Should You Go Engagement Ring Shopping Together?

Picking out the right engagement ring is one of the most meaningful parts of your proposal. After all, she’s going to wear the diamond forever and it’s a symbol of the unbreakable love you both share. So how do you find the ring of her dreams while maintaining an element of surprise?

Many couples find that shopping for rings together is the solution. This gives you a clear idea of the diamond that catches her eye. On the other hand, many women like the timeless romance of having her future groom surprise her with a ring.

If you’re planning a romantic marriage proposal and want to choose an engagement ring that takes her breath away, here are a few ways to know if you should go ring shopping together:

  • She has specific taste. By specific, I mean, she has an eye for detail and rarely lets anyone shop for her–even you! She may have such distinct taste that she wants a custom engagement ring. In this case, it’s probably best to browse together.  
  • She doesn’t know what she wants. On the other end of the spectrum, many women with a laidback sense of style have never considered the type of ring they want. They may not understand the differences between each cut of diamond, so visiting a jeweler can be helpful for both of you.
  • You have a very specific budget. It’s wise to have a specific budget, especially as you begin your future together. Whether you decide to tell her how much you want to spend or not, shopping together allows you to guide her in a specific section so she doesn’t choose a ring you can’t afford.  

Want to keep the mystery alive and surprise her with an engagement ring instead? Here’s how to know if you shouldn’t shop for rings together:

  • She loves surprises more than anyone you know. There’s no surprise here–if she craves the unexpected and hates knowing what her gifts are before she opens them, you may be able to pick a ring she’ll love!
  • She doesn’t have a strong sense of style. For a lot of women, diamonds of any cut and size are beautiful especially if she’s flexible with her style. And if she’s especially sentimental, knowing that you hand-picked the ring for her will make it even more beautiful in her eyes.
  • You already have an idea of what she wants. Has she showed you pictures or hinted around to the style diamond she likes? Make sure you read her cues. They will be your roadmap when you’re in the jewelry store.

Can’t decide whether to shop together or not? It’s also possible to have the best of both worlds. You can visit a jeweler together but have her narrow it down to her top three choices, so you can still surprise her with the final decision!

No matter what you decide, The Heart Bandits is here to help you plan a creative marriage proposal with just as much glamour and romance as the diamond in your pocket. And to keep that diamond safe, check out these compact engagement ring boxes from Ring Stash!

Emily Barge
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A Year Long Proposal That Is Actually Interesting!!

We’ve all seen marriage proposals that last a year.  Most of them involve handmade signs and an iphone video professing love 365 times.  While the sentiment behind those proposals are sweet, it is certainly not something anyone else particularly needs to watch.  But THIS year long proposal is something that will leave you in tears and longing for more.  This proposal involved, hidden cameras, people wearing glasses rigged with cameras, fake Uber drivers, 3 engagement rings, and much more.

Mohan contacted The Heart Bandits in January of last year to plan his proposal.  I knew from the first time I spoke with him that he was no ordinary guy and that no ordinary proposal was going to be good enough for him and his girlfriend Vanessa.  He was visiting New York City from Melbourne, Australia and wanted to do something really unique and that would catch her off guard.  While Mohan is a jokester and a laid back guy, he wanted to prove to Vanessa that he could also be romantic!  He was open to the proposal idea, but his only non-negotiable criteria was that his entire trip AND the proposal would need to be filmed by a secret crew and she could never suspect a thing.  His plan was to capture the trip and proposal on camera but not reveal it to her until her wedding day.  That is quite a challenge to follow a couple around for multiple days without being seen so I knew that Michael Justin Studios was the perfect cinematographer for this project.

For the proposal itself, he floated around the idea of having it take place inside Harry Winston’s salon since he was purchasing the engagement ring from them.  But there were too many security issues around that as you can imagine.  We presented some romantic concepts like filling the room with flowers but that was just too regular for Mohan.  He kept pushing us to get creative and do something that had never been done before.  Since Mohan and Vanessa are foodies, we came up with the proposal idea to rent out a private room at Eleven Madison, a Michelin rated restaurant.  We would rig the entire room with hidden cameras but there was the issue of  Vanessa seeing them.  So we brought in top event design and production company Martin Jobes Design to rig the room with screens and flowers that looked like they actually were just part of the restaurant.  Then Michael and his team hid the cameras behind those screens.

Mohan had already worked with Harry Winston’s to select 3 engagement rings that he thought Vanessa would love.  He wanted to make sure she got to choose one that she absolutely loved- what a guy! Together, Mohan and I came up with the idea of presenting Vanessa a starter menu that posed the question, “if  you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?”  Each of the 3 options secretly corresponded with one engagement ring.

