So purrs Eartha Kitt in the Christmas classic, “Santa Baby.” She’s not alone; according to surveys Christmas Eve bests Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve as the most popular day to propose.
Good news to those about to get betrothed: Men are spending more on their engagement rings, according to The Knot 2015 Jewelry & Engagement Study. This is the online wedding resource’s third biannual comprehensive proposal trends report. More than 12,000 and 1,200 American brides and grooms, respectively, engaged or recently married from 2014 to early 2015 were surveyed as to their spending habits.
Men are spending an average of $5,978, up from $5,403 in 2013 and $5,095 in 2011. They’re also revealing the cost to their significant other; nearly 70 percent of women know how much their intended spent on the ring, while one-third have a general idea. Another third indicate they know exactly how much was paid.
They know because they are putting in the research and making their engagement ring preferences known. Sixty-seven percent of brides began researching rings before getting engaged, The Knot survey finds. They are using their mobile devices to browse ring styles (43 percent), sharing ring ideas with their fiancé (35 percent) and researching ring designers or retailers (29 percent). Eighty percent of men said their partner dropped hints, and 71 percent of women owned up to it. Of the hints they dropped, half of the surveyed women pointed out styles while shopping, 36 percent told their significant other outright what they wanted and 11 percent left ads or pictures laying around, just like Ralphie, the boy in A Christmas Story” who wanted the Red Ryder BB gun..
Men are not just spending more on the engagement ring, they are also putting in the time to make the right choice. Surveyed grooms reported it took an average of about five months to research and almost 4 to find the perfect engagement ring. They also visited five retailers and looked at an average of 25 rings before purchasing “the one.”
Almost nine-in-ten men indicated they would rather buy a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality. Almost 60 percent of brides said they were on board with that.
The ring was a piece of cake; now the tricky bit—the proposal. Public proposals are on the rise, The Knot reports, with 45 percent of grooms proposing in a public place, up from 34 percent four years ago. Twenty-eight percent opted to propose in a scenic spot, compared with 21 percent who proposed at home and 18 percent who popped the question on vacation. Forty percent of brides did not see their proposal coming, while about 60 percent said they knew it was in the works, but weren’t exactly sure when it would happen.
A public proposal calls for public sharing. Four-in-ten grooms had a photographer or videographer capture the proposal as it happened. Once engaged, 79 percent of couples shared the news on social media within three days.
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he's been showing off her enviable bikini collection all week.
And on Tuesday Lauren Silverman proved that her gorgeous beach wardrobe extends to pretty cover-ups too as she wowed in a print maxi dress during another day in paradise.
Simon Cowell's girlfriend turned heads in he summery number as she hit the beach in Barbados with the couple's son 21-month-old Eric and her eldest, Adam, nine.
Lauren, 38, may have covered up in her dress for the beach day, but she still showed a glimpse of her amazing figure with the maxi's thigh-high split.
Her toned and tanned legs were on full display as the doting mum strolled barefoot on the beach with Eric in her arms.
Her pink and white dress was teamed with a chic hat and dark shades, with the star pulling her long locks back into a ponytail.
Lauren flashed a big smile as she spent time with her two sons.
Little Eric was seen having fun on the golden sands as he built sandcastles.
With a little help from his nanny, the tot had a look of pure concentration on his face as he set to work on construction before placing his toys on top of the completed masterpieces.
Lauren and Simon's son was dressed for the warm weather in blue shorts and a white sun hat to keep cool.
Eric didn't seem too keen on leaving the beach though as Lauren was later seen wrapping her son in a towel as he struggled to hold back the tears.
Lauren has been holidaying with her boys and partner Simon, who she's been with since 2013, for the past week, returning to their favourite spot in Barbados.
Also on holiday with the family has been Sinitta, who brought along her children and boyfriend Jason Gale along for the festivities.
The traditional winter getaway usually attracts a host of large names, with Tulisa, Sarah-Jane Crawford and Union J all jetting to the Caribbean last year for Simon's New Year's Eve bash.
This year Olly Murs is set to be one of the star's making the trip, with The Mirror reporting that The X Factor host is looking forward to a 'lads on tour' vibe.
Phillip Green and his family have also been spotted holidaying on the beautiful island for their annual festivities.
Sinitta has previously spoken about her evenings spent at Sir Phillip's parties during the celeb-packed trip. 'It's completely debauched,’ she confessed. ‘We all go to Sandy Lane as guests of Sir Philip and his family.
'It starts with all the men looking suave in suits, while all the ladies wear elegant dresses. But by the end of the night we all end up in the pool with our diamonds and champagne glasses and often not much else.'
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A grumpy Lacey almost ruined Jed's valiant efforts for a surprise proposal on One Tree Hill.
