FAQ of the Rainbow

What are some dos and don’ts of popping the question? And how do you pop the question?

Of course there is no right or wrong way to do it. I probably have heard some of the wildest and most romantic stories of people popping the question to their loved one. I do believe it is a very sentimental moment, so be prepared. I don't mean just having a speech ready or what to say, but I have had so many girl couples tell me when the moment came, they thought they were prepared, but ended up saying nothing like what they expected.

I have usually found that the theme of the evening sets the mood for the proposal. One couple I know went for a walk on the beach and there on the sand one partner knelt on a knee. Another couple were traveling to Iceland and selected a specific mountain hike location, the proposal was inspired by the beauty of the moment. As in any proposal, I think the "question" is not just a "Will you marry me", it's more significantly a "Will you spend the rest of your life with me." The icing on that cake is that now "Marry me" takes on a sweeter flavor than before.  

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Do we have to get matching rings?

While this is the most asked question I get, I find that very few couples end up getting matching identical rings. I love to say each person in a couple is an individual with unique tastes. I believe you should express your individuality within your couplehood. So my opinion is no, a couple does not need to get identical rings.

However, I have found many ways to incorporate a person's uniqueness and still get rings that complement one another. I have made gorgeous solitaire rings for couples who got one in white gold and the other in rose gold. Or couples who choose one to wear a black diamond and one to wear a colorless. There are options to customizing who you are without entirely caving in to the matchy matchy.

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What is better gold or platinum?

Both gold and platinum are considered "fine metals" and are excellent for making jewelry. Which to buy is usually by preference, or by making educated decisions based on some facts. Platinum is desirable because it is a naturally white metal. During its lifetime, platinum will not change color or erode. Though it may sometimes appear cheaper than gold on global market price, it is important to understand that platinum is 65% heavier than gold and is used in a much purer form (95% platinum) when made into jewelry. It polishes well and maintains a nice luster. Oddly, it tends to scratch a bit quicker and may need more care over its lifetime.

Gold on the other hand is a softer metal requiring a combination of more alloys in order to toughen it up for jewelry making. Though it is lighter than platinum, in 14K gold there is only 58.5% gold used and 18K gold uses 75% gold. Since gold is yellow in nature, we need to add different color alloys to create the popular metal white gold or rose gold. While we may love the look of white gold, it is important to understand that gold can never be naturally a white metal, and therefore is coated typically with an alloy solution called rhodium (from the platinum family) to give it its white appeal. While this white coating fades with time, it can be reapplied and polished over years of care. Gold may have a variety of colors to choose from and a nice bright shiny polish. It is a very durable and strong metal once combined with other strengthening alloys.

Since platinum is heavier and a purer metal when creating fine jewelry, its cost is typically much greater than the same piece of jewelry made of gold. Both platinum and gold are very durable, polish very nicely and bright and can last for generations. The choice is a personal one on which to get.

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Do both partners need to wear diamonds?

While I am an advocate to getting engaged, and I do love my diamonds, I do not find it entirely necessary for both partners in a relationship to have to wear a diamond ring. I have had couples from all walks of life and all types come to me for their rings. Again I have to say there is no right or wrong answer here. I typically find that both partners in a couple want to wear something symbolic of their love to one another on their fingers. Interestingly enough I usually find that if one wants to wear a diamond, so does the other. But I have had couples where only one girl insisted on a nice big diamond, while her partner was happy to go with something less flashy or blingy. One of my favorite couples decided on one partner wearing a diamond solitaire, while the other got a stunning diamond pave band.

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Who proposes to whom?

This is a classic question. What people don't think about is that in the past, each person in a couple had a set role: man meets woman, man and woman fall in love, man proposes to woman, woman wears diamond engagement ring, man and woman get gold bands at wedding and live happily ever after.

