11 years ago by

So here’s quite a difference…

The engagement ring.

World, it’s time you know this… We frenchies are really too nice.

No seriously!!! We’ll marry you, yep, just like that, without any big deal. All you have to do is ask us nicely and bam, a few months later, you’re married. Well, I guess we have to love you like crazy too. What I’m getting at is that for us, the ring is not extra important.

Especially when you compare it to the colossal importance it has for New Yorkers.

You’ll realize it some when you watch American rom-coms. They all revolve around marriage. Just look! Bridesmaids, Sex & the City, Bachelorette, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Holiday… Engagements, marriage, all that, it’s not a joking matter. It’s one of the most important things in people’s lives here. The whole ceremony and everything is taken super seriously. You’ll never hear someone say in New York, as you’d hear in France:

“Oh, are we getting married? I dunno. We’ll see…”

Even the most rebellious get married. Even Marilyn Manson gets married.

And even more so, New Yorkers get engaged. The engagement ring…. Oh my Gawd. I wouldn’t want to be a man in this situation. The engagement ring is an object at the center of quite a bit of hysteria.

Because to give someone a ring you have to have:

-The place (yes, because unless everything is super planned out, it means you’re not really in love.)
-There’s how you ask (I’m getting that whether or not you fall on one knee isn’t really an option.)
-And of course there’s what kind of ring you get (I’m getting that it’s not only the thought that counts…)

At first, since I was my usual very annoyingly judgmental self-respecting Frenchie, I thought it was all silly. Such pressure and such a lack of romance!!! And such anguish! So many ways to ruin everything!!! It’s not about love, it’s about commercialism – and then everyone compares the size of their diamonds. Barf… Pfff. Etc.

But in the end, I think it’s all sort of touching. I realized that yeah, there’s a cultural different here, but it is definitely, deeply about romance.

It’s romance the American way. Without an affected modesty. It’s cinematic, over flowing, bigger than life. I spoke with a few guys who told me that the ring is super important to them, pressure and all. They wanted it just as bad as the women. And my American girlfriends wouldn’t want anybody to take away the dream of unique and infinite love.

What do you all think? How do you get engaged in your corner of the world? Are you waiting with held breath for someone to propose to you? Or could you care less?

Or, are you like me, and you’re changing from one to another?

Okay, for all of you judgmental Frenchies like me, here’s a message an American friend of mine – female powaaaaa – gave me to tell you: If you like it then you’d better put a ring on it! Said differently, if your man loves you, he better prove it!!! Yeeeeeeah, powaaaah!

Disclaimer #1 : The angel in the photo up top is an actress named Gaia Weiss. This photo was taken in Cannes when she was trying on a Chopard ring… It has nothing to do with her personal life.
Disclaimer #2 : Nooooo! Don’t you even start hypothesizing about my personal life!!! This post has nothing to do with my personal life.
Disclaimer #3 : What do you mean “I have no personal life” ? Okay… I hear you. I’ll keep you updated ;-)

Oh my GAWD look at that video Joya posted in the comments. Not to put any pressure on you guys ;)


Add yours
  • Comme toi je suis partagee sur la pratique de la bague de fiancaille. La francaise en moi me dit que c’est vraiment trop ‘cringy’, mais la romantique londonienne tres influencee par la pop culture anglo-saxonne en reve, ce cette bague de fiancaille parfaite offerte par mon fiance parfait a l’endroit parfait…. Ah les contradictions!

    Elisa – Wandering Minds fashion

  • c’est marrant ce post tombe à pic ! je viens tout juste de me fiancer et j’ai l’impression que la mode américaine arrive peu à peu chez nous ! mon amoureux m’a offert un sublime solitaire Cartier (mais sans mettre le genoux à terre) et toutes mes copines se sont quant même empressées pour voir THE ring ! finalement, je crois que ça a de l’importance pour les frenchie aussi :-)

  • My now-husband proposed with a beautiful ring, which I guess most American girls would think has a diamond too small to even look at, but I love it! It’s perfect! It’s me! And he did go down on one knee, was super nervous, and wasn’t able to say anything more than ‘will you marry me?’. Afterwards he told me that he had wanted to include the words ‘dear E’ but he forgot… :). How sweet is that… I am very happily married!

  • Je fête mes 4 ans de mariage aujourd’hui ! Ca ne pouvait pas mieux tomber ce post !

    Pour nos fiancailles, on s’est arrangé pour faire du romantisme sans gnan-gnan ! J’avais “pour rire” dessiner la bague de fiancailles de mes rêves. Je ne m’en souvenais plus d’ailleurs, mais lui avait gardé ce morceau de papier. Il l’a amené chez un joaillier qui lui a donc fait une bague pour moi ! Après la demande en elle-même, comme on était jeune (j’avais 19 ans !!!) ca a été relax… Un matin il m’a dit “au fait si on se fiançait? “, j’ai dit ok et genre 6 mois plus tard on s’est fiancé ! On a attendu 4 ans avant de se marier (il a dû refaire une demande plus formelle cette fois-ci) et tadaaaaaaaaaa 4 ans plus tard ca roule toujours !! ^^

  • Sooo Garance…? ;)
    No really, I’m here with you.
    A more casual and spontaneous approach seems to be the most romantic one to me.
    But I do love to indulge in these overblown American momenst on the telly, like Say Yes To the Dress for example, really superficial television. It’s quite histerical, haha!

  • Michaela July, 11 2013, 7:52

    Hahaha…yes this is funny. I have been watching a few episodes of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ as well. And it is hysterical. Some brides are bringing such a big entourage, no wonder it all ends in drama!!! It was very simple for me: I was by myself, browsing thru a flea market type expo for I don’t remember what, when all of a sudden it found me: there it was hanging on display; a beautiful little cream colored lace dress, with short sleeves and a scoop neckline!!! I saw it and I knew!! Just checked the size tag in it, tried it on, and yes it was just perfect!!!! No biggie….: ) It surprised me myself. Because as a little girl I was always fascinated by the bride dresses displayed in store windows, dreamily looking at them when I passed by. But when my turn came, I just didn’t see myself in a big fairy tale wedding dress. (Fyi, I am German, but got married in California.)

  • In Belgium it’s all about the wedding, it has to be big, which makes it boring and very unpersonal. The idea of a classic wedding here in Belgium is awful. No fun, no personal things, no elegant stuff. It’s like we’re all farmers again. Mine will be different, I swear. If I ever get married… I should cause it lowers your taxes and stuff. Talking about commercialism…

    The White Studio

  • We got engaged in a most simple and old-school manner – flowers, dinner, then ring. :)

  • Ca tombe bien, un de mes passes temps favoris est d’aller voir su youtube toutes les demandes en mariage originales. Ca fait pleurer. Et Beyoncé peut rien y faire.

    Pour ce beau post, je t’envoye ma préférée haha :) (Comme quoi Burno Mars ne semble pas êtr eune option non plus)!

    Très belle journée!
    – Lionel

  • Moi, j’ai eu un enfant avec l’homme que j’aime et c’est la plus belle preuve d’amour qui soit… Le mariage pour moi reste très superficiel, je préfère être “prisonnière sur parole” comme disait Brassens, ça demande d’être attentif et aimant à chaque instant… C’est ma façon de voir le romantisme, rien que de très français, en somme !

  • C’est une drôle de coïncidence que je sois en train d’écouter Single Ladies deux minutes afin de lire ce post.

    C’est vrai que nous avons deux façons plutôt différentes de concevoir ce sujet.

    Cette demande en mariage par exemple serait inimaginable de notre côté de l’Atlantique.

  • Oh, you’re right!!!! Here in Sicily we used to organize engagement parties but now it’s not trendy anymore….but we organize really big and great weddings, we book even 2 years before the great day in order to have the best gowns and the best restaurant/venues! Yes, I’m not joking….my cousin organized her wedding 2 years before! We want everything to be perfect and amazing! Crazy??? Maybe a little bit, but I loooove so much this habit! It’s the best day of our life…isn’t it? :)

  • I think whatever feels natural, whatever is special to the two of you, should be the most important thing! So if that’s a giant ring, that’s nice :) but if not, that’s nice too.
    My husband proposed to me without a ring, spontaneously, when we were hiking through the cloud forests in Mexico. He didn’t get down on one knee, he just held me tight and it felt right, and when he did it I knew I wanted to say yes but ‘yes’ seemed such a simple answer for ‘yes of COURSE I want to marry you and make a life with you and go through life’s ups and downs with you and be with you forever.’ But that’s really what you’re asking when you ask someone to marry you :P

  • Bon, ben moi mon mari m’a demandé en mariage avec une bague de fiancaille.

    De part chez moi, pour ceux qui se marient, la bague de fiancaille est un signe d’engagement et généralement coïncide avec la demande en mariage.

    Maintenant, moi j’ai reçu une petite bague, toute mimi avec un petit diamant ( chaque fois que mon mari m’en parle, elle gagne en valeur “tu ne te rends pas compte, cette bague c’était un mois de salaire”… aujourd’hui “tu ne te rends pas compte, cette bague a couté plus que la voiture”… lol) – et bien que je suis contente d’avoir reçu une bague, c’est plus le geste et la façon de me demander en mariage qui m’a touchée. Je n’irai jamais vérifier si ma bague est un 1 carat ou une 10000 carats, mais le fait de penser qu’il est allé chez le bijoutier, qu’il m’a invité au resto et que nous sommes allés nous promener..alors que moi je n’avais rien vu venir et qu’il a préparé tout cela seul dans son coin.. alors ça, ça me touche!!!!


  • I’m American and for me it was so NOT about the ring. The ring was an afterthought. In fact, I never had a separate engagement ring.

    Don’t believe everything you see on TV…or at least don’t be tempted to think it’s the norm.

  • Even in italy the ring is not so important. Even if “diamonds are girl’s best friend” :-)



  • Joya : wow!!! Vraiment hallucinant et genial

  • j’aime le post: c’est vrai que l’europe paye moins d’importance au cote economique du mariage :)

  • Excellent subject! Being french, like you i didn’t think it was that important, the ring , the crazy marriage budget. So i got married with a $50 dollar ring on my rooftop in brooklyn.
    10 years later, I regret not having been more demanding! Because I was so laid back and just happy to marry the love of my life , I let it slide, and slide and slide.
    So much so that he completely takes me for granted! The super cool french wife, not so cool afterall, would like to be valued ! And yes an engagement ring says :”you are worth it”!!!

  • Given the fact that I’m French, I totally agree with you. But I have to recognize that it wouldn’t be depleasant to propose with an awesome ring.

  • This is funny. I am the kind of girl who doesn’t care at all about the ring.
    I’m Portuguese, got married to an Italian last year and he gave me a lovely ring made of plastic just as a symbol. He didn’t fall on his knee to propose, but he did it in Portuguese and in front of my parents (we’d already talked “lightly” about the topic, though). The funny thing was that my parents didn’t understand what he was saying at first and kept asking me “What is he saying?” :) But it was lovely.

    In this kind of things I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong way. One should go with the option that pleases the couple the most. In our case, neither of us cared much about the ring. We’d rather spend the money in our honeymoon. xx

  • My husband proposed while we were jumping out of a plane. Obviously it is to loud to talk, so he revealed a t shirt with a big red heart printed on it, in the heart two rings and a question mark. He tried to give me flowers in freefall, but since I was so perplex, we missed each other and he had to give me the flowers after we landed with our parachutes. It was very romantic and after this most special jump we celebrated with our friends, it was such a beautiful day and we are still in love 10 years later! I even got an engagement ring, even though it’s not very common in Switzerland. My engagement ring is not the typical one, it looks more like a marriage ring, the engraving says: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”, a very romantic phrase I think.

  • Si le mariage etait guarantie de bonheur ca me tenterait mais j’ai pu constater tres jeune que ce n’est pas le cas et n’etant ni croyante et n’aimant pas l’idee de devoir faire valider ma relation par l’etat, quand mon copain m’a demande si je voulais me marier je lui ai dit qu’il valait mieux decider chaque matin librement d’etre ensemble pour moi c’est plus romantique. Du coup il m’a offert une bague unique par une creatrice de Hatton gardens et je la porte a un autre doigt :on est assez grands pour creer nos regles du jeux…tant que cela nous convient a tous les 2.

  • Chez moi on se fiance… à notre sauce.
    Mais c’est moi qui ai demandé la main de monsieur (dans le métro, hein, on ne rigole pas).
    Et je voulais une bague toute mini mini parce c’est mon alliance qui me faisait rêver (l’Amour, l’Amitié, la Fidélité à mon doigt), et pas de diamant, plutôt un joli point rouge sang sur mon doigt (une mini-oui toute mignonne avec un rubis).
    Elle n’a plus jamais quitté mon doigt, petite beauté gracieuse et légère qui est tellement discrète qu’elle fait partie de moi.
    Ce que je n’aime pas dans le romantisme à l’américaine c’est son manque d’imagination. A chaque couple d’inventer sa demande en mariage et ses fiançailles, c’est ça le romantisme qui me fait rêver et avancer.

  • J’aime beaucoup ce que dit ‘nomade’! C’est vrai, avoir un enfant avec l’homme est la meilleure preuve d’amour!

    In Singapore, the younger generation, more exposed to commercialism and materialism, tend to secretly wish for an overblown proposal like in New York. The older generation, that of my parents’, had a more pragmatic approach. My parents were having their meal in a normal restaurant like any other day, when my dad asked my mum, “Let’s register for an apartment soon.” (In Singapore, a couple has to be legally married to own an apartment.) My mum rolled her eyes a little, died a little inside out of happiness, and said okay.

    I laughed when my mum told me the story!

    What’s common for both generations though is the conservative view that marriage is necessary for two people in love. It’s a goal that many work towards. I’m definitely in the differing minority though, as I personally think that marriage should be near the end of two lovers’ lives – a celebration of their love!


  • I want to have a diamond ring one day. Big one to wear on my index finger as I boss people around with my finger. That would be divine.

  • This is a nice post comparing two different cultures. Here in the Philippines we don’t really care about engagement -including engagement ring- what we do hear, a man (with or most often without a ring) ask a woman to marry him, if she said yes he must set a day to meet the woman’s parents with his parents (we call it, “namamanhikan”) with food or other gifts like bitching his wealth to the woman’s parents to prove that he could support their daughter. When the parents approved that’s when they set the date of the marriage and start planning.

  • C’est un post vraiment intéressant et bon à savoir.
    La seule chose qui me vienne à l’esprit là : c’est ce vieux film (maintenant) 4 mariages et 1 enterrement avec la scène où le couple échange leur bague et manque de bol le garçon d’honneur du marié a oublié “the ring” et on voit en gros plan une bague plastique très moche et la tête de la mariée ensuite. Je n’ai aucune expérience en la matière mais après avoir t’avoir lu, il me semble que les françaises prennent ça assez à la légère genre : “oh noooon mon chérie, je taime et c’est ce qui compte alors la bague tu sais on peut aussi bien aller chez tatie”. J’exagère….un peu.

  • I never had a long term relationship so thinking about engagement is way far off but I would go with the Frenchies, for sure!

  • Oh I understand you!
    I’m portuguese, just like in France we say we will before the I do just for the sake of love, no diamonds involved.
    My boyfriend is irish, we live in Ireland and all my friends here are in the “marry(ing)” age. Sounds like cats fighting to me all this engagement ring yada-yada, they take it so seriously!
    The tradition in Portugal (the way it was explained to me – it’s not that much in use nowadays) is that if the guy wants to marry you he asks you permission to speak to your father about it and then he asks the father permission to marry you.
    In this little chat, the father will make sure that the guy’s intentions are good, that he has a good job/salary to give to his daughter the life she’s used to (all the cute-nice-OMG things a girl MUST have) and what are the guy’s plans for the future (where are they going to live, what are his expectations for their children and so on…). Scary huh?
    If the father agrees, the couple have his blessing. Then it’s up to the guy’s family to pick a piece of jewelry (usually a ring) that belonged to the family and offer that piece to the girl. The simbolism in this is that she is being welcome in the family as someone of the family. That piece of jewelry is supposed to be kept in the family and later be given to the couple’s children or grandchildren.
    After the blessings and permissions, the couple buy the wedding rings. Yes, wedding rings. Not engagement ring. They both shall wear it on their right hand for the duration of the engagement. Afterall, they’re both engaged. Before the wedding they are supposed to polish the rings and engrave them and those will be the rings they will get married with.
    I love jewelry, some of the engagement rings I’ve seen are gorgeous. I would love to have one. Now when I think of the amount of money I would carry around my finger… I always think of the number of guests/flowers/wedding dress that ring would cost.

    Great post! Love your blog.

    P.S. – When I met my boyfriend that Beyoncé song was playing ;-)

  • Plus j’y pense (plus je vieilli en fait), plus je me dis que je ne voudrais JAMAIS dépenser autant d’argent (pcq oui, si je me marie je veux avoir LE mariage, celui dont les gens parleront encore et encore pendant des années) pour une seule journée…

    Donc, la bague je dis oui (on ne dis pas non à un bijou après tout), tout le tralala autours de la demande et de la soirée c’est no way! Je préfère de loin faire qqchose de très intime, avec mes proches, dans le grand jardin de ma famille.

    Et puis si mon mec me regarde dans les yeux et me demande de l’épouser alors qu’on est au supermarché genre carrefour, cmt refuser?? :-)

  • I felt so bad for those poor men under all the pressure to buy an amazing ring – when usually they know NOTHING about jewellery, let alone diamonds – and suddenly have to spend thousands of pounds on one…SO…I set up a business as an Engagement Ring Finder!! Here’s my site if anyone wants to take a look:

    I have secret phonecalls, emails, meetings and even shopping trips sometimes! It’s really great. I love my job. The men wanting to find something unique and original are so much cooler than the lazy ones who end up in Tiffany…

    Anyway, just thought I’d share as the post made me laugh! Maybe I should set up a branch in NYC!

    Kate x

    P.s. I used to call myself an Engagement Ring Hunter until I realised that made me sound like I desperately wanted to get engaged…not so cool…

  • My boyfriend of 8 years, took me to New York in February 2010. He organised the flights, hotel and time off work for me and even then I didn’t suspect he was going to propose.

    He wrapped the ring in a Tesco carrier bag to hide it from me!

    This bag was carried around with him for 5 days setting off numerous shop security systems, until we stopped at The Odeon bar in Tribeca mid afternoon for a cheeky cocktail. Joe downed his and promptly ordered another one, which I thought was weird, he seemed nervous.

    There was no one else sat at the bar and it was a snowy, freezing afternoon. He fumbled around in his bag and pulled out a Dior ring box and whispered “I wonder if you might like to marry me?” and then revealed the Dior Oui ring. I didn’t even realise I was crying. The ring was one I had noticed years ago in Vogue which I showed him a picture of. He remembered, and that was what makes my ring to special to me. He remembered after all those years.

  • Michaela July, 11 2013, 8:04

    Awww!!! I love the end of your comment!!! That is the best way/ the best ring! He remembered!!!!!

  • Je suis entièrement d’accord sur le constat !

    D’abord les françaises ne sont pas suffisamment exigeantes et les français sont quant à eux égoïstes.

    Quand je raconte à mes amis, connaissances, les efforts financiers et d’organisation que j’ai fait pour demander ma femme en mariage, personne ne comprend. “Pourquoi mettre au d’argent dans une bague, ça n’a aucun sens?” “Pourquoi se prendre la tête, c’est juste pour officialiser” “Je ne vais pas me ridiculiser en en faisant autant” “Tu te rends compte de tout ce que tu aurais pu t’offrir avec ça?” et j’en passe …

    Au final ces gars là achètent des bagues bas de gamme et moches, font leur demande à la pizzeria du coin, à l’occasion d’un anniversaire, pendant un plateau télé à la maison (tout est véridique) . Et le pire dans tout ça c’est que leurs fiancés acceptent !!!!!!!

