Ask the Expert: ‘Do I buy my boyfriend an engagement ring?’

Stumped on when to send out your STDs (save-the-date announcements)? Don’t know who should be invited to your rehearsal dinner? Get the answers to all your wedding etiquette questions by submitting your dilemma to etiquette@equallywed.com

Q I’m planning on proposing to my boyfriend, and I’m wondering how other men propose to one another? An engagement ring is really for females since they can wear an engagement and wedding ring. While I realize there are no rules, a man with two wedding bands just doesn’t make sense to me. Plus, I’d rather purchase rings together (most likely matching) with my partner when we are ready to wed. So what does one propose with? Another ring? A watch? I can’t seem to find anything about this online…


A gay marriage is all about embracing who you are and who you love, which means that you should do what makes sense for you, and if that’s wearing an engagement ring, a wedding band and stackable anniversary bands up to your fingernail, then by all means, feel free.

But to give you a proper answer from a man’s point of view, we deferred to a groom who’s recently been in your situation, Steve Schessler, who makes up half of one our Real Weddings couples in our Spring issue of Equally Wed magazine. Read about his and Jonathan’s wedding here.

Schessler says, “For our part, I bought an engagement ring for Jonathan after some months of sideways questioning, ‘So do you like something like this?’ or ‘Do you remember your ring size?’ Not so indirect, but he somehow still wasn’t thinking the proposal was on the horizon, and coming closer. In the end, the main stipulations were no stones, simple design and a fairly thin band. I found the perfect one at Cartier, from their ‘Love’ series.

“After the proposal, Jonathan decided he wanted to get an engagement ring for me as well, so we went back to Cartier and found a complementary ring from the same collection, but bigger for my larger hands.

“At our wedding in Atlanta, we exchanged these same rings, and had planned to go without a band. We then were invited to participate in a No on Prop 8 fundraiser in San Francisco, where we’d already moved, for our legal California ceremony. As part of that event at the Bently Reserve, Shreve & Co. donated two bands of our choosing—and we now wear both our original engagement bands and the very thin Furrer Jacot rose-gold bands from the legal ceremony.

“We have some friends who used engagement rings (with both guys always getting one eventually) and then exchanged them at their wedding as well, while we know a few other couples, who did both engagement rings and wedding bands. The biggest difference, I think, is that both of the guys have the same number of rings—either one, if they re-exchange, or two, if they add bands.”

Kirsten Palladino is Editor in Chief of Equally Wed, the nation’s premier same-sex wedding magazine, online at www.equallywed.com. Equally Wed offers gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples an extensive, trustworthy and fashionable guide of inspiration, ideas and trends for planning their engagements, weddings and honeymoons, as well as their happily ever after. The photo-rich site is home to Equally Wed’s Local Resources, a veritable marketplace of vetted GLBT-friendly wedding vendors across the United States and abroad. It also offers an interactive social community to talk to other readers about all things wedding, as well as the latest news from the frontlines of the fight for marriage equality. Follow Kirsten on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/equallywedeic.



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