All You Need to Know: Which Knee Do You Propose On?

Deciding which knee to propose on is a pivotal moment in any engagement. So discover with Ben Garelick which knee is traditionally used and why.

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Let’s set the stage for your love story. There you are, with a heart bursting with love and a mind swirling with plans for the big question. 

But a sneaky detail creeps up – which knee should you bend for the grand proposal? 

Many lovers, armed with rings and dreams, have faced this crossroads. 

Let's untangle this knot together, transforming your proposal from a question of 'which knee' to a unity of love and intention. 

Take a deep breath, and let's stride into proposal etiquette.

The History: A Journey Through Time and Cultures

Put your history glasses on and envision medieval knights, gallant and bold, kneeling to show loyalty – the same pose now synonymous with popping the big question. 

While you might not be fighting dragons or jousting, understanding this age-old gesture adds a sprinkle of historical romance to your modern-day fairytale.

Back in the days of knights in shining armor, the significance of the one-knee proposal was a symbol of honor. 

It’s thought to be rooted in how Lords and knights would honor kings and queens by taking a knee, bowing, or nodding their heads before their swords as a sign of respect.

How do we know this? Literature, art, those beautiful tapestries they adorned their homes with - all recount the tales of the romantic men of an era long gone. 

The conversion rates of these proposals (i.e., gals saying yes before the guys had time to finish their questions) soared.

Other love-sick men saw this success and thought, “Alright, we’ll give it a shot,” thus, the rest is history.

Global Twists on a Classic Move

When it comes to anything marriage-related, religion may also have a little something to do with getting down on one knee.

From the East to the West, kneeling is like a chameleon, taking on different hues in different cultures. In some places, the right knee is the star, shining bright with symbolism. 

Many religions kneel for prayer or as a sign of respect to their god/s or deities. In turn, folks viewed kneeling as the ultimate signature of honor and respect. 

Who else to show this to besides the person you wish to spend eternity with?

In other cultures, it's more about the feeling than the formality. The vast wonder of traditions around the globe offers a vibrant library of love stories infused with their interpretation of down-on-one-knee.

Do You Get Down On The Left Knee or Right Knee?

Which knee you choose to get down on is personal preference, however traditionally you would get down on your left knee with your right knee up.

The ring box should be in your left hand and opened with your right hand. 

The ergonomic approach would be listening to your body - avoid the bad knee, perhaps?

If you're a righty, instinct might guide you to rest on your left knee, keeping your right hand free for that all-important ring reveal.

There isn't a strict rulebook to follow, but you should aim to make the moment feel as natural as your love.

The same sentiment goes for if you cannot kneel at all; it doesn’t mean you can’t have a traditionally inspired proposal. Make the moment uniquely yours, and charm the socks of your S.O.

All that matters is that you love one another. Besides, avoiding tradition could make the moment even more of a surprise because they won’t suspect it’s coming!

Your Cultural Compass to Proposing on One Knee

In some corners of the world, the right knee takes center stage for its cultural significance.

It’s thought to be a sign of surrender, but many believe it’s because most people are right-side dominant.

It takes more effort, and more effort symbolizes more love. Or at least, that’s what the romance novels would have you believe. 

By lowering your less dominant side, you are showcasing vulnerability to your S.O. and expressing how fully you’re willing to give yourself to them.

We say it's the sparkle of sincerity in your proposal that outshines any knee you choose. 

Whether you go left or right, the heartfelt pledge of love truly matters.

Baring Your Soul: The Power of Vulnerability

In this day and age, there’s no reason to conceal vulnerability from your partner. 

Couples who share more vulnerable moments often speak of how deepened their connection is.

The journey towards wedded bliss seems the perfect occasion to open up to the power of vulnerability if a more profound connection is what you desire most.

And dropping to one knee isn't just about tradition; it's a silent oath of your vulnerability and devotion.

This gesture is like wearing your heart on your sleeve, a physical testament to your readiness to embark on life's most incredible adventure with your partner.

A Nod to Equality: The Contemporary Twist

In today's world, where love is an equal partnership, kneeling symbolizes deep respect and a promise to support and cherish each other as equals. 

It's a modern interpretation of an age-old gesture, evolving to represent a mutual journey of love, respect, and shared dreams.

Equality means no one gets left behind.

Even though the down-on-one-knee tradition started as a gesture from men to women, today, any person, gender, or identity can take their knee and ask for their S.O.'s hand in marriage.

Hey, you knee-dn’t take the knee at all!

You can add your twist to the special moment. After all, it’syours.

No tradition, societal expectation, or otherwise can dictate how you should ask for someone’s hand in marriage.

You should only consider what would be meaningful and memorable for your partner.

What would make the memory last an eternity?

What location or date would guarantee they answer “YES!’?

