A new "Engagement Expectations" study conducted by The Knot and De Beers Group reveals that 96% of pre-engaged women want to have some involvement in the selection of the engagement ring and would not want the proposal to be a total surprise.

Carried out just ahead of "engagement season," the period between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, the study reveals new insights into marriage proposals in a post-COVID environment. Nearly 300 women in a serious relationship were surveyed about expectations related to the proposal process — from where and how it takes place, to the selection of the engagement ring.

Three-fourths of pre-engaged females have thought a lot or some about their engagement ring and most are increasingly preferring more personalized and unique engagement rings.

The primary choice for an engagement ring center stone remains a diamond, with the majority citing this as their first choice. But contrary to popular opinion, pre-engaged women are less focused on carat weight and more concerned with the shape, style and setting of the stone.

The majority (68%) also believe that ring designs today are more unique than in their parents' generation, and one in five feel the exchange of rings has more meaning and significance today.

When it comes to purchasing the ring, about 2 in 10 respondents expect both partners to contribute to the cost; most women (76%) expect their partner will pay.

The findings also highlight an increased interest in intimacy and connection when it comes to the proposal itself.

While most pre-engaged women still want their partner to propose to them, they want the experience to be more personal and unique. Grand gestures and elaborate public displays were less appealing to respondents, with a solid majority saying the ideal way to pop the question would be one person proposing to the other (98%), planned ahead of time (66%), and in a private place (66%).

While females desire more intimate proposals, the majority (85%) feel there is more pressure on their partners to plan a unique proposal than in their parents' generation.

The Knot and De Beers Group Engagement Expectations Study was fielded on Instagram in October 2021 among 296 females in a serious relationship. A majority of female respondents (77%) participating in the survey believe they will be engaged within the next two years. Most were between the ages of 18 and 34.

Credit: Image courtesy of De Beers Group.

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