    Je précise tout de suite que ces personnes ne manquent pas d’argent, ce n’est pas la question.

    Je donne l’exemple des mariages à Hong Kong que je connais bien. Le mari doit non seulement casser la tirelire sur la bague mais doit aussi faire de gros cadeaux (bijoux, appartements) à la belle famille, doit payer la réception et j’en passe, sinon impossible pour lui d’avoir un Oui ! A coté les américains c’est rien.

    Bref moi je m’en fiche car je suis marié et je pense avoir assuré ;) mais pour les suivants, franchement mesdemoiselles exigez bien plus comme les américaines ou les chinoises. C’est la moindre des choses !

  • C’est curieux, après tout ce temps à Paris je ne savais pas que les françaises n’avaient pas de bague de fiançailles. Je dois être singulièrement inattentive. Mais ma mère est française de souche et féministe de surcroît (“Pourquoi l’homme ne porte pas de bague de fiançailles? C’est moins important pour lui?”) et je ne voulais pas de bague par tradition familiale. Mon futur mari était tellement soulagé quand je le lui ai dit! Il n’avait pas un sou à l’époque.

    Pourtant notre fille parisienne m’a interdit de raconter cette histoire auprès de son bien-aimé qui finissait par ramasser trois mois de salaire pour lui demander la main avec un joli trophée diamants-et-or.

  • Je trouve les mariages classiques très très “boring”. Je suis hallucinée par l’ampleur du wedding business aux Usa (non seulement la bague, les fiançailles, le blog du mariage, les photos de fiançailles etc…). Je conçois que ça puisse être du romantisme exacerbé mais, franchement, passer minimum un an à préparer et stresser pour un évènement qui a 1 chance sur 2 de finir par un divorce, c’est le contraire du romantisme à mon avis. Celà dit je suis mariée depuis 20 ans et heureuse de l’être. Mariage intime (une cinquantaine d’invités-copains, famille proche), organisé en 2 mois, pas de fiancailles, pas de bague (mais j’ai eu des bijoux en cadeau par la suite) et un souvenir très tendre.

  • cela fait quinze ans que je vis avec Monsieur, nous avons trois enfants, une maison et sans être mariés ! Et puis, la quarantaine approchant, on s’est décidé à se marier, on a annoncé la nouvelle à nos parents. Et là, paf, la bague de fiançailles m’est tombée dessus, sans préavis (j’ai, depuis neuf ans, un solitaire ancien fêtant la naissance de mon aîné et mes trente ans). C’est Jolie-Maman qui la gardait pour la femme de son fils aîné : un diamant énorme, monture contestable, héritage familial, bref, j’ai dû louer un coffre !!! Donc, l’important, c’est surtout le motif pour lequel cette bague se pose sur mon doigt et les fiançailles, bof. Je garde mon tout petit solitaire.

  • Et bien moi je rêve de me marier mais mon homme ne veut pas…

    Mais si un jour, il pouvait déjà me donner une bague de fiancailles, même sans demande de mariage, je serais déjà tréééés heureuse, venant de son non romantisme, ca serait une belle preuve d’amour

  • And the same in London ! How craaazy !

    Us – little Frenchies, are way too romantic… All the talks around me is about how? and where? And how big!! We – Frenchies, would talk about a “romantic” moment, they talk about a “romantic” object…

    That being said, I am not ready to get one, but if the moment would come, I would expect a beautiful one! AND THE SIZE DOESN’T MATTER!! True story!

    Bisous from London

  • Je n”y avait jamais réellement penser mais en y réfléchissant oui je l’avoue j’aimerais moi aussi avoir le droit à mon comte de fée. Aussi Kitch et ringard que ça puisse être ça me plairait bien. J’ai adoré la vidéo de demande de fiançailles, tellement romantique.

  • I’m italian, i’m 26 and i stay with my boyfriend for 9 (!!) years. i live in a small town and here, everybody at my age are married, they’re building (!! again) a house, thinking of children. they do all this just because they HAVE TO. they take it so seriously but in a very antique way and they spend sooooo much money for it.
    engagement ring by the way is not so important, some of the girls even didn’t receive any. me? i love my boy, i live with him for 4 years, we are a family, but i don’t need to be married. if he will ask me, probably i’d say yes. but it’d be better if he’ll have a big ring for me :)

  • Incroyable et touchante cette vidéo!!!
    Pour moi, qui n’ait pas eu un mariage classique, bague de fianciaille dans cet esprit… choisie à deux, car le marié ne se lance pas seul! Pas classique, bien-sûr, donc la taille des diamants ne compte pas! Mais je la porte souvent (je crée des bijoux) alors que l’alliance ennuyeuse…. J’ai laissé tomber!!!

  • In traditional Malay society, the whole process starts with the guy’s family visiting the girl’s family and asking the right questions such as “Is the flower in your garden still unplucked?” i.e. is your daughter available? This stage is called “merisik”. Once both parties are satisfied, the guy’s parents make another trip over to the girl’s side and makes a delicate negotiation and proposal on the dowry, which the groom will have to pay the bride etc.This is called “meminang”. Only then will you have the “pertunangan” or engagement, where rings and trays of gifts may be exchanged in front of witnesses. Of course, the actual wedding itself also has several stages such as the “akad” or saying of the vows and the “bersanding”, where the couple sit on a dais and are blessed by their elder relatives. It’s all a long process with multiple days of celebration but its a great, colorful spectacle and enormous fun.

    Of course these days its all a bit more straightforward but the meeting of the parents to negotiate before the engagement is still important. However, I had a very modern engagement- after he asked, and I agreed, we updated our facebook status and the whole world knew about it in 15 minutes!

  • It’s never been about the big ring for me. I have an oval diamond that is just over 1 carat. My husband insisted that it be at least a carat because I have big hands and anything smaller would be “lost” on me. It’s lovely but I would have been happy with a smaller stone too. We had a simple ceremony, a small wedding – 75 or so guests – and since many were from out of town, we really focused on the reception. For years afterward (it’s been twelve years now), people told us how much fun they’d had at our wedding. I still remember it all fondly and am glad we didn’t go all out on either the ring or the wedding. Feeling the love of everyone that day was the best part. :)

  • My city is very commercial about this engagement thing and many people do it like following a formula: a plan (so-called a surprise party giving to the girl), a diamond ring ( better a Tiffany’s one), and prewedding photos in similar styles. Its boring.

    Why is it necessarily a diamond ring? I dun understand at all.

    Your view on this issue is great. You speak out what i think about it.

  • I am anglo my husband is french. We are what you might call hippie-esque (baba-cool?).

    So we knew we wanted to get married when we both lived in the U.S. But we were sure we wanted something with just the two of us at a courthouse or something. We kind of mentioned this to some people and they were like “so how did he propose?”…response was “umm he actually didnt, does he have to? , its just something in our future plans.”

    I dont know if he was feeling the ‘anglo’ pressure but next thing i knew his parents flew in from paris. and he was in our kitchen baking a kings cake (gateau de roi?) -he never bakes. I am sure you know the concept as you are french….but the ‘gift’ inside the cake was my engagement ring which his parents had brought with them from paris.

    Totally did not expect all that. And totally did not expect my tears that came with all this either. All this to say…all this emphasis on the ring and the dress yadayadayada can get overblown….but its nice to see someone get on their knees to even offer you a piece of candy. You forget how much the chivalry means.

  • Pour mes fiançailles, c’est moi, la fiancée, qui ai acheté ma bague avec un diamant !!!
    Bon ça fait 22 ans que nous sommes mariés et c’est donc pas la valeur de la bague qui fait la durée du mariage!! Il y a des choses plus importantes donc.
    Mais je dirai que les français sont assez radins côté bijoux.

  • Here in Norway I think it is much the same as in France. My American friends are shocked that I have been with my boyfriend for more than five years without even talking about marriage. We live together, and talk about having kids, but the marriage thing is not so important. I think many Norwegians are the same, although a lot also choose to get married. But it is not unusual to wait 3-7 years before tying the knot, and even having a baby or two before then. The wedding can be an excuse to have a great party with lots of good friends. And the ring is also not so much a big deal, it’s not like it’s a competition…

  • hi! In Poland we tend now to separate the moment when man proposes to his girlfriend and the official proposal – with girl’s or both families present. The wedding is another matter ;-) I personally wanted to keep it simple, intimate and often said that even plastic ring sounds cool for me and that I don’t want standard ring with big stone that will ruin my stockings and other delicate stuff and that kneeling is not necessary :P Result was that my boyfriend was even more terryfied with chosing ring for me (what a irony!). What I definately didn’t want was proposing in public in front of other people. Luckily – we both thought that way. In the end, my boyfriend proposed on the day of our anniversary/special day for us during romantic weekend at the lake and made it all perfect with the ring that was small, delicate, flat and yet with the stone ;-) My point is – he didn’t have to do it all because i knew he loved me but I was glad it was important enough for him to arrange all this. He even cared to arrage a private meeting with my Dad to “ask him”(it was cute i found about it later). Now I wouldn’t say to a boyfriend what i think THAT moment sould or shouldn’t be like (or maybe only most important things like – not in public place!) and just ensure that he knows that he is most important for me so everything he would come up with will be wonderfull. Because telling all other stuff can make him unnecesarily nervous ;-)

  • C’est pas avec ce genre de comportements que la cause féministe va avancer ! mon dieu que tout cela est cul cul :-)

  • The tears and laughter are still rolling down my face at Joya’s gorgeous video! Thanks for sharing! So beautiful! However I would take the spontaneous declaration of love over the orchestrated proposal any day of the week:) PS my husband had a plan which I foiled so it ended up being very casual!

  • I would like to reply to Jennifer, as a fellow countryman (woman?): I never felt it was so much about the wedding as well as the ceremony around here. Most couples I know are NOT going the big old family-feast with dance party following route but are doing what they like: a big party, a small dinner, a garden party, BBQ, nothing at all, eloping and drinks later on.
    We were quite traditional, we had a reception and a dinner following, but not it was us. No buffet, no dancing, really, really good food, only the people we truly loved and cared about. Maybe it’s regional? I notice most of my friends from Oost and West Flanders still prefer the classic massive feast.

  • ohhh also ….forgot tell you by the way …i just bought a copy Paris Vogue! (& got at-shirt for fashion night out)

    AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! So proud of you and your article

  • I could not agree with you more. So much emphasis is put on getting engaged and planning a wedding but very little into making the marriage last. As for me I could care less.

  • Le mariage… je parle mariage, je dors mariage, je bois mariage, je mange mariage, je ne vis que mariage pour l’instant et j’adore ça!!! Je suis en pleine préparation de notre wedding… J’ai lu plus haut que le mariage en Belgique était ennuyeux… Ah bien non alors! Je dois certainement être américaine dans l’âme pcq je suis totalement sur la vague: le mariage et son romantisme à l’accès … Peut être que ça vient aussi du fait que LA proposition (superbe et inattendue) a eu lieu lors de notre 1er voyage à New York (en pleine féérie de noël)… Bague tiffany et demande parfaite… Mon ptit belge à moi, il l’a fait version américaine ;-) et sans que personne ne lui souffle rien du tout ….alllez ok…. peut être une toute petite fois devant un film, j’ai du lui crier mon amour pour la petite boîte turquoise ;-) … Nous nous sommes rencontrés à l’âge de 16ans et après 10 ans d’amour, nous allons enfin nous dire oui en juin 2013!

  • In Montreal , Quebec there are so many cultures, so many BIG engagement parties and weddings. We did both small, but very romantic. We wanted intimacy, not extravagance. The only thing is that my husband did not consult me about the engagement ring. I had no idea he was going to propose, my French side kept me very blaze about it all. I wish I could have dropped some style hints to him. I would have requested diamond stud earrings instead of a ring, or a very simple, modern ring style.

    We may be the exception. Most couples go into debt on their wedding day. I never thought that stylish.

  • Et si ça dépendait de l’éducation ? La mienne (et celle de mon homme également) est bourrée de romantisme à l’ancienne. Pour preuve : nous ne sommes pas fiancés, mais nous nous sommes échangé des “anneaux de promesse”, avec un message gravé à l’intérieur, nous promettant ainsi l’amour, la fidélité et tout ça, avant même de se fiancer. On a déjà énormément parler de la bague, il a demandé ce que je désirais et compte la faire sur-mesure (avec ses goûts à lui aussi), qu’elle soit unique, pour son amour.
    Et ça, je trouve ça hyper romantique.
    Et le connaissant, ça va déborder de romantisme le jour où la demande se fera ;-)
    P.S.: nous sommes français, comme quoi…

  • I’m from Mexico and it is the same way as it is here in the US. I want my fairy tale!!! the proposal and ring are super important, all we want is to really feel wanted and loved.

  • As an outsider looking in? The business of weddings keeps the American economy going.

  • every culture is so different…..but weddings involve some jewelry…..a dowry of sorts……I heard a story about Juliet Greco became engaged to some big american movie mogul and went to cartier in paris asked for the most expensive ring….a small perfect diamond

  • I have to admit that I have never cared about the ring, but I don’t judge people who do. I think part of the difference on the two sides of the pond might be economic, as in recent decades (at least until the crisis), it was much easier for young people to get a foothold economically in America than in Europe. My boyfriend is Italian and I know how difficult it is for young people there to get independently established, financially speaking. Of course the tradition of a ring and the associated value is also influenced greatly by culture. In Canada, where I live, we see much lower rates of marriage and much higher relative rates of co-habitation and having children together without being married, in Quebec rather than in the English-speaking parts. Part of that though is an extension of a forty-year push away from the opressiveness of the Catholic church in Quebec, especialy relative to women, in earlier decades.

  • Sorry – “especially” in relation to women, in earlier decades/centuries.

  • Tant que la bague est sublime… haha
    Félicitations? :)

  • Americans need to be more concerned with the marriage rather than the ring. Maybe that is why the divorce rate is so high, no? A ring is a nice sentiment, but it’s about two people madly in love who want to build and spend a life together. Thanks for clarifying why a ring is the most important thing, Garance.

  • Il me semble que dans le “US versus France”, la bague est la partie apparente de l’iceberg !

    Les rites – c’est une grande différence entre les américains et les français… De la BabyShower au mariage, en passant par la première date, le bal du lycée, la remise des diplômes… plus tous ces petits rituels du quotidien qu’on ne connaît pas (j’en ai vu un avec nos copains américains : le “open day” quand on vend sa maison, avec la déco obligatoire des coupes de fruits, par ex…)

    Alors qu’en France, on exècre les rituels ! On ne veut pas se “conformer” (horreur absolue du conformisme !) on veut être original, unique…

    Je ne sais pas ce qui est mieux… notre originalité est sans doute illusoire, à nous français, et un peu présomptueuse !
    Et puis, avoir une norme comme les américains, ça permet de “jouer avec”, c’est aussi une chance, sans doute… Ca doit être très rassurant, aussi, de voir sa vie balisée comme ça, et puis, ça créé des liens avec les autres, puisque tout le monde en passe par là…

    Donc voilà, je ne sais pas, vu de la France, tout ça paraît lisse et fade et sans intérêt, mais “inventer sa vie” comme nous nous obligeons à le faire, nous les Français, à refuser toutes les choses “comme tout le monde”, c’est peut-être un poids très lourd à porter !!

  • quelque chose à nous reveler Garance sur la demande en mariage!!!!!!!!!
    moi je trouve les bagues de fiancailles trop classiques, ringardes comme les solitaires tout le monde en a!!!! moi je veux un autre style de bague et surtout pas un diamant mais une autre pierre. Pour moi la demande en mariage doit etre une surprise et la video que tu as poster pourquoi pas c’est trop sympa et ça change un peu…..
    les françaises sont ouvertes aussi à ce genre de proposition et un mariage doit etre avant tout une fete et pas un stress sur l’organisation, la robe.. plus on prends de l’age et plus on comprends l’importance des choses et des gens que l’on veut à notre coté pendant ce moment magique!

  • dans mon coin du monde, territoire musulman mais néanmoins français, j’ai découvert récemment bien que je vive ici depuis des années, que lors des mariages traditionnels devant le cadi, équivalent du prêtre pour nous, les mariés peuvent être remplacé en cas d’empêchement. Par-fai-te-ment, oui madame. Si le marié ou la mariée ne peut pas être là le jour j, pas de problème, sa mère, son cousin, sa soeur le représentera. C’est comme cela que j’ai assisté à un mariage ou ni le marié ni la mariée n’étaient présent, il y avait la mère de la mariée et le frère du marié, qui se sont donc dit oui. Ils ont fait les photos, remercié les invités etc… trop drôle non ??? comme quoi le romantisme hein…

  • I’ve always wanted a scene in my life to be like a musical. If I was the woman in that video I think I could have died happy on the spot! But I don’t think I really want that to be my engagement.

    Being from the Midwest, all that you’ve said is still so very true in my corner of the world. If there is a difference from NYC, I’d say it’s that men out here also try to plan something extra special like the man in that video did. Often they attempt to turn the engagement into a little bit of an adventure.

    Personally, I’d want a much more private, subtle engagement. There definitely is some beautiful romance in the drama that Americans have surrounded marriage and engagements with but I’m not entirely at home with it for myself. If my man was just sitting across from me at dinner, with that look that just says you’re the world to me in his eyes, and quietly popped the question (still sitting in his chair), I’d be happy and elated.

  • It’s not engagement or wedding but it is what comes after that matters. I have been married for 24 years to the best guy on this planet without the wizzbang $#!^ involved, but then again, I never wanted to be a princess for a day and I am European.
    To each its own. If someone enjoys it, let them have it. Not my kind of fun though…

  • I was just talking about this a few weeks ago with an American boy who is engaged to his long-time girlfriend. The ring situation is quite different for us Argentines, because, you see, I have a ring that my boyfriend gave me (it’s made out of silver, not gold or platinum) that symbolizes our commitment to each other, but it does not at all represents a marriage proposal… And the American boy couldn’t understand how and why and all that.
    Here in Argentina we don’t have the whole marriage proposal preparation like Americans and, sadly for me (ha ha), there is no diamond ring involved either, BUT there is a nice tradition of the boyfriend buying rings (silver, with no ornaments and with the name of each of them written on the inner side the other one’s ring) when he feels he is in a committed relationship and wants to make a statement. Not everyone does this, but you’ll see people running around with a silver band on their right hand.

    As I see it: right hand: serious relationship, left hand: marriage.

  • Je pense que mon homme est en train de chercher un super scénario! Et cette vidéo est terrible :)

    Théa Unknown

  • Génial tous ces commentaires all over the world ^_^

    Pour moi le cérémonial cheesy, le genou à terre, le diamant etc… je trouve que c’est un peu trop conformiste.

    l’essentiel c’est l’amour, c’est l’engagement que l’on a l’un envers l’autre. tout le reste c’est personnel et il n’y a rien de “normal” “bien” ou “pas bien”…

    Mais les bagues, c’est quand même vachement beau!!!!
    J’adore surtout les bagues de famille. J’en ai une qui vient de mon arrière grand-mère que j’adore. Je la donnerai surement à ma future fille.
    J’aime cette notion d’héritage, une histoire d’amour différente de celle du mariage, plus authentique pour moi.

    L’ironie étant que ces bagues étaient toutes des bagues de fiançailles au départ.


  • I think we did it the French way, no engagement, no diamond, just a very thin silver band from Tiffany (the American way, I wanted my ring to be from Tiffany!). We eloped, it was perfect. The only time I wish I had a “normal” wedding is when I realize I don’t have a certain kitchen appliance I need, I think to myself “dammit if I hadn’t eloped I’d have that Kitchenaid mixer!!!” LOL!

  • Sujet très intéressant ! Personnellement je n’ai jamais rêvé du mariage, de la bague, de la robe de mariée… Je suis avec mon homme depuis 7 ans et nous allons nous pacser en octobre (vive le romantisme!) sans bague, sans robe, sans cérémonie uniquement lui et moi suivi d’un repas avec nos parents et grands-parents. Je me marierais peut être plus tard, je pense qu’il faut suivre son instinct et vivre ses rêves.

