money·2 min read

How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Ring?

accessibility, couple hugging and showing engagement ring
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
Jul 6, 2022

Getting engaged — and married — is a big moment. And a big investment. Here’s how much you should expect to spend on both an engagement ring and a wedding ring.

How much does tradition say I should spend on an engagement ring?

Traditionally, the expectation was that you’d spend one-fourth of your annual salary on an engagement ring. Read: The three-month rule. So, if you were making $50,000 per year, you’d spend $12,500 on an engagement ring. But let’s be clear: The three-month rule was created to drum up diamond sales. And most couples don’t follow it.

Got it. So how much money should I spend on an engagement ring?

According to a 2021 survey, couples spent an average of $6,000 on an engagement ring last year. Which was up slightly from 2019 when couples spent an average of $5,900. So you can expect to spend something in that general range.

Do I have to spend that much on an engagement ring?

Just because it’s the average cost doesn’t mean everyone pays that price. Lots of couples cut that price in half. And some even spend less than $1,000.To prep your budget, you’ll want to consider the ring details. Like the cut, carat, and clarity of the diamond. And don’t forget that different gems and lab-created diamonds are also options. 

How much money should I spend on a wedding ring?

Engagement rings cost more. But you’ll need to add wedding ring costs to your budget if you’re opting for both. On average, wedding bands cost about $1,100 for women and around $550 for men, according to one estimate from The Knot. But the ultimate price often depends on the metal you choose. Think: Yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold. 

theSkimm

When it comes to wedding jewelry, an engagement ring will probably cost the most. But the actual price will depend on the details (aka the gemstone and metal). And your budget, of course. 

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