Cool alternatives for an engagement ring for masculine partners #Advice#Stuff we love#ring alternatives July 27 | Megan Finley Horowitz meggyfin I'm not engaged, but very much in love with my sweet geek and amazing boyfriend and I'm thinking about popping the question. I would like to give him something like an engagement ring but not really. What would you suggest as cool alternatives for an engagement ring for a guy? -Melissa I think the most critical thing to keep in mind, when thinking of what you should give your partner, is that whatever you choose should have specific relevance to your relationship and you want it to be something equally long-lasting. I'm reminded of one of our Offbeat Bride Tribe members, FrankiHarrogate, who proposed to her boyfriend with a spoon! Franki explained: Related Post Make a succulent statement with these living succulent jewelry pieces I was cruisin' Etsy, minding my own shopping business, when BAM! I set eyes on the coolest wedding accessories I've ever seen before: living succulent... Read more We were talking about engagements one night and I said, 'Who decided on rings, anyway? Rings are completely arbitrary and I don't really want one. An engagment spoon — now that would be original.' A month or so later… I bought a spoon and proposed to him. Most people think it's neat, some people don't get it at all. The important part is that we both like it and he was totally over the moon when I asked — just as much as I was over the moon when he said yes. But, if you don't happen to have convenient inside jokes that revolve around engagement traditions, I've compiled a super fun list of things you could use to propose to your boy or otherwise masculine partner: A Necklace Okay, so your partner doesn't wear rings, but would they wear a necklace? Perhaps you could get him his wedding ring early and he could wear it around his neck. Do you have a special song? Get the lyrics hand-stamped on this sterling silver guitar pic and turn it into a necklace. I love capsule necklaces. You could write your proposal down and put it in this capsule! Okay okay, here is my favorite necklace. It's a new (and geeky?) take on those Best Friend heart necklaces. A handkerchief Remember the "bromance notes" Ariel featured in her gifts for groomsmen post? Well you could use them as their original purpose… to convey words of love! A fancy watch Watches are sort of like rings in that you can find them in any price range from affordable to this one pictured above is a watch I chose because of the diamond accent, and the fact that it's looks pretty bad-ass. Something handmade There are so many incredible stories of OBBs making things with which to propose; including the very first OBB herself, Ariel. Ya'll might remember Ariel's story about proposing to her husband. Ariel proposed at a pottery painting place with, what else, a piece of pottery! On the second edition of How to propose to your boyfriend, Tribe member He1en shows off her creative proposal box. Cookies/cakes/baked goods Mandy proposed to her fellow amateur mycologists boyfriend with these mushroom cookies. Proposing with baked goods is a double whammy — an adorable proposal and a yummy treat all in one. A special lighter If you read Offbeat Bride, you may remember that one of the brides proposed to her guy with an "engagement lighter." This one has lots of space to have something engraved. This one's called "ring of fire" — engagement "ring of fire"? 'Till death do us part? Pocket watch The pocket watch pictured above has perfect surfaces to engrave something on it, or you could even slip in a special picture or a message on the inside. I like the exposed cogs and wheels of this one. Other ideas… Anyone else have any ideas? Leave 'em in the comments! Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Megan Finley Horowitz Megan Finley is the LA-based Offbeat Empire editor. When she's not writing, editing, and sleeping, she's eating, drinking, and geeking. You can snoop into her personal life over on her website Funk in Deep Freeze! @meggyfin @meggyfin PREVIOUS Caitlin & Jos chaotic gothic geek-chic wedding/party NEXT Theresa & Andy's stress-free, vegan rainforest wedding Show/Hide comments [ 96 ] What about a drawing of a Tattoo that you both go get together immediately after, maybe with the date, or place it happened? 9 agree Reply Tools or around the house items that can be engraved. For instance, if you and your man plan to build a house together one day (or he just likes tools), why not have the handle of a hammer engraved? If he likes to cook, maybe a mixer (so he can fix you breakfast in bed!)? 5 agree Reply Hmmm..how could you apply this to a film or computer geek? Any ideas? 