    Je porte une bague tous les jours, une “babiole” très simple que m’a offert mon homme (étudiant fauché à l’époque) pour notre 1ère année ensemble et mes 20 ans. Si je la perdais ou si elle se cassait je crois bien que j’en ferais une maladie, elle me rappelle le temps qui passe, notre histoire, notre passé et notre présent et elle symbolise notre amour :) Je trouve ce genre d’attention plus touchante qu’un bout de papier qui officialise l’histoire d’amour…

  • The pressure, the monstrous ring. I’ve seen it. I believe it is not the norm but we tend to notice because when people go that way, it is so over the top. I’ve also noticed that a huge ring does not guarantee a long marriage. Some people like big drama and live in a ‘look at me, look at me’ mode. No, thanks. Not for me. But, if that’s what rocks your boat, then carry on. I will steal curious, sideway looks of your big rock and wish you the best.

  • Je pense que le mariage devrait être aboli, cela ne crée que des problêmes dans toutes les sociétés. Les individus font un bout de chemin à deux, cela dure un moment ou quelques années, puis quand l’histoire se termine on se retrouve seul ce qui est la position naturelle de tout individu dans le monde et ça n’a rien de choquant, c’est même plutôt bien. J’ai raté mon rendez-vous à la mairie pour cause de grève des contrôleurs du ciel, il y a bien longtemps, et je ne l’ai jamais regretté.

  • I’m single and cynical — hmm? do you think there’s a connection?–as I’ve had one friend spend so much on her dream wedding, only to split up with her husband before they’d even finished paying for the wedding and now they can’t afford to divorce! Another friend in SC said her son couldn’t propose to his longtime girlfriend until he could afford to buy her an enormous diamond engagement ring – where’s the romance in that? Much more about impressing the friends and neighbors.

    When I worked on a particular credit card account, I had a theory that the larger the engagement ring, the more unpleasant the woman wearing it and I was seldom wrong.

    There seems to be so much emphasis now on the wedding and the expectations of the bride based on those shows and movies you mention, that the marriage itself seems forgotten.

    My friend Nan’s husband Mike proposed to her on his little motorboat in the river, on the way over to her family’s house for a cookout. He stopped the boat, dropped the anchor, pulled out roses and a ring and got down on his knee in the boat! She said yes and on they went to her family’s house – just before he reached the dock, he lifted up a big sign that read “She Said YES!” to great applause from both their families on shore (who knew what he was up to!) Now that’s romance, American-style!

  • Je suis française ET je veux une belle bague (de préférence un diamant jaune ou rose de chez tiffany!)

  • bonjour garance,
    en tant que française , je trouve çà tout sauf romantique . c’est le business de la bijouterie qui veut que l’amour rime avec diamant .” les diamants sont éternels” .
    je plains le pauvre gars qui n’a pas beaucoup d’argent. il a le droit d’etre amoureux .
    l’amour n’a rien a voir avec l’argent .
    et on peut s’offrir une bague toute seule. d’ailleurs le monde de la bijouterie l’a bien compris depuis longtemps . elle s’adresse avant tout aux femmes. les femmes ont désormais un pouvoir d’achat non négligeable et aime changer de bijoux au grès de la mode. or blanc , or jaune, platine , or rose, argent …
    c’est terrible de penser qu’un homme ,en offrant un solitaire ,prouve son amour. en achetant une bague , on ne prouve rien à une femme si ce n’est étaler son statut social et montrer que l’on peut entretenir sa future épouse.
    l’amour est un sentiment . tout celà me semble bien formater . et comment les pauvres se fiancent aux USA? quelle pression pour les gars !
    la photo de cette jeune femme est splendide . quelle joli top de dentelle . merci pour ce post.
    je suis un peu fleur bleue .

  • Nous en Tunisie, et au maghreb arabe, la bague de fiançailles est trés importante aussi, les fiançailles en général, c’est pas du baclé, ça s’organise à l’avance (trés en avance même) comme le mariage. Le jour j, le prétendant vient demander la main de la fille auprés de son père et aprés toutes les festivités commencent! Bref, c’est un trés grand jour chez nous, presque aussi important que celui du mariage.

    Bisous Garance, j’adore ce post!

  • I -from Europe- was going to say, like you; “barf” and “commercial” and “silly”. Then I watched the video Joya posted and cried.

    So I guess I’ll join you in going back and forth.

  • I’m from Northern Italy. Ring? Not so important (except in the North-East apparently). It is more common to hear couples saying “We have decided to get married”. I live in Ireland though. Completely different story (more NewYork like). Here, when a friend tells you that she is engaged you have to: admire the ring (even if it looks like all the others you have seen before), ask how he proposed, where he proposed, etc.

  • Anacoluthe, c’est vraiment intéressant ce que tu dis car ce constat sur la différence culturelle se retrouve dans plein d'”étapes” de la vie. Je ne suis pas sûre que ce soit de la présomption de la part des Français et une volonté d’être unique. Je pense que les Français sont attachés à la perpétuation de certaines choses mais de façon plus impalpable. C’est plus une autre vision, pas moins matérialiste ou plus intellectuelle, une autre vision tout simplement.
    D’ailleurs le simple fait qu’il y ait deux termes “marriage” et “wedding” alors qu’en français, il n’y a pas de différenciation, c’est plus souvent “mariage” pour la durée et le jour, “noces” est peu utilisé.

  • I’ve seen this one on the other day:

  • Très belle photo!
    La bague….c’est mon mari qui l’a dessinée, conçue, fabriquée, que j’ai une bague unique.
    Mais bon….le soir où il me l’a offerte, il a commencé par fêter ça en buvant quelques coupettes, alors j’étais pompette…et quand il a sorti la bague…j’ai dit ‘mais pourquoi il y en a 2?” tellement je voyais double….pfff, tu parles de romantisme!!
    Un solitaire tout simple intemporel, aucune idée du prix qu’il a mis (si ça se trouve c’est du zirconium!!) mais quand je la vois, c’est nous depuis 10 ans. Un point de départ en somme.
    Par contre, personne m’a demandé ‘alors montre, fais voir, le prix, la taille…’ non, et j’aurais pas enchéri sur le sujet; c’est personnel et intime, je trouve.

  • Omg that proposal is OUT OF CONTROL!!!

    A perfect clip to share in light of your musings!

  • J ai entendu parler d’ une regle des “3 mois” : je m explique une bague de fiançaille devrait couter 3 mois de salaires minimum au futur marié
    Qd mes copines ricaines m ont dit ça j ai fait euuuuurkkkk et plaint ( un peu ces pauvres garçons et comme toi garance je me suis dit qu est ce qu on est cruche nous les francaises ;))

  • Je ne suis absolument pas romantique, c’est pathétique. Et jusqu’à ce billet, je pensais que c’était purement un truc de comédie romantique ou de séries. Je me souviens encore de cet épisode Friends Dans lequel Monica hurle sur son balcon “I’m engaged” après que Chandler lui ait fait sa demande. Je me disais “elle en fait un peu trop”…

  • Best thoughts ever! Uhm, has your beau seen this post?

  • My fiance, who’s a little out of touch with decorum, proposed on the Pont de l’Archevêché bridge. It was very romantic, love lock and all, but he didn’t have a ring! Being the American girl I am, I was confused. When I stooped to asking the ever-gracious question, “…do I get a ring?,” he was unconcerned and inexact in his response. “Of course, you can have whatever you want.”

    “OK, BUT WHEN?” was too forceful a response, so I contained myself until my self-pity was such that only a weepy, public breakdown could relieve my anguish. He was utterly stupefied. He had no idea he was being so shockingly un-American in his ring-less proposal.

    We began our joint ring shopping adventures immediately upon returning to the States. We designed a gorgeous ring that I adore, and have a tragicomic engagement story to boot.

  • My husband planned a scavenger hunt through an old waterfront town close to our college. The end lead to a beautiful candle lit overlook. It was truly one of my most happiest moments. While I have a beautiful ring, I don’t really care if it is bigger or smaller or shinier than anyone else and I will NEVER get an upgrade. It is my ring and I love it, no matter what. So, I think engagements and rings and all that romance is really between couples. 6 years later, we are still just as happily married with a two little boys to call our own. I didn’t need the nice ring or the amazing proposal… I was just happy to have my man. BUT, I sure did enjoy the romance of it.

  • Non mais c’est fou ça ! Tu écoutais notre conversation au déj ou quoi ? Je parlais de ça avec mes copines de bureau ce midi justement.
    Tu as totalement raison, nous les Parisiennes on veut du low profile, on s’en fout de la demande et de la bague juste purvu qu’elle arrive !
    C’est ce qu’il se disait majoritairement ce midi, comme toi avant : toute cette pression nous angoisse et au fond on kifferait de se faire demander en mariage au saut du lit même sans bague.

    En fait, contrairement au New-Yorkaises, on a tellement peur de finir seules qu’on ne chipote plus !! C’est ça la vraie raison je crois ! Déjà que tu galères pour être heureuse, quand tu l’es tu t’en fiches pas mal d’avoir une demande à genou dans le jardin des Tuileries.

    Merci pour ce post toujours dans la tendance Garance !!!!! C’est si vrai !

  • How about that: 7 reasons diamonds are a waste of money (by a former diamond broker)

    Just a thought… :)

  • I think it is really personal how and what you do. As long as you stay true to yourself. We had dated for a long time and he had asked a couple of times and I wasn’t ready. Then one summer night we both looked at each other and said: let’s get married! And we both hate engagement, specially a long one, never understood why you get engaged and then after 3 years get married. Since we wanted it to be very private we didn’t tell anyone and then a few months later eloped to a beautiful island and got married! It was the most romantic and fun time! And the ring, we picked it out together, a vintage understated diamond band from the 1920’s. Since we are both from europe and live in New York, I can tell you that when I came back to work married, everyone was interested in the ring, everyone! and because it wasn’t a gigantic diamond ring, I got a lot of ” oh I feel so sorry for you” looks! Interesting enough, I have witnessed sadly that a lot of those girls that craved the big ring , big proposal etc, have gotten a divorce a few short years later. So, I don’t think it should be about the ring, the dress or the wedding, in the end it should be about you and your partner enjoying your day and the rest of your life, however makes you happy!

  • Garance !! mais que mijotes-tu ???!!

    Moi je ne sais pas quoi attendre de mon copain ! Je ne pense pas que le mariage ce soit pour tout de suite (on a 23 ans mais ça fait des années qu’on est ensemble). Je me suis achetée la bague Oui de Dior toute seule (car je la trouve trop chou) donc mes petits messages subliminaux ne sont pas bien passés apparemment. J’espère que je n’aurai pas à acheter moi même ma bague de fiançailles !! De nos jours on ne sait même plus ! ^^
    J’ai une amie qui vient de se marier, ce fut un superbe mariage, chic et jeune, plein de bonheur et de romantisme. Et peut importe le carat de la pierre, l’important c’était leur amour et leur bonheur.

  • Oh my goodness @ the video that Joya posted…….I SWOON!!!!!

  • Salut Garance. Le plus important pour moi dans ce port c’est le fait que tu assumes ton côté judgemental français. Je ne suis pas anti-française car j’adore aller en France, j’ai des colocs français, j’achète les revues de déco françaises et je pense que les parisiennes sont les mieux habillées et ainsi de suite. Mais je n’aime pas ce jugement constant dès lors que les gens de l’hexagone sont confrontés à une autre façon de faire ou un autre cadre de référence. Ici au QC, combien de fois on nous dit être AGRÉABLEMENT SURPRIS?! quand ont découvre un film d’ici qui a de la gueule, une boutique chouette, un bon resto, un designer talentueux ou une mise en scène top. C’est comme si ces gens s’attendent à une sous-culture où tout ce que l’on ferait serait nécéssairement moindre ou bas de gamme. Bon c’est mon coup de gueule mais je crois que c’est le point le plus important de ton post. Et après tout, cela concerne les généralisations sur les cultures (en l’occurence les moeurs maritales américaines ici ) et on y trouve toujours du vrai mais aussi des approximations. Je constate aussi à quel point beaucoup se complaisent dans un anti-américanisme primaine et souvent sans y avoir mis les pieds une seule fois. Ça aussi c’est de l’arrongance et du chauvinisme. En ce qui te concerne, je suis heureuse que tu profites de ton expérience new-yorkaise avec tant de sensibilité et d’ouverture d’esprit et que tu nous fasses partager tout cela avec autant d’adresse et d’imagination.

  • Je viens de me marier et quand je l ai annoncé à mes copines américaines elles avaient l air plus heureuse que moi vu leur réaction ;-)
    J ai eu la chance d avoir une très jolie bague mais bien après le proposal enfin à la française ;-)
    Moi ce qui me choque ce n est pas la process de la bague qui aux us doit représenter environ trois mois de salaire de ton chéri ….. C est vraiment la convention sociale ici et puis parfois elles ont des gros diamants mais moches… mais c est le business autour et tout l argent que les gens peuvent dépenser ( il y en a qui s endette!’) et le temps qu ils y passent!C est dingue ! J ai organisé mon maraige en deux mois et ça ça les a fait halluciné !!!!

  • Moi, ce qui m’intéresse sur cette photo de Gaia Weiss, ce n’est pas sa bague de fiançailles, mais son top en denteeelllle !!! D’où vient-il, pourrais-tu nous le dire, Garance ? Je suis totalement in love with this top !

    Pour en revenir aux bagues, aux fiançailles, au mariage et tutti quanti, je suis terriblement frenchie à ce sujet et judgemental moi aussi : je me fiche complètement d’être fiancée.
    En fait, ce n’est pas le fait que ce serait ringue. Après tout, ce que les autres pensent, on s’en fiche, surtout s’il s’agit de l’amour de notre vie. Non, le problème, c’est que je ne me fais pas passer la bague au doigt comme cela, moi ! Non, mais ! Et puis quoi encore ? Je ressens l’idée de me fiancer comme me faire mettre un fil à la patte.

    Et puis, ce que je n’aime pas dans cette obsession américaine du mariage, telle qu’elle apparaît dans les séries que tu cites, par exemple, c’est le fait que cela place les femmes dans une position passive. Les héroïnes des séries passent leur temps à attendre qu’un homme daigne les demander en mariage et ne sont pas maîtresses de leur propre destin. Du coup, forcément, les hommes se font désirer. Le rapport de forces leur est tès favorable et avantageux : ce sont eux qui décident quand et si ils veulent se marier.
    Ma propre mère a épousé mon père après ma naissance, parce qu’ELLE avait décidé que c’était le bon moment pour se marier.

    Carie Bradshaw qui attend le bon vouloir de Mr. Big, c’est d’un pathétique ! Elle n’a rien d’une femme moderne et émancipée à mes yeux. Elle a beau être sexuellement libérée, elle fonctionne exactement sur les mêmes schémas que les femmes françaises du XIXème siècle.

    Mais, je vois tout cela depuis la France, avec mes yeux de Française, et peut-être qu’aux Etats-Unis, tout le monde y trouve finalement son compte.

  • haha, Garance, the beginning and photo absolutely looked like a prelude to the news about your personal life, you’re right ;-)
    here, in Russia and to more locate – in Moscow, the ring has become a tradition already, what happened very quickly… maybe 5-7-8 years ago it was about “we want it to be like in [a hollywood] movie”.
    Now I don’t know anybody who would believe me if i’d say i’m getting married and didn’t show a diamond ring. In the best way “Dreamer!” (or maybe even “liar”) would be my third name.
    So, I’m pretty surprised to hear from you and oher frenchies on here that the Ring has not spread out from America to all around the world. Well, you and other people in other countries who didn’t blindly catch this up, are much much stronger and more original than us in this way :-/ )

  • In my country, it’s not” a ring”, it’s seven gold armbands. At least… and when you follow tradition. Dowry is still compulsory, but modern people choose often to make it symbolic, and then it can be a ring.
    The engagement is a very formal celebration, in theory you don’t propose a girl, you ask her parents if you can propose the girl. And actually, you ask the girl if she agrees that you ask your parents to ask her parents if you can marry her… Yes, we are rather schizophrenic and complex people, and we DO love long discussions. And again this is tradition, and in big cities like Casablanca or Agadir, Tangiers… people usually do it much simplerly.
    The day of the wedding, the bride wears 7 different outfits. And for each outfit, she must have a different set of jewellry, matching in color. Believe me, Moroccan jewels are not small ones…in the Fez outfit, most of the dress is covered by pearls and jewelry.
    Of course, only the super wealthy people can afford that. For the others, it’s perfectly normal to rent the jewels for the day.

    It’s totally different, and it’s not so much romance as in the US or in Europe. But it is also to show how much you value and respect your new wife, her family, and how much you are honoured with the wedding.

  • Je l’ai fait lire à mon mec et voici son commentaire:

    “C’est très joli, même avec mon regard de macho bourrin…
    Elle en propose souvent des cours de romantisme comme ça ?”

    #No comment!

  • Ahah un an de mariage hier! Pourtant j’avais pas pensé me marier un jour!
    Mon mariage aurait fait bondir plus d’une américaine: Pas de demande, ni fiancailles, et un mariage organisé en moins d’un mois. On était 8! Ce qui comptait, c’était qu’un mois plus tard, nos visas en mains, on a débarqué à NY pour vivre notre rêve à 2!!!

    Et si c’était à refaire, je ferais tout pareil. J’ai jamais eu de rêve de princesse en robe blanche avec tout le tralala!

    Par contre, j’ai eu la bague digne d’une bague de fiancailles d’américaine: le solitaire de fiancailles de sa grand-mère. Et ca, j’adore!!!

  • Oh, I have a question about American engagement ring-things, and since there seem to be a number of American ladies around: I often read about ‘ring shopping’, which you’re supposed to do together with your boyfriend, way before the proposal. I don’t quite get it. Then there’s no surprise anymore! Or did I misunderstand?

  • Moi je suis partagée aussi, mais je crois que comme toi, je suis en train de changer d’avis ! rien que pour choisir une belle robe j’ai hâte qu’on me demande en mariage :)
    mais .. c’est pas pour tout de suite alors j’ai bien le temps de réfléchir encore ^^

  • Mais la tradition de la bague de fiançailles a existé en France. C’est juste que cette tradition s’est perdue.

  • Pareil, j’avais même insisté sur le fait que je ne voulais pas de bague de fiançaille et surtout pas de demande “à l’américaine” car ce n’est pas notre culture, c’est pas nous, ça aurait fait faut. Du coup c’était tout simple mais très beau, comme ça, spontanément. Par contre, j’ai une trèèèèèès belle alliance ;)
    PS : le clip youtube m’a fait chialer comme une gamine. Bravo.

  • I think you are speaking for me! I am living in NYC now for over 8 years with the same guy, however, I am European (who cares about the country). I got married last year and I dont have a ring! I had one 7 years ago, I lost it and never cared to get a new one.. . My American friends feels like I am committing a crime or something! And I always laugh at them and feel disgusted sometimes how important the ring is for them and how marriage isn’t… and I have been against this hysteria and keep refusing to receive any ring… although recently sometimes I would like to have one, but just because some of them are so pretty…

  • Pour moi, ce fut une demande en mariage sur une plage du lac Ontario au Canada … sans bague car ce fut de l’impro totale (mais très romantique ;)) . La bague a été choisie par la suite, ce fut un beau moment ensemble. Je trouve cela normal d’avoir une bague d’engagement avant le grand jour, c’est peut-être mon côté frenchie conventionnel qui parle !

