Engagement Ring Question


#1

I've had this question on my mind for a little while. My girlfriend and I have been seeing eachother for some months, things are starting to get serious, and I'm interested in the best way to go about popping the question. We've already talked about it, and she's more or less said that she would say yes :)

So, engagement rings - I'm on a tight budget at the moment, finishing up my education (thankfully I get quite generous funding, and I have fairly good career prospects when I graduate), so don't have too much to spare. Also, there will be other expenses to think about, neither of us have rich family to pay for our wedding for us, and at least one of us will need to relocate.

So, first of all, is the 2 months' salary rule a good one to follow? If I do that, it leaves me about $2,200 to work with, but I would need to take out a credit arrangement, or wait about 6 months - that would literally be the only reason I'd wait to pop the question, which seems kinda silly. Am pretty sure my girlfriend would agree. Also, that's basically the same amount it would cost us to relocate, which seems like a more important thing to do right now. My girlfriend knows I don't have too much cash right now, but that I have good prospects, and she accepts that. We're both agreed that we don't want to wait around (I didn't start my college course at 18, so we're both nearly 30.) I don't know if she'd be embarrassed if she thought I was making myself so poor just to finance the ring.

I'm not a cheapskate, and so I was thinking of getting a ring in the $1000 range, there are some nice elegant rings for that price. A related point concerns the ring itself - I don't really know what kind of thing she'd like. Is it ok to go shopping together to pick out the ring, or should it be something I've chosen? My girlfriend doesn't wear a lot of jewellery, so I don't know how to find out what kind of thing she likes? What about finger sizes? Are there other things I need to find out? I know already that it won't be a massive surprise if/when I propose, and we usually take decisions together and talk about things. Is it too unromantic to go ring shopping together? If so, do we do it before or after I propose?

I'm kinda new to this whole area, it's not really something I've done before. Any help would be much appreciated.

God bless you all!


#2

If you want to follow the 2 month salary "rule", feel free, that would be very generous of you. But it isn't mandatory at all.

I actually have 2 "engagement' rings. A very simple one he proposed with, and the 'official one" I helped pick out the official one.

Does she have a sister? Take her shopping with you, she'll tell you what your GF would like or not like.

Personally, I would go with a smaller, but higher quality stone.


#3

The "2 months salary" rule is a little silly, in my opinion. $2,200 is a lot of money...actually, I think my whole wedding cost about that much. $1,000 (or even a little less!) is plenty. Don't forget you'll have to buy a wedding ring too.
As far as having a ring already vs. taking her ring shopping, that depends entirely on your gf's personality. If she's a romantic type, she could be disappointed if you proposed without a ring. In that case, talk to one of her female friends, or a sister, to find out her ring size and taste.
If she's more practical than romantic, she might prefer to help you pick out a ring to make sure she actually likes it. Going ring shopping together (AFTER you propose) could be really exciting for both of you.
If you're not sure where she falls in this division, ask one of her friends or sisters.
Good luck! :thumbsup:


#4

IMHO, the 2 months salary idea is just a way for the diamond industry to guilt you into putting more money into their pockets. :rolleyes:

My engagement ring is an opal. My fiancé and I weren't really into diamonds that much but he loved opals (my birthstone) as much as I do--so we got a ring that was beautiful and meaningful to US. It cost under $300.

Miz


#5

Save the 2 months salary for a house deposit and buy a nice ring with a stone other than a diamond, I paid $90 for my wife's engagement ring when the jeweller was having a 75% off sale, its a nice 18 carat gold ring with a beautiful amethyst stone( my wife's birth stone), my wife loved it, if she didn't because she wanted a $2000 ring with a huge diamond in it I would have know she had more expensive tastes than I could ever satisfy and the marriage would have been a no no.

If your girlfriend is worth marrying she will be happy with anything that looks decent in my opinion, its the proposal that should have the value to her not the ring.

As to finger sizes you can always get the ring resized after you buy it to fit her, most jewellers do this for free if you buy it from them, somethign to ask before you purchase and a reason to err on the big size. Another solution would be to ask her mom what her ring size is especially if you do the traditional thing of asking the parents permission first.

I avoided all of that by telling my wife we needed to go to the jewellers that day to buy her her engagement ring. She tried it on so we knew it fit lol

The months wages thing is just a marketing ploy to separate men from their money, they are taking advantage of your desire to please your gf and avoid rejection, any girl worth marrying and who wants to marry you will be happy with any nice ring, once your married she gets all your money anyway lol


#6

Please don't go into debt. That's not a good start for a marriage. Either get something very very simple, or save up for something fancier.
If you're thinking of getting married, I trust you've discussed your views on finances?


