For a limited time, save 20% on men's and women's wedding bands now through October 26th. Use code: GETITFor a limited time, save 20% on men's and women's wedding bands now through October 26th. Use code: GETIT

EngagedYour Way

Love is evolving, traditions are changing and relationships are...well, relationships are whatever we need them to be. Many couples today are tossing out "the rules" and doing their own things. And we're all for it. 

At Helzberg, we believe there are no rules to engagement. Couples deserve to celebrate their love in any way that's true to them.

So what are couples up to today? Which traditions are surviving and which are evolving? In order to better serve our customers, we wanted to know. So, we did a study. We surveyed American Millennials about proposals, engagements, weddings and more. And we're sharing what we found out with you.

Scroll down to see what the landscape of love looks like today.

Modern Love(and life) isChallengingTradition

More than half of Millennials we surveyed find engagement and wedding traditions limiting. Hiding rings in desserts or getting engaged on Valentine's Day are less common and elopements are on the rise. Women are proposing to men. The presence of religion is fading. Permission? Not required.

64% of millennial men
52% of millennial women

Believe Engagement and Wedding Traditions are Outdated

70%approve of women proposing to men

56%prefer someone other than a religious figure to officiate

46%believe asking dad's permission is outdated

"First comes love, then comes marriage" isn't necessarily true for today's Millennials. It's more like first comes love, then comes the career, then comes cohabitating, and then comes marriage. (But a dog will probably come first).

50% of college
graduatesvs. 43% of non-college
graduates want to start their career before getting engaged

90%of Millennials who hope to get married are working on "feeling like an adult"
(starting a career, living together, establishing a savings account) before making a lifelong commitment.

Although Millennials are putting marriage off longer and some are rejecting the institution altogether, the majority still hope to be married someday.

23% never want to get married

  • Fear of divorce is the number one reason millennials aren't interested in marriage
  • 20% fear they'll never love someone enough to get married

Eloping is the NewWhiteWedding

What used to be a couple running away to a secret (and perhaps scandalous) ceremony now generally means a small, destination wedding. Almost all American Millennials consider eloping for their wedding ceremony.

91% of those who hope to get married someday would consider eloping

Planning a wedding for two extended families at the perfect venue with plated dinners, a towering cake, open bar and a DJ who won't ignite an organized group dance can be expensive and hard. About half of couples today would rather save their money and their sanity.

59% would elope to save money 46% would elope to avoid the hassle of planning a wedding

Planning a wedding for two extended families at the perfect venue with plated dinners, a towering cake, open bar and a DJ who won't ignite an organized group dance can be expensive and hard. About half of couples today would rather save their money and their sanity.

Event current married couples would elope if given the chance

80% LGBTQ+ married couples vs. 56% non-LGBTQ+ married couples

would elope if they could do it again

Proposals are more personal

Millennials don't want to fit into conventions. While some embrace traditional public proposals or popping the question on Christmas or Valentine's Day, the majority prefer creating more meaningful moments outside the public eye.

50%

Half of Millennials say private proposals are a trend they've seen in the last two years

Nearly 3 in 5 Millennials say it's more important to share their engagement with friends and family in person than it is to share it online.

We're still not talking about the ring

Traditions may be evolving, but people still place a ton of value on the engagement ring. However, like so many previous generations, Millennials still don't really know how to talk about what they want. This lack of communication could be the start of a cultural shift around ring shopping.

a solitare engagement ringa solitare engagement ring

Only 2 in 5 engaged or married Millennials had a direct conversation with their partner about their ring preferences

Only 2 in 5 engaged or married Millennials had a direct conversation with thier partner about their ring preferences

It may be why 42% of respondents also know someone who has returned the engagement ring after the proposal to get what they wanted.

42%

25%Or why 25% say people should skip the surprise and just help their partner pick out their ring

Seriously, though. We should probably be talking about the ring.
A proposal is one of the most important moments in life. But, it can also be one of the hardest. Our past research found that most men said the hardest part of the proposal was picking out the ring while half of women said it was letting him know what style she wanted. There's clearly some more room for communication here. So, what's holding us back?

The hardest part of the proposal?

63%of men said it was picking out the ring

50%of women said it was letting him know what style she wants

A lot of people would rather get what they want than be surprised. That same study showed us that nearly half of the couples we surveyed wanted to pick out the ring together. So, we created a way to do just that.

The Will You? Ring isn't the ring, it's a ring that allows you to pop the question without the pressure of the perfect ring. Then, you get to shop for the ring together to find the right one for both of you.

Learn more about how it works

Pop the question without the pressure of the perfect ring. Then, shop for the ring together to find the right one for both of you.

Couples are splitting the cost

While spending three month's salary on a ring used to be the rule of thumb, today couples are broadening their thinking and finding solutions. With the rising costs of rent, student loans, streaming services and growing number of female breadwinners, splitting the ring's cost has become more common.

Nearly half of Millennials agree that partners should split the cost of the engagement ring

20%

Hispanic Americans and LGBTQ+ Millennials are 20% more likely to agree that it's ok to split the cost of the engagement ring.

More than half of our respondents said they don't believe you need to spend three-month's salary on a ring

What are people wearing?

Whether or not you're going to make the ring a surprise or split the cost, choosing the perfect one can be a daunting task. We get it. To help you get a better idea of what's out there, here's a quick breakdown of today's ring trends.

Pear and Marquise

Fancy cuts for when you're feeling fancy.

Three-Stone Rings

A celebration of your past, present, and future. (Plus, a royal signature.)

Rose Gold

A warm tone we can't get enough of.

Solitare

Many people opt for this classic.

Halo

A design feature that brings the impact.

Vintage

Consistently a favorite.

Lab-Grown

64% of millennials would consider buying a lab-grown diamond. Would you?

Lab-grown diamonds are becoming more commonplace. The opportunity to get a bigger diamond for their money- millennials are about it.

natural diamonds

For many, a natural diamond still symbolizes strength and longevity. Formed beneath the earth’s surface billions of years ago, it is rare and unique just like your love.

Gemstones

Gemstones are on the rise.

They still want you to put a ring on it, but Millennials are saying it doesn't have to be a diamond. A certain duchess restarted the sapphire trend a few years ago, but morganite and moissanite are also on the rise.

So there you have it.

While millennials haven't thrown all marriage traditions out the window, they're definitely doing what's right for them, rather than what's expected.

Today there are no rules to engagement. Which is great. The pressure's off. So elope to that remote volcano. Propose spontaneously in bed with morning breath. Or go ahead and have your big white wedding. Do what's true to you.

To learn more about this study, download our full results and breakdowns.