  • J’ajoute qu’après que ma mère s’est enfin décidée au bout de 9 ans de vie commune – c’est-à-dire de mise à l’épreuve – à se marier, mon père n’a depuis plus eu qu’une peur : que ma mère le quitte, car il lui a toujours fallu continuer à faire sa conquête, même dans le mariage.
    Il faut dire que ma mère est Bretonne… :)

  • Wow!! Tous ces commentaires, si nombreux, prouvent bien que le mariage est LE sujet UNIVERSEL, les frontières tombent…

  • Bonjour Garance,

    je me suis mariée cet été et je dois dire que j’ai passé un an sur les wedding blogs américains, anglais, français, italiens : il y a autant de façon de faire sa demande, d’organiser son mariage que de mariés et c’est ça qui est super.

    Et l’important c’est déjà que les futurs monsieur-madame soient d’accord sur le style du mariage.

    Pour moi, le plus précieux dans tout celà, c’est la sincérité et l’émotion qui se dégage…

    J’espère que ça se déroulera comme dans tes rêves pour toi.


  • I don’t get engagement rings at all! But I don’t get the huge party either, or the huge wedding, or the huge expensive ring, or the bridesmaid. I got married in India, we picked up the cake ourselves on a scooter the same day, 10 person, all from different religion, some dancing some champagne, great food and David Grey’s Sail away with me as the wedding dance. Its was a great wedding, didn’t last long, the marriage, but I would definitely keep it small next time. Oh and the ring, it was a silver one, designed by a friend.

  • Garance, un article sur la robe de mariée s’impose maintenant ! PLEASE !

  • My husband slipped the ring to my finger when I was sleeping. I woke up to go to the bathroom and was shocked to find a beautiful ring on my finger. I love that he didn’t do any crazy, dreamy, Cinderella kind-of proposal. I love that he knew me really well to not even plan anything that’s either lavish or drawing crowd attention.

    So, was the ring a-must-act for me? Hell yes. Although I was born and raised in Indonesia, I’ve been brainwashed with Hollywood movies, it’s hard to think otherwise.

  • J’allais te dire qu’en tant que bonne parisienne et la quarantaine passée, la demande, les fiançailles, le mariage, la bague et tout le tralala je m’en fiche un peu, et puis j’ai vu la vidéo de Joya, et j’ai été émue aux larmes…. Je crois que, même si c’est conventionnel, culcul ou cliché, quand ça vient de celui qu’on aime, ça nous touche ! et c’est ça qui est beau !

  • Yes, americans are too crazy about wedding and wedding rings…are they right, or are they simply too childish? I don’t know…

    I think the European society is more cynical and also more “grown up”, with its pros and cons, and the wedding approach reflects it too…

  • Trop “d’emotions forcees” qui sonnent faux et des situations tres embarrassantes. Mon mari et moi sommes discrets et notre relation est basee sur autre chose que the ring et le reste.
    Faisons-nous partie des exceptions ?

  • Well, I’m from Mexico and here girls do expect a big ring for the proposal, but I strongly disagree with this tradition. I think it is unfair that one person has to spend so much money to make a marriage happen, while the other gets to show off jewelry. I mean, if both men and women work, why should only a man give an engagement present? It seems sexist to me and I think it contradicts gender equality issues. And I also don’t think that expecting something as expensive as a diamond ring without giving anything back is the best way to enter a live-long partnership. I am married and I only have my wedding ring, as does my husband.

  • I am a mixture in this whole debate, an American living in London for the past 8 years married two months ago to my English husband after 7 years of dating! Phew! There is definitely a culture in America of bigger, showier rings, how big is the ring etc. then in other cultures. I might even say that I probably fell into that trap in my younger years of thinking that is what I needed (it is what most of my friends, family, and others wanted for me too.)

    I moved to London to be with my then boyfriend, no ring, but it felt like something I was doing for me and for us to see where it could go. I certainly wanted it to go somewhere but I had to take some risk to find out. I also wanted to experience living in another culture (which I think has given me a different perspective) so it was an easy decision to make.

    He proposed last January in Vienna, just the two of us with snow falling at sunset on the grounds of a museum…(he hadn’t planned a when or where), dropped to one knee and said ‘will you marry me?’ He pulled out his great-grandmother’s ring which was not very ‘American’ at all but it means so much to me that his grandmother gave it to him to give to me because she wanted me to be part of the family. Sadly, she passed away before we were married but it is nice to know that she knew we were engaged.

    To me, marriage should be about two people coming together, committing to spend their lives together. I would hope it wouldn’t be about how much money someone earns or how big a diamond someone can give. Sadly I think sometimes it is. Since I have been married (2 months) I feel differently from the 7 years we have lived together, in a really nice, comforting and loving way and that is what is important for me.

  • I am so with you! As a brit, I think it’s sad really that the emphasis is all on the ring and the wedding, blah blah blah. My other half gave me his grandmother’s ring, and I couldn’t be happier. (Of course, I wouldn’t have been unhappy with a beautiful modern ring either but, y”know, either one totally works, it’s about the man not the ring!)

  • Salut Garance, perso je me suis mariée il y a maintenant 15 ans, à l’arrache, pour une histoire de papiers, on se disait que vraiment pas nécessaire cette histoire de mariage pour se prouver notre amour, que c’était pas important, mais on a qd même fait une belle fête à l’époque. Je suis toujours avec mon chéri donc, on a fait deux beaux – soublimes même! – enfants. Longtemps je me suis dit que ça ne représentait pas grand chose pour moi, mais en réalité, plus les années passent, plus je suis attachée à l’institution que cela représente et à l’unité que cela nous fait immanquablement devenir et plus je suis touchée par tout ce qui va autour. J’adore que les ricains “romantisent” pareillement tout ça, ils sont chou, ça donne un aspect folklorique vraiment sweet… pour tout te dire, malgré mon grand âge – 38 ans – je la jouerais bien comme les stars qui renew their vows, mais cette fois, d’une façon tradi-romantique tu vois et pas vite fait/bonne occase de faire la bringue… parce que c’est beau et pas nian-nian comme je le pensais toute jeune en bonne frenchie!… et puis pour nos enfants, je pense que ça doit être super comme expérience…

  • I would have thought that in Paris they’d be all about the production of love and marriage. Hmm. So interesting. I live in California and we’re all about the proposal, ring, wedding location location location and whatnot, but really, to me it’s about the man and what this means to him. I’m a girl and want the fairytale but I want a fairytale with someone, not just with myself…. and they lived happily ever after!


  • There is such pressure here in America to propose (and be proposed to!) in big extravagent ways with big glitzy rings! I was living in NYC when I got engaged to a man living in the midwest. My ring is not super traditional- it’s a rough cut diamond in a gold setting that is rather unique and certainly not for everyone but also exactly the type of unique piece I love and did not drain our bank account! And as for the proposal, it was a bit unplanned and took place on the sofa one night when I was visiting my beau… the ring had come in the mail that morning, unexpectedly early and he just couldn’t wait for whatever he had originally planned. It was very intimate and special and made very charming by his nerves and the element of suprise for us both. While I tear up at all those lovely grand gestures caught on video types of proposals, I loved mine to bits and wouldn’t change a thing.

  • P.S: Après avoir lu une bonne partie des comments (pfiou!), je vais mettre mon grain de sel (assez bref). Le truc, c’est qu’en France on a perdu toute notion du SACRE, tout s’est banalisé jusqu’au mariage. Au USA, le SACRE est encore très présent dans de nombreux actes, comme le mariage. Les américains sont trés attachés aux rituels, aux rites de passages, le mariage en fait partie.

  • Comme toi j’ai changé d’avis peu à peu. Au départ ça m’était égal tout ça et puis finalement on commence à se prendre au jeu. En Australie, la bague, c’est super important et toutes mes copines m’en parlaient tout le temps. Mon mari n’avait pas encore la bague quand il a fait sa demande, pour les autres c’était comme si ça ne comptait pas. Et puis la discussion sur la taille du diamant peut vite tourner au n’importe quoi ! Alors que quand j’en parlais à mes copines françaises, elles ne comprenaient pas pourquoi j’en faisais toute une histoire, de cette bague. C’est vraiment une différence culturelle. Mais finalement, j’aime bien la façon dont les américains (et les australiens) célèbrent cet évènement. C’est important et ça mérite de marquer le coup d’une façon ou d’une autre !

  • :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) this is an amazing post, dear Garance! I think here in Romania we tend to borrow the commercial part of the “Ring” and also the commercial part of “Valentine’s Day”, really! It is important for most of the girls the place, the ring, the everything, but I hate it when people just do it in order to take a picture and uploaded it on facebook or their blog. Come on, it is your personal moment with the love of your live, you do not have to smile and take a picture right after you said yes and he like it and put a ring on it :D. No way, that’s not romanticism. I like to keep all simple, no upload on facebook, no diamonds ring and I won’t mind if he doesn’t go down on his knees, au contraire ;)

  • I don’t think it should be about the ring, maybe it’s because I am not into big jewelry. Me and my husband had dated a long time and he had actually proposed a couple of time but I wasn’t ready. Then one summer night we both looked at each other and we knew the time was right! We wanted it to be really private and we wanted it to be just us, so a few months later we arranged to elope to a beautiful island and got married there. It was the most romantic and fun time! And the ring, we picked it out together, a simple vintage diamond band from the 1920’s. I also don’t get the long engagement with the big ring, I mean what is the point to be engaged for 3 years and planning a big wedding, is it to have time to show of your ring? At the end of the day it shouldn’t be about the ring, dress or the wedding as long as you are happy, it should be really about you and your partner celebrating the day and the rest of your life! we are both from europe and live in New York, so when I came back to work married, everyone was interested in the ring, everyone! and I got the looks ” Oh I feel so sorry for you, you and your tiny ring”! But at the end I have sadly witnessed so many couples breaking up, ending in divorce, even after the gigantic ring and a big elaborate wedding….I also feel sorry for the guy that have to save up for the ring until he can finally propose and the girl complaining about, when is he going to propose already. I think if it makes you happy, then go for it, but I think we can agree that the big diamond really have to do with commercialism, just like so many things in this country. Just look at the movie Blood Diamond….

  • As my engagement ring was being set with a beautiful old mine-cut (but I prefer princess) diamond my fiancee had to fly to Toronto for business. What to do?

    Pick up the diamond from the jeweler, fly off to Toronto myself to hand it to my fiancee…….so that he could then give it TO ME! Thought it was romantic at the time.
    We’re still together – 20 years now.

    life/style blog at

  • My husband and I had been engaged one…or two times before we finally decided to tie the knot. I think the difference this time, for me, was that we finally threw all social convention out the window. I didn’t need a ring, a fancy wedding, wedding gifts, etc… they all seem to be a bit of a distraction from the meaning of a wedding, which is the love & respect two people share for each other. My husband and I are not only lucky that we found each other but that we live in a state where we are able to be married…

  • My fiancée gave me a rolex watch with the inscription our love is timeless. I wear the watch everyday with any outfit and it is as much part of me as my simple gold wedding band.
    He knew well enough that diamonds were not my thing.

  • My husband proposed with a ring I chose after searching online. It has a blue topaz as a center stone. The ring is beautiful and the color of the topaz is my favorite shade. Plus, having a topaz as a center stone took all the focus off of the price of the ring and back onto our romance. I believe there was a study that found that a woman is happy with her ring when it is the priciest ring versus her friends’ rings.

  • This is fascinating. Only because at a deeper level it has to do with socio-economics and how American culture is consumed with materialism. I read a book called ‘All the money in the world’ and chapter 2 is called ‘What else could that ring buy?’ The chapter discusses a wedding-as-ending concept which a lot of people buy into, hence; huge ring – which a man usually saves up months, maybe years for; lavish wedding – where couples usually go into debt for. This is all usually do to societal pressure here in the US (where the the wedding industry is making BILLIONS.)
    I understand wanting to feel like your union is special, it is! The union is totally sacred and should totally be celebrated! But it’s sad to have pressure for a perfect day and a perfect rock. The focus should be on the relationship and how to grow together into people you actually like.

  • Tellement bien cette vidéo de demande en mariage!!!!!!!!!!

    C’est vrais que du coup ça met la pression…

    Et connais-tu Paris vs NYC ?

  • Ohhh que oui totalement en train de changer d’avis !!! Est-ce l’amour ? Est-ce l’âge .. de raison ?
    Est-ce cette révélation “If you like it then you’d better put a ring on it !” ?

    Je VEUX ma bague !!!!

  • Non, je trouve ça faux… Finalement c’est la forme qui prend le haut. Et c’est pas important…
    Je trouve aussi qu’en Europe c’est genre des choses vont pas avec la culture et condition de vie. En Amérique, je ne sais pas, mais c’est vrai que je trouve souvent trop trop artificielles les mariages qui se font la bas.

  • Nicole,
    This is so romantic!
    Your husband really knows you.
    It’s beautiful to do things your own way, so refreshing!

  • Franchement Garance, tu m’as découragé.
    Je m’apprêtais à lui demander sa main mais je pense que je vais prendre encore 2 ans de réflexion.

    Je suis juste pas à la hauteur de ce mec! Zut. #Stresséàvie.

  • Récemment j’ai lu que dans la noblesse, au Moyen Age les hommes offraient une pierre précieuse à leur épouse pour les protéger des maladies, tel un talisman.
    Le diamant était bien entendu le saint graal des talismans.

    Ce geste a perduré durant les siècles, perdant peu à peu sa signification pour devenir la bague de fiançailles…
    Voilà la petite histoire, et de quelle beauté !

  • Pacifique August, 30 2012, 11:50 / Reply

    Garance Doré serait-elle sur le point de nous annoncer une bonne nouvelle?

  • And now I am jamming to my gurrrrl, Bey!!!!!

    Ha, thanks!

  • Je rejoins entièrement le commentaire de Nomade plus haut, qui cite la chanson de Brassens.
    Je suis avec quelqu’un qui est divorcé et pour qui le côté “pur” et solennel de cet engagement est bien galvaudé aujourd’hui. Personnellement, je n’ai jamais rêvé de me marier comme plusieurs autres de mes amies, qui fantasment sur la robe etc…

    Mais j’avoue qu’un jour, peut-être dans 5 ou 10ans , j’aimerais qu’il me le demande, un matin : si on allait à la mairie aujourd’hui ? Qu’il ait envie de refranchir ce pas avec moi, que ça vienne de lui, bizarrement ça compterait énormément à mes yeux.
    Pour le reste, le folklore, pas de jugement, je m’y efforce… Mais je dois confesser tout de même que je trouve beaucoup de superficiel et d’hypocrisie même parfois, que ce soit pour le big wedding à l’américaine, que le mariage en grand à la française.

    Bref pas mon truc.

  • Sadly divorce rates are so high…..I agree….the engagement ring and then the huge wedding pressures and then both families adding more pressure….ugh…..

  • Hahahah Garance I love how you always say “frenchies”! I was born and raised in East Africa, growing up, I lived in 3 different countries, studied abroad in France and Belgium and have been in the US for the last 15 years. I have to say that at first the whole marriage and divorce thing was a culture shock to begin with, then I learned how much people spend on engagement rings and weddings, then I was really shocked. And everyone wants to know “how he proposed” I hate this question. Who cares? Then after the engagement ring, people obsess over wedding bands!! My goodness, what’s up with this culture?
    I have been dating another non-american for the past three years and I have told him six million times that if he gets me a diamond, I won’t marry him. I want one thick gold band, I keep saying “lord of the rings” kind of a ring. And what happened to people just rolling over from a great dinner and decide to get married? What’s with ridiculous planning of how to ask someone? And I want a party for a wedding, none of this craziness of people dressed in suits and such! Let’s have good music and great food and party all night long with our families and friends :) Buy me around the world trip with all that money we could spend on the wedding.
    Anyway, like you, all my friends think am crazy for not wanting an engagement ring, but I could really care less for one.

  • Hi Garance,

    Nice article! You should do your blog more like literature than fahion. Of course you can still have the pictures, but you should do write more about everything in articles.

    Good luck!



  • C’est bien vrai ! Je reve d’un gros cailloux :)

  • Le mariage je ne cours pas aprés, mais effectivement les americains ne le conçoivent pas. Il y a pas longtemps j’ai diné avec des americains et un d’eux a demandé à mon chéri quand est-ce qu’il comptait me demander en mariage et quand on a repondu jamais, alors là il était surpris et n’a pas compris pourquoi, on a eu beau lui expliquer le pourquoi du comment il comprenait pas. En meme temps l’un d’eux a été marié 4 fois, donc ça compte vraiment pour eux.
    Super la vidéo, dans le meme genre il y a la demande faite à Disney World.

  • I laughed when I read your post, and it reminded me of an experience I had I thought worth sharing. We New Yorkers very much vary in what we like (well obviously, since New York is one of the most diverse places in the world), but I can tell you that when I relocated to the South (which was the first time I left New York for a period longer than three months) I got a sense of just how different New Yorkers are compared to some other regions. On New York women I generally always so simple, classic solitaires in a classic cut, NEVER pave, and if there are flanker stones they are placed artfully around the center stone in a way that’s still elegant and understated at the same time. Wedding bands are almost always plain, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blinged out wedding band in my life. When I moved to the South it was all about the B-L-I-N-G: I’m talking giant rocks flanked by more giant rocks, pave’d out wedding bands, the works. The preferences down there were just totally different, reflected not only in wedding ring/bands but also in cars (Escalades! Muscle cars that make LOUD noises!) and overall appearance (perfectly blown-out and shellac’ed hair, a LOT of makeup). I have to say that we New Yorkers are *relatively* subdued and minimalist in our tastes and expectations compared to some of our neighbors. Of course it’s funny that as a Frenchie you think we’re more over-the-top, just goes to prove that everything is relative :) I’ve moved back to New York since and appreciate our “New York Style” (in all its diversity) so much more now that I’ve been exposed to other cultures, so overall it was a positive and valuable experience.

  • My husband and I dated for four years. We decided that we were going to be with each other for a long time anyway, so we decided to “put a ring on it.” He took me out to a nice dinner, and afterwards we walked through a park. This was in wintertime. He asked me at the restaurant, without fuss, and when I accepted, put the ring on my finger. We were very happy and overcome! He got me a very simple and chic David Yurman set. One simple sterling silver band with the rope detail on the inside, and one simple stack ring with a little oval of tiny pave diamonds. The whole set cost only $500. I wouldn’t have it any other way!! I would rather him save up the money for a trip to Europe or Morocco or something like that! xx

  • Oui les françaises, on est des pommes ! Mais je me souviens aussi de petites bagues en argent achetées à la vas-vite chez un joaillier chinois, de voeux échangés dans l’une des chapelles de l’Eglise St Médard, de son sourire et du baiser qui suivi et du monsieur du square qui nous a dit que nous avions des petites gueules bien sympathiques. Tout l’art est dans la manière, enfin, je crois…

  • In general, the French have a more modern, free, practical approach to marriage whereas Americans (maybe with the exception of those who are progressive and/or from big cities) tend to have a traditional (conservative?), sentimental approach. America doesn’t have a class system so one’s position is defined by wealth(big ring, big reception) or one’s vocation. That said, in some circles the big ring, wedding, etc. is seen as indiscreet.

  • i’m from the US, but when my husband and i got engaged, we just decided we should get married–together. the next day we went ring shopping and picked out a small, modest ring with a vintage feel, i wouldn’t have felt comfortable with him purchasing something large/expensive/on credit D:::, which many as young as we are do these days, and then we had a fun, small “location” wedding in las vegas with 45 of our closest family and friends, with hors d’oeurvres and drinks the night before, and brunch the morning after–we made a whole weekend of it, and i can’t imagine it being more fun. i find the commercialism of most holidays/events in america pretty gross, honestly. i understand it’s been rolled in the essence of romance but “three months salary fr the ring or he doesn’t really care” and “$50k on the wedding or you’re skimping on your guests” really has convoluted the meaning of love and marriage, and that’s probably one of the 100 reasons why the US has an over 50% divorce rate.