Crafting a Proposal That's Uniquely Yours

Not all love stories follow the script, and neither do all proposals.

Whether it's an impromptu question popped during a Netflix binge or a carefully planned moment under the stars, what matters is that it's infused with your personal flavor. 

It's about creating a proposal that's as unique and special as your love story.

Your Love, Your Rules: Tailoring the Proposal

Think of your proposal as a canvas waiting for you to paint your story. 

Whether it's a cozy indoor setup or a grand outdoor affair, let your proposal reflect the bond you share. 

It's your moment to step outside the box and craft a memory that resonates with the rhythm of your heart.

Use these question prompts to help you discover your perfect proposal scenario.

10 Questions to Help You Plan the Perfect Proposal

Question 1:Where did you first meet?

Question 2: What favorites do you share? What are your favorite songs, movies, foods, or places?

Question 3:Is there somewhere your S.O. has always wanted to visit? An exotic destination, a fancy restaurant, a museum, or an art gallery?

Question 4:Is there a place or date significant to your S.O. or the two of you?

Question 5: Is a film or TV proposal always hitting you or your S.O. in the feels?

Question 6:Are they celebrating another significant occasion? Would they be okay with you making it extra special by proposing?

Question 7:Have you already discussed getting married? Have they mentioned how they’d like the proposal to go?

Question 8:Do you want the proposal to be a complete surprise? If so, how can you ensure no details are missed without letting the surprise slip?

Question 9:Have you asked their friends or family if they have any tips for crafting a dreamy proposal?

Question 10:Most importantly, are you both ready to get married?

These questions are not exhaustive and entirely depend on the couple. We advise you to consider your S.O. and what would make you both happy.

Avoid getting wrapped up in other people’s opinions and expectations.

However you pop the all-important question, on one knee or not, be sure to make it everything you’ve both dreamed of.

The Quest for the Perfect Ring: Love and Style

Selecting the ring is a quest to find a piece that whispers your partner's name.

It's about understanding their style and life and how a ring can symbolize your intertwined paths. 

This journey is about discovering a ring that not only sparkles on their finger but also resonates with their soul.

Consider what color jewelry they regularly wear - is it silver, gold, platinum, rose gold?

Do they prefer a subtler look? For instance, understated pieces that lift an outfit and bring it together.

Or are they a lover of all things bold and daring? Lots of bling, sparkle, and bright colors.

Alternatively, if they don’t wear much jewelry, you could consult a jeweler or look at color theory to match the metal tone with their complexion

Even comment on the style of a particular item of jewelry you see on someone else to see their reaction. Although this might give your big surprise away, you should avoid being critical of other people’s unique style.

Be curious, research, and if all else fails, contact our engagement experts, and we’ll guide you to the perfect choice.

Ethical Elegance: A Statement of Shared Values

In a world where love stories are painted with the brush of ethics and values, opting for an ethically sourced ring can add a profound layer to your proposal.

It's a testament to the shared principles you cherish and plan to strengthen within your married life. It's not just a ring; it's a symbol of love, responsibility, and a commitment to a better world.

Would they be open to a lab-grown diamond over a naturally mined diamond?

Have they spoken about or shown a desire toward conflict-free diamonds?

Are they big on sustainability and protecting the earth?

Do they believe in spending significant money on a piece of jewelry, or do they value investing more money in your future?

Do they like to have all the facts about the items they buy and wear?

Whatever the values or questions, your jeweler or the diamond experts at Ben Garelick can help you.

From lab-grown diamonds to GIA-certified gems, you should always acquire all the facts before purchasing an engagement ring. 

Thankfully, we have all the answers you’re looking for!

Embracing the Moment: Beyond Knees and Traditions

At the heart of your proposal, whether on the left knee or the right, lies the essence of your love and the intentions that bloom from it. 

This moment is the first chapter of a lifelong story you'll write together, a tale of love, laughter, and shared dreams.

It's a snapshot in time that transcends traditions, a moment about your bond.

Whether you follow the footsteps (or knee bends!) of tradition or blaze your trail, let the whispers of your hearts be your guide.

Step into this journey with a heart full of love, a dash of authenticity, and maybe a sprinkle of Ben Garelick's enchantment. 

And when the time comes to find that perfect ring that echoes the melody of your unique love, we're here to light the way. 

Explore our collection and let us be a part of your forever tale, a story that unfolds one knee at a time in a way that's beautifully and unmistakably yours.

Peter Manka Jr

Peter Manka Jr. - Owner at Ben Garelick

Peter Manka Jr. is a passionate member of the family business who joined Ben Garelick in the early 2000s after working in product licensing for Sesame Workshop & The Jim Henson Company for many years. He obtained a degree in diamonds and jewelry from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in order to sharpen his jewelry skills. He takes great pride in providing exceptional customer service and helping clients find the perfect piece of jewelry.

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