your favourite place to visit as a couple, or a symbol that’s significant to both of you.


2. Propose With a Pet

Adopt a pet to signify you and your partner becoming a family. You can even enlist the pet’s help by attaching a love letter to its collar or having it wear a sign to help pop the question. Of course, owning a pet is also a serious, long-term commitment, so you should be sure your partner is ready to own and help care for your new furry friend before you adopt.


3. Use a Placeholder Ring

Propose using a ring that’s different from your traditional diamond engagement ring. Rings with heart or knotted designs work well for this purpose, and if your partner has a fun sense of style, you can even use a brightly coloured costume jewellery ring. When you replace the placeholder ring, they can move it over to their right hand if they'd like to keep wearing it regularly.


4. Serve Up Your Proposal

Use a nice dinner - either one you prepare on your own if you have the skills or one cooked by a professional chef - as an element of your proposal. Write “Will You Marry Me?” in frosting on a meal-ending cake, or print it on the bottom of a plate. You can also propose in a high-end restaurant, but make sure to involve the manager and the rest of the staff in your planning. Most are happy to help, and this can help make sure your proposal doesn’t go awry because, for example, you’re seating next to a large, noisy group.

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5. Put Your Talent to Work

If you’re artistic or crafty, put your talent to good use when you’re proposing. Put together a scrapbook of your favourite photos of the two of you as a couple, and make a proposal page at the end. Or make your own card with a heartfelt message about why you want to marry your significant other. You might even create a handmade bracelet as an alternative to a traditional diamond ring.


6. Use a Piece of Your History

Find a meaningful piece of your history as a couple, such as a ticket stub from your first date at a movie or concert or a souvenir from your first trip together. Put it in a nice frame or other display with a proposal, and you’ve created something your partner will always keep and cherish.


7. Book a Holiday

Give your spouse-to-be tickets to a holiday spot when you propose. That way, you’ll be able to have a nice getaway to spend together as you start the next step of your relationship. The trip will give you memories to cherish throughout your married life and can use some of the funds you would have otherwise used on a diamond ring.


8. Combine Your Proposal With Breakfast in Bed

Treat your significant other to breakfast in bed, complete with flowers and their favourite foods. Use some porcelain paint to write “Marry Me” or something similar on the bottom of a plate or mug.


9. Write Your Proposal in Candles or Rose Petals

Cheesy? Yes. Effective? Definitely. Run a hot bath for your partner, complete with rose petals and a nicely scented bath bomb in the water and some lit candles safely to the side. Use some remaining petals or candles to write out your proposal outside the bathroom door or in the bedroom.


10. Plan a Treasure Hunt

Start your spouse-to-be with a clue beside their breakfast plate or coffee cup, and lead them on a treasure hunt. You can make it fairly easy or more involved, depending on their patience and whether they like puzzles. At the end, have a small wooden box with a proposal note inside.

When you find your perfect engagement ring, you’ll want to protect your investment with engagement ring insurance. Get an instant quote, or if you’d prefer to talk with us instead, call 1300 522 808.

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