  • Chez nous, et en Afrique de l’Ouest en général, le soupirant demande la main de la femme auprès du père, et c’est la dot qui symbolise les fiancailles; ca ressemble pas mal à la manière dont ca se passe chez les Malay: la famille du soupirant va dans la famille de la fille et après pleins de bavardages symboliques, ils présentent la dot, qui se constitue généralement de noix de colas, de pagnes, d’or (beaucoup d’or), etc… Cette étape cèle l’union des familles (ah oui, le mariage n’est absolument pas un affaire entre 2 personnes, mais plutot entre 2 familes)
    Le jour du mariage traditionnel, la famille du marié doit aller chercher la nouvelle mariée avec un valise remplie de cadeaux et…d’or.
    Personellement, je préfère qu’on me «demande» ma main à moi même. Je veux une belle bague quand même, mais plutot un rubis qu’un diamant, et surtout rien (ni demande ni mariage) de spectaculaire ni d’exagéré: pas de salle de reception, pas de robe à traine ni de voile, pas de demoiselle d’honneur etc..etc..juste de la bonne compagnie, de la bonne nourriture, de la bonne musique, et un Polaroid :)

  • Oh no Garance, I’m afraid you have too too “Americanized”. Wedding is a billion dollar industry in the US, and they keep pounding it into your head of the “must-haves” as proof of love. The ring, the proposal, the dress, the wedding, the honeymoon, etc. It’s crazy and out of proportion! I have lived internationally, currently living in the US now. Yes, in other countries, the wedding is very materialized too. The couple would invite 1000 people in the hope that their cash gift would pay for the wedding itself and some extra. But hey, at least they are up front about it, and nobody mistake that for love. Americans could be so contradictory and in denial sometimes.

  • I’m an American who lived may years in Fr and was married to a Vrai french man! and that pasted too. All I can say is Americans are more interested in planning an ostentatious wedding than having an elegant affair. Its all about inviting as many people you know, bragging about how much money the wedding costs and wearing dresses that are far to white. YUCK! In the end I married an American and we had an elegant wedding between the two of us….and we are living life together happily ever after!

  • enorme la video! moi je suis fiancé depuis que j’ai 19 ans ( j’en ai 21 ), et lui avait 18 ans… il a fait semblant d’aller chercher le pain et est revenu avec une bague! et il a mit le genou à terre!

  • LOL Garance… Disons que leur attirance vers les gros diam’s rejoint un peu toute la culture américaine. Personnellement, je ne les trouve pas tellement romantiques, non. Surtout à New-York où la plupart de mes amies son célibataires et dès qu’elles parlent de “ce qu’elles cherchent”, elles commencent par premier critère la fourchette de revenus… alors logiquement, oui, si elle veut qu’il ne fasse pas moins de 150K par an, elle veut un diams proportionnel et une demande dans une endroit bling-bling, mais avouons que si on demande nos critères à nous, les françaises, ça serait plutôt qu’il soit gentil, attentionné. On ne scanne pas son compte en banque avant de demander son prénom. du coup ça va bien ensemble, dans un pays ou on confond un peu souvent valeur humaine et réussite, surtout dans les grandes villes.
    Sinon as tu vu celle la ? (J’ai pleuré comme une grosse madeleine, j’avoue… n’empêche que autant j’aime le côté “big show” et démonstratif, autant ça a un côté trop irréel)

  • I think I like a mix between the french and NY way…

  • OK, this is the post I want to comment, because lately I’ve been talking to lots of people about this. I originate from Bulgaria, but I don’t live there now. Since I’m living with my boyfriend, my friends and family started asking me the same question: are you planning to get married? What if I am not planning? Why, the hell, should you choose to be married and put yourself on the risk of getting divorced when you can spare yourself that risk and feel free? We have so many rules that we have to follow. There are so many chains that stop us from being and doing what we want. Here’s another one – marriage. So are we masochists or what? And don’t start with all that theory about eternal love, romance and dream about “happy ever after”. If you love a person and he loves you, you don’t need to be married. How hypocrite do you have to be to promise to somebody that you’ll be by his side forever? That’s a love contract you’re making! Truth is marriage doesn’t guarantee your happiness or eternal love. It’s old fashion! Yeah, you could live all your life with someone before, when life expectancy was 35! :)
    Anyway, I don’t want to hurt anyone personally, I just want to tell to all the people: Do not mess with other people’s lives, everybody has their own choice and judging them will only show how much you disrespect these people. I am saying that as a person who’s being judged for her choice of not getting married.
    Oh, by the way, I love Beyonce and I always sing on this song: “If you like it then you shouldn’t put a ring on it!” ;)

    Kiss kiss,

  • Well i care about the ring it has rubbed off on me because my best friend is a jewellery designer, but i care mostly because i want it to be me. One thing i don’t care about is diamonds, i actually hate them so i want a sapphire, a ring with a diamond would make me thing if they knew me.
    But i wouldn’t need the ring at the time of proposal, that’d be better in private like in bed in the morning, i hate the idea of other people being a around like you have to say yes because they’re all watching.

  • moi je m’en moque de la taille du diamant et de la bague… !
    et puis ça voudrait dire que si tu n’as pas beaucoup d’argent ta demande va être nulle parce que tu n’auras pas pu acheter une big bague … or c’est faux !!
    tout ce qui compte c’est l’imagination qu’il y a autour…
    si on réfléchit bien on est beaucoup plus touché(e)s par les choses qui ne s’achète pas ….

  • I asked my man spontaneously and we went ring shopping together :) And we’re both from NYC!

  • The way i see it is, your wedding day isn’t the best day of your life, its just a symbolic beginning of the best days of your lives to come.
    I had a little wedding, and my husband bought me a ring from a local artist that I had been admiring for some time. Nothing extravagant, but we saw our wedding as a way of celebrating our new beginning together with the people we love the most. I think it does not need to be any more than that.

  • Why would you even get married? What does it add to your relationship?

  • I’m Swiss, but I don’t think that our engagement was very traditional. My fiancé asked my Dad first, which I thought was really sweet, so when he actually proposed I knew what was up of course. He did go down on one knee and was incredibly nervous and the ring, well, I didn’t like it. I told him that and he was fine with it and I got to choose a new one which is very dainty and usually people don’t even know it’s an engagement ring, but I love it!

  • Moi je trouve ça assez ringard les fiançailles à l’américaine . J’aime encore moins les grands mariages avec habit de cocher et meringue en mousseline . C’est la faute à cet esprit français, un peu bobo, qui trouve beaucoup plus romantique les disputes en noir et blanc avec fuite sous la pluie en trench et escarpins et retrouvailles dans un troquet au petit matin. Les françaises sont des masos de l’amour, on n’a moins de plans de carrière, on est brouillon quoi….

  • I love this post.
    I couldn’t agree more – I find it shocking how much effort, time, and expense is placed on engagements and weddings. Please notice I’m not talking marriage, that is hopefully, a lifelong journey.

    I do love my engagement ring, my husband spent much more than I would have ever expected on it. But for our wedding, I did a civil ceremony with our parents as witnesses and then a party in my parents’ home for about 30 people. I can’t believe how enormous the wedding affairs have become.

    And beyond movies and tv shows – look at all the reality tv out there – say yes to the dress, 4 weddings, rich bride-poor bride – it’s all designed to be a massive show. Unnecessarily I feel.

    ~Natasha Fatah~

  • I just got engaged on Saturday, and yes my ring is lovely. But that’s because I picked it out, haha! I just was waiting to see if he bought it or not. The proposal was totally low key, at home, which was perfect. Every thing is bigger and crazier in New York, and perhaps in a good portion of the U.S. But there are still many of us who love a beautiful ring, but also love an understated proposal and wedding.

  • Honey…. I’m Italian.. no huge rings required.. none..
    BUT! IN ITALY the traditional weddings require to involve the entire family (even that people you almost don’t know)! And the majority of our marriages are in the church.. here the Vatican is sooo felt!

    I don’t pretend a super super romantic proposal, I like the simply things… but I have to admit that I cried during the video.. ;-)

  • I’m so glad you wrote about this. I’m an American, but have always been a bit off-put by this pervasive bridezilla culture. My husband and I walked to the courthouse to get married and we both have simple matching gold bands. I love the no-fuss aspect of it all. And our private lives are very romantic.

    But to each his/her own I suppose.

  • It’s nice to read so many opinions and personal stories. Thanks!

    There’s a great article on Huffington Post by Ira Weissman who was in the diamond business for many years: “7 Reasons Why Diamonds Are a Waste of Your Money:”

    There are so many ways to celebrate a union between two people who love eachother but one thing that it should always be is debt-free!

  • In my country (Romania), everything is super important – the ring, where he asks, how he asks, the wedding, the dress, the party, the wedding location, everything.
    Even so, I feel super lucky that these kind of huge proposals with dances, music and public don’t take place here. I would hate that to happen to me:(
    Here’s an even more public proposal. Scary.

  • The American wedding industry is SCARY. So much pressure for young kids who are indoctrinated at a very early age… Tabloids also play a part by constantly reporting on weddings and in particular ring SIZE of celebs! Disgusting and stupid considering the average length of today’s marriage! 50% ? Keep it simple and save your money for a down payment on a house/condo! My wedding party consisted of 35 people and for me even that was too big! (big family)! There is one wedding scene that brings tears to my eyes whenever I travel to Italy… After the ceremony the newly wedded couple exit the church or town hall and take a stroll down the main street or piazza of the village or town. At this point people stop and let them walk in the centre as they all applaude them! It is a beautiful, joyous moment that welcomes the new couple into the world by family, friends and strangers! It is almost a good luck initiation! Ciao

  • Je trouve tout ça surtout si conventionnel!
    Je n’ai jamais bien compris pourquoi on se mariait, sinon un peu par automatisme. Pour moi qui suis romantique et assez sentimentale, rien de plus triste qu’un contrat pour s’aimer à vie… Pour moi l’important est que mon amoureux soit l’homme de ma vie, maintenant. On verra dans 5 ans, puis dans 20 ans aussi!
    Sinon je trouve les noces souvent sympas, alors j’aime bien organiser des fêtes avec mes amis, pas besoin d’un mariage pour s’entourer d’amour!

  • In Uruguay we re a little bit more traditional. If you come from a “good familly” and want to impress your future familly in law, then you should ask the father for permission first. He will obviously say yes, but you should do it anyway.

    Anyway, thank god i don t have to spend 20.000 dollars, just to “show” how much i love my gf. i think you can perfectly do so, by doing little things, every single day, that show how much you care. of course, you can give awesome, kick ass presents as well (actually, girls tend to encourage them ahahhaah) but they are not expected when proposing.

  • So the proposal …where I live ,Bulgaria, because of Hollywood, there is definitely a ring involved, no one knee, no formal speech, just producing the ring in front of the girl and starting to talk very nervously about being in love – that’s it. That’s with all of my girlfriends and some couples/mainly when the people come from divorced parents/ they don’t marry at all.Oh and the boys do try to find a ring that will be liked by the girl and spend as much money as the can afford – they are not cheep when buying a ring and they propose on a vacation – Rome, Paris, some like my husband are the most original – at our home. Before American culture , it was simply a discussion and then announcing it to the parents and throwing an engagement party. Now there is no engagement party.

  • Salut Garance,
    personnellement je n’ai jamais vraiment fantasmé sur les fiançailles, trouver quelqu’un avec qui on va passer le reste de sa vie me paraît déjà assez laborieux pour qu’en plus je m’embarrasse des modalités autour du mariage. Cependant, je trouve très beau le principe de sceller son amour autour d’un bijoux précieux (mais pas nécessairement un diamant ou même une bague), il me semble qu’une approche un peu “revisitée” de la bague de fiançailles, serait d’autant plus touchante et originale.

    p.s : ce post serait il un message subliminal à Scott ? ;)

  • Aujourd’hui c’est vraiment pas ma journée mais qu’est-ce que ton poste m’a fait sourire Garance. Mon copain et moi, un jour on va se marier, mais il aimerait faire les choses dans les règles de l’art, d’abord demander à mon père, mettre le genou à terre et tout ça alors pour le taquiner je lui demande parfois juste pour rire “tu veux m’épouser?” et il me répond toujours en souriant “oui une fois”. Cet après-midi alors qu’il dormait (il travaille de nuit), je suis allée le réveiller (c’était ma mission) et je lui ai susurré dans le creux de l’oreille “tu veux m’épouser?” et là il me répond “oui” et enchaîne “et toi tu veux m’épouser” OH MY GOD, ma gorge se bloque et je lui réponds oui prise de panique. Finalement, il dormait encore à moitié et ma proposition, je vais encore devoir l’attendre…

  • I really don’t like the “bigger than life” thing… for me it’s just the love you feel, the simple pleasure of being together and the relaxed moment where both of the people involved in a relationship take de decision of getting married. Don’t really fell comfortable with the stereotypes of men and women present in this habits
    sorry for my (bad) english! Luckily in Argentina the ring is not important at all

  • We, Brazilians, are nice too. No need for engagement ring either.

  • Hello,

    Ma carte de visite ….. un PACS et un collier Rochas. J’ai les mariages en horreur.

  • ah ben donc en tant que Francaise… et judgemental (haha je découvre le mot !!), exilée dans un autre pays d’Europe plus germanique mais qui reste malgré tout européen… Je trouve que ce rêve de princesse à qui il faut absolument prouver des choses (pourquoi ?) est enfantin et emprunt de volonté de pouvoir sur l’autre (quel début de relation).

    Et puis j’ai été mariée, et plus mariée ensuite, car franchement : promettre de rester avec la même personne toute sa vie, c’est vraiment pas en face des réalités, et même si j’aime mon ex-mari toute ma vie j’ai pas envie de vivre avec lui toute ma vie (ben il est énervant c’est vrai faut l’avouer) et je veux aimer aussi d’autres personnes, et j’aime d’autres personnes, m’enfin. Pourquoi on pourrait aimer plusieurs enfants ou plusieurs chats ou chiens et pas plusieurs relations ?

    Donc le rêve de princesse et son prince au cheval blanc qui vient la sauver, qui doit lui décrocher la lune (sans quoi, quoi…??), qui doit lui faire des preuves qu’elle a bien le plus gros égo du monde et qu’elle est déjà la nana la plus chiante de la ville, et lui faire croire que l’irréalité existe, ben… AU secouuuuuuurs !! Quelle prison !! Liberté chériiiieee !!

  • And btw I think it’s silly to relate the lenght or intensity of one’s love to the price of the jewel. I had one boyfriend that loaded me with rings and earings. Years later I found out that he cheated on me with half of Rio de Janeiro, our hometown. Now I am more than happy with my marxist low budget History professor who gave me a pair of pearl drop earings that he’s paying in five installments. :-) He respects me. That’s what counts.

  • The very large engagement rings look rather vulgar, like wearing a price tag. Recently the UK has been infected by the ludicrously large wedding mania which scary both because each component is wildly overpriced for what it is and because the total cost is out of all proportion to what the couple can afford. Surely true friends will be happy to be there on one’s wedding day and if you need to show off to them so much, maybe they aren’t rue friends

  • La dernière video va peut être faire changer d’avis pas mal de francaises qui comme moi ne croient pas au mariage

  • I’m American, a Midwesterner transplanted to the East. My husband and I lived together for few years before looking at each other and saying, “hey, so what about getting married”. No engagement ring but we went together to pick out our wedding bands. I’m not much for jewelry, but I did end up with a little sparkle. I think that was more him than me. We had just bought our house together so before we moved in, we were married in what is now our dining and living room in the presence of our parents and brothers and sisters — Very intimate, very simple, and very much about our commitment. That evening we invited friends and co-workers for a party but didn’t tell them the occasion. The surprise and enthusiasm on their faces when we announced the news was a fantastic celebration. For me, I loved that we kept our marriage simply a private affair, about ourselves. To me that was romantic and authentic to the way we want to live our lives together. Looking back, it all still makes me smile and my only regret is that we didn’t hire a photographer as excited family members don’t necessarily take good, flattering photos.

  • I totally get what your saying about American weddings, Garance! And you didn’t even touch on the subject of the cheesy engagement photos sessions. (ack!!!) My parents had nothing like this when they were young and in love so I wonder if it might be as much a generational thing as it is cultural? Anyways, I’m an American and had a very simple engagement and fairly simple wedding… it was big but not fancy. I wouldn’t say that I “couldn’t care less” before my engagement. I wanted to get engaged and married!! But I didn’t feel the need for a dramatic to-do! All I wanted was a heartfelt request from the man I loved. (and yes, I still very much love him).

  • I got married only three weeks ago and my husband went on his knee, had a beautiful ring and asked if I would like to become his wife. Simply, in the evening at home, completly alone, no witnesses involved. I would not want it any other way, I got so emotional I could hardly see through my tears of joy what kind of ring he had chosen, I just wanted to be in his arms enjoying the moment and pushed the little box away. Few minutes later he has asked me if I don`t want to put my ring on and have a closer look. I`ve never seen more beautiful ring, nothing huge, classy and fitted my hand absolutely perfectly. I cannot imagine having such private and emotional moment at any public place or with anybody else involved. What I find the best is that he knew it and totally respected it. Tomorrow we are off for our honeymoon and I`ve never been happier and more in love than now:)

  • Carolina I.: I couldn’t agree more!

  • Reading all of these comments is such a great insight into what’s really going on away from the stereotypes portrayed in the media. Here, in Australia, it’s a mix of all of the above, mainly because it’s such a mix of cultures and traditions and the cultural diversity doesn’t dictate one particular way of doing things.

    My wedding was very small and intimate. I’m not into the ‘big’ and I wanted to keep it as relaxed as possible. The moment I met my husband I knew he was ‘the one’ for me. His flatmate had lent me a manual for the program that we use to compose music for TV and film and I’d gone to their house to pick it up. Bam … we talked for over 3 hours and became friends for about a year. I wanted to be sure about him because I’d come out of a bad relationship and didn’t want a repeat performance! We’ve been together for 15 years and got married 5 years ago. Again, I wanted to be sure! Rings, bling and status items are fleeting symbols but knowing that someone loves you and respects you is a wonderful life experience and far richer. Gotta say … he does spoil me … but it’s from all of OUR hard work from our business that we have together! xox Alison

  • Nah, mais vous etes serieuses, les filles? La bague est un must!

  • How sad to think you are worth something if you get a ring. No wonder young girls have so many problems these days…
    And don´t get me started on losing your last name to take your husbands. I´m never going to get the point of it.
    In Argentina we don´t do that, and we don´t care about the ring at all (in general, that is.) A gold band is the typical wedding ring.
    I lived in Sydney, got married to an australian and everybody thought I was crazy because I didn´t want a diamond and did not change my last name.

  • J’adore! And its so true what you are saying! I feel like I am in between the parisian and the new yorker!
    I am also a young illustrator, photographer, and i love fashion!
    please check out my blog!

  • I’m American and I’d say that the scenario you described is not really typical at all. That’s more of a stereotype of American culture and what you see on reality tv, in movies, celebrities, etc. It’s not how most people live. For example, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 15 years and we are not married. We know a lot of other couples like us. We might get married some day, but we will probably have a small ceremony with family and close friends or elope if we do. And as for the ring, I see so many people these days buying handmade rings on Etsy or buying vintage/estate jewelry instead of buying a big ostentatious “rock” so to speak. No matter how you choose to do it though, the marriage/relationship is the important part, not the wedding. I think most Americans would agree with me on that.

  • Je m’en fiche pas mal de la taille de la bague, mais j’aimerais une vraie demande, avec genoux à terre, eventuellement chorégraphie, chanson, et tout ce qui peut aller avec en mode comédie musicale romantique américaine (non, on ne peut pas faire plus kitsh là je pense).

  • Ou l’art de faire à l’envers !
    Oui, parfois tout cela compte, même si ce n’est pas fait à l’endroit ! Oui d’accord la rencontre le coup de foudre l’amour les séparations et autres divorces qui vont avec (bref les vies d’avant) mais … dans mon ordre, les enfants (2 filles !), le mariage et enfin la bague de fiançailles ;-) jolie Tiffany & Co. Et voilà, ça fait 18 ans pour ce petit tour dans la vie.

