For moms (and most dads for that matter), seeing your son ask for a woman’s hand in marriage is one of your proudest and most exciting times in life.
In most cases, the answer is typically yes. On those occasions where the answer is no, trying to comfort your son can seem quite the challenge.
Knowing when to “pop” the question can always seem like the biggest challenge a young man faces.
As his parent, do you think your son is ready for his big moment?
Giving Advice and Yet Not Interfering
It can be quite the balancing act for parents to want to offer their sons advice on when and how to spend on an engagement ring, yet not come across as too intrusive.
If your son asks one or both of you for advice, you can offer the following:
- Timing – Getting engaged is a big step in one’s life, so it is important to do it at the right time. If your son is struggling somewhat financially, putting off the engagement for a while is likely not the end of the world. If his significant other is truly into the relationship for the long haul, she will likely understand his having to delay buying that special engagement ring (see more below). If she doesn’t, then she may not have been the right one for him when all was said and done;
- Rings – When it comes to the engagement ring itself, finding that perfect jewel doesn’t have to seem like pulling teeth. Your son can opt for something extremely simple or look to spend a fair amount of money on the right ring and setting. As for diamond color gradings in an engagement ring selection, look at the top available color selections, seeking a ring that offers the best value, not to mention the optimum color and sparkle. In trying to locate the best jeweler to purchase from, your son can turn to family members and/or friends who have already shopped for an engagement ring, along with the Internet. Most jewelers of any kind of substance have websites, sites that offer a wealth of information on the best ring selections available, along with details on pricing and more;
- Wedding – When it comes to the big day, the wedding can make the engagement seem like such a small affair, though no one typically gets married without an engagement first (though eloping etc. is not unheard of). Remind your son if he comes to you for wedding advice that money once again is an important factor in how big or small of a ceremony to move forward with. Given that you hopefully have a good read on your future daughter-in-law; will she and your son be satisfied with a smaller ceremony in order to save some expenses? Although tradition has typically predicated that the groom’s family pay for the rehearsal dinner and any other costs the night before the wedding, while the bride’s family covers the wedding ceremony and reception, times are changing. It is not entirely uncommon in today’s world of matrimony to see the couples themselves sporting more of the bills, especially if their parents are financially strapped. If your son is paying for more than just an engagement ring, remind him and the bride-to-be that there is nothing wrong with having smaller ceremonies. In order to save some costs, toning down the wedding and reception can give your son and future daughter-in-law more money to move forward with as newly-weds;
- Honeymoon – Finally, just like every other step of the way (engagement, wedding, reception etc.), there are savings to be had here when your son and his sweetheart put their minds to it. Just as he probably budgeted for his first car, saving for engagements, weddings, receptions, honeymoons etc. take some careful planning. Don’t hesitate to give your two cents, though only if he truly wants it. Some couples opt to delay the honeymoon due to costs, vacation schedules etc. If the honeymoon is shaping up to be too expensive now in terms of money, there is certainly nothing wrong with delaying it or scaling it back altogether.
In making sure your son is as happy as possible for these big steps in his life, being there as a sounding board and occasional adviser can make things much easier.