I mentioned in my last Blog – Welcoming The Groom’s View – about the never-ending lists of do’s & don’ts that there are when it comes to anything to do with weddings.
Whilst it’s important to keep a few traditions we’ve gone down the route of not really taking too many do’s & don’ts seriously. However, one thing on the ‘DO’ list I would always say is a must, is keeping the tradition of asking the father of the bride for his consent. It must be every father’s nightmare the time his daughter introduces her boyfriend to him. I saw a Tweet a week or so ago from a senior & high-ranking Police Officer who was having his daughter’s boyfriend staying over for the very first time. Suffice to say it certainly highlighted every father’s concerns!
I think everyone will have seen photo’s similar to the one below. . . . .
So I’d always say it’s important to ask for permission from the father of the bride, not only out of tradition, but also out of courtesy & respect.
I left it late in the day to ask Sarah’s father for his consent, in fact it was the day before we travelled out to Thailand – so I did gamble slightly on him granting his best wishes! I left it so late in the day because it was a surprise proposal and with a big family I needed to be sure nothing came out by accident which might have given the game away!
Naturally as with every proposal there needs to be one very important thing . . . . .the engagement ring!
As the whole proposal was a surprise I had to make sure I got the choice of ring absolutely spot on & I must admit it was a really really difficult thing to do. Obviously I’ve got a good idea of Sarah’s taste etc, however one thing I needed to check was the practicalities of a ring with her job, so I enlisted the help of her nurse friends to make sure I was on the right track. Because Sarah is a nurse in ITU she’s not actually allowed to wear her engagement ring whilst she’s at work, so it turns out that I didn’t really need to worry too much about the practicalities of the ring at all.
When you go & choose an engagement ring yourself, you really are going out on a limb so you really need to do your homework on what sort of ring to buy. There’s so much choice out there!
We’re really lucky where we are in Birmingham in that we have the fantastic & famous Jewellery Quarter which has an abundance of jewellery shops. When it comes to the jewellery shop itself, they are going to have a really big influence in your eventual purchase. It’s really important to pick not only the right ring but also the right shop & staff to help you select your ring – especially if you’re a guy going out to choose one yourself!
I spent a lot of time going in & out of the vast range of jewellery shops in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter. I spent time not only looking through the huge range of rings but also speaking to the staff in the shop. I’d done a lot of research on the internet so I knew the kind of ring I wanted in terms of style, but there’s so much more to it than that.
Fortunately I came across the guys at Mitchel & Co who were brilliant! I’d highly recommend checking them out if you’re after some wedding jewellery! The other reason they were the shop of my choice was because they have a resident . . . . dog. I was welcomed into the shop by the brilliant ‘Mr Bear’.
After speaking to Helen for a LONG time in the shop, we then started looking at the different ring styles. After chosing a style I liked we then moved onto the type of metal, then came the big topic – the diamond. I didn’t realise there was so much information & choice when it came to diamonds. This is why choosing your engagement ring isn’t just about the way the ring looks – the shop you buy the ring from has a huge factor in the whole ring. From the design, the metal and most importantly the diamond your jewellery shop will have a big influence. Spending time with the staff in the shop really helps you chose the best ring for you.
When I originally looked at rings I must admit that I fell into the very common trap of looking for the biggest diamond I could find, however after being educated by Helen at Mitchel & Co it was abundantly clear that just because you have a big diamond it doesn’t necessarily mean it looks the best. I came out of the shop not only with an engagement ring but with a wealth of knowledge all about diamonds.
There are three main factors when it comes to diamonds – the colour, the clarity and the size. All three elements need to compliment each other to get the best looking diamond. The great thing about going to famous Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham is that the shops have a vast array of different diamonds. So you can really appreciate the difference between a big diamond but with a poor colour & clarity compared to a little diamond with high clarity & colour. It really is amazing the difference.
Having spent the time talking to the guys at Mitchel & Co, I knew that the ring I’d chosen would be the perfect choice & certainly wouldn’t let me down when it came to the momentous day.
So with Sarah’s dad’s blessing and the engagement ring in tow it was now onto planning how to get the ring out to Thailand without Sarah knowing or suspecting anything. I also needed to enlist the help of some people in Thailand to help make the occasion as special as possible.
When it comes to planning for your proposal there’s two definite “DO’s” from me. I called them the “Two Do’s”:-
- DO ask for the father’s consent if you can
- DO spend time chosing the right shop to buy your engagement ring – it really isn’t a case of just chosing one-off the internet which has the biggest diamond. Because if your clarity & colour is poor you just end up with a big dull diamond!
There would be nothing worse than proposing and being let down by the wrong ring selection or finding out your new father in law to be does not approve . . . .