#7

I went shopping for my own engagement ring. I don't like surprises myself, so I wanted to be a part of the picking process. It wasn't the biggest ring we could get, but I love it. After eleven years of marriage, I still love looking down and seeing it.

I have a friend whose first ring was very simple. They have also been married for eleven years and this past year, her husband got her a different ring to wear on her left hand. There is nothing wrong with staying in your budget now and supplementing later (if you want).

I got married on the cheap and there wasn't a lot I really liked about the wedding itself, well, apart from marrying my guy. I thought for the longest time that one day, we would do it "right." I have since come to realize that everything worked out for the best and now we don't have to have the "right" ceremony.

And the money we can save from not doing it over can buy me more diamonds. :p


#8

I think it’s sweet you want to go with the 2-months salary rule. That’s totally up to you, but I personally think it’s ridiculous for an engagement ring. You say money is tight now?

My husband for instance got me a simple gold ring with my birthstone in a diamond setting. It’s small, it’s not a “rock” you know what I mean? But it’s undeniably beautiful. We got it at a jewelry store that was having a liquidation/clearance so it was like $120 or something like that. Without the discount it still would have been less than $200.

I would go that route…just get something nice, real gold and/or jewels that will last forever. Doesn’t have to break your bank. Same with the wedding rings. :smiley:


#9

[quote="bnbkaine, post:7, topic:206469"]

I got married on the cheap and there wasn't a lot I really liked about the wedding itself, well, apart from marrying my guy. I thought for the longest time that one day, we would do it "right." I have since come to realize that everything worked out for the best and now we don't have to have the "right" ceremony.

[/quote]

Sounds like you did have the "right" ceremony then. Ours was on the cheap too, but I wouldn't have changed anything about it.


#10

+Congratulations on your upcoming marriage . . . ! . . . *and for whatever it’s worth . . . my two cents . . . :twocents: . . . worth of advice on the subject . . . * is to by all means consider going shopping . . . together . . . for the ring . . . it’s a very thoughtful way to get your bride something she’ll really love . . . remember . . . she is the one who’ll be wearing the ring for many years to come . . . why shouldn’t it be one she really likes and enjoyed helping to pick out with you her groom . . . ? . . . and $1000.00 is a great cost range to stay within for a young couple . . . you’ll be able to find something very nice in this range . . . and also . . . usually when you buy an engagement ring it is paired with a wedding ring as a set . . . you don’t just buy the bride’s engagement ring alone . . . and while you’re picking it out most grooms generally find a wedding ring for themselves they like . . . often there are matching ones for the bride’s engagement/wedding ring set . . . *and again . . . $1000.00 is a most respectable cost range to keep within for a young couple . . . for all three rings . . . the bride’s engagement ring and wedding ring set and the groom’s wedding ring . . . *
[INDENT]

:bible1: Proverbs 18:22
He that hath found a good wife, hath found a good thing, and shall receive a pleasure from the Lord.

[/INDENT]

*God bless . . . *

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+[/RIGHT]


#11

[quote="TheWonderer, post:1, topic:206469"]

So, first of all, is the 2 months' salary rule a good one to follow?

[/quote]

No. Spend what you can afford w/out borrowing. I'm sure you can find one that's pretty and that your girlfriend likes. If she loves you, she'll be very happy with it and you'll both have peace of mind living w/in your means.

Also, at some point when you have the means to do so, you can always give her an extravagant piece of jewelery on your wedding anniversary, Bday, or some other special day.

The ring is an important symbol of your engagement and of your love/fidelity to one another. What's also somewhat important to plan is the way in which a person "pops the question". I've heard plenty of couples share, w/ affection, sometimes humor, the marriage proposal.

Congratulations! God bless you two.


#12

I’m going to disagree with most of the posters so far.

I say that if you can’t spend 2 months salary on an engagement ring (credit is OK, as long as you can make the payments in a timely fashion), then you aren’t ready to get married.

Proverbs 31:10 says, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” You see, OP, it’s not the diamond companies who said how much a wife is worth, it’s God.

An engagement ring is a pledge of your love for your fiance. A house is just a place to live. You will buy a house whether or not you get married.

For some reason, couples are thinking that “being practical” is a good plan when it comes to buying an engagement ring. They’re missing the whole point of getting engaged and eventually married. I think this is very sad. The engagement ring is something that should be one of the most precious objects in their life, but instead, couples are passing on this beautiful thing because they are afraid of material poverty and “losing money” or “not having enough money.”

A house is not a good symbol of enduring love because it is, in most cases, temporary. A couple lives in a house, then sells it and moves into a better house. In a way, this sounds like what our society has become–a couple marries, then splits and moves on to better partners.

