Do you wear only a wedding band? I do. It’s a subject that has weighed on me before my husband and I even got engaged.
It all started in 1477 when some rich white guy in history proposed with a diamond engagement ring. That was only the beginning, but when the De Beer company started a massive advertising campaign in 1947, that’s when the real pressure began.
“A Diamond is Forever.”
Because of marketing, people all across America believed that they needed to spend about two month’s rent on a ring . According to Glamour magazine online, do what works for you and your partner. At least that is a little more realistic!
Approximately 75% of men and 83% of women think it’s appropriate to spend $5000 or less on an engagement ring. Considering that median household income is around $55,000 in the US, that’s almost 10% of total income in a year, much higher than 2 months rent.
The First Time Around
If I’m being honest though, the first time I got married, we probably spent about 2 months rent, though no where near $5,000. I’ve always been a little eccentric, so I wanted a sapphire instead of a diamond, but it was set with baggette diamonds on the side and white gold. It really was a beautiful ring.
But see, I’m someone who works with my hands. I cook and clean, I garden. I play piano. I rock climb. I paint. I was constantly taking my ring off for a variety of things, and it was lucky that I never lost it. (Forget it, once we had kids, my hands were covered in spit up… or worse!)
Worst yet, whenever I had to take my engagement ring off, I had to take my wedding ring off because it was shaped to fit around the engagement ring.
It just wasn’t practical. We had done it that way because I felt like I needed to keep up with the Joneses. It was what was expected of us. It was a show. It was all about proving that we could do what everyone else did.
What the engagement ring wasn’t about? Love, caring, marriage, true commitment. If it was, to me, at least, we would have never done it that way. (And honestly, if it was, we probably wouldn’t have gotten divorced… just saying!)
A Second Chance
So when we got divorced, I knew that if I found the person I was meant to be with, I didn’t want another ring like the one that I had had. I wanted a wedding ring that could be on my finger at all times—I would never take it off. It would be practical, and it would be a symbol of our love.
When Phil and I got engaged, it was an experience! We picked out an oyster in a jewelry shop in Maui Hawaii in the summer of 2015. We tapped three times and shout Aloha! They cracked the oyster and showed us the two pink pearls! We had one set in a ring, and the other in a necklace, both with rose gold. They were beautiful! (And quite frankly, inexpensive!)
He formally proposed after we arrived home from our trip. It was simple and perfect!
Now that we’re married, I don’t wear my engagement ring except for special occasions. I only wear my perfect wedding band from Ash Hilton. They’re a family business making ethical jewelry. They have quite a wide selection. My husband’s and my ring each have two pine trees on them, one that is taller than the other, just like us.
An Even More Controversial Practice
After two years of marriage, my husband’s matching ring actually cracked! It split down the seam—you see, Ash Hilton’s rings are made the old-fashioned way… by flattening out a strip of metal, curving it, and welding it together. More mass produced rings are poured into a mold, thus preventing them from cracking like that.
Well, it took us almost 6 months to get his ring shipped off to New Zealand for repair. (Hey, give us a break. I was pregnant with boy #2 and he was busy with work, besides having a toddler at home.)
So what did he wear on his finger those 6 months?
Did it make us any less married or committed to each other?
Of course not!
Wear Only A Wedding Band… or Not
I guess my point is this:
If you want to spend 2 months rent on a ring, then make sure your SO is on board and has budgeted for it, then go for it!
If you want to wear only a wedding band, that’s great!
Should you decide to not wear engagement rings or wedding bands at all, then rock it!
I just don’t want some corporation telling me what works best with my life, and where my priorities and values should be.