  • Wow vu le nombre de commentaires, effectivement ça soulève quand même des passions des 2 côtés de l’Atlantique

  • Garance,
    Blame it on Tiffany. Blame it on America being the best at marketing in the world. i am glad that you are not another eccentric Frenchie, you actually (almost) embrace this cultural difference. heehee…why should you not?!

  • I’m with Cate- don’t believe everything you see on television! I’m American, and my husband is too. We got married because we wanted to share a life and, if we’re very lucky, grow old together- not to put on a show! My American friends are of a like mind.

    To each his own, just remember that the wedding is over in a day, the marriage is for life!

  • There was a ring. But a simple one. I saw it one day in a jewellery store in Paris. I fell in love. Not an engagement ring. 6 months later on one of our boyfriend-girlfriend anniversaries, he surprised me with it. I cried out of happiness, joy, and the sheer thoughtfulness of the gift, and for the fact that indeed, this man in my life paid attention to even the little fleeting things.

    Years later we were in the ocean on vacation, both down on our knees, wading and laughing, and that is when he proposed, just like that, spur of the moment. No new ring. I didn’t want one. I now wear the ring mentioned above as my engagement ring.

    And our wedding, simple as the proposal. Surrounded by the ones we love.

    Everyone is different and I don’t think it has anything to do with my countrys practices, as they are similar to yours, (Canada) but perhaps it has to do with my European roots. ;)

  • I’m not French, but from Europe tho and my “Gawd” (paraphrasing you), you cannot imagine how happy I am that someone else on this North American continent (I’m in Canada) think in the same way as me. Maybe there are few more…

  • No matter what people say, I love Tiffany. The Tiffany setting is the best for solitaire. Hands down! To me, it’s both classic and trendy at the same time. Besides, what girl would turn down a blue box?

  • I have a solitaire and little diamonds with sapphires band. Nice looking and this is whati wanted at the time because i am french-canadian and for some reasons i disnt really care! Now I wish we had spent more money on the ring and less on the dress and reception! Most of my friends have big ri ngs on their finger and I love the way it looks!! Big rings make such a statement since I do not wear any other piece of jewelry…. So make sure you love your ring because you will have to wear it forever!

  • Garance:

    Im from buenos aires argentina, and in my country we don’t have the north american tradition of the diamond ring. I marry an american and he proposed to me in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. I loved it of course,i felt like in a movie and i cried like a baby, but is theres something more cheesy than that? lol

  • Déjà c’est culturel et traditionnel ici en France: je viens d’une grande famille et oui, les fiançailles c’est important (demande en mariage, dîners officiels des présentations des familles blabla bague au doigt et cie…) oui toute la famille est concernée, les amis aussi jusqu’au mariage!! c’est une étape de dingo dans une vie !! par contre j’ai des amis en effet autour de moi qui ont eu une éducation laïque, et qui vivent en couple avec des fois des enfants sans voir l’obligation de se marier!! on sent beaucoup moins cette rupture aux US je trouve…
    des bizettes!!!

  • i’m coming in a little late here (i was away at the cottage), but i could care less (about engagements, rings, etc.). i’m canadian (for context), and my boyfriend and i knew we would get married for a good while before we did (about 3 years). eventually he wanted to get me a ring and we talked about it and picked one out that is beautiful and handmade by woodturning (made of 9 different woods) with a silver base. it sounds fancy (to me), but costed about 50 bucks custom made. there was no grand proposal (or grand wedding for that matter) but i love it to this day and wear it as well as my wedding band now. i think if there’s too much focus on the ring, an extravagant proposal, or an extravagant wedding, it’s very easy to lose sight of what it’s actually all about.

  • Even though girls here in Portugal tend to give a lot of importance to getting married, there’s no such pressure around the proposal! Honestly! I mean, most of my girlfriends want to plan the marriage themselves, find the perfect spot as a couple and such, and would probably frown at the idea of having someone pick everything for them xD
    Then there are those like me who don’t care much about actually getting married, it’s more about finding the right place to live with the right person and live happily without pressure (ok, honestly, I would be terrified if I had to make it to a big wedding with the endless list of guests that some american weddings have).
    Ps: Funniest wedding proposal indeed! Loved it!

    My Own Project

  • Hey Garance! I defintely think the same way about you. But I dont get the point of studying the american society that way when you really know as a french girl how it works. We’re not only talking about the engagement ring is about how the new york scene it works. I believe that all americans are really stupid. And I LOVE BEYONCE coz she had the guns to laugh about the society and make record getting lots of money and support. Where ma ring at superladies?

  • I think Australia is slowly going the American way, with bigger and bigger rocks. But it still varies a lot. I’ve known girls who have had no engagement ring, girls who haven’t had a diamond, girls who’ve taken a relative’s ring (from his or her side), and girls with three carat rocks. All from relatively similar social circles. I think there is less societal pressure on the couple though.

    My now-husband painted ‘marry me’ on the side of a horse, a la The Simpsons (the episode called Lisa’s Wedding). He couldn’t get hold of a cow. It was what I kept jokingly asking him for by way of my ‘big proposal.’

  • Ok, I’m bawling from the video. I love it!! How much thought (and dance rehearsal) was put into that?

  • I just watched that second video, and *_* wow. Um, in response to that video and the American need to make romance bigger than a Friday night special from Chevys (shudder) – I blame Disney!!

    ..but I suppose it was a sweet gesture ;*)

  • 11 ans avec mon copain, 2 gamins et toujours pas envie ni de me marier, ni de la bague, je suis indécrottable (et pourtant je suis half-rosbeef, je devrais avoir le gène). En plus, j’ai hérité d’une grand-mère une bague en platine et 3 diamants, sur une monture années 30 absolument parfaite les soirs où je veux avoir un beau bijou.

    PAR CONTRE, je pourrais me marier rien que pour une robe Delphine Manivet. Indécrottable, te dis-je ^^

  • This youtube marriage proposal was in my hometown, Portland, Oregon. Our famous city slogan is “Keep Portland Weird” so don’t take this as typical “American”. Life is a bit more colorful out here – I think because we live with rain 7 months out of every year. Seriously. We’re a little wacky once the sun finally comes out (but in the best possible way!).

  • I’m an American with the Frenchies. Big fat rings bug me. They are so sexist. They tell the world how “rich and successful ” the man is. Why would a woman need to show the world how rich and successful her man is? Show the world how rich, smart and successful YOU ARE! I feel like a big diamond is like a billboard for the man’s net worth. Any man that needs a billboard….I wouldn’t want him. Much more interested in what he doesn’t NEED to show the world…what he shows me privately. If you’ve got one, whatever….they can be pretty I guess. But I would NEVER wear one. I am my own woman and prefer to think of my husband as my lover, partner, friend – not a cash machine.

  • I agree, it’s a cultural difference. But I don’t know if the dividing line is American/French, I think it varies wildly even within the states depending on family traditions and upbringing. My husband proposed to me in a simple restaurant in Spain that we ate at all the time, with a beautiful delicate little ring that he picked out all by himself, no pressure, no stress. I was overjoyed of course, cause I love the guy, but I’d never thought much about marriage. My soon-to-be sister-in-law on the other hand is currently engaged and planning her dream wedding, and watching her is like watching someone from another planet, culturally speaking. But like you say, it is sweet, and there’s no reason for us to be judgmental either way. It’s just different, and that in itself is beautiful.

  • My husband proposed to me on the floor of his dingy, little apartment. No ring. After much parental drama, six months later, I told him I only wanted to be his wife. He said he wanted me to be his wife. Off to the courthouse we went. The only ring I had on was three entwined silver bands that I still wear to this day.

    A year after he sweetly bought me a gold band with tiny diamond chips so I wouldn’t feel cheated. Many years after that I requested a larger white gold pipe cut band with our initial engraved. But I always wear the original $7 silver bands.

  • I like it the French way, I got a small diamond without engagement and the biggest proof of love was having a child.

    Today? We are married with two beautiful children and I had to wait to turn forty to get the most amazing ring :)

    Although you wrote a disclaimer I would like to ask Scott, what are you waiting for?? You are looking at her and you speak about her with love (I watched the kate spade video that’s how I can tell), you two are soo sweet. Scott, Garance te tend la perche avec ce billet (good luck with the translation ;)

  • I am an American and I agree with you (as with most of your ideas on your blog). What use is a 22 karat diamond to lug around the rest of your life?

  • Any sincere expression of love is dear and romantic. My husband proposed with a modest diamond in a park we frequented in a light rain. He was so nervous and all that makes thememory, even 10 years later, precious.

  • such a fair and interesting point you raise. is marriage really what it is all about? i believe engagement must be a very exciting time but it is not imperative to get married to experience love and happiness.

  • In response to Lori • “Americans need to be more concerned with the marriage rather than the ring. Maybe that is why the divorce rate is so high, no? A ring is a nice sentiment, but it’s about two people madly in love who want to build and spend a life together. Thanks for clarifying why a ring is the most important thing, Garance.”

    Um… yeah… so way to be judgmental. Firstly, Americans (from the United States b/c there are other countries in the Americas) don’t have the highest divorce rate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s high, but not the highest. Don’t believe what you see in the movies about engagements.

    I, having grown up in the US, never thought a ring or even a wedding was paramount. I did however want a ring (engagement/wedding), but it didn’t have to be a diamond. I just wanted one that reflected us as a couple. People can thing, “eh, whatever… it’s not the most important thing” and I agree, but here in the US it is a symbol of a very important promise. You are also going to be wearing it everyday. So it doesn’t have to break the bank, but it should be at the very least thought out. I like the that someone else shared about the Dior ring. I think that is the point.

    When I got engaged my man gave me a lovely antique ring and the moment I saw the box I knew. We had discussed it for months and I was so excited that I didn’t give him a chance to propose before I said yes. We laughed and then I cried. We didn’t have a wedding either… well we eloped in the court house, but we did have a party in the park with our families (really small- maybe less than 40 people).

    I don’t know any female friends that put that much emphasis on the ring or even the wedding. In my experience that type of pressure comes usually from the families- particularly with weddings. I think Lynne brought up a good point about financial independence dictating wedding traditions.

  • I like this saying best: The smaller the engagement ring, the longer the marriage. :)

  • My husband proposed on impulse while at the top of the Eiffel Tower. He was very nervous and acting strange and thought he was scared of the height. At first I was kind of annoyed that he wanted me to sit down! He presented me with the miniature Eiffel Tower statue that he had teased me about buying downstairs earlier. I was caught totally off guard and it was very sweet. We bought a pink galvanised steel ring from a market as the engagement ring (which I have since lost). We were traveling around Europe at the time and I wanted to save our money for one really beautiful wedding ring made by a family friend. So for me, the ring wasn’t important, it was about the commitment we were making. That said, I do think my wedding ring is pretty special.

  • This post comes at just the right time, it’s uncanny! I used to think the “french way”: no ring, no big romantic proposal etc, but I’ve changed my mind lately, and started thinking “why shouldn’t I want it all”? And actually, I now do ;)

  • I have never commented here, but I had to now as as my unconventional engagement ring and wedding have been raising eyebrows for years. My husband proposed with a personalized gold band (I hate diamonds), and we got married outdoors next to a river in hiking clothes. And, yes, we still performed a ceremony even though it was just the two of us (this tidbit really seems to blow people’s minds). It was perfect, and so “us.” I think this conveys my thoughts on the American marriage/wedding obsession, so enough said.

  • I am Brazilian and in my country there’s no tradition about “the ring”, although the whole ceremony is still very much important for most of the families. I myself chose a diferent path: got married abroad in a small civil wedding almost 20 years ago….

  • Have you read this? It’s basically about how the whole “a diamond is forever” engagement ring idea is just a very clever marketing strategy. After reading that, I think I’d want either a vintage ring or one with another kind of stone, not a diamond.

  • who needs a ring at all! I am from the west coast ‘creative class’. rings are considered personal and something to be kept forever. I forget to wear it for days at a time although no less married. the sub-sector of humans in the NY fashion/social/trust fund community is really an infinitesimal spec in terms of the world of marriage. it’s all personal–whatever you two choose will be distinctly unique to you–no need to explain!

  • Normal size ring, Vegas wedding, 20 years and counting. If your wedding day is the happiest day of your life, your life is going to be downhill for a long long time. If you need a huge rock, just buy it.

  • La video de Joya est incroyable.
    Mais alors que je trouve ça kitch ça m’a donné les larmes aux yeux. En fait derrière le côté plouc je trouve ça bouleversant qu’un homme puisse imaginer cela.
    A méditer messieurs…

  • in my opinion (the greek girl) a ring is nice but of course it does not have to be like a giant stone ! well, not TOO small either but, you know, a something is nice… and personally I would not like a super organised proposal at all. my brother proposed to his wife during their usual , saturday morning, on the top of the mountain, seeing a beautiful view of athens, walk… and it was so cute! I mean it should be whatever the man feels like doing, whatever matches to his personallity and makes him feel confortable…

    and I will never stop wondering: WHY would you spend 1-2-3 milion $ on a ring??? well I hope it only happens at Hollywood otherwise I cannot understand it…

  • So I know that the whole idea of “engagement” (the ring, the place, the proposal) is quite a production, a little superficial with many expectations, but heck- I still want my man down on one knee expressing his love and offering me a little sparkle!! I respect your opinion though, Garance, and thank you for being so honest.


  • ce qui me laisse perplexe par rapport à une demande en mariage à l’américaine est que dire non est vraiment, mais vraiment difficile.

  • I think the wedding industrial complex in America is out of control. No wedding/marriage can live up to the hype.

    And there is something weird about this focus on the size of the ring, the wedding, etc. etc. when the divorce rate is so high.

    I like the Italian style of not having an engagement ring (they’re just started to become a thing here) and not taking your husband’s name.

  • As you said, Garance, I find the “american way” so un-chic.

  • “Bon quand aux françaises…” —> Bon quant aux françaises.

  • My distant French Bohemian heritage must be coming through, because even though I am an American, I don’t relate at all to this American standard. It could be also that I am from the West Coast, Oregon to be exact (hippies, mountains, laid back relaxed lifestyles). I used to focus so much on dreaming about extravagant weddings and rings, until I met my boyfriend of two and a half years. He has totally rocked my idea of love. For me love is not a showy thing, but instead the life blood of our relationship. At my wedding I want people to be focused on the depth of the commitment we are making to each other, and less about the decorations and the huge diamond ring. I want people to see me and my man for the love we carry with each other, a love not centered on materialism, but instead centered on a passionate romance and friendship. Everybody is different, but I tend to lose sight of what love is truly about when it gets infiltrated with material things.

  • Well in Greece marriage is a kind of trend lol.
    Nowdays because of the financial crisis they do more plain ceremonies.
    I believe that a traditional ceremony in Greece is an original way to get married.

  • No ring, no flowers, no candlelight dinner. We just decided to get married, informed our parents and had a very simple wedding 3 months after. It was quite anti-romantic considering all the relationship drama that we had.

  • I completely agree with you!! especially with” If you like it then you’d better put a ring on it! Said differently, if your man loves you, he better prove it!!! Yeeeeeeah, powaaaah!”:))

  • Moi qui pensais qu’on voyait ça uniquement dans les films..

  • Oh no Garance this is the best proposal ever: bisous

  • Hey lovely Garance, glad you mentioned this controversial subject. In slovak countries- Poland,Czech,Slovakia etc there is in most cases a pressure to get married because “its what people do when they love each other” If you live with a boyfriend and dont plan to get married soon people assume you’renot sure or you avoid sth. Most of my girlfriends are so focused on engagement before it even happens (wonder what their boys think about that…), marriage and huuuuuge wedding to be in the center of attention once in their lives. I am with my soulmate for 5 years, we live together and we plan to get married some day but for me it has to be very intimate and also I dont want to get married in church. For me there is no need to create this circus just to please your guests. Just a simple ceremony and maybe a kick ass honey moon. But honestly I think that I would really want a marriage when I would start thinking about having a baby, to me it would be about family.

  • Nice post! Us being Dutch, we went all practical :-) We had talked about marriage in general terms and decided it would be good if he had his studies wound up first. So when his finals were approaching I brough it up again and we simply sat and picked a date (a practical one) together. We bought wedding rings which we wore as engagement rings and then had them engraved before the wedding (slightly oldfashined now, it used to be the norm in my parents’ younger days). We planned our own, totally idiosyncratic wedding: we had the civil ceremony and a mass, then a home reception with homemade cakes, sandwiches and drinks, then a nap-break for our dear grannies (our maid of honour and groomsman made us take one too), the parents with kids made that a beach/playground break. After that we had a restaurant dinner with a small group and then a big party (no reception) with dancing and a late night buffet. We had a ball. We skipped the formal wedding cake as we’d have had to cram it in and overload the programme. We stuck to a budget we were comfortable with. People had such a good time they talked about it for years (really!). It’s been more than 16 years now, ups and downs of course, two teenage kids by now and still married :-) If I had to do it all over again, there’s not a single thing I would change about that day.

  • As a European (Spanish) living in NY for the past 14 years, I’ve always found this part of the culture amazing and not in a good way. I feel it takes a bit over the reality of the situation (two people are in love and want to spend their lives together). It is nice to be asked in a romantic setting, it is a nice to receive a very nice ring… it shouldn’t be all. And sadly here, it seems to be.

  • Another American view:

    One morning, upon waking, he asked. No ring, just morning breath. I said, Probably. He got in the shower, I called all my friends and told them we were engaged. When he came out, I said yes. 9 months later we found these beautiful platinum art deco rings from the late 20’s. We bought all 3 for next to nothing. I wear them with his mother’s platinum bangles (6 of them, all from India). We skipped the ceremony, I kept my name, and we call each other husband and wife. We did it our way. . .

  • Et sinon, hier Shulamith Firestone est morte. Feministe radicale, dans son livre phare ‘ The Dialectic of Sex’, il y a un chapitre intitulé ‘The culture of romance’ à propos de l’amour corrompu par le pouvoir, l’argent etc… Je recommande.

  • Boston meets Mumbai:

    He asked one morning as we lounged in bed over magazines. I said probably. He showered. I called all my friends. I said yes over breakfast. 9 months later we came across 3 platinum art deco rings from the 30’s for next to nothing in a thrift store near home. I wear them with his mother’s silver bangles from India. I kept my name, we skipped the ceremony, and three years later we consider ourselves married. The mere IDEA of a ceremony (in Boston or Mumbai) left us both overwhelmed and exhausted.

    We started calling ourselves married after people kept asking if we were married yet and when we said no — they reacted as if someone had died! Oh my god, what happened? I’m so sorry. You don’t have to talk about it. . . . Its just easier to say we’re married than to explain that we don’t want a ceremony!

    Oh! I almost forgot. He flew me to London and Paris for an impromptu vacation the summer we decided. I guess if I forgot this, it wasn’t the most important part, but it was terribly romantic! I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • the video is unbelievable! great sharing!
    I live in Madrid but my spend my life all around Europe traveling and working. I realize that American telvision had a great influence on what I expected from getting engaged but when it comes to thinking about how it should happen I prefer the European version. No fussing around and no marrying after a couple of months. In a strong relationship marriage is more than just getting engaged and having a big party with a white dress. It is about planning your life which is more important that kneeling down and hoping for a yes. I wouldn’t mind a nice ring but stressing around for it makes not much sense to me.

  • I’m from London. My boyfriend and I have been together for four and a half years. Lived together for over two years. We’ve discussed marriage and I’m definitely waiting but he’s freaking himself out about the kind of ring HE THINKS he should get.

    I constantly reassure him it’s not important and he could get me a £5 ring from a cheapy accessories shop, I just wish he’d get on with it! But he won’t budge.

