Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Campaign for More Affordable Engagement Rings

Image courtesy of Turtle Love Committee via A Diamond Is Expensive

I know some people really, really want expensive, fancy engagement rings; I just don't happen to be one of them. Matt and I have so many other things to spend our money on:
  1. Our down payment and monthly mortgage bill
  2. A backyard garden and chicken coop, so we can live in more eco-friendly and sustainable ways (and have fun!)
  3. Our yearly trip abroad so we continue to experience the amazingness of other cultures and places
  4. Matt's next car, so we can pay in cash and avoid wasting money on interest payments (he wants a Honda Insight)
  5. The list could go on and on...

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Sarah said...

For sure! I specifically told my fiance no diamond. We settled on an aquamarine, which is super pretty and a fraction of the price.

His coworkers told him not to listen to me because I would change my mind and want a ring that cost him two months' salary!! Oh noes!

Yyyyeah, no. Still love the ring.

sara-grey said...

I work with some ladies that are sporting diamonds the size of m+m's seems a little crazy.
My ring does have diamonds in it but we had a very strict budget for it, and a requirement that the diamonds be canadian. thus it took us 8 months to find a jeweler who took us seriously.

Amy said...

We got our rings from a pawn shop. It made me feel good to know that we were giving a home to previously-owned diamonds, and the price difference was amazing. Not only that, but I was able to get a totally unique, slightly vintage-looking ring that's perfectly me. Nobody's ever seen anything like my ring, and even though it's not the world's biggest stone, I get compliments on it all the time!

Anonymous said...

My engagement ring has been in T's family for nearly two hundred years. I love that I get to wear something that has such history and that makes me feel so connected to my new family. I also love that it's totally different from any of my friends new two-month-salary rings!

And on top of all that, since it was always understood to be his (eldest son and all that), it's totally free!

Elsa said...

My partner knows me so well.

He knows I don't wear rings often --- they get in the way in the archaeology lab, and I got out of the habit.

He knows I don't like diamonds and that my favorite jewelry is made with common stones like quartz and feldspar.

He knows I love blue.

He knows I love silver.

He knows I don't want to waste money or trouble on conventions that aren't meaningful to us.

So, when he wanted to surprise me with an engagement gift, he searched until he found just the right thing from a local jeweler: a blue quartz pendant with a rough drusy finish, on a silver chain.

This gift, this gesture of perfect understanding, completely astonished me. I'm not surprised at how thoughtful he is... but a corner of my mind is amazed that he knows me so completely, and still wants to marry me.

Carmen Wren said...

Wow, that's just amazing! Thanks for the link!

As for my own engagement ring/proposal. I told my guy after he proposed (with a custom design claddagh sans diamonds) that I would have said yes to one of those $10 birthstone claddaghs from the Renn Faire. Why do people get so hung up on such an ugly stone that will probably burn up in a fire anyway?

little luxury list said...

I totally agree! I got a pink sapphire as the center stone with 2 diamonds on the sides. But I was really against the DeBeers machine. They're amazing marketers and have created the concept of spending 2 months salary on rings. Psssh!

I love that there are guys who will completely personalize the ring and aren't afraid to say no to diamonds (like our guys!)

Anonymous said...

Agreed on all counts and it still makes me crazy that the option of just not having a ring is like, not on the radar at all when it comes to the wacky world of weddings. This was the last thing I cared about us or him spending money on. People think we're nuts for it.

nluvagin said...

So nice to hear some other people with rings that are not big expensive diamonds. While I was looking at some recycled metal rings containing Canadian diamonds, they were pretty expensive, and so my fiance surprised me with a green (my favorite color) sapphire, flanked with two small diamonds. Very affordable, very unique, and very thoughtful!

Theresa said...

thank you, thank you, thank you for the healthy dose of sanity. This weekend I got together for a spa day with my closest girlfriends and decided to take the opportunity to announce to them that my wonderful beau and I are officially engaged. It was a bit crushing that their immediate reactions were "where's the ring?" As if that was the only thing that validates our engagement... ugh! I explainged that I will recieve my ring on our wedding day, a band to represent our never ending union. Grimaces and knowing glances were exchanged all around. Hrmph! Of course I can't know for sure, but I think had I just flashed a huge sparkly diamond, they would have all hugged me. It makes me a little sad, but doesn't change my priorities!

Anonymous said...

Yes! I am so with you. I just got engaged and I'll linked to a photo of my ring. http://www.flickr.com/photos/theclumsycook/3355488438/in/photostream/

It's beautiful, tasteful, with a sliver of a diamond and a none-too-hefty price-tag. And I couldn't love it (and him) more.

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