Thinking About Popping The Question?

Brandon R. Amaral, CFP®, EA
Brandon R. Amaral, CFP®, EA

Founder & Financial Planner, Amaral Financial Planning

It’s that time of year! According to The Knot and WeddingWire (as well as my feed), 40% of proposals happen between November and February. 

Whether you’re feeling pressure from your family or your partner has been dropping subtle (or not so subtle) hints for months (or years) now, it’s important to make sure you properly plan for your proposal.

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From purchasing an engagement ring to actually popping the question, here are some important things to consider:

Ask the hard questions

Before looking at rings, it’s important to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page. A great book that my wife and I read (and have shared with all of our friends) is Susan Pivers’ “The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say ‘I Do’”

This book covers important topics like money, work, family, and forces you to have those difficult conversations that most couples wait to have after they are already married.

Find out what they want

Imagine your partner surprises you with a brand new car for Christmas. While you’ve been dreaming about a blacked-out Ford Raptor for years, you walk outside and see a giant red bow on a lime green Prius. While you fake a smile and tell them how much you love it, deep down you wish you would have discussed what you wanted first. 

Familiarize yourself with the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut, and carat). At the very least, find out what diamond shape they’ve been dreaming about. There’s a good chance that they have a Collection saved on Instagram, which can give you a good idea of what they like.

Work with a local jeweler 

While you can choose from one of the big three (Zales, Kay, and Jared) or even a department store like Macy’s, you might want to consider finding a local jewelry store. 

By shopping local, you will likely have a better experience and more service (like free cleanings). Local jewelers also have better quality diamonds for a lower price than big box stores, since they don’t have large markups.

Have a budget and stick to it

I don’t know where the “rule” that you need to spend at least 2-3 times your monthly income on an engagement ring originated, but I’m 99% sure it was by someone in the business of selling engagement rings. The truth of the matter is, you should only spend as much as you can afford. This can be a combination of using savings and taking out a small loan or using a year-end bonus. 

You need to remember that after getting engaged, you will start planning and saving for a wedding, which can cost as little as a few thousand dollars or up to $100,000 if you are planning a lavish or traditional wedding.

Insure the ring ASAP

Have you ever walked around with thousands of dollars in your pocket? While you might feel pretty cool, you may also have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Everyone has heard horror stories about engagement rings getting lost on the beach or accidentally falling down the drain, and come to find out that the rings were never insured. 

Jewelry policies can be purchased on their own or as a rider (addition) to your renters or homeowners’ insurance policy. The average cost of a policy is $1- $2 per $100 of value (i.e. a $5,000 ring would cost $50 – $100 a year to insure). Most policies will cover any theft, damage, or accidental loss of the ring or diamond. Pro tip: Make sure to receive an appraisal from your jeweler, as this will be needed to insure the ring and determine the replacement value.

Hire a photographer (or bring a friend)

If you pop the question but didn’t get a picture or video, did it even happen? Whether it’s for the gram or only sharing with the family, this will definitely be a moment that you will want to capture. You have a couple of options when it comes to capturing the moment:

  • Take a selfie or use a tripod: While this is the simplest option, you run the risk of having bad lighting or blurry pictures
  • Bring a friend/ family member along: Depending on the location and time of day, you can have a friend help plan the surprise. 
  • Hire a professional photographer: This option will require the most planning and investment. The typical cost for a proposal photoshoot ranges from $100 – $500 and should be booked at least one month in advance.

Enjoy the moment

Approximately 30 seconds after announcing that you’re engaged, you will likely be bombarded with questions, opinions, and unsolicited advice about your wedding date, venue location, colors, and guest list. It happens, every time. If you can delay announcing your engagement for just a few hours, I highly recommend it. 

This will be a very exciting time for you both, and it will be nice to enjoy the moment together.

Wherever you are in the proposal process, it can definitely be scary, overwhelming, and intimidating. If you would like to work with a financial planner to walk you through your options, I would love to help you!

To learn more about becoming a client, schedule a complimentary meeting now!

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered advice or recommendations. All opinions expressed herein are solely those of Amaral Financial Planning, LLC, unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. You should consult your financial advisor, tax professional or legal counsel prior to implementation.