What should I do about her finger?
November 27, 2010 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Can I propose with no ring (snowflakes inside)?

I want to marry this lady. I know she wants to marry me. The only problem is, I'm just at the beginning of getting back on my feet after a bruising year and a half of unemployment. Financing jewelry is simply not an option. I don't want to wait very long either, though. We have only been together about a year. But we're in our 30s, comfortable with each other and both convinced that we won't learn anything a year from now that will change how we feel now. We both want kids and it's just easier for a million social and family reasons to get married first.

And, she's said, specifically, words to this effect: "Don't get all bent out of shape about some ring."

Wild card: A sibling of hers is holding on to much of their late mother's jewelry. Said sibling recently took me aside and said, "We have rings! Don't worry about it!"

What do I do? Seems like a bad idea to let her sister pick out one of mom's rings for her. Seems like a drag that I would have to tell the sister my plans so she can help me get it done.

Part of this is surely related to the fact that I would like to buy her a traditional engagement ring to demonstrate that I am, in fact, "back on my feet." But unless we wait a year for me to save the money -- and neither of us want to wait -- that just ain't gonna happen.

So, people, the dots are there. Can you help me connect them?

posted by anonymous to Human Relations (55 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Make her a ring out of foil and then talk this over with her once she says yes.
posted by youcancallmeal at 10:05 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

You don't have to tell the sister anything. She obviously knows what you're planning on doing. Get one of the rings and pick it out yourself from the set.

When you give it to your lady talk it over with her. The foil idea is cute, but you might be a bit old for that.

Also, don't forget about pawn shops.
posted by theichibun at 10:07 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't think getting the sister's help is a bad thing, assuming they get along. Using one of her mother's rings could mean a lot to her (Has she mentioned this jewelry? Is it possible she asked her sister to suggest it to you?). Alternatively, you could think about resetting some of the stones from the old jewelry in a new setting to make it more 'your own' (it's best to ask if this is ok in case of sentimental value).
posted by ghost dance beat at 10:08 AM on November 27, 2010 [5 favorites]

Why not make a very big gesture for a proposal that is not getting her a ring? Something that would take effort and time but not necessarily money that you don't have.

Then you can let her pick out her ring -- whether that's getting a piece of her mother's jewelry now or waiting for you to save up and buy something later or even nothing.

I know it sounds all super romantic to propose with ring in hand, but unless you know very precisely what she would want, I think it avoids a lot of minefields, namely what if she doesn't like it and couldn't bear to tell you?
posted by unannihilated at 10:08 AM on November 27, 2010

Letting her sister pick out Mom's ring sounds like a really nice idea to me, actually - assuming the sisters get along well, obviously. There's a nice connection to family there. Her sister may actually have a better sense of her style than you do (obv. use your own judgement of that). You could even have a family ring professionally cleaned for cheap or resized for less cheap (I don't know exactly how much)

But if you really feel you need a new ring, to symbolize a new start or whathaveyou, a cheap (but sturdy!) ring that you really think she'll love (you can get lots of nice silver jewelry for <>
If you two love each other and she's told you not to worry about the ring, then don't worry about the ring!
posted by maryr at 10:10 AM on November 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

A ring only matters if it matters to her, and it sound like it doesn't. Find some sort of token - a simple silver ring, necklace, whatever - and use that as your token. The ring can come later.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:11 AM on November 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

On reread, nthing working with the sister to pick out an heirloom ring. It'll mean so much more.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:12 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ugh, I should have previewed. That was supposed to say less than $30 and that you can always promise to get a "real" ring later when you're more financially secure.

And as a girl, I can tell you I'd much rather have an inexpensive ring I loved than a sparkly diamond. Well, not that I wouldn't also love a sparkly diamond, but you get the idea. ^_^
posted by maryr at 10:12 AM on November 27, 2010

My husband proposed without an engagement ring for similar reasons, and I was fine with it. No disappointment. We picked out wedding rings together and that is all I need.

Congratulations on your pending engagement!
posted by Agatha at 10:12 AM on November 27, 2010

Also, this depends on the personality of your lady, and maybe I'm just vain and greedy, but I think I might be a bit disappointed by getting a piece of my own family's jewelry as an engagement ring. I think I'd be like, hey, I was probably going to get that jewelry anyway* so you just basically reused it.

