Regardless of whether you particularly love jewelry, engagement and wedding rings are a huge part of the celebration. Traditionally, only one party gets an engagement ring, but wedding bands are standard for both members of every couple.
Quality jewelry can cost a pretty penny. If you are worried about your budget, chances are that you want to spend as little as possible without skimping. After all, you don’t want to draw eyes for the wrong reason. How much should you realistically spend on engagement and wedding rings?
Remember that rings are very valuable and also easy to steal. Make sure you have insurance for your ring before you wear it out in public. The last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on rings, only to see that money go down the drain.
Here’s how much you should spend on engagement and wedding rings.
How much should an engagement ring cost?
We’ll start with the engagement ring, as that comes before the wedding. The engagement ring is traditionally a lot more expensive than the wedding bands. It is something that people budget quite a lot of money for. Many do so by compromising on certain aspects of the wedding itself.
A rule of thumb that has been touted by many people online is that you should spend 3 months’ salary on an engagement ring. This, however, is far more than most people can afford. It is also a lot more than most people expect from their partner. The consensus online is that this figure was created by marketers for jewelers trying to drum up big sales.
Looking at the average amount people spend on engagement rings can be misleading, as the most expensive rings skew the figure. The median provides more context: in 2022, the median amount spent on engagement rings is $1,900. Start by looking for rings in this price range. If the perfect ring is a bit more expensive, see if you can find some extra space in your budget.
How much should a wedding band cost?
Wedding bands are usually much cheaper than engagement rings. While engagement rings tend to be flashy, wedding bands are more subtle. In many traditions, a wedding band is supposed to be fairly plain.
The general price range for wedding bands is between $180 and $2,000. That’s a big spectrum, that makes more sense when you take gender into context. A man’s wedding band will usually be a lot cheaper than a woman’s, based on design. Most men want a basic, plain design, while more women want elaborate engravings or jewels.
As such, the average spent on a man’s wedding band is $510, while the average spent on a woman’s band is $1,100. That being said, the type of wedding band you get depends on your personality and your budget.
The trend (generational churn)
It is interesting to note that the amount spent on engagement and wedding rings is dropping over time, in spite of prices going up. The fact is that younger generations do not place as much importance on wedding paraphernalia. Weddings themselves tend to be smaller and more low-key affairs.
In other words, if you are not so invested in getting a pricey engagement ring, you are not alone. This is especially true if you are a millennial or Gen Zer. You don’t need to break the bank for engagement and wedding rings just in order to keep up appearances. On the contrary, it is perfectly acceptable to not take this so seriously.
Ultimately, you should not be starting married life at a disadvantage due to any aspect of the wedding. Spend what makes sense to you, even if that is less than what others around you are spending.