1 agrees Reply Easy peasy for the film geek. Order his favorite movie, or one of them, on a reel and have the reel engraved. This site: http://www.modernsoundpictures.com/ is just one of a few that you can order something like that from. You could also pay a movie theater in your area to play a proposal during the previews. The price will depend on the theater. You could find a theater that shows classic matinees – they tend to be less expensive and more willing. Something less decadent could include hosting your own movie night at your home – classic popcorn boxes, some milk duds, and print your own movie tickets. You could propose when the credits roll or on the tickets themselves. Good luck! 4 agree Reply You could have a movie poster printed up with the request… Perhaps a spoof poster for this favourite movie? Or you could sneak it into an actual movie poster? Reply For a computer geek, depending on their needs/tastes, and budget, a special mousepad, a custom keyboard, or even a tower painted/engraved with something significant? Perhaps an engraved floppy disk or motherboard would work, as well, if you'd prefer something decorative versus something functional. Reply For the programmers or coders out there how cool would it be to have a pop up window proposal. It could be even more memorable if it emulated a blue screen melt down/warning message etc so he'd freak out and think he was being hacked or something 🙂 2 agree Reply Guitar! My (now) husband is a musician but would never buy himself a Martin (a very, very nice brand). I gave him a Martin when I sort of did/didn't propose. It's a long story but the point is, the guitar was perfect! It's something he'll use and cherish for the rest of his life just like my ring! 6 agree Reply I gave my fiance a guitar, too. He proposed to me with a ring, but we went out and got his guitar as an engagement present for him. I mean, he spent a ton of money and time on the ring for me, I had to give him something he'd like just as much. He loves it and plays it every day – it was so worth it and he'll treasure it just the same. 3 agree Reply I felt the same. women get the ring and the dudes get nothing its not fair. I however got my fiance an xbox360 as he is into games rather than playing music. I like your idea though 😀 2 agree Reply My fiancée did the same. I bought her a ring and she bought me a Maton guitar. I don't wear jewellery, however the guitar is a beautiful piece of artwork that I display on my wall and play every day. I love it! 1 agrees Reply I love, love, love the idea of an engagement watch. I gave my (now) fiance a fancy watch when we were dating in high school, and he still wears it to this day. A good watch is on par with the timelessness of an engagement ring. Plus, I love the idea of being able to give him a diamond. I've always thought that it was sort of weird and unfair that women are traditionally given a pricey diamond engagement ring and then receive a wedding band… why can't men get two pieces of nuptial bling, too? Anyway, some additional ideas: – An engraved worry stone (gemstone or rock meant to be carried in the pocket so you can hold it or rub it with your thumb when you're upset or worried–sort of an "I'm always with you" note, eh?) – Wallet or money clip – A moleskine (aaah! Or moleskine-alternative) journal or first-edition book – A tree! A garden! A rubber house plant! 4 agree Reply My mom tells me it used to be traditional in Italian families to give the groom-to-be an engagement gift, usually including a diamond. I got my guy an awesome watch for Christmas–then he proposed on Christmas day, and I wished I'd got something else so the watch could be the engagement present. He tells me he calls it his engagement watch, though, which makes me smile. 1 agrees Reply That's what mi amor and I call the watch I gave him as a Christmas gift/proposal from me. I ended up buying myself a complementary style watch a year later (gotta love Fossil!). Reply I proposed with a piece of art I commissioned of my City of Heroes character proposing to his (and a ring, but the picture was the big thing!). 5 agree Reply Please to have pictures! 7 agree Reply We're experience people. I gave him a trip to Bonaroo Music Festival (which he'd been dying to attend for years) and an inexpensive silver ring. It was perfect for for him. 4 agree Reply all this being said, when i was in the process of trying to figure out how to propose, i looked up 'engagement ring for men' and found several nice guys' rings that would work well for a ring-wearer, i should think. they were on the pricey side though so I'm glad i decided to sleep on it and just pop the question without buying it first, bc it turns out he wanted to get me a ring and didn't want one of his own. 2 agree Reply If he's a biology geek, I saw these on Boing Boing recently, and think they would be AWESOME: DNA/RNA base pair friendship necklaces Reply That. Is. Awesome! I'm totally getting one of these for myself & my best friend (Mr. Spouse doesn't wear necklaces – boo); thanks for the link! Reply My husband loves software, so just before our wedding, I got him a copy of Windows 7. He was totally thrilled! (Said something about I knew exactly what would turn him on…) It also made for a nice break from wedding stress. Anyway, you could put a note in a new computer game or something… 1 agrees Reply I think this could go for way more than just guys. My lovely butch girlfriend would love some of these. 