When Mohan and Vanessa arrived for dinner, the waiter brought the fake starter menu in and Vanessa made her choice.  She wanted to eat Lobster for the rest of her life!  She placed her order and then the “restaurant manager” came in to serve her the order.  The “manager” was really a Harry Winston representative.  He told her that the chef asked for her to remove the cloche herself and when she did, she was blown away.  There was no lobster at all, but there was a beautiful engagement ring!  Mohan proposed and of course, Vanessa said yes!

As if all of that was not elaborate enough, Mohan and Vanessa boarded their plane back to Australia and about a year later, on Vanessa’s wedding day she learned the whole truth.  That Mohan hadn’t just proposed to her in the most amazing way possible.  He had hired fake Uber drivers wearing camera glasses to drive them around the city, he staged cameramen around SOHO to capture their shopping trip, and best of all, he had the entire restaurant rigged to capture his ultra-romantic marriage proposal.  Then, he kept it a secret for over a year so that he could prove to Vanessa that he could be romantic after all!  Check out the video and share it with everyone you know.  Use the #TheLongCon to let us know what you think.

If you want to plan a one-of-a-kind marriage proposal you need a one-of-a-kind Proposal Planner.  Contact The Heart Bandits today!

Proposal Planning: The Heart Bandits
Film: Michael Justin Studios
Engagement Ring: Harry Winston
Hotel: The New York EDITION
Restaurant: Eleven Madison Park
Floral: Martin Jobes Design
Wedding Reception Reaction: Soda Films
Driver: Mike Giardino
News Reporter: Taylor Barker
Cinematographer: Michael Porco
Cinematographer: Edison Koo
Cinematographer: Donnell Culver

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How to Propose With Your Family’s Heirloom Engagement Ring

If you want to incorporate your family history into your marriage, heirloom engagement rings can be the perfect place to start! Especially if your girlfriend loves antique jewelry, this can be a wonderful way to give her a ring that’s authentic and one-of-a-kind.

Heirloom rings can also help you save money since you won’t be shelling out money for a new diamond. Ultimately, if family is the guiding force behind your marriage and you have a ring that has sentimental value over multiple generations, why not make it a part of your marriage?

To create a magical proposal, try some of these best practices for proposing with your heirloom engagement ring.

Honoring the Sentimental Value

In many cases, heirloom engagement rings don’t come from immediate family members. They may be from an aunt or a distant cousin, and sometimes, they might not be a traditional wedding ring–they could be a promise ring, a brooch, or a coveted gem. Start by planning an honest discussion with the giver of the ring to get their blessing and make sure they’re willing to share the jewelry with your future partner.

If you think your girlfriend might want to make changes to the ring–such as adding small diamonds around the center stone or altering the ring to match her future wedding band–be sure to mention it when you’re talking to the giver of the ring. Certain family members might be opposed to alterations, while others might be completely open to it. No matter what, it’s important to respect your family’s opinions when proposing with an heirloom ring.

Choosing the Heirloom

If you have heirloom rings on both sides of your family, you’ll have to determine if one has more sentimental value than the other. If one has been passed down over five generations, but the other is from a distant cousin, the ring with the deepest history might be the most meaningful choice.

Also consider the people closest to your partner. Does one of your family’s heirloom rings belong to a deceased family member who made a major impact on your partner’s life? Proposing with this type of ring can be an emotional way to pay tribute to your loved one.

While sentimentality is one of the most important parts of your proposal, your bride’s style is important, too. Pay attention to conversations that happen among family members. You may find that your girlfriend frequently gushes over one of her grandmother’s rings or asks to try it on. At the end of the day, you want to make sure the ring has personal meaning to her.

The Next Steps

As you prepare to propose with your family’s heirloom ring, consider investing in a continued service plan so you can protect the antique for generations to come.

The Hearts Bandits can also help take care of the details of your proposal, making it sentimental and personalized for both of you. Don’t forget to think about how you’ll protect and store the ring–Ring Stash makes compact engagement ring boxes that are perfect for protecting heirloom rings!

Emily Barge
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Charming San Francisco Marriage Proposal

I am obsessed with this adorable and charming San Francisco marriage proposal!  In college when Dongjin was homesick his girlfriend would always say to him, “Home is wherever we are together.” During the times when he needed comfort the most, she would tell him that sweet message and that is when he knew she was the one. For the proposal, we came up with the idea to have that message written on a banner draped with garland and framed by her favorite colored flowers.