*may not be the case in your situation if the family is large
posted by unannihilated at 10:13 AM on November 27, 2010

I would get a cheap (less than $10) ring to propose with, because I like the idea of being proposed to with a ring. But, I would prefer to pick out my own ring anyway, so it would be better to get a placeholder ring than the real thing.

After she accepts, you can talk to her about what kind of ring she wants - whether she wants one of her mother's rings, or to wait a year and have you buy her a new ring.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:14 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

My husband proposed without a ring. We were committed long-term (looking for a house to buy) and he was financially stable (see: looking for a house to buy). The proposal itself was a bit spur-of-the-moment. We picked out a non-traditional engagement ring together. We've been married for ten years and I still wear the engagement ring (a claddagh with a London blue topaz) as my wedding ring.

I also know a long-term couple who got married in traffic court for insurance reasons. They did without fancy rings for more than a decade until they found rings they liked.

The (expensive) ring at the moment is nice but not necessary.
posted by immlass at 10:16 AM on November 27, 2010

In my opinion this depends on the woman. However from everything you say here, it seems like she's not the type to be concerned with that sort of thing. And, y'know, she did say so herself.

I'm not even sure you need a "token" - a lot of couples I know decided the specifics of the ring together.

Seems like a drag that I would have to tell the sister my plans so she can help me get it done.

A lot of my friends have cute stories about this sort of thing. Everyone thinks it's adorable and romantic. I wouldn't worry about this.

(Also, FWIW, I don't wear jewelry, don't get the big fuss about diamonds in general, and NEVER want an engagement ring. So there's some anecdata for you.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:16 AM on November 27, 2010

My dad wasn't able to get my mom an engagement ring until...maybe ten-ish years after they were married? They've now been married for close to fifty years. It sounds like your lady understands this kind of thing.

Provided that the relationship between the sisters is a warm one, working with the sister to pick out something from their mother's jewelry sounds like a lovely idea. If, later, you want to give her something on your own, it can always be an anniversary gift. Or just a surprise!

All of which is to say that you'll be fine without buying a ring. Congratulations!
posted by corey flood at 10:18 AM on November 27, 2010

I got married with no engagement ring (I just didn't want one and it was a very short engagement). I think the heirloom ring is a good idea, especially since it sounds like you will be looking to start a family soon, which can be expensive.
posted by smalls at 10:24 AM on November 27, 2010

I agree with youcancallmeal. It may be that heirloom jewelry is awesome, and instead of spending your money on a ring, you can save up part of a nestegg for the future without filtering it through the jewelry industry.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:26 AM on November 27, 2010

She wants to marry you and knows your situation. Her sister already knows your plans (more or less). I would either talk with your to-be wife and ask what she wants or talk with her sister, pick out a ring, and pop the question. Go and get married already! You can always buy your wife jewelry down the line.
posted by J. Wilson at 10:27 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd hate to be proposed to with a ring. If I'm going to wear something every day for the rest of my life, I want to choose it. Which is really just saying that people are different and you really, really don't need a ring to propose if your girlfriend would prefer a ring-less proposal to no proposal.
posted by plonkee at 10:29 AM on November 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

There are lots of beautiful, very inexpensive rings on Etsy, if you do want to get her something specifically from you when you propose (eg). Turtle Love Committee also has lots of gorgeous engagement rings that aren't diamonds and aren't super-expensive. It doesn't have to be a ring either -- it could be a necklace, earrings, bracelet, book, whatever would be special and meaningful for you guys, if you just want a token to give her when you propose. I think the mom's jewelry is also great, lovely and sentimental. Finally, you could also get her a proper "engagement" ring (if you and she both want her to have one at that point) for your 5th anniversary or for some special occasion when you get the money together. There are lots and lots of options for you to choose that won't make you put off proposing for very long just because of money. Congrats and all the best!
posted by pised at 10:44 AM on November 27, 2010

I asked Mrs. Lurgi to marry me without a ring. Not because I couldn't afford one, but because she has very particular tastes and I wanted her to have a ring that she actually liked instead of a ring that I thought she'd probably like. We didn't do the engagement ring/wedding band thing either. Because we didn't want to, that's why.

