Wedding Ring : Engagement Ring cost ratio

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
61 replies 6.3K views
DaveSmith_3DaveSmith_3 Forumite
4 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
Hi All,

I have been reading this site for years, but this is my first post.

I am planning to propose to my girlfriend of 7 years in the next 6 months or so. However, I'm not really very aware of marriage/wedding etiquette, and although my girlfriend knows, I don't want to ask her cos then she'll be tipped of about what is to come, so I'm asking for advice.

I was planning on spending about £600 on an engagement ring. This isn't 2 months income as I've heard recommended as:
1) I think that is just something made up by the people who sell rings to make you spend more
2) Any recommendation on how much you should spend should be based on disposable income left per month after paying mortgage and essential bills.

I earn £1500 after tax, and £1200 of that goes on bills leaving roughly £300 disposable income.

I think 2 months disposable income is reasonable, being we've just moved into our first house in the last 12 months, and all my disposable income currently goes on doing up our house.

Now here comes the dumb questions, which I'm sure many unmarried blokes may also not know the answer to. Can I check whether these assumptions are generally correct:

1) The engagement ring is generally the fancy one with the rock on it, and the wedding ring is the more plain one. TRUE/FALSE

2) Engagement ring is the more expensive one? TRUE/FALSE

3) My girlfriend likes everything wedding related to be traditional. Does the bloke traditionally choose both rings? TRUE/FALSE

4) Do blokes get 2 rings as well? TRUE/FALSE I think I generally only see blokes wearing one. Is that the wedding ring or the engagement ring?

5) So IF £600 is an acceptable amount for the engagement ring, what is an acceptable amount for the wedding ring?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions!

Is £600 on an engagement ring reasonable? given salary and circumstances? 98 votes

No, don't be so tight! Do you actually love her?
9% 9 votes
Thats about right! I like your logic!
35% 35 votes
Thats too much, spend your money on your home together.
20% 20 votes
Its irrelevant. Real love costs nothing
34% 34 votes
«134567

Replies

  • saxy1saxy1 Forumite
    453 Posts
    Dave,
    You are right, traditionally the engagement ring is more fancy, usually a diamond solitaire or a combination of diamonds and a coloured stone (sapphire or ruby or emerald etc) there is lots of choice, my engagement ring is a diamond solitaire and it cost approx £550, my wedding ring, which we have just ordered for our wedding in June is costing £84 (it has two small diamonds and a pink sapphire for that price!) If you want to have a look at some great rings try -www.dotjewellery.com, thats where are we have bought our wedding rings.
    My H2b is just having a wedding ring.
    Hope this helps.
    Good Luck!!
  • DaveSmith wrote:
    Hi All,

    I have been reading this site for years, but this is my first post.

    I am planning to propose to my girlfriend of 7 years in the next 6 months or so. However, I'm not really very aware of marriage/wedding etiquette, and although my girlfriend knows, I don't want to ask her cos then she'll be tipped of about what is to come, so I'm asking for advice.

    I was planning on spending about £600 on an engagement ring. This isn't 2 months income as I've heard recommended as:
    1) I think that is just something made up by the people who sell rings to make you spend more
    2) Any recommendation on how much you should spend should be based on disposable income left per month after paying mortgage and essential bills.

    I earn £1500 after tax, and £1200 of that goes on bills leaving roughly £300 disposable income.

    I think 2 months disposable income is reasonable, being we've just moved into our first house in the last 12 months, and all my disposable income currently goes on doing up our house.

    Now here comes the dumb questions, which I'm sure many unmarried blokes may also not know the answer to. Can I check whether these assumptions are generally correct:

    1) The engagement ring is generally the fancy one with the rock on it, and the wedding ring is the more plain one. TRUE/FALSE

    2) Engagement ring is the more expensive one? TRUE/FALSE

    3) My girlfriend likes everything wedding related to be traditional. Does the bloke traditionally choose both rings? TRUE/FALSE

    4) Do blokes get 2 rings as well? TRUE/FALSE I think I generally only see blokes wearing one. Is that the wedding ring or the engagement ring?

    5) So IF £600 is an acceptable amount for the engagement ring, what is an acceptable amount for the wedding ring?

    Looking forward to hearing your opinions!

    Hi Dave
    Good for you to ask before you rush on!!! To answer your questions:

    1. Yes the engagement is the fancy ring.
    2. It is also the more expensive.
    3. I would say traditional means you choose the engagement and you both choose wedding rings.
    4. I have seen some men with an "engagement" ring on though I think thats naff (sorry to anyone who has!).
    5. I think £600 is a lot, I preferred an expensive engagement ring, the wedding ring could have been any old cheapie thing, they are all the same, traditional gold band unless you want somthing super fancy, but as your girlfriend likes traditional then £40 plus should suffice.

