GQ Magazine Q&A with Michael ‘Ringman Wingman’ Dransfield

October 6, 2019

Written by Brad Nash, Originally published


Proposals are made out almost exclusively to be a moment of pure, unadulterated emotion and love. And, if all goes well, they absolutely are.

But the build up is rarely what you see in the movies. And despite the increasing trend of female partners actually popping the question to their prospective hubbies, the bulk of proposals are still done by men. What you don’t see in the films, however, is the general shit-storm of emotions this generally entails.

As soon as a relationship lasts long enough to start getting into proposal territory, you find very quickly that pressure to pop the question, whether it be from friends, family or your significant other, starts to build very quickly. Then come the questions. Where are you going to do it? How are you going to do it? More importantly, when are you going to do it?

This can snowball into a full existential crisis if you’re not careful, often leaving you more hesitant to propose than if everybody has just left you to your own devices in the first place.

Thankfully, however, there are people out there that get this, and who actually want to help. Michael Dransfield, a master jeweller and ‘Ringman Wingman’ at Burgundy Bespoke Jewellers, is one of them, helping men and women pop the question with low-key advice, assistance in choosing the right wing, and even helping to plan an unforgettable proposal.

Naturally, with people around the GQ team getting proposed and married seemingly every week, we thought it right to sit him down and pick his brains for the four-decades worth of experience that it has.

GQ : What are your top tips for dealing with pressure from friends and family constantly asking when/where/how you’ll pop the question?

Michael Dransfield: Relax! It’s you and your partner’s decision, so don’t be pressured into something you are not comfortable with, as that’s recipe for disaster. If you haven’t talked or thought about getting engaged yet, be honest and tell friends and family this, it may be too early.

If you are going to announce your engagement together, decide if you are having an engagement party and invite family and friends.

Beware who you tell if you are planning a surprise proposal, however I always think a surprise proposal to be best (as long as you are sure of the answer).

Choosing a ring is a minefield. What strategies do you have to get it right each time?

Look at the jewellery they already wear. For example is it contemporary, and bold or is it classic and refined? This will give you an idea on what to choose.

They may have been good at dropping a hint and posted or tagged you in images of the rings they like.

It shows you have made the effort to have a ring to propose with but also want them to have the ring of their dreams.

Are you finding trends are gearing more towards low-key proposals now? Or more grand displays of love and insta-worthy grandiosity?

With everyone watching each other on social media I do think there is more pressure on guys to go above and beyond.

While it does keep event planners in business, not all women want that kind of fuss – in fact, I have come across quite a few who find grand gestures a bit cringe-worthy. It really comes down to doing something meaningful for the two of you – not everyone else.

Most important tips for capturing the moment properly?

First of all, decide if the moment is one you wish to share with the world or keep private. If you’re proposing to someone who likes to share their life on social media and you’re already an insta-husband then don’t forget to arrange a discreet photographer to be nearby.

Whether you hire a professional or ask a friend, be sure to capture the moment if it’s important you have it to look back on. If all else fails, you can always take a selfie together after it happened!

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