I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of you "proving that you are back on your feet" by blowing money on something that is, let's be totally honest, not necessary. That doesn't mean that you should do the heirloom thing, it just means that you should do something that will make you happy and the future Mrs. Anonymous happy and not worry so much about what other people will or won't think and what it does or does not symbolize.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:52 AM on November 27, 2010 [5 favorites]

My husband proposed with no ring, and later we went together to pick one out. I don't know why more people don't do this. If there is a selection of meaningful heirloom rings, let HER choose the one she wants to wear.
posted by galadriel at 10:53 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I proposed to wifey without a ring. My (our?) proposal was more about the occasion and the place. She acquiesced, and as far as I can tell divorce isn't looming, three years hence.
posted by The Potate at 10:56 AM on November 27, 2010

You already know the most important facts - you two want to get married and she is not obsessing over a ring. I think you should take her at her word.

Propose in a romantic way, telling her how much she means to you and how important it is to spend the rest of your life with her (including flowers or some other romantic gesture would be fine), and that will be the memory she treasures, not whether there is a shiny ring involved. Once you are engaged, then discuss what she wants for a ring - to use a family ring that she picks out with her sister, or to save up and wait for a new one of her choice that the two of you pick together.

My sister used my mother's engagement ring. I only use one ring (no engagement ring), that I, my husband, and my parents went and picked out together. My husband used my grandfather's wedding band (we offered that or a new one, and he liked the old one.) Friends of ours got engaged and then went together and picked out a vintage engagement ring that she liked. There are many ways to get engaged. Take your cue from your girlfriend.

Also, a point to note, I like my ring quite a bit, but could live without it. I love my husband and he is the one I treasure.
posted by gudrun at 11:00 AM on November 27, 2010

I second proposing with a cheap Etsy ring - you can get a sterling silver and white topaz ring for well under $50.

1, 2, 3

Make it clear that this is a placeholder ring until you both find the right one. I think she'll be secretly glad she has the opportunity to pick out her ring herself.

posted by ohsnapdragon at 11:00 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I agree with pretty much everything said here -- using the mother's ring really, really depends on the girl and her family. The fact that the sister offered made it seem OK, but it's really hard to say. On the other hand, if this really does have sentimental value to her, using one of the mom's rings as the wedding ring.

As long as you explain it, I also think that a cheap-ish (but unique!) ring would be completely OK, especially given that she understands your financial situation, and the two of you seem very serious about starting a family.

Also, I fully expect to see a MeTa about this telling us how it went!

N.B. Don't listen to me. I know nothing about these things.
posted by schmod at 11:07 AM on November 27, 2010

All systems are go, buddy! It's nice, not a drag, to make this a family affair by getting sister involved. Congrats!
posted by yarly at 11:08 AM on November 27, 2010

You can propose without a ring. People have been doing that longer than we've given rings.

You could offer an origami ring.

Then put it in a jar and try to add to it daily. She will have a ring this way , especially if you give up, way, coffee or soda for this.
posted by plinth at 11:09 AM on November 27, 2010

It seems to me that this is more about your desire to show that you're "back on your feet" and less about her desire for a ring, which it sounds like she doesn't really care about one way or the other. In these circumstances I'd wonder about the financial wisdom of blowing a bunch of cash on a purely symbolic item. Is there another way you can show her that you're ready and able for a long-term commitment? Some kind of investment in ... I dunno ... real estate, stocks, bonds, something that will retain value more than sentimental jewelry?

Personally, I find rings annoying - they catch on gloves and I have to take them off every time I wash my hands, which is a lot of hassle. We've been married for 18 years and never had wedding rings, and I definitely did not want an engagement ring. (So the woman has to wear a sign saying "Sorry, taken" but the man can still appear free to play the field? No thanks.) Maybe your sweetie feels the same way.

