A marriage proposal is an event where one person in a relationship asks for the other's hand in marriage.
Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.
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If accepted, it marks the initiation of engagement, a mutual promise of later marriage.
An engagement, betrothal, or fiancer is a promise to wed, and also the period of time between a marriage proposal and a marriage.
Andrea Robinson's on air marriage proposal by FOX 10 Phoenix
It often has a ritual quality, sometimes involving the presentation of an engagement ring and the formal asking of a question for example "Will you marry me,...?"
An engagement ring is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married, especially in Western cultures.
In the Anglosphere it is traditional for the man to make a proposal to the woman directly while genuflecting in front of her; the man sometimes puts the engagement ring on her finger at this point, as opposed to merely offering it to her.
The term Anglosphere refers to a set of English-speaking nations with a similar cultural roots, based upon populations originating from the nations of the British Isles, which today maintain close political and military cooperation.
If the woman accepts the proposal, she will typically assent to the man verbally and wear the ring during the time leading up to the wedding, known as the engagement.
Acceptance of the proposal is not compulsory in Western culture; a woman may decline a proposal for various reasons, and may not declare what the reasons are.
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Western world, Western society or European civilization is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe.
In Scotland and Ireland, 29 February in a leap year is said to be the one day when a woman can propose to her partner.
A leap year is a year containing one additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain.
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.
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe.
As a monarch, Queen Victoria had to propose to Prince Albert.
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death.
Proposals by women have become more common in the Anglosphere in recent years, so jewelry companies have manufactured engagement rings for men.
In the United States, about 5% of proposals are made by women.
Younger people are less likely to approve of women proposing.
In many cultures it is traditional for a man to ask permission from a woman's father, in private, before proposing to her, or if her father has already died and she is still young of a near relation of hers.
In earlier times it was common for fathers to refuse proposals from men whom they considered unsuitable as husbands for their daughters.
Although it is uncommon in the West these days, the parents of the couple may make a marriage arrangement, preceding or superseding the proposal.
Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by their families.
Arranged marriages were common between members of royal families throughout most of European history; such marriage contracts and proposals were made at great distances and often without first-hand contact between the parties prior to the engagement.