KELVINBRIDGE · GLASGOW|
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Popping the question…. getting down on one knee… ask for your hand in marriage… For centuries weddings have carried various traditions in the lead up to and on the day of the ceremony. At Blair and Sheridan we meet many partners planning their proposal as we share the journey of designing a bespoke engagement ring for the big moment. Remote beaches, mountain tops, exotic holidays and romantic locations are popular choices of the ‘where’ to propose. The ‘when’ is completely down to you and may be a date that is special to you as a couple or a complete spur of the moment. This year carries an unconventional opportunity for would-be brides to go against the grain and offer a leap year proposal to their would-be grooms on the 29th of February.
The idea of a leap year proposal – sometimes known as Bachelor’s Day or Ladies Privilege – stems from Irish legend. Saint Bridget allegedly appealed to St Patrick that women were having to wait too long to marry because the men were taking a long time to propose. She put forward the idea that women should be allowed to propose to the men and it was agreed that this could take place once every four years. At this time single people were publicly shamed and frowned upon – marriage was banned during Lent and people who remained single until Easter Sunday were publicly named in Skellig Lists. The timing of these archaic methods suggest the link to late February proposals. It is said that should the Irish gentleman refuse the female proposal he was obliged to recompense her with a gift. This was often a pair of gloves (to disguise a ringless finger!) or item of clothing and in some areas it was expected that he perform a juggling trick on Easter Sunday.
In todays modern society there is far less expectation for people to be coupled up and a mix of gender pairings and social progression means that anything goes. While modern society tends not to dictate rules when it comes to couples wedding plans, the idea of a leap year proposal remains a fun idea along with a number of long-held customs. Whatever plans you have for own wedding there are some long-standing traditions with lovely and unusual sentiments behind them…
If we have inspired you to consider proposing to your partner on February 29th – or at any point in 2024 – view our gents engagement rings here and our ladies bespoke design engagement rings here. At Blair and Sheridan we pride ourselves on our unique, personalised one to one approach. Planning to marry is a very exciting time, with the journey of commissioning your engagement ring just the beginning.