It sounds like you communicate well, so ask her what she'd prefer. She may not appreciate symbolic gestures, she may like the idea of getting Mom's ring, she may want to pick out the ring together - it's hard to guess and I think she'd be touched by the idea that you're putting her front and center in this process, rather than making this gesture be all about you. (Congratulations about getting back on your feet - that's a really big thing and I don't mean to sound dismissive about it, but a good way to show sincere commitment is to think about the other persons desires more than your own.) And best wishes for your engagement too!
posted by Quietgal at 11:10 AM on November 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

You guys want to get married. She's not worried about a ring. Right now you should be planning a really nice way/nice place to pop the question proper. Putting time an thought into that moment is free, and the moment priceless.

My mother has lovely rings, and I would wear them every day. If my husband to be proposed using one of them, the time and place for asking would have to be very "us", very typical him, to make it ours.
posted by dabitch at 11:11 AM on November 27, 2010

anonymous: Can I propose with no ring (snowflakes inside)?

Totally. My husband proposed to me with no ring. We're annoyingly happily married!

Wild card: A sibling of hers is holding on to much of their late mother's jewelry. Said sibling recently took me aside and said, "We have rings! Don't worry about it!" What do I do? Seems like a bad idea to let her sister pick out one of mom's rings for her. Seems like a drag that I would have to tell the sister my plans so she can help me get it done.

It isn't actually a bad idea to have your future sister-in-law pick out a ring for your future wife from the family stash - it's a nice idea. And honestly, if there are family rings going, there is very little upside to buying a new one. There are many, many good reasons to go with a ring from the late mother, among them that it will probably mean a lot to your FW and that it's a nice way to blend generations in families. But I understand about not wanting your FSIL to know you're proposing before your partner does - that makes total sense.

Part of this is surely related to the fact that I would like to buy her a traditional engagement ring to demonstrate that I am, in fact, "back on my feet."

OK so my suggestion for connecting the dots is as follows:

1) Propose to your girlfriend. You don't need a ring. You just need the "will you marry me?" part.
2) Suggest that the two of you use one of her mother's rings, whenever you two discuss it.
3) Suggest that the stone(s) from that ring be reset prior to your marriage, and that you will pay for that.

This is more or less what we did. We got engaged, I had a family ring, we had it reset in a new setting with some sidestones, my husband paid for it.

Upsides: I got exactly what I wanted because I picked the setting. I got a kick-ass ring for about 1/20th of the cost of buying new. We paid for our whole wedding with that money!
posted by DarlingBri at 11:13 AM on November 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

We got engaged without a ring and it worked out wonderfully. I did have a smaller diamond given to me long ago by a favorite great-aunt and eventually we had it reset into an engagement ring. His parents never wore wedding rings so I'm actually fortunate to have already owned a diamond (I don't think it really occurred to my husband that we "needed" one). In fact, I have a sister who went without an engagement ring and is perfectly happy with her plain gold band.
posted by moru71 at 11:19 AM on November 27, 2010

I was once proposed to without a ring, and I was pretty bummed, although I think I was bummed because it was super-casual (so much so I had to ask, "Hey, was that a proposal?)*. I like the idea of an inexpensive ring (really, you can get some pretty ones for less then $20) and a cheap-but-romantic/meaningful setting. As long as it's a little special and shows you thought about it a little bit, you should be golden.

Real romance done right is pretty cheap and very effective.

*surprise, surprise, we didn't end up getting married
posted by smirkette at 11:31 AM on November 27, 2010

does she actually wear any jewelry right now? if so you could consider buying her something small just for right now - a plain silver band or get something handmade and craftsy off of etsy. if not I say propose without the ring and then let her work with her sister to pick out something appropriate from her mother's things.
posted by oneear at 11:34 AM on November 27, 2010

My husband proposed with his grandmother's ring and then we got the stone reset... It seemed like a fairly inexpensive option and the ring means more to me because it's a family stone. Plus I got what I wanted as a setting. You might want to check out www.bluenile.com for settings.
posted by bananafish at 11:35 AM on November 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

My line was, "I know I'm supposed to have a ring, but will you marry me?" She said yes.

It helped that we were standing on top of a glacier during a vacation. She wouldn't let me return to the States without first stopping at a mall jeweler in Kamloops. Saved a bunch on the exchange rate and refundable taxes. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:48 AM on November 27, 2010

Mr Storm proposed with a note saying "IOU one ring" and it wasn't a problem at all. In fact, it was what I preferred*. I was so touched that he knew me well enough to know that, and that he ignored all that hot air about OMG PERFECT DIAMOND OMG. (Oh yeah, and the fact that he proposed in the first place, which was totally out of the blue.)

