Proposing Without a Ring? A Guide to Alternative Engagement Ideas

"Buying an engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you'll ever make, so finding the perfect ring in the right size can cause a lot of anxiety. If you want to propose without the pressure, a temporary engagement ring could be the perfect solution."

What is a Temporary Engagement Ring?

A temporary or token engagement ring is any ring that is used to propose that will later be replaced with another. I am increasingly visited by couples who have become engaged but are yet to buy their real engagement ring, with the most popular reasons for shopping together being a fear of choosing the wrong size or style.

If you buy a fancy engagement ring that turns out to be the wrong size, it isn't always possible to resize it - the gemstone can become displaced or the setting can become damaged by the strain of reworking the band. All of my engagement rings that can be resized include this information on the product page, making it easy to make the right choice first time.

I offer a FREE ring resizing service for most of my engagement rings, so if you're confident with the style - it's easy to have your ring adjusted in the event it's up to three sizes too big or small. You can find out more about my resizing service here. If you're a little worried about choosing a ring you know your partner will love, read on!

21st century fiancees and fiances are much more likely to wear alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement rings. Some of my most popular rings feature fair trade sapphires in a variety of colours, and are often purchased with tweaks to my original design. When couples choose to buy an engagement ring together, not only do they ensure that it's made to fit, the person who will ultimately wear the ring can choose the design features, metals and diamond or gem that best matches their taste.

How to Choose a Temporary Engagement Ring

Choosing a temporary engagement ring can be cheap, cheerful and a bit of fun. It doesn't matter if your partner doesn't like it or it's the wrong size, allowing you to focus on making the proposal special with less anxiety.

There are no rules when it comes to choosing a temporary ring to propose with, you're free to be creative with your choices. If you like the idea of buying a replaceable proposal ring, try one of these ideas...

Mock Engagement Rings

When Poundland famously launched their budget £1 engagement rings, it sparked a huge online debate; Why would anyone be so cheap as to buy these 'tacky trinkets'?

Poundland replied that their 'Bling Rings' are designed to be a 'beautiful placeholder' presented in a traditional style. Not everyone is keen on the designs but you have to admit that they're quite nicely presented in their velvet heart-shaped boxes and for £1, make a highly affordable alternative to other temporary rings.

Edible Engagement Rings

Homer Simpson hilariously proposed to Marge using an onion ring, to which she said yes! (Although she asked if she could take it off soon after as it was burning her skin).

In 2012 a story circulated about a man from Ayshire who proposed spontaneously using a Haribo ring while on holiday with a partner. He'd actually already bought an engagement ring, but was so carried away by the romance during a visit to a possible wedding location that he proposed there and then.

Cocktail & Dress Rings

If you like the idea of having a temporary engagement ring but you want it to be a little more special, buying a dress or cocktail ring is the perfect option. Most people own a ring or two, giving you the perfect guidance for a size that fits. It might not be the perfect size for a ring finger, but that's actually not a bad thing given that it will be substituted by the real engagement ring. A cocktail or dress ring will remain special in its own right and when it's sized for a different finger, it can be worn even when an engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring are stacked on a ring finger.

Featured ring: Diamond Stacking Ring in 18ct gold

Propose Without a Ring

Although it's considered traditional to propose with some kind of ring, it doesn't mean you have to. A ring isn't what makes a proposal special, it's the thought and emotion behind the words 'will you marry me?' that makes your partner's heart skip a beat.

Some of the most memorable proposals documented online are ringless, with celebrities including Emily Ratajkowski and Sonam Kapoor becoming engaged without being gifted a ring during their proposals.

A great alternative is to buy a special ring box and to present it with a note that says you'll shop for the real ring together. Make your note heartfelt and sentimental and it'll be every bit as treasured as the real ring is.

Buying your Engagement Ring

Ready to buy your real engagement ring? Lilia Nash Engagement Rings can be resized up to three sizes smaller or larger, so as long as you're close to the correct ring size - it doesn't have to be perfect first time! Find out more about our FREE ring resizing service here.

Take a look at the Lilia Nash guide to buying an engagement ring. Lilia offers bespoke engagement ring design services as well as a beautiful range of made to order and ready to wear engagement rings that are lovingly handmade using ethical and fair trade metals, diamonds and gemstones.

Resizing and Payment Plans

We know that buying a ring as a gift can be difficult, especially if you're not sure of the exact size. Most Lilia Nash rings can be adjusted up to 3 sizes larger or smaller, so that you can gift your ring with confidence.

When it comes to paying for your ring, we offer interest-free payment options so you can split the cost of designing your ring. Just let us know when you contact us if you'd like to arrange a payment plan, your ring will be dispatched to you once the final payment is made.

Find out more about choosing the ring size and other engagement ring purchasing advice below.

They Said Yes! Get 10% off Wedding Rings

Many congratulations on your engagement! And thank you choosing a Lilia Nash engagement ring. Send us your proposal pics and receive a voucher for 10% off your wedding rings. Terms apply.

  • Good quality photos only please
  • Only the purchaser of the engagement ring can apply for the discount
  • The voucher is non-transferrable (if transferred an invoice for the 10% shortfall will be issued or order cancelled)
  • The voucher can only be used once, and only for wedding rings
  • The voucher only be used on made to size or in stock wedding rings from our main collection, not bespoke orders
  • By sending us your photos, you are agreeing to allow us to use the images on all our social media channels and website
  • We will confirm receipt of the photo/s and will supply the discount code via email

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Handmade with Love in Cornwall

Lilia Nash is an independent jewellery designer-maker based in Cornwall. We specialise in the creation of one-of-a-kind engagement rings, custom wedding rings and fine jewellery pieces using recycled metals and ethical gems - perfect for gifting or treating yourself!

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