7 agree Reply I concur! (And so would mine!) 3 agree Reply Why not get him and yourself a ring? While it may not be traditional for the guy to wear a ring during the engagement, it is really meaningful and to me shows great gender equality. My fiance is wearing a band during our engagement that will be engraved once we are married and serve as his wedding band. It was his idea. What an amazing finace I have! 3 agree Reply I did something similar to this, since the way we got "engaged" was more of a deep discussion which went into "I know I want to marry you". We bought each other matching Gaelic inscription rings, which I love so much I wouldn't mind keeping for our actual wedding rings too! I'm all for gender equality so it was a win-win for both of us! 1 agrees Reply This is exactly how ours went down, too. Since our "proposal" was just a mutual decision, it felt weird not to share rings and be equal partners. We went with matching mokume gane bands of copper and sterling silver, which may end up doubling as wedding bands (engraving is a great idea – we should think about that!) I like the fact that our relationship is so even and equal that it seemed illogical to have only one party wear a ring… it makes me feel like a partner, rather than some bride on a pedestal. 2 agree Reply I totally agree. My boyfriend and I both wore promise rings and when we get engaged we will both propose and both get a new engagement ring. It's only fair. Reply I love,love,LOVE the idea of proposing to your guy with a pocket watch. I think I might very well keep this in mind for mine. (^.^) Reply I've already got it in the works to propose to my guy at Disneyland this fall (on Pirates of the Caribbean, only our most favorite ride of all time) and I'm having my grandma help me refurbish/repair an old family pocket watch to give him and an old family heirloom ring for him to give me, once he (hopefully) says yes! I love all these ideas though, and I will keep the tools idea in mind in case the watch can't be repaired— my man does love a good hand plane. 2 agree Reply My partner proposed to me with a ring but didn't want one herself so she got a tattoo which is posted on my blog. 1 agrees Reply The spoon thing is actually a tradition in Wales. Love spoons were carved from wood (usually in a interlocking knot pattern) by a lover for his beloved and signified both his affection and intentions. I love the modern twist!! 3 agree Reply Thank you so much for these ideas!! This is so timely for me, as I have been toying with the idea of a "counter proposal" when my guy finally proposes, and the handkerchief idea is PERFECT for us! And, what do you know, I have a bunch of embroidery floss that belonged to my beloved Grandma, and that I got when she passed away, AND my mom has some of my Grandpa's old handkerchiefs. Instant heirloom!! I intend to embroider on it: "Will you marry me back?" I am so excited about this now! I knew I loved the idea of "proposing back" to him, but I couldn't come up with something that was both meaningful and that I could also carry with me wherever we go, and have ready for when he proposes. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Again, thank you! 2 agree Reply I am proposing back too! I am glad I am not alone. Reply Great ideas! I just bought a men's wedding ring. It had a little diamond in it (still manly though) and I figured hey, it's kind of like an engagement ring! He doesn't wear it though, it's being treated like a wedding ring. It was just a prop, really. Proposal itself was written on a napkin and hidden with some surprise cinnamon rolls. I do not recommend this if you are impatient. Boy ate all the cinnamon rolls before finding it and was wondering why I looked ill D: 2 agree Reply I proposed to my boy with Cufflinks (shame he said no). 