10 Original Alternatives to an Engagement Ring

February 8, 2023
6 min

In today’s world, couples are finding ways to break traditions when it comes to marriages that make it more memorable and momentous for each unique couple. More and more couples are choosing to forgo traditional weddings for online marriages, so why not also deviate from the tradition of proposing by getting down on one knee with a diamond ring or even having the man propose the marriage to the woman. 

Remember, the most important thing is to make the proposal personal, meaningful, and memorable for both of you. A ring is just one aspect of the proposal, and a creative approach can add an extra layer of personalization and significance to the moment. Here are some ideas to think about if proposing romantically sans the ring is what you are aiming for.

Romantic gestures that suit every kind of couple

Modern couples are opting for different methods of proposing such as a flash mob or a romantic gesture instead. Proposing marriage is a significant moment in a couple's life and by being creative with how you do it you are showing how much you care about the person. 

1. Propose with a different piece of jewelry.

Instead of a diamond ring, some couples have chosen to use different pieces of jewelry instead.  Some partners who don’t necessarily like rings would probably cherish a pair of earrings, necklace, bracelet or watch instead.  By choosing a piece of jewelry that is more suited for your significant other, they are more likely to enjoy fashioning it regularly and also serve as a reminder of your commitment to each other while it’s worn.

Gold necklace, seashells and crystals

2. Plan a scavenger hunt.

Lead your partner on a scavenger hunt, with each clue leading them to the next until they reach the final destination where you will propose.  It can take a lot of creativity to plan a hunt and you can customize each clue to be special and have more meaning for the both of you.  Even if you don’t end the hunt with a ring, it can be a fun adventure for you and your partner to undertake.

3. Propose with a ring box.

It may sound silly, but proposing with just a ring box is more significant than you think.  If your fiance is picky with their jewelry, having an empty box with the promise of shopping for a ring together could alleviate a lot of stress for the couple.  You won’t have to worry if the actual ring is to their liking and you have something to present your loved one during the time of proposal. It can be a symbol of your commitment to your significant other as it shows that you are willing to work with their expectations.

Girl holding engagement ring box

4. Make a video proposal.

Create a video showcasing your relationship and why you want to spend the rest of your life together, and then play it for your partner as you pop the question. A photo or video montage on your relationship is a walk down memory lane and could be an extra romantic touch to your proposal. You can keep the montage forever and it can be used down the line at your anniversaries or milestones. It shows that you are being creative with your gesture even if you don’t have a ring.

Young black couple with dog sharing laptop on couch

5. A love letter or poem.

Another option that you could do is to write a love letter, poem, or make a song for your loved one. This shows your partner your commitment to him or her through writing or song that they can cherish forever.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, evoke poetry of legends or even be a Grammy worthy song, but if it comes from the heart, it will be personalized and mean so much more for your partner than you think. 

Girl reading love letter with red roses and cake

6. Stage a flash mob.

We’ve all seen them before. The target has no clue what is about to happen and is taken by surprise every time.  Staging a flash mob is a fun and exciting way to let yourself be heard or seen and then some. You have an opportunity to include family and friends in your proposal and even those of strangers.  It will take the target completely off guard and, I hate to say it, but less likely that you’ll get a “No” from your proposal with all those people watching. Let’s be frank, wouldn’t it be icing on the cake if it goes viral?

group of people dancing

7. Propose with a pet.

Like including family and friends with your proposal, there’s nothing cuter than including a pet or a new addition to your family by doing it through a furry friend. Every time you see your pet, it will remind you of that day and evoke happiness all over again. It serves as a reminder of your commitment to each other as your family grows. Just make sure they’re not allergic, but they have anecdotes for that these days anyway don’t they? Can I just say sphynx’s can be cute, no? 

Proposal with pet

8. Propose with a tattoo.

What’s a better way to show your love for each other but through something as permanent as a tattoo? Getting inked with your partner’s initials, portrait or even an inside joke will serve as a constant reminder of your loyalty towards one another.  The process might not be painless, but love hurts, right? You can surprise your loved one by getting a tattoo that pays homage to them or you could get matching tattoos so that everyone can see that you're both in it together.

Woman Putting Tattoo on a Person

9. A romantic getaway or adventure.

Propose with plane tickets. If your significant other is more into experiences instead of material possessions, then this could be your spiel.  Surprising them with tickets to their dream vacation wont only make them appreciate you more, but also add to your memories of being together that lasts a lifetime. It’s a personal and romantic gesture that takes you away from the mundane of your current lives. 

couple holding passport

10. A memorable gift or keepsake.

Another option you have is to promise your love to your partner through a memento. It doesn’t have to be jewelry, an heirloom or anything extravagant but if it comes from the heart and is well thought out, it can serve as a token of your love for them. If you are capable, maybe making something for your lover, like a painting, is more up to your speed. What’s important is to take them into consideration while trying to come up with the best way to propose to them.

Man Giving Gift to a Woman

Remember, the most important thing is to make the proposal unique, personal, and memorable for your partner. Choose a proposal idea that suits both of your personalities and interests. You don’t necessarily have to succumb to traditions of having a ring present during your proposal. If saving for a house is more important in your list of priorities, maybe an engagement ring isn’t what’s right for you but there are other ways of proposing and showing your love for your significant other that doesn’t have to include a diamond ring.

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