Should You Split the Cost of An Engagement Ring?

If you didn’t already know, I’m not particularly a big fan of weddings. Nor am I really into engagement rings. However, if you have read my post over at MakintheBacon, you will realize that I have had a change of heart. I’ve recently decided that I would like to get married and I would like an engagement ring to go along with the wedding band. Perhaps my biological clock just started ticking….

Due to the nature of both my full-time job and part-time job, I couldn’t wear a ring anyway. It’s not allowed at my full-time job because it’s a health and safety issue. I could only show it off when I went to visit friends and family. Or when I buy groceries.

It’s been several decades since DeBeers rolled out their engagement ring diamond campaign. Times have changed. Women are working now. They’re working full-time, overtime and working hard to carve a solid career.  Some women, including myself are making more than their partners. Unfortunately, the making more for me equates to working more. Sometimes, women are earning significantly more and are considered the breadwinner of the family.

Photo Courtesy of Boykung/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Photo Courtesy of Boykung/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

So why is it then that the guy is almost always pressured to ask the girl to marry her? The guy has to ask her out (I saved my guy the trouble and asked HIM out), woo her, pay for the first few dates and pop the big question. Poor guys! They have to go through so much trouble and possibly rejection.

What has also changed is that many couples are moving in together before marriage. It’s quite obvious that looking for a piece of property and buying that property together is a huge commitment. Although it is not marriage, I still consider it to be quite a big step in a relationship. With that being said, you end up sharing a lot of things. You most likely share a joint account because you are sharing a mortgage and other expenses.

So since the times of changed, the order of life events have seemed to change as well. After people have been living together in a condo or house for a while, sometimes the topic of marriage comes out, which usually ends up being the next step.

If you plan on having a traditional wedding, it can end up costing at least several thousands of dollars. It’s a huge expense, thus couples will share the cost of the wedding.

Isn’t an engagement ring considered to be a huge expense? Isn’t also considered to be one of the many expenses for a wedding? So if you’re both talking about it anyway and shopping for engagement rings together, why can’t you share the cost?

If however, the engagement is a complete surprise, then disregard the last paragraph and consider it irrelevant.

I know I can come off as a total hypocrite, because my partner is buying me my engagement ring. Birthday and Christmas gifts aside, if I wanted something for myself, I would buy it with my own money that I earned. I have never asked him to buy me something that I could have easily bought myself.  I had offered to pay for half of the ring or contribute a few hundred, if the cost was a lot higher than I anticipated. I had proposed that deal on more than once occasion. Much to my surprise, that immediately got shot down.

Perhaps he didn’t want to make it seem like he couldn’t afford to get me a ring by himself? Maybe he didn’t want me to make excuses as to why we paid for a ring together?

Whether we like it or not, I think couples will be judged/critiqued to a certain extent from the moment they announce their engagement to what food is served at the reception. Everyone asks about the ring and wants to see it. People are curious to see how big the rock is. I have very small hands with thin fingers. My ring size turns out be 4 and ¾! A huge rock would actually look out-of-place and probably weigh my hand down.

Do you think it’s ok to split the cost of an engagement ring? Why or why not?

15 thoughts on “Should You Split the Cost of An Engagement Ring?

  1. I believe that every couple should choose the ring and the wedding that works best for them. The way a couple chooses an engagement ring can give clues to their communication style and what kind of a relationship they’ll have down the road.

  2. I’m pretty liberal when it comes to splitting the cost of things, but for some reason I hold on to that tradition of him paying for the engagement ring, although when I was dating my ex boyfriend of five years, I had my grandmother’s ring and I was willing to give that to him to use, but he broke up with me and eventually I had the diamond turned into a gorgeous necklace. Maybe I feel burned from that experience, like I want him to really want me, and maybe that’s part of showing it? I don’t know. I just know it’s kind of how I feel for some reason.

    • Me too. Me too. Heck, I am the main earner in our partnership, but I just wouldn’t be very happy splitting the cost of a ring (even though I would want something cheap, like $1000 max).

      • To each their own. 😉

        We are looking into alternative sources other than chain jewelry retailers to get a better deal on a ring. If we could get one under $1000, I would be ecstatic. It’s taking a little bit more time, but I’m perfectly fine with it. We may even end up booking the venue before I get my ring. We’re unconventional like that. Lol.

    • If only one of us had a ring that could be passed down from generation to generation. It would have extra special meaning and of course, we wouldn’t have to spend anything. 😉

      I’m pretty simple when it comes to fashion and I don’t wear much jewelry when I go out. So it made sense for me personally to want a ring that was a little bit more plain and simple. Although my partner was willing to pay as much as a few grand initially, I couldn’t bear the thought of him spending that much money on one small piece of jewelry. I think I said, “Are YOU NUTS?!?!?” or something like that and demanded we set a lower budget.

  3. Honestly, I didn’t receive an engagement ring because we only had 2 weeks when we prepared for our wedding and I only had a wedding ring. 🙂 But for me, I think it’s not wrong when you will split the cost of engagement ring, but it depends on the guy, some of them don’t like that kind of set up, you know “man’s ego”. 🙂

  4. The surprise element does make it kind of hard to contribute, unless you have saved up a specific amount beforehand. I honestly wouldn’t mind splitting the cost (as we have joint finances). Like you, I have a very small ring size, and I can’t wear anything too big otherwise it would look silly! Thankfully, we’re able to use my grandma’s engagement ring, so we don’t have to stress about it. I would insist that it be $1,000 or less if we had to buy, though.

  5. I don’t know that people should split the cost, but I definitely think that for a first ring, when you are just starting out, you shouldn’t get an expensive ring. I’ve seen too many rings lost and too many couples in debt due to a ring. If you want a really expensive ring that you need to split the cost on, just wait until later and buy a cheaper one for now. My opinion! lol

  6. I don’t want an expensive ring though. I just feel that since I had mentioned to him initially that I didn’t want to get married and had recently changed my mind about it and now wanting an engagement ring, I think I owe it to him to pay for some of it, even if it is only a few hundred bucks. We’d be splitting up the rest of the wedding expenses anyway. Although I am traditional in the sense that I feel the guy should pay for the first date, I am all for an equal partnership with finances.

  7. Whatever works for each couple, as long they are both happy it’s all good!

    That being said, it’s worth keeping in mind that while some women might be okay with splitting the cost of the ring, some men might actually prefer to do all the spending. Like anything though, if two people can find away to compromise, it can be a great thing – and be a good start to a life of mutual compromise. Marriage, after all, involves it’s share of compromises on some things by each person.

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