If you're thinking about tying the knot soon, you're going to have to save up a lot of money if you want to have a traditional wedding. It isn't a secret that weddings can be expensive, but some people can really underestimate just how much everything costs. The Association of Bridal Consultants did a survey about the average costs of a wedding, and your ceremony can cost you a little more than $28,000 – and that's the average!
The vast majority of the price is made up of venue costs, catering, clothing, and other essentials, but a surprisingly large part of it can be the engagement ring. The study found that the engagement ring often costs significantly more than the actual wedding band. On average, people would spend $1,862 on the wedding bands, but $3,995 on their engagement ring. The high price is probably due to the fact that people want to make a statement, but you don't have to break the bank to propose with a beautiful and memorable ring. If you want to wow the love of your life without going into crippling debt forever, follow these tips when you look for an engagement ring.
Look at it as a major purchase
An engagement ring is one of the most important items you'll ever buy, but not for the reasons that most people think. You obviously want the person you're planning to marry to like the ring, but this is something that they will have for the rest of their lives. That ring is more than just a symbol of your love; it's a ring that could be passed down to your children and to your children's children. Your engagement ring will outlast any major appliance, car, or computer you'll have, so you should treat this engagement ring like any other major purchase you'd make. Do your research, don't be afraid to be very specific about what you want, and you'll be happy with what you have.
Know your four Cs (with a focus on color)
If you're thinking about buying a diamond engagement ring, keep the four Cs of diamond buying in mind: carat, color, clarity, and cut. Now, if you really want to save money without having to sacrifice the beauty of your ring, focus on diamonds that strike the right balance of the four Cs within your budget. Diamonds graded to a GIA standard "SI2 clarity" will be eye clean (i.e. no dark spots visible to the naked eye). Diamonds graded to a GIA standard "I color" are still in the sweet spot of near colorless, while a diamond with a "very good" cut GIA grading will still have substantial fire and brilliance. If you then work backward, you can figure out pretty quickly what size of diamond will work best for you without breaking the bank.
While we're on the topic of diamonds, we should mention that you don't have to get the traditional big diamond to have a beautiful ring. In fact, if you really want to save money on your engagement ring you should…
Go the non-traditional route