Engagement Ring Etiquette for May December Relationships

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Fashionable for centuries and socially acceptable currently, the number of May/December couples is increasing. Today’s trending “cougar” mentality means that either the male OR female half of these couples may be either the May or the December component. In any event, traditions once embraced by youth (becoming engaged, wedding showers, nuptuals) seem out of sync with these couples. Among those areas of change is the engagement ring tradition.

Traditionally, the groom asks the bride’s father for his permission, followed by the presentation of the engagement diamond while on bended knee. Aside from the squirm-inducing, youthful, virginal implications, the bended knee portion could be prohibitive depending on how “December” the December person is. Today, most of the couples with this age span make these choices as a team. The ring is shopped for and decided upon together.

Another shake-up in the wedding ring tradition is who wears the ring and what form it takes. The idea of the solitare-type engagement ring prior to the nuptuals may seem too contrived with a May/December union, especially if there were prior marriages. Many couples tend to eschew the wedding ring “set” for the bride, and simply purchase a beautiful set of matching bands. These may or may not match, and may not be of the plain smooth variety. Often times the matching rings are quite ornate and sport beautiful diamonds or other gems.

At the core of engagement ring etiquette for the May/December couple, as with any couple, is the feeling that these rings will evoke for years to come. To this couple, these rings may signify memories shared or perhaps simply their shared love and hope for the future.

About the Author: Jules Lawrence Profile Picture
thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
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