Okay, ‘arguing’ may be too strong of a word. But pretty much every couple has had an awkward discussion about how much they want to spend on an engagement ring. Whether it’s how much you can spend on a nice ring if you also want a nice wedding; how to match your expectations with your budget; or in the less fantastic cases, why you need such an expensive piece of jewellery in the first place – you’ve had this conversation. With that in mind, we’ve gathered together some compromises to help soften the blow.
Get a Placeholder Ring
We’re not suggesting this as a way to delay the problem! Getting a placeholder ring is a very common thing for many couples. Choose something that’s affordable for you now, and at your next big milestone – your wedding day, moving house or having a baby, for example – celebrate with an upgraded ring. If your future spouse is choosing the ring solo, getting a ‘not quite forever’ ring also takes off all the pressure of finding that dream design if you both know you’ll be changing it eventually.
Replace the Diamond
The diamond is the most expensive element of your engagement ring. So if you’re having a disagreement about cost, why not just go right to the source and eliminate it? Instead of focusing on finding an engagement ring with a flawless diamond, focus on finding a style and a setting that you like. Then when you’ve saved up some cash, replace the stone with a diamond of your choosing. Alternatively, you could go for a cheaper alternative to a diamond – other precious gems like rubies, sapphires and emeralds are usually more budget friendly. There are also plenty of diamond substitutes including moissanite and lab grown diamonds that are virtually the same, but with a slashed price tag.
Hit the Pawn Shops
It’s not exactly the most romantic solution in the world, but second hand engagement rings are always a fraction of the price and still in perfect condition. Check out some pawn shops or just search online buy and sell sites and you never know; you could find your dream ring at a bargain cost. As always, do as much research as possible – and then do more research – so you know what you’re getting and what you need to avoid.
Split the Cost
Again this one probably won’t sound ideal for the traditionalists out there, but if you’re getting married you’ll be sharing everything anyway – so why not start with the engagement ring? It starts your lifetime partnership off on the right foot, shows everyone that you’re equals, directly involves you both in the process, and it eases the financial burden too. What’s not to like? If you feel bad about splitting the cost of something your other half won’t get to wear or enjoy, you can always gift him with something special with any leftover cash.
Get a Plated Band
If you’ve always wanted a platinum band but your budget won’t stretch that far, there are solutions. Rhodium has the exact same shiny smooth finish, so plating an inferior metal with this rather more elegant metal achieves the exact same look as platinum. The same can be said of any other metal too; plating it over an inferior metal is a cost effective path to your dream ring. You will have to re-plate once every few years, but the procedure is quick and reasonably cheap.
Cut Costs Elsewhere
If you really, really, really have your heart set on a particular engagement ring that’s beyond your budget and nothing else will do, there is one final solution. Cut costs somewhere else! Choose a smaller wedding venue, go for a slightly less exotic honeymoon (or a shorter one), Put those home renovation plans on hold for another few months… there are endless ways to make it happen. Our advice with this one; talk it out as a couple and choose something neither of you really care about and can live without. Compromise is everything!