“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
At least, that’s what the old school carols tell us. Unfortunately, as the global pandemic rages on, the holiday season is feeling a little less than magical for many of us this year. While staying home is the safest thing to do, it is assuredly making for a strange December. Catching up with old friends at a bar, traveling to see family, facing crowds of holiday shoppers, even embracing a loved one you haven’t seen in a long time – these are all things that millions of people will miss out on this year; and some of the things that typically make this time of year so special.
Still, though it may look a bit different this year, the center of all of these special holiday traditions is simple and can be summed up by one word – love. All of the baking, shopping, and gift-wrapping may be stressful enough to make your head spin – but at the end of the day, celebrating the holidays is about celebrating love of all sorts, and creating memories with the special people in your life.
Even if you’re spending the holidays “virtually” with family, if there is one thing that 2020 has shown us, it’s who we can rely on in our lives to get us through tough times. If that happens to be a significant other, it may have inspired you to take your relationship to the next level. Yup, we’re talking about engagement. In fact, the coming days take the cake as the absolute most popular days of the year to get engaged. While the holiday magic (and perhaps multiple watches of Love Actually) may have something to do with this, we attribute a lot of it to people being in high spirits and surrounded by loved ones, too (even if it is just on zoom this time).
When to Pop the Question
According to Wedding Wire, the number one most popular day of the year for proposals is – you guessed it – Christmas Day. After all, what kind of present could be better than a ring and a lifetime promise of love? You probably won’t be able to find anything that tops that underneath the Christmas tree waiting to be unwrapped. The second most popular day for popping the big question? The night before, of course! Yup, Christmas Eve is next on the list. This makes sense as a lot of families exchange gifts on December 24th instead of the following morning. Alternatively, some couples who don’t have obligations on Christmas Eve and prefer to make this big decision in a more private setting may find this evening better suited to their preferences while still being able to enjoy that holiday feeling.
Of course, these holidays are on the list because it’s natural for people to want to get engaged around times of celebrations. So, it’s only logical that the third most common day of the year to get married is New Year’s Day! While most couples ring in the coming year with a kiss, welcoming the year with a ring and a proposal is sure to make for a New Year’s that will never be forgotten. Technically, any engagements that take place after midnight are considered to be on New Years Day, which is why this day is so much higher up on the list than New Year’s Eve. Finally, the fourth most popular time to get engaged also lands within the holiday season. Interestingly enough, the Sunday before Christmas Eve (the date which, of course, differs every year) is a common day for proposals. A proposal on this day gives couples something exciting to announce on the holiday itself. Plus, the person asking can pop the big question and get all of the pre-proposal jitters out of the way, then actually relax and enjoy the holidays. Whatever way you look at (or should we say, whichever day you choose), there’s something special about professing your boundless love for a significant other during the holiday season.
Let’s Talk Bling
Now that we’ve delved into why the holidays are such a lovely time for, well, love – let’s take a look at one of the more materialistic but admittedly most exciting things about proposals – the bling, of course! At the end of the day, any engagement ring is meant to be a symbol of the everlasting love between partners – and that sentiment is beautiful in its own right, regardless of what the ring looks like. Especially as small businesses are struggling with the lack of accessibility to in-person shopping, many people are looking towards sourcing engagement rings sustainably from businesses other than the classic big box brands. One popular fine jeweler which focuses on fair pricing and sustainable supply chains is Mejuri. Additionally, many individuals planning to pop the question may turn to their local jewelry shops to source the perfect bling. But what will that bling look like?
Like we said, all rings are beautiful in their own way. At HelloPrenup, we value individuality and love hearing about some of the more unique engagement ring trends taking off. Actually, as millennials are opting for generally more ‘casual’ weddings, they are also veering off the beaten path of tradition. After all, as reported by the San Francisco Examiner, 6% of brides in 2018 opted for wedding dresses that were a color other than white. While 6% may not sound like much, this is a dramatic uptick from a blatant 0% in 2015. Along with this comes the demand for more unique engagement rings and gemstones. After all, the diamond industry certainly is not a sustainable one. With that being said, many millennials are opting for engagement rings with gemstones like morganite or sapphire from mom and pop shops.
If the bride is looking for something a bit more traditional, oval-shaped diamonds are reported to be especially in this year, and we may have celebrities like Hailey Beiber to thank for that. While thick bands were also trending for a while, the engagement ring market has lately seen a return to very thin bands, which really make the carat of the diamonds pop. Finally, even the individuals the least interested in fashion probably noticed that in the late 2010s, rose gold jewelry was all the rage. While rose gold is still a gorgeous metal, it seems that its sales trends are now on the decline as buyers make a return to the more traditional platinum silver and yellow gold. Be on the lookout for some of these trends as your social media feeds fill with holiday engagement photos.
A Gift That Lasts A Lifetime (Of A Marriage)
Okay, yes – the ring is important, and let’s admit it, super fun to show off. The most exciting part about an engagement though is of course getting to commit to someone you’re excited to spend the rest of your life with! To ensure the health of your relationship, one of the best gifts you can give to your prospective marriage is, in fact, a prenuptial agreement (prenup). Yup, you read that right. Okay, ensuring your marriage with a contract in the case of divorce may not sound like an especially romantic present, we get it. However, prenups are not just for the well-to-do and celebrities anymore. In fact, as Business Insider reports, more than half of lawyers polled in a survey saw an increase in prenups among millennials. Now, just to be clear- we do not suggest you wrap the prenup and put it under the tree. Even we think that’s taking it too far.
Still not convinced? A prenup, like any other contract, can be customized with clauses that specifically suit your own individual situation. This document is not just meant to protect the assets of one wealthier partner, but in certain circumstances can be of great benefit to the partner with fewer assets, too. You can look at a prenup as a life insurance policy for your marriage. Rather than leaving it up to the fate of your state’s divorce laws, which can often leave divorcees in financial ruin, a prenuptial agreement wll lay out exactly how your marriage would dissolve in a divorce. Not only does this relieve a lot of pressure during the who-owns-what-property conversation, but it can save you massive amounts of potential future financial and emotional stress as well.
We’re not saying that a prenup is necessarily the first thing you’ll want to bring up after getting engaged – especially if you get engaged on a holiday. You’ll have plenty of time to discuss this after the holiday. Nervous about having that talk? We’ve got you covered with our helpful blog on navigating that conversation. Plus, while a traditional prenup could run you close to $10k, HelloPrenup is transforming the prenup drafting and negotiation experience as the industry knows it. HelloPrenup allows you and your future spouse to draft your prenup completely online – no awkward legal negotiations involved. The software is designed with an emphasis on communication between couples, featuring an Issue Identification process as well as a Discussion & Issue Resolution step. You can learn more about how the full process works here.
Regardless of the day you get engaged, what sort of ring you choose, or how the big question is asked, the folks here at Hello Prenup wish you a holiday season full of love.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].