    So I agree with you, Garance; guys are definitely more obsessed with The Ring than girls. I think it’s an ego thing. They believe that if they can get the most expensive ring out there, they are real men. LAAAAMMMME! JUST DO IT!

  • Garance, pity I didn’t have the time to read through the comments of your readers who are always insightful, but let me share this:

    Rings are not important. Don’t get me wrong. I love diamonds, their sparkle, their allure, their forever-ness, but at the end of the day… it’s all about love. If you can live with that special someone in happiness and harmony, that’s the real deal. I’m writing this because my engagement was recently broken and, you have my word on this, the ring on my finger was tops! Well, that wasn’t half enough to do the trick…

    So, girls, be happy, love and be loved, the rest is just cute little details, icing on the cake ;-)

    A big kiss from Greece!

  • Most traditionnal I heard was when my grandfather’s father went to see my grandmother’s father in his best suit, with cream-colored gloves to ask his daughter’s hand for his son. My then-not-yet-grandparents had already informally agreed to marry btw.

  • oh and they both had engagement ring. A chevalière for my grand-father

  • Love this wedding image
    j’adore cette image de marriage.
    Long live romance!

  • I don’t think the ring is deeply about romance. I think it just one of the ways NY women (and men!) try to assert their status and one up each other. I got engaged with a watch, per my preference. And I have yet to get married, and have absolutely no plans to do so. I love the French approach! You should write a post about the “push gift” phenomenon – which as far as I can tell, is a very NY thing.

  • Ah, hello. Not all the Americans are so different from the French on this. My boyfriend and I have been saying for years “Oh yes let’s get married . . . as soon as we can think of a good reason to do so.” And we haven’t yet — our relationship feels whole to us, and we don’t feel like being officially married would change anything. Except . . . you’re right that everyone gets married here. So if you’re not officially married, people assume you’re not in a serious relationship. E.G., men will continue to hit on you if you’re not wearing the ring, even if you’ve told them you have a boyfriend. Married couples assume that they’re somehow more committed than you are. I say that a commitment is a promise that’s lived out everyday, not one that is made once on a piece of paper.
    However, perhaps the reason Americans value marriage so much has something to do with our social system and (in an unexpected and a bit half-hearted way) women’s rights. If you’ve got the document, you’re guaranteed some financial support — for potential kids or just a cut for yourself — in the case of a divorce. A lot of women still don’t work, but we don’t have great social support, so maybe this is a way that women (probably unconsciously) protect themselves financially?

  • Here in Argentina nobody engaged, or never met anyone who does that. Here isn’t a custom, in that sense we’ re more like the french people.

  • Je trouve les américaines à la fois très romantique et très cul cul. Ce qui compte ce n’est pas la taille du bijoux ni le lieu ni le moment… c’est qu’il choisissent un bijou que je vais aimer parce qu’il me connaitra bien et peu importe le lieu. J’aimerais une jolie fête avec ce que j’aime… sans mariage. Bref aucune pression. Juste le bonheur.

  • Apparemment cette tradition viendrait du fait que les Américaines n’avaient autrefois aucun contre-partie financière en cas de divorce ou de la mort de leur conjoint. Ou comment une tradition avec une raison reste ancrée pour tout un peuple!

  • Here in Brasil we don’t use diamonds, we use a thin golden ring in the anelar finger of the right hand for engadgement. And the proposal is not a really big deal, is mostly when the two people are alone and rarely in a public place. When the guy asks you to be his girlfriend you get a thin silver ring and when you get engadged you substitute that for a golden ring that goes to your left finger after you get married. Normally the husband gives his wife a diamond when they have their first baby.

  • chuis déçue j’ai cru que tu allais nous annoncer tes fiançailles et nous montrer ta bague ;))))

  • I’ll buy my own diamonds, thank you very much. Over-blown proposals are all about wanting to impress strangers with how clever you are! I have no desire to be married again or to share my flat with a guy. Over it….however if some charming man wants to be apart of my world once in a while, I would not object to some fun times!!

  • Approach to marriage, among many other issues, is way different in Europe and the States. Americans seem to be very materialistic and to them, a value is only acknowledged if expressed materialistically. They buy big houses, big cars, diamond rings, etc. Everything has to have a financial stamp of approval; otherwise, it’s as if they don’t exist.
    The same goes for everything in relationship – who’s gonna say ‘i love you first’? omg, that’s out now, i guess next step is moving in, and if that happens, well engagement should be around the corner, oh! what kind of ring will i get (her), etc. Everything seems so structured and predictable and soul-less, so no wonder why 50% of marriages in the US end up in divorce. Most people are so obsessed with getting engaged and throwing a lavish party for their wedding that they forget what marriage truly represents.
    We could also say that the way Americans approach engagement is very similar to arranged marriages … which Americans view as an old-fashion tradition (just like Europeans view American approach to the entire thing). It’s all very superficial. They read way too many fairy tales and project them on their lives later on, when they start looking for Prince Charming.
    How many guys cant pay for the ring with cash, so they take a loan for it? Personally, that’s beyond irresponsible. But to each his own, I guess.
    Also, Americans say ‘i love you’ way too many times. “Honey, I’m a grocery store. Do you need anything? OK. I love you.”, “Babe, I’ll meet you there in 15. I love you.” Once the cat is out of the bag, it’s really hard to control it: the true power of saying ‘i love you’ kinda weakens eventually.

    In Europe, it’s completely different. People get married cause it’s a stage in life – their ancestors did, so shy should they do any differently? They don’t shop for a loan in order to afford an engagement ring. The love is very unspoken and kinda given – you’re with me so you prolly love me. But that climate has changed cause Europeans have started to perceive marriage as an archaic custom; they are fine with a partnership.

    When it comes to social issues, the US is way behind Europe. For instance, while 47% of Americans believe in creationism, only 16% Brits believe that God created human beings.
    It seems to me that Americans have long way to go to really scratch the surface of what entails to be a human and with that being said, ring (a simple wedding band) is only a symbol of a partnership; it’s not and shouldn’t represent an ownership and/ or a status symbol.

  • In 1983, my parents were PhD candidates in the Midwest who had been dating for about a year. Both were in their early 30s; my mom had been married once, but my dad had just recently kicked his habit of dumping women after 6 months (aka when the relationship was “getting too serious”). One day they were in a real estate office — not looking for anything specific, just curious what was available in town — when my dad pointed to a listing and said, “We should buy this house and get married.” Unplanned, unprompted. My mom looked for any signs he might be kidding, and seeing none she replied, “Okay.” Their first idea was to get married in the university chapel, but that would have required six months of relationship counseling with a pastor. My mom had been married before; my dad had served in the Navy. Both were confident they could manage their personal affairs without the church’s input. So instead my mom put on a navy blue dress, and they got married at the county courthouse in front of two friends who served as witnesses. (My parents’ families lived hundreds and thousands of miles away, respectively.) There never was an engagement ring, exotic honeymoon, renewing of vows, or other big gestures. Just a dashing young couple and, a few years ago, the engraved silver bell my brothers and I gave them for their 25th wedding anniversary.

  • Gigi is right – that video proposal is *very* Portland. From the knit dress to the marching band. Not that everyone does that here! But we are total DIY weirdos, and we think of a lot of joyful group activities to do while we sit inside in the rain. (Case in point: a group of sketchy bearded men arrested with a gun on a major city bridge weren’t about to commit a mass shooting … they were having a photoshoot for breast cancer awareness: )

  • Love the video – made me cry. How fun.
    My husband, with his wonderful sense of humor, proposed to me in the toy department of Marshall Fields on State street in Chicago. By the sand toys. It was perfect.

  • Ha ha ! Y a peut-être pas de rapport avec l’actualité entre Scott et toi, mais comme manière détournée de lui glisser qu’après tout, tu n’es pas opposée à un solitaire de 3 carats (when it feels right of course) au cas où il aurait cru que ton cynisme français aurait pu laisser penser le contraire, c’est quand même pas mal ! ^^

    (Je suis FAN de la vidéo postée par Joya : c’est si romantique !!!)

  • En France, le libertinage est passé par là…Mais quand même je pensais que beaucoup de femmes proposaient de nos jours à leur moitié de se marier.

    C’est beau un homme qui dit “oui”

  • Ben bravo garance, j’ai bien chouiné en regardant cette petite vidéo… C’était too much mais si mignon, je dois un peu américaine!

  • Aujourd’hui il y a plus de spontanéité, c’est juste du romantisme pour moi cliché , c’est plus une pression qu’un acte véritable d’amour!

  • Awww…*sob sob*
    Best marriage proposal! My eyes are watery for real.

    Big hug Garance x

  • I think I would kill my boyfriend if he proposes to me like the guy from video, yes, of course it’s spectacular and good to watch on youtube but totally destroys the special and intimate moment between 2 people. But the girl seemed really happy :) Maybe I’m just more French than American inside, despite I’m Pole. Have spent too much time in France during studies. What I really DO LOVE is a picture of Goia, so romantic and peaceful.

  • I am from Angola and marriage is a huge thing, but the ring is not the major thing, the really important thing is the traditional proposal. This is when the family of the groom ( notice that it is his family not him) comes to the home of the future bride’s family to ask for her hand in marriage.
    It is about each side, each family getting to know each other, pointing out what is best about the future bride and groom. And Where the groom’s family has to bring money and gifts to the bride’s family.
    Some of it can seem really out dated and strange to some people. I think that the beauty of it all is that the emphasis is on making sure that this union will last, that the bride and groom are sure of what they want.
    Yes it is about two people coming together but it is also very much about the union of two families.

  • Je serais plutôt style discret mais émouvant. Je n’aime tout simplement pas avoir l’attention d’une foule sur moi. Mais comme je suis fleure bleu, j’dis pas non au souper aux chandelles et au genou par terre ;p

    Voici 2 exemples tout mignon!
    Comme ça:

  • My husband and I married eight years ago, without the ring. I work with my hands and would never remember to put it on, he isn´t really a jewellery kind of guy. I changed my name, everyone knows we are married anyway. So, no ring. It´s all about the love.

  • Je crois que l’idée d’une demande de mariage et d’un mariage idyllique arrive de plus en plus en France. J’ai 2 amies qui aiment très fort leurs chéris mais préfèrent attendre pour avoir des fiançailles romantiques et un mariage de rêve sauf qu’elles n’ont pas le budget donc doivent attendre un certain temps…
    Je pense qu’on devrait se marier lorsqu’on en a envie sans avoir un mariage forcément très bling-bling et très honéreux tant que l’amour est là c’est le plus important!!! Il faut pas oublier que des voeux ça se renouvelle et que c’est toujours l’occasion pour les mariés de se redire je t’aime pour les années à venir de différentes manières.
    On se souvient toujours de la première demande, si c’était parfait alors on en reparlera avec émotion et si c’était pas parfait… car souvent les hommes lisent mal dans nos pensées on en sourit et on pense à tout le bonheur qui à suivi la demande… Alors au fond ce qui compte c’est de choisir la bonne personne!


  • I have a funny experience to share, and I hope you’ll take the time read :)

    Just this morning, I texted my two best friends, both of whom I haven’t seen in a while. I texted them both that I missed them and I love them. The first one replied, saying the same to me, plus adding, “save the date on 12 June 2013.” To which I replied, “OMG! You’re engaged?” And she said, that not yet, but she and her beau are already planning.

    Then my other best friend replied back to my text message, saying the same to me (that she misses and she loves me too), while adding, “You’re the next one after my family who will know.” To which I replied, “Know what? Sounds exciting.” Then she told me that her boyfriend came home from overseas and proposed to her! So I told her, “OMG! You’re the one who is engaged!”

    I’m seriously happy for both of my friends, but I have to be honest, upon receiving both news, I wanted to hyper ventilate… My friends are moving forward, while I’m still single and not in a relationship. But I do trust that in the right time, I will meet the right man who will love me enough to marry me (and of course I’d love enough too to marry as well). Sigh, I’m such a hopeless romantic.

  • I can only repeat what has been said so many times before: it is not a matter of whats’s right or wrong in general, but whats right for that specific couple.
    For me, personally, If I was ever going to get married I find it much more important that the ring would feel “me” which would rather mean a nice, small vintage ring than a big diamond. And of course a nice, creative and personal proposal would make it even better.

  • Oh by the way, if I do get engaged, I don’t want it super extravagant. I just want it to be sincere, and true, filled with love.

  • Ma bague de fiançailles et une petite robe noire … Ma tenue préférée !

  • My partner and I have been together for years and had talked about marriage but life kind of got in the way..last week while on holiday, I noticed some newly-weds who looked so bored with each others company that I ranted about them all the way home and how’ you shouldn’t get married if you weren’t happy and in love’.. Anyway my boyfriend managed to silence me with a marriage proposal!! He had the ring with him and thought it would be a great moment!..ha ha anyway I’ve been engaged for 3 days now and happily havent shared the news yet with friends and family yet ( apart from you guys!) as I just want to enjoy the feeling for a while….

  • on peut trouver en France aussi des demandes en mariages vraiment “à l’américaine”, un toulousain qui a tout simplement réquisitionné le Gaumont le 11 novembre 2011 à 11h…

  • Oui, on dépense quand même beaucoup d’argent pour un mariage, même de ce côté-ci de l’Océan; il y a 14 ans que je suis mariée, et je dois vous avouer une chose : je ne me souviens de presque rien de la cérémonie, ni de la soirée, non pas parce que j’avais trop bu, hein, mais parce qu’on est dans un état second ce jour-là, on flotte un peu, et on n’est pas vraiment là; En revanche, mon voyage de noces, ça je m’en souviens: 1 mois en Australie!
    Les Français ont une réputation de romantisme, à tort je trouve. Je regarde autour de moi et le mari de mes amis le plus cool et le plus romantique que je connaisse est anglais!
    Mon mari m’a acheté une bague de fiançailles parce que j’en voulais une, ça l’a un peu agacé, il ne voit pas l’intérêt des bijoux en général. Pour autant, il porte son alliance religieusement depuis presque 14 ans. Pour finir, nos fiançailles se sont passées à 2, weekend romantique au bord de la mer (ce fut une idée commune) et ça je m’en souviens. Mais quand nous avons annoncé aux gens que nous étions fiancés, peu de réaction, sinon de la surprise (genre, comment pouvions-nous être aussi ringards!) C’était il y a 15 ans donc, et il n’y avait pas vraiment beaucoup de séries américaines ou autant de romcoms, à ce moment là…

  • My husband and I eloped and didn’t tell anyone for 6 months that we were married. It was very romantic to have this wonderful little moment to ourselves and just to enjoy being married with no pressure from anyone. When we got around to getting my ring we had a custom one done for less than an iPhone. No engagement ring, no diamonds, no fanfare. We wanted it to be just about us and for us, so we are either incredibly romantic or selfish. ;D

  • My husband and I got engaged 19 years ago. We were living in Berlin in a scruffy artists/students flat, no money but seriously head over heels for one another. Germany rings,engagements are no big deal either. Romantic yes but no ring.
    He proposed after a fabulous party by giving me a piece of beautiful silver jewellery he had had made in India years before with the idea that one day he would have a woman he would want to engage!
    Nothing could be more romantic than that! I “fitted the shoe” so to speak.
    However knowing that where I am from rings are a big thing ( “the rock”) I was given a painting of a diamond ring with the promise that one day I would receive one. I did. 5 years later for my 30th birthday. It is beautiful but my silver pendant still means more.

  • An English friend of mine in New York was pondering asking his American girlfriend to marry him, but he confided to me “she said the ring has to be at LEAST 1.5 carats otherwise her friends would laugh at her.” Charming! My advice was to run as fast as possible – from her AND her friends! (He’s since married a gorgeous Brazilian gal with no ring “issues”.) X

  • In ISRAEL its more about the wedding ring and dress rather than the engagement ring.
    love your blog!

  • Please please please Garance, keep being french!!!!

  • My husband did not propose, and he did not have a ring. We had had an ongoing dialogue about getting engaged, and one day we just said, “Okay, let’s do it, let’s be engaged.” I went without a ring for a few months because he had a close family friend custom design one for me. People always ask for our proposal story and are disappointed when I don’t have the classic “get down on one knee” to tell them. But the way we got engaged is the same way our relationship has always been – simple, genuine, and very us. To each their own!

  • Je vois que ce post déchaîne des centaines de commentaires passionnés…
    Vous devez me voir arriver, avec mon snobisme de française pour les conventions.
    Alors oui, de la même façon que je n’aime pas qu’on m’impose une tenue pour une soirée (si je vois “tenue habillée” j’ai des envies de meurtre et d’arriver en jean) eh bien je n’aime pas qu’on me prive de ma liberté de réponse. Un mec qui se met à genoux, après une mise en scène de ouf, et qui ouvre un écrin avec 30 carats dedans… Franchement, tu

  • *j’avais pas fini mon commentaire*
    Franchement -disais-je-, tu as le droit de dire non?

    En fait, la question n’en est plus vraiment une, et de même pour la bague, ça devient la concrétisation d’un mois de salaire plus que de tes sentiments.

    Et puis j’ai toujours été choquée par le “Diamonds are a Girl Best Friend” de Marylin Monroe, tellement matérialiste! Que je ne suis pas prête de changer d’avis…

    Ceci dit, si la mise en scène pour la demande est intimiste, why not?
    Mais peut-être qu’un Américain se sentira obligé de prouver qu’il a des big big big balls et faire sa demande devant un restaurant rempli de monde prêt à applaudir ?



  • It’s funny because almost everyone here sais “It’s not important, I don’t care about the ring, I’m not a materialist and I care more about my marriage than about the ring”, and I… I don’t believe it. Well, most possibly you do believe yourselves and when the time comes you’ll be happy with what you get – just tell me, how is it that most of you still cry your eyes out on the romantic movies with huge proposal partys? I just want to say, it is not WRONG to want a beautiful ring. After all, you’ll wear it for many, many years. Hopefully. And you’re all women who read this blog, which concentrates mostly on style, beauty and clothes, which makes it quite obvious that you care about the looks. So, hey, don’t be afraid of saying it – we’d love a big romantic gesture. It doesn’t CHANGE anything. It just makes life more fairytale-ish.

  • C’est drôle Garance, je reviens des US et justement je me faisais cette réflexion en voyant beaucoup de bagues de fiançailles, j’ai même constaté qu’il y a même un modèle qui revient souvent, on pourrait en faire un autre post! Le solitaire avec en général un gros diamant, et en dessous une grosse alliance large en argent avec parfois aussi des diamants incrustés (ça semble être le top!). En France, c’était traditionnellement plutôt la Pompadour, plus classique, que j’aime aussi beaucoup (en saphir), pour moi c’est l’image des fiançailles françaises. Et je dis OUI, vive les fiançailles, c’est ULTRA important!!!! Et c’est beau d’entendre qu’aux EU les hommes se donnent tant de mal…

  • Bon, c’est un avis de garçon qui vaut ce qu’il vaut mais je préfère celle ci:P

  • Garance, you are being waaaaaay too generous to your American friends! It’s not about the engagement ring and the frou-frou surrounding it, it’s about love. Love. I am an ecstatically married (38 years!) woman of 57 years old. Because my sweetie & I were oh-so-young when we were engaged & married we pretty much left all the planning to my mom. We wanted a small wedding, Mom & Dad wanted grand. So … the wedding was fine, blah, blah, blah …

    38 years later the ROMANCE part is best of all: I receive from my hubby a “Friday Surprise” Every. Single. Week. Sometimes it’s flowers, sometimes a card, one time it was a huge sack of white cotton socks (I wear these around the house). Sometimes it’s jewelry. But it’s always something thoughtful and wonderful.

    So …. engagement & wedding: “meh”. Married life to the one you love: joy!

