When a man proposes to a woman, typically, there are a number of guidelines he is keeping in mind: getting down on one knee, popping the question itself (the words “will you marry me?”), and presenting his beloved with an engagement ring. Of course, there are many exceptions to this rule – all couples are different – but even with all of the new trends and fads, this structure still seems to hold up with heterosexual pairs. What is not traditionally included in this outline is a ring for the gentleman.
Very recently, the concept of men’s engagement rings has begun to come up in popular culture. Celebrity couple Anna Camp and Skylar Astin got engaged over the winter holidays this year when Skylar presented Anna with a gorgeous ring. Two weeks after their official announcement, Skylar posted a picture to his social media pages of his own band that Anna had gifted him. He noted that “it always felt odd […] that men didn’t get engagement rings,” and that he was glad his fiancée agreed. Though they surely have not been the first duo to do this, their sentiment carried some weight with the community. Why don’t men wear engagement rings?
The real answer to that question is, perhaps, the reason that engagement rings even exist in the first place; unfortunately, as with most older wedding traditions, this practice was put in place to establish a man’s ownership over the woman he intended to marry. It was a way to tell the world that this woman was “off the market.” Though that notion has died out in modern times, couples still partake in the ritual without giving much thought to its roots. For most brides today, their ring is a lovely piece of jewelry that symbolizes their love and commitment to their sweetheart. So, why shouldn’t contemporary grooms have the same experience?
Most men don wedding bands during their vows: there really isn’t much difference. As stated before, of course, every couple is different – whether or not a woman proposes to a man with a band, whether she gifts it to him after he pops the question with a ring for her, and the decision to purchase an additional wedding band for the ceremony are very much subjective choices. In any case, the concept of men being able to wear engagement rings might be a small way to equalize the wedding process, where the woman is often seen as the more involved partner.
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Photo by Willa Kveta Photography