Take her at her word and please don't worry about the ring. The very best of luck to both of you!

*I've always said I would prefer to design my own and I didn't want a diamond.
posted by psychostorm at 11:57 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Propose first. Then you can discuss the ring matter. Lots of couples pick out the ring together, and honestly it sounds to me like she and her sibling have already discussed things behind your back. ;-)

Go do it! And report back here!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:11 PM on November 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think an heirloom ring would be charming. Or no ring. Or a plastic spider ring.

(And you can always propose first and THEN talk to the sister together, if you want to.)

My grandparents were married 35 years (I think) before my grandfather finally bought her an "engagement" ring for their anniversary ... there was a war on when they got engaged! And then there were houses and cars and kids and college educations ... she never cared, but he always felt like he wanted to do it. So he eventually did it, 35 years later; his adult daughters helped him pick the ring out. It was sweet. But it never mattered a bit that she didn't have an engagement ring.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:26 PM on November 27, 2010

And, she's said, specifically, words to this effect: "Don't get all bent out of shape about some ring."

Then listen to her, not us. Seriously.

And do that throughout your marriage. Listen to her and what she wants, not what magazines and TV shows say she "should" want.

Mazel tov!
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:52 PM on November 27, 2010 [7 favorites]

You've got plenty of anecdotes here but to add a couple of more in the not every woman wants a fancy ring pile, here's a couple that didn't even want a ring:

A woman at work who was very traditional could never understand that her sister-in-law didn't want an engagement ring. The SIL, being a practical type and not big on jewelery, insisted that they put the money toward a used car. It jokingly became their engagement car.

Another good friend didn't want a ring either. She wanted her husband to spend the money on something that she'd always wanted and that she'd always use. They got a kitchen aid mixer instead.

I also know of two financially secure academics who sealed their love with inexpensive mood rings at their wedding.

I think that it's very sweet that you want to make this special for her and understand the sentiment and the added symbolic gesture of showing her that you're back --or in the process of getting back-- on your feet. But you've got someone who obviously loves you and has stood by you through some tough times and you have the support of her sibling who obviously is so stoked to have you join the family that she's offered a touching suggestion about the rings. So cheap ring, heirloom ring, no ring...you have so much more. Don't make it about the ring.
posted by kaybdc at 1:01 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't see any problem with coordinating with the sister to get a ring that's already in the family, unless there's some interpersonal issue you aren't telling us about. If my husband hadn't already had a ring he could use from his own relatives, he would have gotten one from my mother, and that would've been just fine. I'm actually really glad to have an inherited ring, as opposed to his spending a lot of money on a new one.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:08 PM on November 27, 2010

Do something special. A bouquet of flowers, a walk in the woods with a picnic waiting, candlelight and a bottle of something sparkly. Tell her how much you love her, and that you hope she feels the same way, that you don't want to wait get married because you want to be with her. Tell her why you love her and want to marry her. The ring is so unimportant in comparison.

The Wedding Industrial Complex wants you to you have to spend 6 months pay on a ring. You do not have to have a ring at all.
posted by theora55 at 1:15 PM on November 27, 2010

honestly it sounds to me like she and her sibling have already discussed things behind your back.

I concur - I have had these sorts of conversations with my sister (sending her links to websites with rings I like and that sort of thing) so she would know how to advise a boy on the subject, plus dropped hints around my boyfriends over the years that the proper thing to do if one wants to pick a ring that a girl might like is to ask her sister. I figure that will probably cover it, should the situation arise. You might want to have a chat with the sister and find out from her if there is a specific heirloom ring your lady has had an eye on since childhood - it's entirely possible - or if she thinks you'd be best off letting your fiancee choose one for herself post-proposal (which I think would be fine either without a ring at all or with a cheap placeholder ring).
posted by naoko at 1:18 PM on November 27, 2010

I don't think rings are important. I think it is a good thing that her sister is supportive.
posted by ovvl at 1:28 PM on November 27, 2010

My husband proposed without a ring. A few months later a family friend gave me one of their heirlooms to wear as my engagement ring and we bought simple bands for our wedding rings. I told my future husband he could buy me my dream ring for our 10 year anniversary.