    Hope this helps.
    BTW, have you seen the other thread on engagement rings?
  • Also, you should find out if she prefers yellow or white gold??
    We bought my engagement ring in Florida, I got a 1 carat for much cheaper than here. (we paid about £900) The wedding rings were £50 each from M&S (when they done gold jewellery)
  • pavlovs_dogpavlovs_dog Forumite
    10.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    personally i dont buy into the ring must cost at least £x malarky either. if i fall in love with a £2.50 ring, then godamnit thats the one i want :D
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • Frugal_FoxFrugal_Fox Forumite
    1K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    Hi,

    Given your disposable income £600 is still quite a lot to spend on a ring. My engagement ring cost 4 times as much as my wedding ring. They are traditionally more expensive than the wedding band! The traditional thought behind the ring cost is that it should be one months salary.


    1) The engagement ring is generally the fancy one with the rock on it, and the wedding ring is the more plain one. TRUE2) Engagement ring is the more expensive one? TRUE
    3) My girlfriend likes everything wedding related to be traditional. Does the bloke traditionally choose both rings? Ummm I believe the bloke should choose - but unless you know what she would like - I'd get her to choose!
    4) Do blokes get 2 rings as well? My husband only has a wedding band - which incidently was more expensive than mine! But... I did buy him a bike as a reciprocal engagement gift!5) So IF £600 is an acceptable amount for the engagement ring, what is an acceptable amount for the wedding ring? I'd say - keeping mine as an example: £150
    "A simple life freely chosen is a source of strength. Do not be pursuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford." Quaker Faith & Practice 1.02.41
  • My DH has an engagement ring. I said if I had to wear an engagment ring then so did he! I think generally men don;t have them though most of my friends husbands do and my dad did (till him/my mom - whoever you believe - lost it).

    We chose the wedding rings together because I had tried on so many and they just weren't comfortable once I put them on. Just make sure that the carat of the engagement is the same as the wedding rings.
  • Traditional engagement present for a man is a watch I believe.
    It's lovely and romantic to choose the ring BUT I wouldn't do it.
    She's the one who has to wear it every day for the rest of her life, and until it's on her hand, neither of you will really know if it suits her.

    Spend £10 on a cheap ring to use for the proposal, something she can keep as a memento and maybe something in the style you think she would like.

    Then go together to choose the ring. If she likes the style you picked, then she can always get a more expensive version of the same ring.
  • bandraoi wrote:
    Traditional engagement present for a man is a watch I believe.
    It's lovely and romantic to choose the ring BUT I wouldn't do it.
    She's the one who has to wear it every day for the rest of her life, and until it's on her hand, neither of you will really know if it suits her.

    Spend £10 on a cheap ring to use for the proposal, something she can keep as a memento and maybe something in the style you think she would like.

    Then go together to choose the ring. If she likes the style you picked, then she can always get a more expensive version of the same ring.

    I most definitely agree here! From a girl who was recently proposed to, I loved the fact my fiance didn't buy the ring-I got to go shopping for it...which was a gift within itself! My fiance didn't get a cheap ring as we bought my engagement ring the same day, but I do like this idea and it is worth considering.

    Good luck with it all!

    PS-think £600 is a good budget amount for an engagement ring. Mine was £699 but valued at £999- got it from a McArthur Glen shopping place, well worh a visit!
  • The really expensive one is the third one - the suffer-RING
    Money won't buy you happiness
    But at least you can be miserable in comfort

    BCSC Member No 46
  • Hi,

    Although given your income £600 is a fair amount, consider what you could of saved in change over 7 years!

    I've been married/divorced, separated from the next and each time my engagement ring was never enough!! Still, I bought my first one! and the second was described as rare pink diamond which was actually pink champagne, tiny and not rare at all! It did however cost £600 as it was Platinum too, and got £300 on ebay for it afterwards

    I think it's a great idea to buy a cheap/fun one to propose with and then take her to choose the real one. She gets the choice whether the money goes on the gold/platinum, the clarity, size.. and you can't go wrong.

    More so the cheap dress ring to remember the day will no doubt be cherished!

    Oh, and if you can, wait a month or two and save a little more... Just a thought...

    From a woman who decided the diamonds weren't enough to stay with the man forever! :rotfl:
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Students - apply for uni funding NOW

If you plan to get a place via 'clearing'

MSE News

A guide to council tax bands

Lower your band & save £1,000s

MSE Guides