  • J’ai été fiancée une fois avec la plus belle bague qui soit et le pire fiancé qui soit (heureusement je suis partie avant le mariage ;-) ), mon amoureux a fait sa demande une fois quand il vivait à NY, avec the ring diamants et tralala (mais c’était une autre, qu’il a fini aussi par quitter quelques mois plus tard)…. Alors est-ce que ces expériences nous ont un peu refroidis et fait relativiser, peut-être?…
    Depuis on s’est rencontrés, on s’est pacsés, on acheté un super appart et fait un bébé. Et on se demande si on ne va pas récupérer l’or et les diamants des 2 bagues pour en refaire une toute nouvelle sur base d’un de mes croquis, qui serait le mélange de nos deux vies d’avant? On y pense…. (mais en même temps j’ai un peu peur qu’elle nous porte malheur, superstition surperstion…)
    Et puis je porte depuis des années une bague magnifique de ma grand-mère, et je n’aime avoir qu’une seule bague, donc un dilemme se présenterait, ne plus la porter et n’arborer qu’une bague de fiançailles? Ca se fait des boucle d’oreilles de fiançailles?? ;-))

  • J’ai pas mal de potes mariés/fiancés à des américaines et j’avoue que j’ai toujours été assez horrifiée par le rapport à “the ring”. J’ai assisté à des conversations entre ces nanas américaines assez bizarres pour la frenchie idéaliste et romantique que je suis, du genre “you can’t accept less that 4 carats” (véridique!) ou” I love your ring but it’d look too small on my finger” ou encore “I can’t totally open my heart to him since he hasn’t given me a ring”… euh.. hello?! On ne peut pas généraliser, mais ces américaines-là me font froid dans le dos. Et c’est vrai que les mecs américains jouent le jeu aussi car dès qu’ils vous annoncent qu’ils sont fiancés, ils s’empressent de vous brandir la main de l’heureuse élue sous le nez pour que vous puissiez admirer LA bague (ce qui me met toujours un peu mal à l’aise, je ne sais jamais quoi dire… “euh… oh! quelle belle french manucure!”). On dirait que c’est plutôt pour les autres et le qu’en dira-t-on que cette fichue bague est offerte. L’ombre de la bague plane sur les fiancailles, et gare à celui qui ferait un faux pas! Perso, bien sûr que j’adorerais avoir un joli bijou, surtout si je vais le garder toute ma vie, et c’est beau de marquer le coup, mais il ne s’agit pas d’un concours. Pour finir, il me semble que l’une de mes copines pleine de bon sens a trouvé une phrase assez juste: “les françaises préfèrent avoir un diamant de qualité, même s’il est petit, alors que les américaines préfèrent un gros diamant, qu’elle qu’en soit la qualité”. Pensée philosophique du jour à méditer….

  • J’aime bien le faite que les américains ne banalisent pas le mariage mais je suis pas trop pour qu’on me fasse une demande aussi publique (caméra, proches, badauds! etc). C’est sympa d’avoir ce moment seulement à deux…pour ensuite aller le raconter à tout le monde^^ Pour la bague je la préférerais à la française, les gros cailloux ne me vont pas j’ai des petites mains. Mais je IL FAUT une vraie bague, tôt ou tard. Et une robe de marié, une fête, et un gâteau.
    Je suis née en France et j’y habite mais à Madagascar je sais que l’homme fait sa demande à la femme, rien de plus normal. Si elle accepte on organise une rencontre entre les deux familles. Pendant un moment les fiancés son séparés. Pendant cette cérémonie le représentant de la famille de l’homme doit faire un discours, celui de la famille de la femme en fait aussi un en réponse et ainsi de suite. C’est comme un petit débat on il faut convaincre la famille de la femme. Ca peut durer plus ou moins longtemps… Ce n’est qu’à la fin que la femme arrive enfin dans la salle pour retrouver son homme.
    Il y a souvent du soulagement dans l’air à ce moment^^

  • *vient de voir la vidéo*
    Ok, je ne dirais pas non à une demande à l’américaine!

  • I live in the USA, but I guess I’m a total FRENCHIE when it comes to engagement rings. To each its own! :0) great post!

  • Mon mec est francais, je suis roumaine. La demande a ete sympa, avec une bague comme pour y attacher les cles car il ne connaissait pas la taille de mes doigts (il ne savait meme as que ca existe, les tailles) et avec un carton sur lequel il avait colle des lettres pour la soupe pour faire: I LOVE YOU WILL YOU MARRY ME? (le ? a ete difficile a faire)

  • Cette vidéo est extraordinaire ! Drôle et émouvante. Merci.

  • My husband and I were a bit unconventional in the whole ring shopping/purchase. We had to accommodate his limited budget at the time (he and I don’t believe in going into extreme debt for things like a ring). We actually found my ring on e-bay. It is a beautiful ruby with two rings of diamonds and looks quite vintage-esque.

    I knew my husband would be proposing, I just didn’t know what day or how. He set up a friend to do engagement photos (requesting that we go to our local LDS temple to take some photos first for his mom). He surprised me with the ring and I love that we have our engagement captured in photos. It was beautiful and romantic and totally us.

  • It’s all about context, I think. I’m Spanish and married. We got married five years ago this month. It was a beautiful wedding in Ibiza, by the beach. At that moment I didn’t get any engagement ring and we even decided not to exchange wedding rings, what for? We know we love each other, why the rest of the world needs to know if I’m married or not. I was happy with it.
    However, I’ve been living in London for the last five years, right after getting married. In here I receive so much pressure about the fact that I don’t have a wedding ring… “do you have an open marriage?” “are you really married or just the intention?” Honestly!! People should be more open minded! There are other cultures and other options.
    That pressure of course works. I’d love to receive a ring from my husband some time ;)
    I love your blog. I will continue following it regularly. Thanks!

  • Gwenaelle September, 9 2012, 9:54 / Reply

    Bon, sur le concept je trouve que le mariage n’est vraiment pas indispensable.
    Ca c’est ce que je dis. Sur les faits, je me suis mise à pleurer comme une quiche devant la proposition de mariage, que j’avais déjà vu. Deux fois.

    J’aime beaucoup le nouveau design du site, et tu as l’air de t’épanouir totalement professionnellement, ton blog est l’un de mes favoris, bonne continuation ^^ !

  • Leanette Pretorius September, 10 2012, 3:04 / Reply

    Weddings and all that go with it has become too much BIG business worldwide. Fourteen years of marriage has taught me that getting engaged is just the first step of a long journey, whatever happens in your marriage. You’ll remember and cherish it simply because you want to spend forever with that person, at least at that moment.
    My husband proposed to me ar Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe by saying :” Darling it’s time now. I am not asking,I’m telling you we’re getting married”. I said yes. We have buried a tiny baby, have had three beautiful girls, fought and made up many times and today I love him more than the day on the rocks because I’ve gotten to know him in a way you only do once you are married.
    It is the most amazing adventure you can ever undertake. It has nothing to do with morals or religion, it’s about that legal and emotional commitment and years on the proposal and the ring and the gown and the flowers are just tiny building blocks of a much bigger pictue.
    Garance I HIGHLY recommend it!

  • As a newly engaged (and overwhelmed) woman, I can’t tell you how excited your words make me for the future my husband-to-be and I are going to share.

  • Mais je croyais que tu étais déjà fiançée, non?
    Un article que j’ai écris cet été sur ma bague de fiançaille et sur le pourquoi du comment il ne faut pas laisser les standard de la société nous détourner de ce que l’on souhaite!

  • I always said I would never want an engagement ring but if I did get one, I would want a very simple modern solitaire. 8 months ago I called off my engagement. The proposal was a surprise. I wasn’t sure but didn’t want to say “no”, break his heart, and ruin a perfectly romantic moment. So I said “yes” and decided I’d figure it out later. After a few days of shock I told him about my reservations. We never recovered. After a year of trying to “come around” I called it off. It was so hard and how I wish he would have asked me about where I was in the commitment process before proposing. As for the ring, it is nothing like what I would have chosen for myself. Instead of simple and modern it is sparkly, intricate, and “pretty”. It says something about how he saw me compared to how I saw myself. In the beginning I had so much angst about wearing it no doubt because of my reservations about the engagement. Moreover, it ate towels and delicate fabrics. Over time I thought it was the most beautiful ring anyone could have chosen for me. It made me feel so special. I couldn’t marry him but the ring showed me that he had worked very hard to find something that was as pretty as he saw me to be. When we called off the engagement, he said I could keep the ring because he knew how much I had grown to like it. Now I enjoy wearing the ring (on my right hand) more than I would ever have imagined. Nothing turned out as I hoped or expected but sometimes life is like that. However much I cherish my ring, I would happily trade it for the right relationship and true love and happiness.

  • C’est vrai que chez les Américains c’est vraiment quelque chose d’énorme , surtout les fiançailles.
    Chez nous ( je suis Comorienne ) , l’homme doit se présenter à la famille et demander la main de la fille au père de la fille, et si le père accepte : voilà ils sont fiancés, et ensuite une cérémonie est organisée ! Il n’y a pas de bagues mais plusieurs bijoux (coûtant énormément cher!) considérer comme une dot, que l’homme doit offrir à sa femme. Et la femme doit elle aussi offrir des vêtements, chaussures, produits de beauté à son futur mari.
    Voilà !

    Bonne continuation.

  • J’avoue que ce n’est pas dans mes projets en ce moment (car ce n’est pas une priorité ni une fin en soit), néanmoins, ça me parle un peu…
    Si mon mec me faisait sa demande, je ne pense pas que je dirais non tu vois ;)

    Bises et bon weekend Garance !

    PS : j’ai beau écouter de la techno, du bon vieux rock et tout ça, cette chanson de Beyoncé ne me laisse pas indifférente ^^

  • I love how this post evolved, as did your perspective. It is true, the whole ring/engagement/wedding thing in the U.S. does come from a place of deep romance and idealism. I love your phrase “Without an affected modesty.” As an American (one who was born overseas), I feel that everyone’s story — and personal journey to romance — is different and special, and it’s fun to share in the joy of someone else’s story. My own story? I’ve been with my love for over 16 years (11 years married), and before he proposed, he listened. He listened when I happened to mention one day that pearls were my favorite gem (still are, I don’t really care about diamonds). He paid attention when I showed him my grandmother’s ring and listened to how special it was to me — it is a simple silver ring with pearls. And that’s what so special about our engagement story and when I still look at my engagement ring is that it reflects a deeply personal connection, one that is linked with our past (and future). :) <3

  • My parents got married only five years ago, when I was eleven. It wasn’t anything big, it was at 9 ‘o clock in the morning and the witnesses were late because they were buying fish at the market in front of the town hall. It wasn’t a big deal, we had a very nice lunch in a teagarden after. But most people in the Netherlands have a big wedding with a white wedding dress and a beautiful old car to go to the church and a big party afterwards. I don’t really know how important the proposal is. I don’t think it is very important.

  • I don’t need a man to buy me diamonds!

  • I’ve been together with my boyfriend for five years now. We love each other very much but we both don’t want to get married. I just don’t see myself walking down the isle and paying for dinner for people of which half I don’t know. As one already noted above, weddings have become very unpersonal in Belgium. We do want to buy ourselves wedding rings someday, just as a symbol for the both of us, no one else involved…

  • suziehouane December, 17 2012, 6:54 / Reply

    Bon ok, ça va trancher avec la plupart des commentaires, mais disons que… AAAAhhh bbberk non pas le mariage! Ouai en fait je suis plutôt “Garance saison 1”. Et j’ai cet avis tout en étant flanquée d’un très bel homme qui partage à peu près la même vision du couple que moi (un peu je t’aime moi non plus). C’est vrai que notre horizon est court, mais mine de rien, on marche ensemble depuis un petit bout de temps, et je n’ai plus l’impression de me perdre en étant avec quelqu’un. Je n’aimerais pas qu’il me demande en mariage, j’aurais l’impression que ce serait nous faire mourir un peu.

    Il est vrai, aussi, au delà de ça que je trouve que les mariages ne me sont pas adaptés, je ne me sentirais pas à l’aise dans une robe de mariée, même si j’aime les belles choses il y a un je ne sais quoi, peut-être de trop suranné pour que je m’y glisse. Et l’idée confortable que cet homme m’appartienne (même si ça aussi c’est illusoire) tuerait, j’en suis sûre, cet infini désir que j’ai de lui plaire. Je ne saurais plus tout à fait être femme en étant mariée.

    C’est ridicule j’en ai conscience. D’autant plus que j’ai regardé “Love actually” hier, et j’ai adoré.

  • I too was very “liberal” in my way of thinking and planning my non-engagement until… fiancé (husband now) arrived with a bouquet of 24 roses in one hand…. and a little Tiffany box in the other hand…and got on his knees in the middle on the restaurant he had taken me too (I should have seen it coming ;)

    All my convictions flew away as I was slipping my finger through the Solitaire and I said to my self: “Wooow, I am actually living the American girl’s dream”! It felt soooo right!

    Ring or not ring….what matters is WHO asks you to stay around for the long run.

  • Houston, TX here! Ok, I’m currently engaged with no ring. The ring is actually considered an engagement “staple” here. Big or small, doesn’t matter. We opted to secure our venue so we didn’t lose it, which I didn’t realize would put a wait on the ring. That was in July…it’s January now and I’m going crazy!! I think the biggest pressure to have a ring is 1. I WANT ONE. 2. Everyone expects you to have one. When we say, “We’re getting married!” they immediately grab my hand and are shocked there is no diamond. I wouldn’t mind this if I had a ring…but at this point, I REALLY wish we were in Paris. Which is where we’re going on our honeymoon! (WOOT!) So tips and great spots appreciated :)

  • In Sweden we are divided in to two groups; one wants this big farytalewedding in the american spirit with the dress, THE RING, cake and all that. And the other group (my group) isnt sure if they want to get married and if they do, they want a small and private cermonie :) But everyone agrees that the ring should be personal!

  • I loved this! Garance, you are always spot on, and I love reading your bits in French Vogue. Sorry, too lazy to write in French. My French husband bought me a ring bigger than I even expected, one of the most beautiful rings I have seen on anyone I know, and I am so proud of him for it. I think I deserve it. (If we fall on hard times, I can always sell it, a kind of investment.) It is such a beautiful luxury. I don’t expect any other expensive jewelry, costume jewelry is fine with me, but my trio of big white diamonds brings me pleasure every day. Usually I prefer the French way of being more subtle in all things, from keeping conversations in public private (that is, talking quietly) to the modestly wrapped presents at kids’ birthday parties (here, the wrapping itself must cost $20 – what show-offs we are – and then we open the presents in front of everyone, not modest) but as far as my ring goes, I am so glad I’m an American woman! You French women are indeed too nice…

  • You can choose whatever you like, both are ok!

  • I remember when my husband proposed to me, it was not a special day by any means. I had arrived home from university and was getting dressed in my room then he walked in and said, “well, how about we get married”, and I looked at the ring he had in this tiny box and said, “I will think about it”. I finished getting dressed and we went out to dinner. We have been married now for 26 years and I love him to bits even though he had not a romantic bone in his body. I am French/Italian born in Argentina – would that have anything to do with it? :-)

  • We promise to love each other for the rest of our lives, we also plan to get married, but suddenly my love broke up with me without saying anything.My heart was broken and i have no where to turn to for help until i meet DR.ADUWAWA.Who was so nice in helping me get my lover back in a flash.I just wanted to say a big thanks for helping me, THANKS YOU.I have tried other spell casters and they failed me,please i advise you not to waste time contact DR.ADUWAWA now.(aduwawaspiritualtemple@ yahoo. com)

  • Je suis tombée sur ce poste par chance et je ne le regrette
    pas du tout !!

  • hi.. I am from India and its just like Newyork here..but here more than the couple itself, parents from both sides want it as much badly…its a matter of social status of parents than the couple.. as for me, ring matters, size of diamond..not as much….and honestly, nothing matters more than him being with me…

  • But there are a few rules or thumb that you can follow that will help you out. Soth Afican maketes ae say seaching fo new ways to ean fthe money even athogh in yo own home Good shoes wi stop shaking immediatey, especiay the best high hees ? FB has a very powerful and cheap advertising platform,fake audemars piguet watches, however,nike air max new releases, not many know how to use it correctly. The horses often wear stacked, and weighted shoes, putting their foot at an unnatural angle. Just whe

  • I heard legends about how they do it in America :) in my case it was unexpected and really romantic. We were in Turkish Riviera on vacation, it was morning, I woke up and saw him holding a ring and asking me THE guestion. It was perfect. Not sure if planned really thouroghly but it was just enough.

  • Phillip Hubbard December, 30 2015, 9:20 / Reply

    I think the Engagement Ring should present something more than just looks. So tastes are different for each one of us.

  • Nicoleta January, 8 2016, 7:56 / Reply

    Bon, en Roumanie on imite beaucoup la culture américaine dernièrement. La bague de fiançailles, les bachelor parties etc., tout ça n’existait pas avant les années 90, en comunsime, mais maintenant on donne beaucoup d’importance a cela et c’est 100% les filles, pour les mecs, c’est terrible. Hahaha
    Personnelement, je me vais marier avec un homme méxicain, et sa culture est similaire à l’américaine, alors oui, voilà, moi aussi j’ai tombé haha.

  • I am genuineloy pleased to read this webpage posts which
    contains pleenty of useful facts, thanks for
    providing sch statistics.

  • Genevieve Inez Gerano September, 13 2016, 7:23 / Reply

    I confess I am an American that is very un-American in this regard and a bit more French (you see, not ALL of us are about the ring). My husband and I just walked downtown one day, scheduled an appointment with a judge and poof, a month later, it was all said and done… we got a little dressed up and I took my son, sister and a nose gay and that was the end of it, no major anything, certainly not a giant ring. My ring is 100 years old, an imperfect miner’s diamond that cost us nothing but has been in my husband’s mining family for generations. We have been together for over ten years and I hardly even ever wear the ring except when I feel like adding some bling.

  • I love this discussion! Am American but not from New York – and I have seen a trend toward creative engagements and weddings..but it’s still a big deal! Also, some engagements seem to be geared toward capturing it for social media. Which made me laugh all the more when I saw this video and how everything had to be right..for the camera and not for the couple themselves.

  • I love these kind of cultural differences! We Europeans need ‘over-the-top’ Americans in our livestream to point out all the awesome things we normally take for granted.

    In The Netherlands marriage is probably even less a deal than in France. Buying a house or having a baby together are a much bigger deal (and commitment).
    For a lot of my friends the wedding is just the cherry on the cake: a nice party to celebrate love with your family and friends.
    Something is changing though. For ages everyone got married in quite the same way: city hall, church, photo’s, reception (for guests of whom your mother thinks they’re not important enough for the real deal), dinner and dance, the last part in a very practical and interchangable room in the back of a not very good restaurant. With all cousins you haven’t seen in 10 years.
    It’s changing and we’re copying the American style a bit, because by searching for your unique and special wedding (location, guestlist, food, invitations, dress and more) the stakes get higher to arrange the ‘perfect’ wedding that suits the couple like a glove: stress!

    I’m 7 months pregnant now, and just bought a beautiful place with the love of my live. I’m looking forward to celebrating that. But what a pity: last weird thing for us overly emancipated Dutch women: we can’t ask them, they don’t allow that… So I’ll wait and secretly hope for my cherry on the cake…

  • Nice website Thanks for sharing the information.

  • I have read so many articles or reviews concerning the blogger lovers
    however this article is really a good paragraph, keep it up.

From the Archives

This or That
  • This or That
  • Holiday Gifting
  • Happy Holidays!
  • #AtelierDoreDoes
  • How To...
atelier dore this or that summer sandals chunky sandals vs. delicate sandals

This or That / Sandal Edition

This or That: American or Française?

This or That: American or Française?

atelier dore this or that lingerie lace or cotton sex month

This or That / Lingerie Edition

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: Nails

This or That: Nails

This or That

This or That

This Or That

This Or That

Silja Danielsen Photo

This Or That: Low Knot or Top Knot