But it was clearly meant to be, and the couple was married in a short and sweet ceremony on the beautiful Tutukaka Coast, with family and friends travelling far and wide for the big day.
The celebrant was late, but the weather was perfect - and Lacey's dad even wore a suit.
We'll let her fill you in on all the details...
How did you meet? Jed and I met at university in 2009. We had quite a few mutual friends but didn't manage to cross paths until our third year when my friend and Jed's flatmate invited me around to their house for a "red card" party.
Tell us about the proposal: Jed is incapable of keeping secrets so I always thought that I would know when he was going to propose because he wouldn't be able to hide it from me. However, he fooled me by buying the ring, calling my dad for permission, and proposing all in the one day. I was at work so he could resist the urge to text or call me.
He picked me up from work and said he had been cooped up inside all day and wanted us to go for a walk (not unusual – Jed doesn't cope well being inside all day). Long story short, I had had a very stressful day, I was a bit grumpy, I insisted on doing the grocery shopping and didn't pick up on his not so subtle hints to hurry up at the supermarket. When we got home I still didn't notice how quickly he unpacked the shopping while hurrying me to change into exercise gear.
We then left the house to get in the car – I was still grumpy and said something about driving to go walking and how silly that was. We fought through 5:30pm Auckland traffic to get to Cornwall Park. We power-walked up to One Tree Hill and under an overcast sky, howling wind and the threat of rain, Jed asked me to be his wife. I never saw it coming! We then ran all the way back down the hill to the car to call our families.
Location of wedding: We got married at Matapouri on the Tutukaka Coast, which is north of Whangarei. My dad lives there, it is the place I call home, and Jed and I have spent many summers swimming and fishing up there. We wanted to showcase this beautiful part of New Zealand and it was the perfect place for our wedding. Our ceremony was at Otito Reserve and the reception was in a massive marquee at the Matapouri Hall.
Describe your wedding day: The whole day was spectacular! It rained for most of Friday (not a surprise for September) and we were very worried about having to turn our outdoor wedding into an indoor wedding, and to floor our 10m x 20m marquee. But we woke to cloudless skies on Saturday and it remained that way the whole day.
I got ready at my family home with my closest family members and my two bridesmaids while Jed and his family and friends set up our marquee and ceremony. He also managed to fit in a round of golf, too! Our ceremony was short and sweet, we said our own vows and tried to personalise everything. Our guests enjoyed nibbles and drinks and lawn games while we had our photos taken back on my farm. We had an amazing band (who also played at Jed's 21st), and after all the formalities were over, we danced the night away!
The dress: My dress was a Stella York design from Brides Corner. It wasn't the type of dress I was expecting to wear on my wedding day, but as soon as I put it on, I did not want to take it off and I knew that it was the dress for me.
The flowers: I used the amazing team at Mint Floral in Whangarei. I knew absolutely nothing about flowers so I gave Jasmine a picture of what I wanted from Pinterest and she recreated it perfectly.
Highlight of the wedding: Oh, there are so many, I don't even know where to begin! The amazing weather was definitely one of them, as well as all of our guests travelling so far (99 per cent of them had to travel for our wedding, some as far south as Dunedin and as far north as Samoa). We had a barbecue the night before and brunch the day after so that we had plenty of time to catch up with everyone.
Probably the thing that I loved the most was that our wedding was very personal to us (from the rugby and dog cake to the table numbers to hand-built bar leaners to the wording in our ceremony) and it was also a very family affair – my dad collected all the food for the caterers, my brother was MC, my mum helped with getting ready on the day, and Jed's family were amazing at setting up the entire marquee exactly how we wanted it.
Jed's mum made our "Mr and Mrs" banner, our table runners, and an enormous bowl of punch for everyone to drink. We had a family friend make our signing board and hand-paint all our table numbers. Another family friend made our cake and a family friend runs a restaurant that caters weddings as well.
One other thing that sticks in my mind is my dad in a suit! My dad is a farmer, he lives in stubbies and swazi shirts. I've never seen him in a suit in my lifetime and what's more, he led me to believe he was just going to wear a shirt and jeans with his gumboots, then he steps out in the latest suit AND tie from Barkers!
Was there any drama? We initially thought the weather was going to cause trouble but the only issue we had was that our celebrant was late. She got the time mixed up and was 45 minutes late to the ceremony. But it's true what they say – on the day, it really doesn't matter!
The honeymoon: We spent a lot of time with family and friends in the lead-up to the wedding and a couple days after the big event. On the Monday, we headed up to Paihia for two days of relaxing. We will go on a proper honeymoon in March next year – so far Hawaii or the Galapagos Islands are our top choices.
Your photographer and favourite photo? We used friends of my dad's – a husband and wife team – and they were amazing! I love all 858 of our photos but the one of Jed and I at the front entrance to the farm is pretty amazing.
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