To all the sweet couples that got engaged over the holidays, I am sooo happy for you! Engagement is SUCH a unique and lovely time in our lives. If I can give you any tips/advice from both my experience as a bride and from being part of many other happy celebrations, it’s these three things. Firstly, don’t let unwritten “rules” about what you think a wedding should be like limit you. Make this day about your story, about who you both are and the adventure it’s been getting here. Dream up a celebration that allows you to spend quality time with the people you love. Whether small and intimate, or huge and fun, having all of the people you love in one place is something that only happens a few times in our lives, and I promise you’ll be happy you created an environment where you could enjoy every moment with them. Secondly, do hire incredible stylists, planners and florists who can make the vision you have come to life with their skill and knowledge. These creatives can create an experience in a way others of us (myself included) couldn’t do without them. I’d say they are worth every penny. And if you need any suggestions… I know a couple of wonderful ones in my favourite cities (Vancouver/BC area, Toronto, San Francisco) Lastly, ENJOY every second of it. Be present. Take time just the two of you to have fun with no talk of planning the wedding. Because your wedding WILL be incredible, but so will the memories of the lead up to it and you don’t want to allow any to get missed. And again, congrats. This is gonna be a great year for each of you.

A photo posted by Jess Smith (@jessicarosephoto) on

According to statistics from Chillisauce.co.uk, it seems that hopeful partners are spending more than ever on engagement rings.

In another survey conducted by wedding site www.theknot.com, which included the responses from more than 12,000 US brides and 1,200 US grooms between 2014 and 2015 to uncover proposal trends in the US. The results revealed that ring budgets are bigger than ever, with men spending an average of US$5,978 on the right bling. They’re also being more upfront about the price, with 68 per cent of women aware of how much their partner spent on the ring (see how much a 1-carat diamond ring could potentially cost you here).

Diamonds remain the number-one engagement stone of choice (84 per cent of women received a diamond ring), although eight per cent of brides-to-be received a non-diamond precious stone engagement ring – up from six percent in 2013. 

The trendiest engagement ring setting is the halo, which tripled from seven percent in 2011 to 22 percent in 2015. Eighty-five percent of men would rather buy a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality

The majority of brides (67 per cent) had researched rings before getting engaged, with 80 per cent of men claiming that their partner had dropped hints about the style they wanted. 

According to the men surveyed, it takes an average of 4.8 months to research and 3.6 months to find the perfect engagement ring, and more than three-quarters of men (77 per cent) asked for parental permission before popping the question. 

When it comes to the proposal itself, the act is increasingly social, with 45 per cent of grooms proposing in a public place (see more proposal ideas here). Forty-one per cent of men even had a photographer or videographer capture the proposal as it happened. – RELAXNEWS

Not keen on diamonds or solitaires? See alternative gem options here, as well as look out for cool wedding bands from Singapore brands in a bit.