1 agrees Reply I gave my guy cuff links (http://www.etsy.com/transaction/24824990) in a simplified proposal box as He1en's above (thanks for the tutorial!). Five months later I'm still waiting for an answer, but he responded very positively and there have been two mysterious envelopes from a jeweler's, so I'm feeling pretty happy 😀 1 agrees Reply I gave an ex-boyfriend (who absolutely didn't deserve it) a slightly beaten-up stainless steel bracelet with an engraving on the inside. It's from Etsy – they make them specially, and they're quite cheap. Rugged, able to be worn all the time, but still romantic. Reply I proposed to my husband with a simple gold ring. If I (traditionally) have to wear a ring signifying I'm engaged why musn't he!? We got matching celtic rings when we married. Reply My guy is proposing (he had to reorder the ring after it was lost/stolen on our recent trip to Europe) but we also talked about what I could get him in return because I wanted him to have something too. We agreed on earrings for him since he has 3 piercings at the moment. I found gorgeous wolf's head earrings with rubies for eyes (since there are rubies in my ring) and rings that are made to assemble your own earrings in 10g. Can't wait! 1 agrees Reply Where little red?! My FH hubby proposed to me with a ruby also, and calls me his "little red"!! Aha!! FH's ears are 2's though. Reply i LOVE that there are so many comments on this post!!! I proposed to my boyfriend in April and originally was going with the watch idea….BUT i bought him a super nice watch for Christmas….so plan B was some champagne flutes from Tiffany's etched with "will you" on one and "marry me?" on the other. I figure Tiffany's lasts forever right? As we were in our pondering conversations about marriage he said something about me needing a huge rock (LOVE THIS MAN!) and I said "oh so you have to do the proposing huh? what about the modern day woman?" and he said "well if your planning to propose you better have a ring, modern day woman!". So my advise would be to fish around and see what his ideas are around marriage and what he'd like IF you were to propose. Reply I gave my fiance a Blue Feather of Happiness. We both play Harvest Moon, and in every version of the game that you can get married, you propose by finding and giving a blue feather to the one you love. I found a blue feather pin with Swarovski crystals all over it, and proposed. He wears it sometimes, but usually it's just in its case on his bedside table. 6 agree Reply I proposed with a silver key. I told him it was the key to my heart. It sounds a little cheesy, but he said yes and wears it on a chain around his neck 🙂 5 agree Reply For guys or non traditional couples, what about custom artwork? I just finished a painting for a girl who wanted a picture of her wedding bouquet before the wedding. Basically she wanted something she could take to the florist to say this is what I want, as well as something to have hanging in their new home on the wedding night, unlike all the wedding pictures that you have to wait months for. I've also had a guy approach me about painting a picture of the ring he was saving up to buy his girlfriend but he wanted to propose on valentine's day and wouldn't have it paid off til summer, so he had me paint a small 5×7 picture of the ring in the box with a rose. She *loved* it. 1 agrees Reply Since we both knew we were getting engaged well before it happened I told my FH that he should get something too! I got a ring and he got a computer! He is so happy picking it out…almost the way I was with my ring!! Reply My fh and I proposed to each other completely spontaneously and got the rings later. 🙂 It was important to us that we both have rings (it seems pretty sexist to me that women wear rings and everyone can see they are taken but men run around ring-less until the Big Day) and it was really hard to find a ring for him that wasn't boring or pimp-like. We had custom rings made on Etsy and we looove them. Now we have matching rings (same style but his is more butch) and they are "friends." It hasn't been super easy for him to get used to wearing it, but we both like the symbolism. Reply My fiance and I have matching engagement socks that we got from Sock Dreams in Portland. See, when I was a rebellious teenager, I told my more traditional peers that I wouldn't marry any guy who wasn't quirky enough to give me socks in place of a diamond. We're now planning to get a new pair of awesome socks for every anniversary. He wanted a ring, too, so we also have matching sterling silver bands that cost less than the socks 😛 6 agree Reply How about an engagement meteorite? I'm planning to propose to my geeky boyfriend in a few weeks, at a star-gazing event in the desert, with a piece of a meteorite that landed in Argentina 5,000 years ago. Nothing says love like a hunk of space rock. 12 agree Reply I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! 2 agree Reply Awesome! For those that are still thinking of rings and like this idea, I know there are a few amazing meteorite rings on etsy. My boy loved them but they were too costly for us. Reply Oh, I have to add that when I proposed to my now husband I made it clear that I still wanted a proposal from him 'cuz that's just how we are. It was an agreement we made. So he did the big engagement production for me a year later. It was fun for the year while he was wearing a ring and I wasn't, I pretended that I was dating a married man. 