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Classic "one-knee" proposal, ca. 1815
A yellow gold engagement ring set with a diamond, and a white gold wedding ring.

The proposal of marriage is an event where one person in a relationship asks for the other's hand in marriage. If accepted, it marks the initiation of engagement. It often has a ritual quality, sometimes involving the presentation of an engagement ring and a formalized asking of a question such as "Will you marry me?".

The average duration of preceding courtship varies considerably throughout the world. (See courtship duration.)

In many Western cultures, the tradition has been for the man to propose to the woman. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the 29th of February in a Leap year is said to be the one day when a woman can propose to her partner. As a monarch, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom had to propose to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Finland has the same custom, with the addition that a man rejecting such a proposal was expected to buy his suitor enough cloth for a skirt as compensation. Although still very rare, a woman will occasionally propose to a man.[1]

In many cultures, it is traditional for grooms to ask the bride's father for permission before proposing.

References

  1. ^ Australian news article about women proposing

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