An engagement ring is a traditional pledge of love, while a house or some other expenditure–it’s just everyday life. An engagement shouldn’t be just another everyday life event, a “bargain.” It should be a huge, extremely romantic, tears flowing, mega-moment in a couple’s life–the symbol of that moment should be something enduring, something breathtakingly beautiful, something much much bigger-than-real-life. A diamond (or other precious stone) is the best expression of the importance and joy of an engagement. A diamond ring (or some other precious stone) is an investment in love.

Yes, an engagement ring SHOULD be a big deal and it should cost a lot, a painful amount of a man’s salary so that the husband knows (and feels!) what exactly he is getting into with a marriage.

I think couples are making a big mistake to pass up the engagement ring in favor of a house or some other mundane practical material good. To me, this is like my husband buying a vacuum cleaner for my birthday instead of flowers and candy. Of course the vacuum cleaner is more useful for years to come, but the flowers and candy are the best choice for the special occasion of my birthday. He can buy the stinkin’ vacuum cleaner some other time!

A engagement ring is something that everyone sees. A house–there are many people that your fiance will meet who will never see her house. But her ring–everyone will see it and know that she is loved and provided for.

$2,200 may sound like a fortune now, but it is truly a drop in the bucket compared to how much money will be spent in the course of many years of marriage. In the course of your marriage, you will spend thousands, tens of thousands more money than a mere $2,200 on your wife. Just wait until you have to buy her a car because the car she is using falls apart and she really has to have a car. Or wait until you re-do a room in your house–yee hah! Ten thousand won’t touch many redecorating projects. Or wait until you have a baby. Or a whole family of babies.

The husband of one of my friends spends well over a thousand dollars every spring on flowers, bushes, plants, ground covers, etc. for his wife’s gardening hobby. (I don’t think my husband and I have spent a thousand dollars on yard stuff in the 31 years that we’ve been married!)

But my husband spends thousands of dollars on various tools to help me with my hobbies. He spent his last bonus check–$6000.00–buying a brand new piano for me (to replace the 80 year old hunk of junk that I was playing).

If your wife should become ill during the course of the marriage, $2,200 won’t even begin to pay the bills.

The fact that you are willing to spend a mere two months salary on an engagement ring is a strong message to your fiance that you are willing to spend whatever is necessary to provide for her. It’s just a symbol, but it will be there long after the first house was sold, the vacuum cleaner broke down, and all the babies are grown up and gone. It will forever remind you (or accuse you) of the love that you both had for each other that caused you to get married to begin with.

If you want to skimp on anything, skimp on the honeymoon–plan something close to home (a state park with a lodge?) and relaxing and reasonably-priced. Or skimp on the wedding–just getting married before noon can shave thousands of dollars off the bill, honest! Or skip the open bar–let people pay for their own liquor. There are so many ways to have a beautiful wedding without spending so much.

BTW, I have no objection to precious stones other than diamonds. Just make sure that you talk to the jeweler about the hardness of stones. Some stones are soft and will break or scratch. Opal is an example of a stone that is soft and you have to be careful; e.g., washing dishes in the opal is not a wise plan. Coral is another soft stone. Emeralds are not as hard as rubies and sapphires, but it’s still pretty hard. Also, if you’re the superstitious type, some stones have bad luck associated with them; e.g., opals.


#13

Not everyone can afford such a decadent lifestyle CAT so they learn to communicate their love and respect for their wife's in less materialistic ways.


#14

IMHO over 2k is way to expensive, unless you just happen to be loaded in which case I would still suggest you spend less and give some to the church in thanksgiving for your love.

You can get decent rings for $500, and pretty darn good rings for 750$. If you are really into the specifics of the diamond (things normal people will never notice but if you look through a scope you can, then you could pay up to 1500$ for top quality, more than this is wasteful IMHO)

Many people dont spend 5000$ on the entire wedding including rings, dresses, etc…

The stuff we see on TV is just absurd now days, with most of them having loaded parents or putting themselves in massive dept.

Also keep in mind there is nothing saying you have to get an Engagment and Wedding ring, noone did this back in the day cause well most common folks couldnt afford two rings. If you are going to get her a Engagment and Wedding ring then dont go all out on the Engagment ring, if you are just doing one then spend a lil more on it so its nice.

I would just encourage you to pray about how you should spend this money. Im not saying your GF doesnt deserve a nice ring, but every dollar you spend is a dollar less youll have for honeymoon or putting a downpayment down on a new home toghether.

I would also disagree with CAT on the house. Your job as a (future) Husband is to provide for the wellbeing of your family. It is your Holy vocation. Things like a House, and education oppertunities for your children are a million times more important than any rock.