😉 2 agree Reply My fh had an engagement ring before me and I've been secretly pretending to be dating a married man, too! haha Reply Love this. I proposed to my guy- over homemade chocolate chip cookies (his fav) and cool glass of milk. And then I took him out to a very fancy fancy dinner (chef's table at Les'palier in Boston) because he loves that kind of thing and would never do it for himself. He was beyond was thrilled. I did the actual proposal at home over the cookies though so it would just be us two, and it took a lot of pressure off- we're not big scene people. It worked for us and I had fun with it too. 🙂 Reply We had a "conversation" on Christmas night and decided to get married but as my H2B had been married before and I am a feminist we decided I'd propose. He thought I'd wait a few months at least to do it. I did it 6 days later on New Years Eve. We were down the coast in a small town and there was very few shops, so I proposed with a stainless steel hose pipe clamp that cost $2.60 from the local hardware store. It cuts him a bit, but he wore it for our engagement parties and to announce to all our friends and family. I've now got my gorgeous bit of bling, but it was great to have something for the occasion and it's funny story which sums us up pretty well as a couple. Reply i made my oscar a pin. he doesn't wear jewelry, but our deal was whoever popped the question had to have -something- to give, and i snuck out and took a metalsmithing class, and made him a pin of a mutual tattoo design we'd thought up long ago. http://www.flickr.com/photos/oofstar/4850719539/ we'll still get tattoos, but we decided to get something more elaborate. i don't have any engagement token, but i'm pretty comfortable with that. 1 agrees Reply what i would love to do is get all the pictures that my beau and i have taken since we met, and put them on the wall spelling out "be mine forever and ever?" Reply Love these ideas! Especially that guitar pick necklace. The mushroom cookie proposal is cute too! I can't help but think I'd poison that 'No' cookie though…. or at least put some major laxatives in it. 6 agree Reply The earring idea is great. I love that. I'm not close to proposing since my relationship is very new, but I'm a girl and think about this daily! heh He has plugs, so personalized gauges would rock I think… if it ever goes that far 😉 Reply I asked my boyfriend to marry me and bought him a red wheelbarrow. What sucks is that I'm such a practical person, I bought something he needed & now it's covered in dirt and cement..! We went shopping later and picked out a ring for me. 1 agrees Reply "it's covered in dirt and cement…!" thus proving it was a perfect gift as it's showing it can handle the occasional crap that comes its' way, like a good, strong marriage 🙂 10 agree Reply I proposed to my boyfriend with a watch and had a ring pop on hand for myself since I knew I would want to design my own ring. For me, having the watch in the planned location forced me to go through with everything so I couldn't chicken out. I knew he would be ecstatic and say yes (which he did) but no matter how many times you've talked about it- nothing can properly prepare someone for that terrifying moment. The watch definitely helped me to remember that I had been meticulously planning the moment for a long time and it was finally my turn to show him how committed I was. I was very undecided about what I should give him but the watch was perfect! Reply I am planning on proposing to my boyfriend next year on his 30th birthday… with a fishing boat! I figure I've got nothing to lose, if he says no it's because he's not ready yet not because he doesn't want to be with me… and he still gets the boat as a birthday present. I'm going to have our pet name for each other printed on the side. I just have to work out exactly how I'm going to ask! Reply I proposed to my boy with these http://www.lovehearts.com/wedding/marry-me-love-hearts-100 (one sweetie out of the packet, rather than 100 packs). It was at leap year so he knew what I meant. He bought me a diamond ring that weekend and then a year later I bought him a number plate for his classic car. It was the only long lasting gift I could think of that he'd love. He does now wear a wedding ring. Reply I proposed to my man with Ring Spanners! I spent 5 weeks in Germany & I planned the whole thing while I was away & popped the question on the night I flew home. And I called my dad and asked him for permission to give my hand in marriage to Tony. I spent all my money in Germany on the best quality spanners you can buy (coincidently made in Germany!) & this really funky garden rainforest resort for when we got home including private candlelight dinner & massages/sauna package. I pretended I couldnt find his present when we got to the hotel (which I tricked him to driving us to!) then during dinner I excused myself for the loo, sprinted to our room, grabbed the spanners that I"d written "Marry Me?" on and raced back to give him his "present from germany" I sort of made a little speach about how much I loved him etc etc while he was unwrapping them untill he could read what it said. After a really long silence I was wondering if I'd made the right decision! Then I realised he was fighting tears, and he said yes. It was one of the most touching moments of my whole life. But he says we're not OFFICIALY engaged untill he proposes to me as he'd always dreamed of that moment growing up (kind of how girls dream of their wedding?) but we have a date & we're planning the wedding so he reckons he'll do it before we get married. I think he's planning some sort will you marry moment before the ceremony starts!! 