The tradition of becoming engaged or betrothed goes back to Roman times.
Back then, the period of betrothal began several years before the wedding, and was marked by the giving of a ring, presents, and a deposit confirming the promise of marriage.
Later, in the Middle Ages, the betrothal was integrated into church ritual, and was seen as a special time during which the future bride and groom could reflect upon the significance of their contract. When the young man asked for the young woman's hand, she wore a garland of daisies while taking time to think it over. And it was not until she decided to change it for a garland of roses that her future husband's proposal was accepted.