Nowadays with so many couples opting to choose their engagement ring together, plenty of guys and gals are at a loss as to what to 'offer up' (so to speak) for their down-on-one knee picture-perfect proposal.
Of course there are also those who prefer to forgo the diamond altogether too, and are looking for something long-lasting to showcase their commitment to their partner.
Here are five gorgeous alternatives to an engagement ring, whether you're waiting to make the big purchase as a team, or are looking for something a little more 'permanent' to declare your love.
1. The 'token' or non-traditional ring
So called 'token' engagement rings have grown in popularity in recent years, as the idea of stacking rings became a trendy jewellery look. Token rings are generally less expensive than the traditional diamond engagement ring, which can cost upwards of a couple of hundred euro, but if you want it to be an everyday wearable piece, you're looking at spending between €50-€150. 'Forever' rings should be made of a durable metal, or plated in silver or gold so that it's good for every day wear. These rings are usually a completely different look to engagement rings, and can be worn alongside wedding jewellery when the time comes or, may end up being exactly what she wanted, and therefore her engagement ring for life (because it doesn't matter what it costs as long as you both love it)!
2. The 'stand in' ring
The stand in ring is different to the token ring in that it's a very inexpensive version of a traditional engagement ring. Costing from €10-€25, the stand in looks like a traditional engagement ring, but will more than likely cause her finger to turn green before the engagement party is over! Nevertheless, these costume pieces are a great way to dress a Hollywood style popping of the question. You can find stand-in rings from stores such as M&S.
3. The engagement charm
If your partner isn't the ring-wearing type, or you're looking for something different to the norm, an engagement charm for a bracelet could do the trick. Pandora charm bracelets are hugely popular in Ireland, and the brand does a very cute 'bride and groom' sterling silver charm for €35, and infinity love charm for €29.
4. The sentimental photo album
Most of us are guilty of documenting way to much of our day-to-day lives in photos, and never even leaving even our decent snaps on our phones, never to see a photo album or picture frame. Photo albums have become even more special because of this, and there's nothing like seeing your special memories with your partner on a page. A photo album with pics from all your favourite moments since you've been a happy pair is a gorgeous way to pop the question. While it probably won't do as an alternative to an engagement ring in the long term, it will make a beautiful prop for the proposal and a special keepsake for years to come.
5. The ring finger tattoo
Okay, so it's a surprise jump from the photo album to a tattoo to say the least, but instead of physical engagement rings, some couples are opting to ink themselves in the name of love. Matching tattoos are having a moment, from the classic 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.' and 'his' and 'hers' to infinity signs, diamond graphics and, so as not to forget it in a years time, the wedding date (maybe wait til after the big day for this one). Of course getting a tattoo is a commitment, as is getting married, but is a little more difficult to return if the engagement doesn't work out, just bare in mind.