Dongjin nervously waited as her friends brought Simeng to where he was waiting in a suit to surprise her.  Looking mighty dapper I might add!  Simeng was completely shocked when she saw him in the suit and as he walked her down her favorite colored rose petal aisle.  They passed by shepherd hooks which held pictures of them in jars so they could reminisce on their memories.  A violinist played romantic music as Dongjin dropped to his knee to propose.  Simeng said “YES!!”

Do you want to give your partner the marriage proposal they always dreamed of?  If so, the hire a professional!  The Heart Bandits have been in business for 8 years and planned over 2,000 proposals.  We can certainly create an amazing moment for you and your partner. Contact us today!

Don’t wait until the last minute to realize your free engagement ring box is too big to hide in your pocket.  Get the slim engagement ring box from www.ringstash.com and propose in style!

Proposal Planning: The Heart Bandits

Photographer: Bryan Tan

Flowers: Plumweed

Michele
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Do’s and Don’ts of Proposing on Mother’s Day

Are you considering proposing on Mother’s Day? While holidays are a big no-no for many couples, others have a significant connection to Mother’s Day. To determine it’s the ideal date for your marriage proposal, follow some of our do’s and don’ts.

Do incorporate your children (if you have them). For many families, Mother’s Day is already filled with homemade gifts, breakfast in bed, flowers and brunch. If your kids are planning a surprise for your partner, why not incorporate your marriage proposal to make the day extra special? If your kids are older and you can trust them to keep a secret, consider letting them in on your plans and make it a family affair.

Don’t take the limelight away from someone else. If you plan to celebrate your engagement with friends and family on Mother’s Day, you may risk stealing the show from other mothers in your family. Many women won’t feel slighted, but ultimately, think about your family and their emotions. If you decide it will cause a problem, consider planning your proposal in a more intimate setting so you can focus on what matters most: your love!

Do get creative. Whether you have kids or not, there are creative ways to incorporate Mother’s Day into your proposal. For example, if you have a pet, you could include them in the proposal with a bandana that says “Happy Mother’s Day–Will you marry my dad?” If your partner is pregnant, why not give her a small gift from your future child followed by a ring? With creativity, you can make it a sentimental day she’ll never forget.  

Don’t overshadow another surprise. If you have kids who are planning a long list of Mother’s Day activities, or your partner is busy planning a surprise brunch for her mother, it might be overwhelming to add a proposal to the day, too. Wait until you have her undivided attention so the moment isn’t overshadowed by any other celebration.

Do make it personal to you. If you live on the opposite side of the country from your family and plan to spend the day with your significant other, your proposal can easily be front and center. If you want to propose at a restaurant, just make sure you make reservations early and request a secluded table. And when the time comes for her to FaceTime her family with the good news, her mother will have the most exciting Mother’s Day gift!

Proposing on a holiday like Mother’s Day isn’t ideal for some couples, but for others, it might lead to a sentimental moment that’s rooted in family and everlasting love. No matter what you decide, let The Heart Bandits help you plan your romantic wedding proposal. We’ll take care of the details and make sure your engagement is personalized and stress-free.

Want to keep the diamond safe and out of sight from small hands? Ring Stash offers compact engagement ring boxes that fit easily into your pocket–check them out!

Emily Barge
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Elegant New York City Marriage Proposal

Brunno contacted The Heart Bandits because he and his girlfriend were going to visit New York City from Brazil for their very first time.  He wanted to give her a VIP marriage proposal that she never saw coming.  The night she checked in to her hotel, we called Diana pretending to be part of the Marketing team at her hotel.  We notified her that she had been entered in to a raffle and she won! We let her know that on Monday, a limo would pick her and Brunno up and take them to one of the most prestigious restaurants in Manhattan where they would enjoy a private dinner!  She was so beyond excited.

We rented out an exquisite private room at a well-known restaurant and decorated it with her favorite flowers, candles, and photos of the two of them.

When Diana walked in the room, she immediately knew this was a ruse and all created just for her.

Brunno didn’t drop to his knee, but he definitely proposed and she certainly said YES!!! After the proposal, a private chef came in to introduce himself and explain the custom meal he created just for them.  We are so honored to have been a part of this couple’s magical day.  If you want to plan the perfect marriage proposal, contact The Heart Bandits today.  We are known around the world for our high-end proposal planning style and we would love to work with you next.

