Breaking Down The Latest Engagement Trends

Maybe diamonds aren’t forever.

by Isabella Biedenharn
JLco Julia Amaral/Shutterstock

Today’s couples aren’t interested in paint-by-numbers proposals and engagements, according to a new OnePoll survey conducted on behalf of Minted. While some traditions remain — like asking for a parent’s blessing, getting down on one knee, and succumbing to the romance of the holiday season — others are being tossed aside in favor of more personalized, unique touches. Those include non-traditional rings and intimate, surprise proposals. Overall, people seem to want their proposals to make them feel like one in a million — just the way you do when you finally find your person.

Ahead, we’re taking a look at the latest trends for couples ready to commit.

Diamonds Are Optional

66% of OnePoll’s respondents (500 Gen Zers, 500 Millennials, 500 Gen Xers, and 500 Boomers — all either engaged, married, or in serious relationships) are interested in giving or receiving an engagement ring that doesn’t feature a diamond. And among the younger gens selectively, that number jumps to 74%.

So what are people looking at instead? Metal (40%), emeralds (37%), and sapphires (36%) are all popular options. And while surprises are still “in” for the proposal itself (more on that in a bit), almost three in five respondents would rather be part of the ring selection process. (If you’re going to wear it, it’s better if you like it!)

Tattoos Are On The Rise

Beyoncé and Jay-Z were onto something (funny how that works) when they got “IV” tattooed on their ring fingers. One in five Millennials — more than any other generation — say they’d be open to making their commitment even more permanent with a tattoo ring.

An Intimate Surprise Is the Move

Despite what the past few decades of rom coms might have you believe, most people aren’t longing for flashy, public proposals. In fact, 49% would rather get engaged in private. So unless your beloved is one of the 17% of people who does want a spectacle, you might want to leave the flash mob back in 2008.

Overall, put the heart first: 41% of people are more focused on what is said during the proposal, with only 25% responding that the ring is the most important part. And a clear majority (56%) of OnePoll’s respondents would rather be surprised by the proposal — only 13% want to know it’s coming.

Parents Still Count

Not every tradition is getting a refresh: It’s still important to 34% of people that their parents are asked for permission, and 51% want the proposer to get down on one knee.

And don’t forget to tell your loved ones the news before posting it on Insta: 24% of people think their friends would be offended if they first learned of an engagement through social media.

Holiday Timing Reigns Supreme

If Lifetime Christmas movies are right about one thing, it’s that people still love a holiday proposal: 52% of OnePoll’s respondents say they’d like to get engaged during the holidays, with 46% preferring Christmas Day and 46% opting for New Year’s Eve.

The reasons may be obvious, but that doesn’t make them any less potent: 54% are inspired by the season’s romance; 49% want to make the holidays extra special; and a clever 45% love that friends and family will already be together to celebrate.