#15

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:13, topic:206469"]
Not everyone can afford such a decadent lifestyle CAT so they learn to communicate their love and respect for their wife's in less materialistic ways.

[/quote]

We agree on something, my friend. I think if you can afford those things-great.

Do what I'm going to do when the time comes-

  1. Pop the question
  2. Pull out a Cracker Jack ring (or another one for about 25 CENTS)
  3. If she flips out and runs away-then don't chase her. She's a gold digger!
  4. If she says "yes, yes, yes! I love you!" then pull out the big guns. The real, expensive and nice ring.

;)


#16

Also, in response to Cat’s post…like what if it’s just not important to you to have an expensive engagement ring? What if it’s more important to have the security of that $4k or however much in the bank to cover rent and babies and whatnot? Are those couples not ready to be married either?

That’s just silly IMO.

Raskalking, that’s a good plan but I wouldn’t even do the “real, expensive and nice” ring if I were you. Spend a couple hundred at most on it, something pretty that you know she’ll like. Real and nice, but there’s no need for it to be expensive.


#17

I’m going to agree with Cat here. Marriage by nature will be practical. And there will be a lifetime ahead of sacrificing and making due. An offer of marriage should be an occasion of extravagance. Otherwise the couple --specifically the man-- is not really ready. The fact that his intended would be content with less is not the point.

A ring to a marriage is kind of like a Cathedral to our Catholic faith. It’s the visible symbol to a relationship of the order of importance of that relationship. There have always been those who object to expensive buildings and furnishings but Jesus himself made it clear that we should sometimes give to God from our need. The ring should be more than a gift of a man to a woman. It is a gift to the public at large about the importance of THIS marriage-to-be.

The old tithing rule was that one gave a tenth of one’s gross income to the Church. Two tenths would be an extra special gift. Two months salary is between one and two tenths.

Shouldn’t the pledge of lifetime together be worth that?


#18

Also, in response to Cat's post...like what if it's just not important to you to have an expensive engagement ring? What if it's more important to have the security of that extra $4k or however much in the bank to help with rent and babies and whatnot? Are those couples not ready to be married either?

That's just silly IMO.

[quote="SMHW, post:17, topic:206469"]
I'm going to agree with Cat here. Marriage by nature will be practical. And there will be a lifetime ahead of sacrificing and making due. An offer of marriage should be an occasion of extravagance. Otherwise the couple --specifically the man-- is not really ready. The fact that his intended would be content with less is not the point.

A ring to a marriage is kind of like a Cathedral to our Catholic faith. It's the visible symbol to a relationship of the order of importance of that relationship. There have always been those who object to expensive buildings and furnishings but Jesus himself made it clear that we should sometimes give to God from our need. The ring should be more than a gift of a man to a woman. It is a gift to the public at large about the importance of THIS marriage-to-be.

[/quote]

Gold is a precious metal. The Cathedrals are supposed to be beautiful and regal and fitting. I've never heard anything about "extravagant". That concept is so subjective. Think about the vessels for Communion, for instance, they're supposed to be made of precious metals, but not cut diamonds, you know? So get a gold engagement ring and nice gold wedding bands. Will last forever and doesn't even approach two months salary.

Shouldn't the pledge of lifetime together be worth that?

What if you're just the type of person to whom it would never occur to judge the worth of a relationship or a lifetime of marriage on the price of a ring? Like, what if that would never even enter my mind? Not ready to be married?


#19

My opinion is probably in the minority but sometimes to flashy of a ring can actually be a liability. I travel overseas and have live abroad for work and in many places a big engagement ring with a diamond can make you a target for crime. A ring can be modest but still very beautiful. I also think from a financial standpoint, you can get a lot more "rock" if you choose a stone other than diamonds.

Aim for a beautiful ring that will last a lifetime. It doesn`t need to break the bank though.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


#20

Sorry, I don’t think we were any less “ready” to get married because we decided on inexpensive rings. :rolleyes: Honestly, what a materialistic view of marriage.

I suggest you consult with your gf. I would not have been happy with a big flashy expensive ring. And I have friends who are unhappy with their “too big” rings. OTOH, she may really want that big ring, or she may have a favorite stone she wants. I personally love rubies, so I would have been disappointed had dh not consulted me and went and bought me a diamond ring.

I was quite happy to use that extra $$ for a honeymoon! I love to travel, don’t wear much jewelery.

I don’t even wear my wedding/engagement ring. My job really makes it not an option, ditto for dh. Trust me, I’m still very much married :wink: My marriage is no less holy, or special than someone who insisted on a big ring. DH and I are very much committed to our marriage (18 years of bliss!), even though we don’t wear our rings.

Again, I urge you to talk this over with your future wife! She deserves input.


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