Today's dynamic has changed, with two women or two men, no "one" person has a defined role for being the proposer or proposee. I find two types of couples leading to a proposal: Couple A has the "romantic", where one wants to surprise her loved one with a ring and proposal as is written in the storybooks. There is no set rule which one in the couple will be the romantic. I have been surprised many times by being approached by the more timid one in a couple who has wanted to be the one to ask her love for her hand in marriage.

Couple B are more calculated and thought out. I see more of these couples than the romantic, not to say they are not romantic about it. Couples who sit down and discuss the opportunity of getting married and what it entails. This couple wants to get engaged and go looking for rings together. The fascinating thing I find here is that both will discuss freely with me the rings they want for themselves, yet they end up making the purchase of their loved ones ring independently of their partner, in order to surprise them with a proposal.

In the case of Couple B, I have actually had many couples where one proposed, very romantically, very joyous and tearfully. And while the second partner says yes, they still want to do a surprise proposal (at another time of course), and chose a different setting to propose. There is something very powerful in each of the couple being able to ask the question: "Will you Marry Me" and having the satisfaction of hearing: "YES!"

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Do you get down on one knee? Do you do a flash mob proposal? And what would be the perfect song for that?

As in any proposal, I believe there can be as many types of proposals as there are couples. Don't limit yourself, but be true to who you are and your partner. Most proposals are done in private and in a romantic setting. I have heard of getting down on one knee to propose, though most do not. I have had much more couples be in a romantic environment then the moment came, such as: walks on the beach, during a cruise, the middle of a meadow, even one that flew 2000 miles to wait on a bench outside his partners classroom.

One of my favorite flash mob proposals is on YouTube during Christmas at a mall somewhere, and dancing and singing to Bruno Mars "I Think I Want to Marry You", one partner proposed to the other and the crowd cheered! That's fun! And I am sure with a lot of planning and support from friends, can be a wonderful way to propose.   

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Do you ask the parents first?

Obviously a personalized question. It would be very respectful and fun, if you are in a loving and supportive family where the parents are just as part of your relationship with your loved one as any other relationship. Then sure, asking or at least telling the parents first is a noble jesture.

Though I must admit, many couples I have known do not have the luxury of parental support. Keep in mind this will change over the course of years too. Today's couples are a bit older in age, or at least their parents are from an older, slightly more critical generation of marriage between same sex couples. As the years move on, and we see the next generation of youth growing up and wanting to get married, their parents will be more adapt to the norm of having same sex marriages being a non-issue. I expect we will see more parental approaches in future, but I don't feel it is a necessity today.

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Should it be an intimate proposal or a grand gesture with possibly a singing band and confetti blown everywhere?

I think this question, similar to getting down on one knee or having a flash mob, is as personal as the couple. Some couples are very private and prefer an intimate, romantic dinner to be the moment of their proposal. I find that to be very traditional and very acceptable.

For those who are a bit more partier and want to make a splash, I say go for it!! Anywhere from messages on billboards, to those beach planes dragging a sign behind them!!

I will say there is nothing wrong with a huge engagement party for after the proposal to get the journey started with family and friends!!

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What Anniversary do we celebrate?

I know we are all excited about the word "marriage" at the moment, and I briefly spoke about that wonderful right of passage - "the engagement", but one special day we should not forget about is the new concept of "anniversary". In the years I have met and befriended lesbian and gay couples, I have heard of people celebrating their anniversary as: the day they met, the date of their first date, the date they first kissed (or more), the day they exchanged commitment rings, the day they moved in together and so on. The sad thing is that typically, a lesbian or gay couple never tell me their anniversary is on the day they got married. NOTE that is about to change.

Though I think it is very sweet to remember, and even celebrate, our first date (I know I do, even 20 years later), I do believe we are headed towards a time when we will celebrate the day of our "wedding" or "marriage" as our official anniversary. It is the day we celebrated our commitment to one another with the exchange of vows, sometimes in front of friends and family, other times simply in city hall by receiving a marriage license!!

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