3 agree Reply I'm feeling sappy this morning but your story *almost* made me cry. happy for you!! Reply I proposed to him and got him a silver dog tag with our son's fingerprint, birthdate and name on one side, and "Will you marry me?" on the other side. Then I put it in his Christmas Advent Calendar! 3 agree Reply My boyfriend actually got puzzle pendants made for our six month anniversary. We still wear them and everyone asks about them. My pride and joy. Reply I'm dating a Scottish guy who never wore his wedding ring while his first marriage lasted, so a ring for proposing is out of the question. My idea: I might, when the time comes, get a custom-made Sgian Dubh. That's the little dagger worn in the stocking to complete a dressy kilt outfit. And then having a suitable engraving put on the hilt. Let's see what happens… 2 agree Reply omg! thank you for this article! i have a ruby that belonged to my grandma, given to her by my great grandma. our year is coming up (i've known him for close to 12, tho, so it's really not like i'm jumping in…) and i've got the whole thing planned, down to the date. i swear if he doesn't ask by halloween, i'm just gonna propose b handing him the stone and saying, "figure it out." that may sound harsh to some, but we're both very matter of fact people and he know how i get. i honestly believe he's waiting for us to hit the year mark, either that or he knows i'm getting antsy and he's holding out just to be a pain (which is also very 'him' lol) Reply I poped the question to my hubby to be ! when i did it … i got him a ring and i also got a little baby booty and mit set and i put the ring in the baby booty and asked him if he would be my husband and the father of my children present and future 🙂 he said Yes !!!! i asked him 2 days before fathers day 🙂 1 agrees Reply that is pretty damn precious. best to your new family!! 1 agrees Reply These are great ideas! I proposed to my boyfriend but I gave him a ring. It was engraved with our birthdays and a little heart by monkeysalwayslook on etsy. So perfect! Of course, he lost it. It's okay though- he loved it and said yes and that was all I wanted. I think I'll be getting that pocket watch for an actual wedding present though! Love! Reply I proposed to my boyfriend with Noam Chomsky's pen, and a peanut butter chocolate cupcake. He said yes and then we went to our tattoo artist who tattooed a tiny red diamond on my ring finger 🙂 1 agrees Reply Noam Chomsky is amazing. I may have to think of a way to add him in somehow. Reply My guy is big into shooting, so I had a custom engraved bullet made with "Will you marry me" on it for the proposal… And a smaller bullet on a key ring engraved with a promise to love him "with everystuff, forever" for the "ring" He loved it and we are planning on a fall wedding next year 🙂 Reply This is such a cute post! While he proposed to me, I think our story still has some stock here. When we were first dating, we ended up on playgrounds ALOT (usually to get away from crowds during festivals or parties) so one day, when we stepped out, he proposed using matching braclets (purple & green made out of telephone wires! with a star charm) that he had bought from a booth while I was using the bathroom. Funny thing was though, I had bought 2 plastic rings out of a 25 cent machine to propose to him while i was "using the bathroom" so after he popped the question, so did I with our 'playground' rings! I now have an engagement ring and he wants to wait and save for a wedding ring he really wants (instead of getting a cheaper engagement ring and then a band), but we both still have our bracletes and 'playground engagment rings' <3 I plan on getting him a pocket watch for a wedding gift though too, and i LOVE the one in this post! 2 agree Reply Read more comments 1 2 › Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via emailGet only replies to your comment, the best of the rest, as well as a daily recap of all comments on this post. No more than a few emails daily, which you can reply to/unsubscribe from directly from your inbox. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. 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