NEW YORK — With Proposal Season officially underway, WeddingWire—a leading international wedding planning resource that helps couples around the world plan their weddings—and Betches Brides—a multimedia destination and outlet for women who want to communicate honestly and unapologetically—released findings from the WeddingWire x Betches #DropAHint Study, which surveyed over 500 females in a relationship about how directly—or indirectly—they share their proposal and engagement ring preferences with their significant others. Whether it’s creating a Pinterest board, a TikTok wish list, mentioning a preferred stone cut in passing, or even repeating the words “engagement rings” into their partner’s phones, more than one in three in a relationship are planning to—in one way or another—“drop a hint.”
“Although some may think spring or summer are the most popular times for engagements, according to the 2020 WeddingWire Newlywed Report, seven out of ten of the most popular days to propose are in December, with Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day ranked as the three most popular,” said Jeffra Trumpower, senior creative director at WeddingWire. “As more couples get engaged this month and throughout Proposal Season, we’re excited to partner with Betches to highlight just how creative—and in some cases, quite clever—those in relationships are when communicating their preferences and—through the lens of this study—‘dropping hints.’”
“Within our Betches Brides Instagram and podcast fan base, we’ve seen that many of our audience members aren’t shy when it comes to letting their partners know exactly what type of rings they want and when they want to get engaged. We’re excited to partner with WeddingWire to learn even more about the specifics around how people are “dropping hints” during peak times of engagement season,” said Aleen Kuperman-Dreksler, CEO and co-founder of Betches.
Majority Discuss Getting Engaged Before the Proposal
Of those who see themselves getting engaged in the next few years, the majority (72%) have already discussed it with their partner, with some (39%) even discussing what their wedding might look like someday. Proposals have become increasingly collaborative in recent years, with 35% of couples who have already gotten engaged and married noting they discussed proposal preferences with their partner. And for those couples, 14% say they know exactly how and where they want their proposal to take place—details they may or may not choose to share with their partner in advance of an engagement. Additionally, 6% say they would like to have a partnership proposal, in which both partners propose to each other. When it comes to engagement rings, over 70% of those who will be proposed to want a ring included in their proposal. This comes as no surprise, considering one in four know exactly what kind of engagement ring they want, with 20% saying they have already hinted at ring preferences and 21% planning to do so before they get engaged.
In a recent Betches Brides poll on how many times the to-be-engaged will drop a hint to their significant other, over 60% said they plan to drop hints weekly to monthly, with one-third saying they plan to drop more than 15 hints before the proposal. Additionally, as most newlyweds considered the style and setting to be the most important aspect of an engagement ring, it makes sense that the most popular hints dropped include ring style and setting (55%) and stone cut (51%), followed by size (48%), color (39%), and what specifically they don’t want in a ring (38%). Also, while some decide to drop hints around these engagement ring specifics to significant others, one in four are not shy about sharing their preferences, telling their partner outright what it is they want, followed by sending or showing them photos.
WeddingWire 2021 Proposal and Engagement Ring Trends
While marriage proposals may have looked different in the past—with everything from faraway destination proposals to popping the question at large public events—in the next year, expect more intimate, one-on-one moments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean proposals won’t be just as elaborately planned, as they will likely feature scenic locations, involve hiring professionals, adding unique décor and more, all while keeping health and safety in mind. Anticipated trends include transforming an apartment or home into an exotic destination the couple may have missed traveling to, private rental spaces—especially outdoor spaces with beach views and rooftops, scenic spots in a local park or neighborhood—or even incorporating at-home pastimes or date-night activities, such as creating a customized crossword puzzle or cooking a multicourse dinner. Additionally, following the proposal, couples will likely host a virtual celebration to follow instead of a party.
In the next year, WeddingWire predicts round, square and rectangular engagement ring shapes to continue to grow in popularity, with step cuts like emerald and Asscher becoming especially more popular. For to-be-weds who want something a little more unexpected, novelty shapes like ovals, pears and hexagons are still trending, while round and square shapes continue to have a timeless appeal as they can be easily customized by adding ring stacks or interchangeable wedding bands. Additionally, although classic and vintage-inspired engagement rings are an increasingly popular choice, to-be-weds are adding their own personal twist by hand-selecting the main stone, customizing the setting, or switching the metal color from a premade design. Multi-stone settings are also extremely popular, and they can add symbolism to a proposal: The two-stone ring is said to represent the joining of two lives, while a three-stone ring represents the couple’s past, present and future.
Source1—The 2020 WeddingWire Newlywed Report is based on a survey among 27,250 individuals—the largest survey of weddings in the industry. The data is collected from couples who provided their email to The Knot Worldwide and were married between January 1 and December 31, 2019. Respondents represent couples from all over the country with various ethnicities, income levels, race, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. To provide the most comprehensive view of research collected, this report also includes findings from ad hoc studies conducted in 2019. In a typical year, The Knot Worldwide conducts research with more than 300,000 US brides, grooms, guests and wedding professionals.
Source2—WeddingWire x Betches Survey, conducted in November 2020 among soon-to-be-engaged females recruited from Betches Instagram followers (N=305).
The WeddingWire x Betches #DropAHint Study was conducted in November 2020 among over 500 females recruited from a third-party research firm (N=517). All respondents were adults aged 18-29 who were in a relationship, from a variety of locations around the US.