Asking for His Hand in Marriage

Even though most women consider few things off limits these days, the idea of proposing to a man often leaves them quaking in their four-inch power heels.

Many women say, in theory, “Yes, it’s okay to ask a man to marry you,” but few are actually able to break through the social barriers that dictate proposals are the man’s job, like taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn. Others are confronted with unexpected emotional baggage, never realizing just how important that romantic proposal they dreamed of actually means to them.

Despite its scarce  appearance, women asking for a man’s hand in marriage has quite a dated and storied history, ranging from the trendsetting Queen Victoria of England, who humbly proposed to Prince Albert in 1839, to pop singer Pink, who boldly asked her motocross boyfriend Carey Hart in 2005. The tradition is rumored to have begun in Ireland, where women were allowed to buck tradition and propose every four years on a leap day.

A 1907 postcard poking fun at the tradition of women having "permission" to propose marriage on Leap Day.

A 1907 postcard poking fun at the tradition of women having “permission” to propose marriage on Leap Day.

The number of women proposing marriage has increased in recent years, with about 10 percent of modern couples getting engaged after the female asks. This has sparked creative inspiration amongst enterprising jewelers, who are eagerly releasing mangagement rings to an enthusiastic and rapidly growing customer base.

For centuries, mangagement rings have played a central role in betrothal rituals around the world, from Argentina to Brazil to Norway. Shopping for a male engagement ring for your honey is really no different than picking out a wedding band. In fact, most men choose to buy just one ring for both the engagement and the marriage. When shopping for a ring, consider your future husband’s lifestyle and occupation to ensure the metal and design you choose is the right match.


Share your wedding tips and traditions!

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