Don’t put your stunning engagement ring in just any box.  Present your engagement ring with style by using a compact engagement ring box from www.ringstash.com

Proposal Planning: The Heart Bandits

Photography: Petronella Photography

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The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Engagement Ring

Diamonds are forever but only when well-kept. Otherwise, it’s just another stone. Your fiancé put a lot of thought, effort and hard-earned money into that symbol of love. Knowing what and what not to do when cleaning will allow you to love in return.

Do: Use a simple cleaning solution of warm water and soap.

Good thing for us this treasure made of precious metal and stone doesn’t need frequent high-end maintenance. It’s easily done in the comfort of home and can be done often to preserve its luster, which is required if you have an active lifestyle. Use a new, very soft toothbrush to brush it gently.  Avoid doing it in public areas, even simply taking it off. You could easily forget it or misplace it then lose it. Even if it’s covered by insurance, we know the ring is worth than what you paid for because it symbolizes love and hope for a shared future.

Don’t: Use harsh chemicals and commercial metal cleaners.

It might be tempting just to make sure it’s clean, particularly if you wear it everyday and go everywhere with it, but avoid these items. They’re harmful and they hasten the wear-and-tear of the ring, causing it to lose its shine. A few drops of soap mixed in water are enough to sanitize it while preserving the ring’s beauty.

Do: Dry your ring with soft, cotton, lint-free cloth.

Just like when brushing it with the toothbrush, rub it with care, especially the shank. The shank is the bottom portion where the finger sits and is usually the first area to break. Also be gentle around the setting or where the diamond sits to avoid accidentally removing it from its place. When cleaning, be sure to cover the drain.

Don’t: Use paper towels.

Paper towels can be abrasive and scratch the metal. The older your ring is, the gentler you should be with it. Take note if you’re using an antique or heirloom. After wiping your ring, don’t worry if it’s still not completely dry. Simply leave it for 15 to 30 minutes to get rid of any moisture left.

Do: Have it professionally cleaned once a year.

It should be deep-cleaned annually to keep it looking new like how regular maintenance keeps a car in satisfactory working condition longer. There are home ultrasonic machines sold in the market but if a ring’s metal has been weakened, likely the shank, or was crafted poorly, the vibrations of the machine could cause the stone to loosen. Bring to it to the professionals to have it properly assessed and treated. It’s usually a free service included in the lifetime guarantee. Even affordable diamond rings deserve the right care.

Don’t: Put it through unnecessary damage.

A diamond is the toughest stone in the world and only a diamond can scratch another. However, this precious jewel would quickly lose its clarity when exposed to damaging chemicals and other similar items. Its sparkle is what gives the stone its value. Also, the shine of the ring’s band and its setting adds to the beauty of the ring. Avoid scratching the metal on surfaces to maintain the engagement jewelry its appeal. Bottomline, take good care of your engagement ring.

Michele
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How to Take the Best Engagement Ring Selfie

You may be thinking about planning a romantic marriage proposal, but she may be dreaming about the moment she can post her engagement ring selfie on social media. If you’d like to do some pre-planning to make sure you capture the perfect selfie, try some of these tips!

Lighting

To take the perfect engagement ring selfie, the number one trick is natural lighting. For a warm, bright hue, it’s best to take the picture near a window or outside. The brighter, the better! Standing under artificial light or in a dimly lit room won’t bring out the natural sparkle in your ring—and we know you want to show off every detail!

The background of your photo will also make a difference. If you’re outdoorsy, make sure there are some trees or flowers in the background to add some color. For the artists, try taking a picture in front of a patterned throw pillow or abstract painting for an energetic vibe. With the perfect lighting and background, your followers won’t be able to stop themselves from zooming in.

Angle

Depending on the style of your engagement ring, you’ll want to highlight different characteristics in your selfie. You can highlight the setting of your ring by taking the picture at a slight angle. If you’re in love with the shape of your diamond, take an overhead shot.

And don’t forget about your nails! If you don’t have time to get a manicure, swipe on a neutral color for a simple, sophisticated look. You can also avoid capturing any awkward hairs or spots on your hand by tilting your camera slightly instead of taking the photo straight on.

Romance

Instead of taking a picture of only your hand, boost your selfie game by adding some timeless romance to the picture. Gently place your hand on your partner’s arm or lace your fingers loosely together, and let the diamond do its magic!

You can also get creative and add a message to your picture. If he proposed at the beach, try writing “we’re getting married!” in the sand and include it as the backdrop. If you got engaged in the woods, carve your initials in a tree and hold your hand in front of it. These are great ways to make your selfie original and authentic!