I got 10 years of window shopping and daydreaming about what I wanted, and he got 10 years to save up. (Lucky for him my perfect ring happened to be a lovely opal ring that I found on sale a few months before our anniversary.)

My sister got a diamond band as an engagement ring and her husband gave her a solitaire as her wedding ring, so they just did things in reverse.

There are lots of stories about people using stand-in rings to do the asking for lots of different reasons. If I were you I'd take a ring from future sister-in-law and do the asking. After Girlfriend says yes you can discuss getting another ring. She'll probably be thrilled with the heirloom and won't even want a different ring, but at least you're giving her the option.
posted by TooFewShoes at 1:45 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

honestly it sounds to me like she and her sibling have already discussed things behind your back.

Seriously. Sister didn't pull you aside without knowing that your girlfriend thought you needed her help. Go forth, sir, get a family ring, and jewel that woman!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:08 PM on November 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

I like the idea of having some kind of ring on hand, just for tradition's sake. Maybe a sterling band with a token stone in it -- one of the etsy links above had a white topaz spotted band. She will have a physical momento of the engagement, and she might want to wear it with her wedding rings later, or pass it on to possible future daughter . . .
posted by MeiraV at 2:31 PM on November 27, 2010

You don't need a ring to propose. Worry about the ring later. Go propose. Go!
posted by JohnFredra at 2:54 PM on November 27, 2010

What about an alternative type of ring? I personally love the look of uncut diamonds, and I secretly hope that when Mr. Cardanthian gets around to it, he pops the question with one. This one, for example, is beautiful and only $69 dollars. The etsy seller artifactum makes a lot of beautiful rough diamond jewelry, and there are lots of different types of engagement rings on etsy overall, as others have said. In general, don't worry about it. My dad got my mom an engagement camera rather than fretting over a blood diamond, and they've been married 30 years. The rock is not the important part.

Good luck!
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 3:12 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Mr Corpse proposed without a ring. Twelve years of marriage so far, and I've never pined for a diamond.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:31 PM on November 27, 2010

My husband proposed with a glass of wine (two, but he only handed me one). Later, he took me to an arcade, won an insane amount of tickets and let me pick out the mood ring of my dreams.

Seriously, it's love, not a financial contract (or it shouldn't be). Ask her to marry you if you love her, want to spend the rest of your life with her and believe she feels the same. Give her something -- a poem, a picture, a locket, an IOU, whatever -- that helps signify that you love her and thought of her so she has a token of the moment.

Good luck.
posted by Gucky at 6:29 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Are you crafty at all? Go forth and take some length of 20 or 22 gauge wire and wrap it around itself in a double or triple helix in a ring shape about the size of her finger. Make sure the two ends end up in the same spot on the outside of the ring. Then hammer, solder and sand it to solid smoothness.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:11 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

My husband didn't have a ring, because he didn't know he was going to propose. We'd been dating only two months, you see. It just burst out of him. I had to ask him if he was serious. We were both far too poor to consider buying a diamond.

It'll be 13 years this April we've been married. We did pick out plain gold bands, but after five years, got tired of wearing them...we're not really jewelry people. So we don't.

For us, it doesn't matter in the slightest.
posted by emjaybee at 8:47 PM on November 27, 2010

I think you should look at the rings the future sister-in-law has and pick one. Speaking as someone who is ridiculously sentimental, and who's mother passed away before I married, it would mean a lot to me to be proposed to with one of her rings. I agree with others here who think the sister was already consulted (unless, of course, they have a tense or distant relationship, so take your knowledge of their relationship into consideration). Just make sure to say after the proposal that you don't mind at all if she chooses a different ring of her mom's, or if she'd rather have something else altogether (a plain band, or whatever). Best of luck!
posted by JenMarie at 12:35 AM on November 28, 2010

I agree that foil idea is cute but you are a bit too old for that.
How about let her pick her mother's ring for now, as soon as you are financially able, buy her one to replace the temporary one?
posted by easilyconfused at 7:50 AM on November 28, 2010

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