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Do Wedding Rings Have to Be Expensive?

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Wedding rings don’t have to be expensive. They just have to mean something.

For some people, the wedding ring style they want costs more. Other people give family heirlooms or other rings that carry significance.

If you look online, you’ll inundate yourself with articles about how much you should spend on an engagement ring before you propose. People will tell you to spend months of your salary on a ring.

Before we get into details about how expensive your ring should be, you need to know that these “rules” come from jewelry marketing companies. They say they’re helping you by guiding you in your purchase, but they want you to spend more money.

But it is an excellent question to ask. How much should you spend on a wedding ring? Does an expensive wedding ring mean more to whoever you give it to?

Let’s explore how you can make the right purchase and get a fantastic wedding ring for the person you love most.

Hand of bride and groom showing their wedding ring and engagement ring

Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Ring

First thing’s first. Let’s boil down on the difference between engagement and wedding rings.

Generally, the engagement ring is the one you see in ads with a big centerpiece diamond. It’s what someone presents to their bride when they propose. Then, they wear it throughout the engagement and keep it on their finger for as long as they’re married.

On the other hand, wedding rings are more basic. They’re typically either a plain eternity band or a band encrusted with diamonds or other gemstones.

Some people will wear their engagement ring until the wedding ceremony when the band is added to the ring. You can wear them separately on the same finger or have them fixed together by a jeweler after the wedding.

Female jeweler showing engagement rings to a young loving couple at the store

Purchasing Your Ring

Here are some general rules to follow when buying an engagement ring or a wedding band.

  • Focus on the Engagement Ring – The engagement ring should get most of your attention. Any wedding ring should be a nice complement to the engagement ring, not take away from its shine.
  • Spend More on the Engagement Ring – When you’re deciding your budget for rings, put more money into the engagement ring if you’re planning to spend big.
  • No Color Rules – Some people will tell you that the engagement and wedding rings should match the same metal colors. That’s great for people who like a uniform look, but there are plenty of attractive options that mix yellow and white gold, for example.
  • Ask for Input – Buying a ring can be challenging, especially if you’ve never bought expensive jewelry. Learn what styles your partner likes by asking friends and relatives to draw them out of them.
luxury diamond ring in jewelry box vintage style

Why People Buy Expensive Rings

Far too many people feel like they have to buy expensive rings for them to mean something. While there is some semblance of truth to that, there are also times when spending a lot isn’t necessary.

Buying an expensive gift is always a nice gesture. People know when they get an expensive gift, which means a good deal. When used correctly, money effectively shows how much importance or value you place on something.

Hopefully, you’re marrying the person of your dreams when you get married. You love them the most, so it makes sense to pay the most money for the most important gift you’ll give them.

People also buy expensive rings due to social conditioning and peer pressure. People are constantly comparing ring sizes, and you can be sure people will talk about how much you spent, how big the stone is, etc.

Avoid Financial Stress When Buying a Wedding Ring

Above all, you want to avoid putting yourself in a bad financial situation over an engagement or wedding ring.

While stretching yourself based on your prospects is normal, you could end up paying much more for that ring than you’d initially planned. Here’s how:

Young couple choosing wedding ring in jewelry store

Dealing with Jewelry Salespeople

When you walk into a jewelry store and tell the people working there that you’re buying a ring for your spouse, it’s music to their ears.

They know that these types of customers are eager to please, so it’s easier for them to convince you to spend more. Remember, the folks working at jewelry stores either own the store or are likely working on commission. So it’s in their best interest to get you to spend as much as possible.

  • Financing Rings – Stores will often let you finance purchases. When broken up into monthly payments, it can make an expensive ring feel much more manageable.
  • Not too many people are walking around with months of salary to burn. By financing, you are essentially paying more in the long term for something you can’t afford now.
  • Jewelry store financing terms are notoriously high, so don’t plan on getting some low-interest rate or an interest-free loan for the ring. In some cases, you’ll end up paying double or triple the sticker price by financing.
  • Borrowing to Buy – Borrowing money on credit cards is another issue. Most credit cards will let you take a cash advance on your card into your bank to help you with the purchase. In some cases, this can be smart, especially if you can lock in a promotional rate and pay off the ring before the promotion ends.

Surprise, most people don’t do that, and banks end up raking in interest charges. People usually fail to repay on time, which is why the banks offer the promotion in the first place.

Pink flowers and two golden wedding rings on white background

Meaningful Wedding Rings Don’t Have to Cost a Ton

Lovely wedding rings don’t always have to be expensive. First of all, not everyone loves diamonds. Some people want something basic and discreet that they can wear without worrying about damaging or losing.

Second, people put significant meaning in giving rings based on where the couple met, cultural heritage, and other factors.

Finally, if you have a ring passed down from your mother or grandmother, it’s considered a family heirloom. So, giving a cherished ring that’s been in the family is a priceless gift to a lot of people.

man making a proposal while giving an engagement ring to his girlfriend in restaurant

Give the Nicest Ring You Can

Whether it’s the engagement ring or your wedding ring at the ceremony, give your bride the nicest ring possible. If that means a high price tag, so be it! Just make sure you don’t overextend yourself too much, so you won’t live to regret the purchase.

The giving of rings is rooted in thousands of years of history and tradition. Therefore, it carries deep meaning to most people who get married.

If you have the money to spend, buy a nice ring and don’t think twice! Your spouse will love the love and commitment that the ring carries.

More than anything else, buy a ring for your partner that they will love wearing every day for years. It will grow to become a symbol of your union.

The most excellent ring isn’t always expensive; spending more will give you more options. Buy something in your budget that looks great and will last a lifetime.