Buying an engagement ring won't come cheap - in fact it's likely to be one of the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. That said, it's important to set then stay within a budget, and this article will help you do both.
In the past, it has always been the sole responsibility of the man to go out and choose, then buy, the engagement ring and typically this is still the case. However in recent times it is not uncommon for couples to choose the ring together.
Sometimes the man simply proposes to the woman (without a ring, or with a ring that is a family heirloom) and then the happy couple proceed to shop for the ring together. On other occasions the couple discuss the possibility of engagement, go out and buy a ring and then go somewhere romantic to celebrate. All that said, the majority of engagements still follow the traditional route of the man proposing to an unaware partner with the ring he has carefully chosen and budgeted for in a location that they will remember forever (ah bless!).
Engagement Ring Budget
So how much should be spent on the ring? Well the simple answer is that the value is not important, it’s a purchase that should come from the heart – after all, a £50k diamond studded platinum band will not make her love you any more than a £50 topaz on white gold (or if it does, make sure that she isn’t just marrying you for your money!)
Traditionally an engagement ring cost the equivalent to one month’s salary, but times have changed. If you are setting your budget on your own, you can really decide how much you can afford to spend (or how much you need to save for before you can afford the ring that you think she’ll love!).
The best piece of advice would be to work out what you want and then decide whether or not you can afford it. Compromises can always be made, such as tweaking the design to bring it under budget, or waiting a few months to be able to pay for it outright.
These days, there are many hundreds of companies out there who are willing to issue loans, but before you go down this route, ask yourself firstly whether it is the sensible option, secondly whether you can afford to take on the loan and thirdly whether the debt is the best way to begin the married journey!
Engagement Ring Upgrades
Whilst it goes without saying that hopefully the marriage will last forever, what about the engagement ring? More and more people are ‘upgrading’ their engagement rings as they become more financially secure.
If this appeals, you can think about getting something more affordable now with the intention of getting something really special in the future. If however, you and your partner are more sentimental in nature, you may view the ring as a symbol of commitment to one another and the cost and design as immaterial.
Engagement Ring Retailers
When it comes to the actual purchasing of the ring, you can either choose from one of the many thousands of designs readily available across the country, or have your own bespoke ring tailor-made for you.
The latter does ensure that you get exactly what you want and can save time in shopping around but can come at a premium in terms of cost. Many jewellers will offer this bespoke service although it is less common for high-street chains to make this service available and online may well be your best port of call if this option appeals.
Ultimately, you will get what you pay for so go armed with the information you need (particularly if you are buying an expensive diamond ring) and ensure that you are not taken for a ride.
Whatever you choose in the end, just remember that its not what it costs, but the time and effort you have put into choosing the ring that shows how much you love your partner.
For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other engagement articles on our site packed full of expert information and helpful advice, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with jewellers, bespoke ring makers and more.
For friendly tips and helpful advice, take a look at our engagement forum and engagement Q&A's or check out the rings for sale and the 'links to pages & websites you may like' below.