Surely you have seen it in many movies, and you may have even encountered this "spectacle" on the street. One member of the couple kneels down and offers a ring to the other. It is the most common way of proposing marriage.
Let's explore its possible origins: There is no agreement on the origins of this gesture, as there are no historical records of the beginning of this tradition. However, there are some theories that can explain it.
Its origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages when subjects demonstrated respect and loyalty to the feudal lord and nobility through genuflection or reverence. It was the usual protocol in many rituals and ceremonies, including romantic ones. Chivalry and formal courtship were the medieval version of today's dating. In a highly hierarchical and masculine era, kneeling before a woman was a sign of submission. The man promised his eternal servitude and admiration by surrendering his heart and promising fidelity.
However, medieval rituals are not the only possible explanation; religion can also play an important role. Many religions, such as Christianity and Islam, often require their faithful to kneel in prayer to express respect for their God and the willingness to serve Him. When proposing marriage, the act of kneeling on one knee may be to avoid equating or demeaning the reverence to God. It may also be related to the heavy weight of clothing and armor worn at that time.
In any case, nowadays, the gesture of getting down on one knee represents the expression of feelings and the offering of love for all eternity. The engagement ring is the most representative symbol of this gesture. Kneeling to propose is a custom in many cultures directly related to romanticism, so much so that in the vast majority of occasions, it is almost automatically included. When sharing the news of the new engagement, the question of whether "they got down on one knee" often arises...
How does this tradition continue? If the proposal is accepted, the unwritten rule is for the proposer to officially ask the other party's parents for their hand, which is actually the "asking for the hand" ceremony. Although it is no longer a requirement for the marriage to take place, many couples still like to follow this custom. If you are thinking of proposing but are unsure if it's the right time, we recommend reading this post about the aspects to consider before asking the big question.
Both on our website and in our physical store - dedicated exclusively to engagement rings and wedding bands - we showcase a wide assortment of rings suitable for a marriage proposal, crafted from gold, platinum, carbon, titanium, steel, tantalum, zirconium, silver, etc.
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