If you’re still planning your dream proposal, but you know she’s already daydreaming about her engagement ring selfie, get started with The Heart Bandits. We can take care of the details and make your proposal truly special.

To keep the ring hidden and protected, Ring Stash offers thin engagement ring boxes. Check them out!

Emily Barge
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Las Vegas Proposal for High School Sweethearts

This is one of my favorite Las Vegas marriage proposals of all time.  Andrew contacted The Heart Bandits because he was coming to visit Las Vegas from Canada and he wanted to plan the perfect proposal for his girlfriend Courtney.  Andrew and Courtney are high school sweethearts and so much of their journey took place in the halls of school near her locker… hence the theme for this marriage proposal.

They met in the 9th grade during Math class and he instantly knew she was special.  They shared their very first kiss in front of her school locker.  And one of Courtney’s most treasured memories of Andrew was when he left roses and a handwritten note inside her locker while he was away in Europe.  We knew that we had to incorporate a locker, a handwritten note, and roses into the proposal.  We just needed a gorgeous location to do it so we chose a stunning gazebo which boasted views of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris casino.

Andrew and Courtney “stumbled upon the gazebo” while walking along the strip and Courtney couldn’t believe what she saw!

A locker surrounded by rose petals with their name on it?  How did he arrange this from Canada?  She was just beside herself.  She opened the locker and got so emotional when she saw the roses and a handwritten letter from Andrew asking her that special question.

Courtney said yes!! We are so honored to have been a part of such a special moment.  If you want to get started planning your perfect marriage proposal, contact The Heart Bandits today.  We can take your proposal to a whole other level.

Don’t let your proposal get ruined by your partner spotting the big engagement ring box stuffed in your pocket.  Pick up a slim engagement ring box from www.ringstash.com!

Proposal Planning: The Heart Bandits

Photography: M Place Productions

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Should You Surprise Her With a Wedding?

I know–sounds crazy, right?

But there are plenty of men who have pulled off a surprise wedding (The Heart Bandits has actually helped plan a few of them!) A lot of times, men will consider proposing one day and surprising her with a wedding the next day. Although, if you’re feeling especially spontaneous, you can even consider planning a surprise wedding the same day as the proposal.

Ultimately, the decision to plan a surprise wedding isn’t an easy one. It’s important to fully understand your partner and her dreams for a wedding. So how do you know for sure if this is something you should pursue? Start with this checklist — and if you come to the conclusion that a surprise wedding is the best option, our friends at Pop the Knot specialize in quick, pop-up weddings that are truly stress-free!

Does she hate planning? If she frequently complains about planning and would rather be alone than coordinate plans with her friends, a surprise wedding could be an exciting and relieving experience for her! By taking care of the details and logistics for her, she’ll be able to enjoy the day without being overwhelmed.

Does she have a laid-back sense of style? While many women say they hate planning, deep down many of them still enjoy having control over their plans. Think about how your girlfriend reacts to various situations, including her style. Does she refuse to let anyone else make decisions about what she wears? Is she picky about how things look?

If you’re nodding your head to any of these statements, it sounds like she still pays attention to the details — in her own way. Deep down, she may dream of a wedding with certain colors and decorations even if she despises planning. Don’t take that away from her if you realize it’s important to her.  

Do you usually plan date nights? If you’re used to creating romantic moments and planning creative dates, planning a wedding might be a great option for you. Think back to every date night or getaway you’ve planned. Has she raved about your taste and how you knew exactly what would make her happy? If she’s confident in your charm, and you’re confident in how well you know her, a surprise wedding might be fun for both of you.

Is she the life of the party? Some women, especially introverts, need some mental preparation before their wedding. Since it typically involves talking to a large group of friends and family, the attention is on both of you. If your girlfriend is the life of the party and thrives in this kind of setting, she may be thrilled to find out you surprised her with a wedding. However, if large groups exhaust her and she tends to stand in the back of a crowd, a surprise wedding may be too much for her to process.

Has she joked about eloping? If she’s joked about eloping because she gets stressed at the thought of planning a wedding, a surprise wedding could be a breath of fresh air. Before you make your decision, though, think back to her reactions if you’ve ever planned a surprise party or hosted a gathering at your house. If she prefers for you to be in the driver’s seat for all of these events, coordinating a wedding might not be a big deal for her.

Whether you decide to plan a marriage proposal or a surprise wedding, The Heart Bandits has the experience and know-how to make your day romantic and personalized. Contact us today!

Emily Barge
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