Would you buy your own engagement ring?

More women are buying their own engagement rings [Photo: Getty]
More women are buying their own engagement rings [Photo: Getty]

Weddings and engagements have become significantly less traditional of late, with brides opting to forgo more old-fashioned big day ‘rules’ in favour of a more modern approach.

But there’s one particular area in which tradition has seemingly held firm: the buying of the engagement ring.

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Until now, the purchasing of a ring has been seen as the domain of the wannabe groom, but things have started to change with a recent trend seeing more women taking it upon themselves to buy their own engagement bling.

Yep, according to jewellers brides-to-be aren’t willing to risk that their sparkler lives up to expectations and instead are taking up the ring-buying reins by choosing and paying for their own engagement ring.

Recent stats from the US De Beers Diamond Insight report showed that the share of women buying their own engagement ring doubled from 7% to 14% over the five-year period between 2013 and 2017. 

From wanting to have the perfect ring to already having shared finances, according to experts there’s a whole host of reasons women might want to fork out for their own ring.

“Times have changed and relationships have too,” says Andrew Brown, CEO of WP Diamonds. “Men aren't always the higher earner in the relationship and same-sex marriages mean it isn't always a man shopping for a ring for a woman.

“Women earn a lot more money now than previous generations did so it's less expected that one half of a relationship foots the entire bill.

“The tradition used to be that a man would spend three times his monthly earnings, without any contribution from their partner, but that seems unfair in today's society,” he adds.

This step away from tradition in favour of something altogether more 2019 coupled with financial incentives, suggests the trend is here to stay.

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“Many consumers are purchasing for themselves to make sure that they get a ring that they love without breaking the bank, which can be a difficult balance to achieve if someone is buying blindly,” explains Jack Jahan, eCommerce Marketing Manager at Ramsdens Jewellery explains.

For these reasons Jahan expects to see the trend continue to rise.

“Because the cost of organising a wedding is rising all the time, people are looking for more value in other areas, even those that traditionally are very expensive like an engagement ring,” he says.

Brown believes that social media could also have played a role in the rise of women buying their own engagement ring.

“Social media plays a huge role in setting our expectation of what the engagement ring will look like,” he says.

“As long as we're being fed a choice of designs, colours, carats and so on, we’ll continue to visualise what 'the ring' will look like, and that could come with a price tag.

“This leads me to believe that recipients of the engagement ring are likely to become more involved in the styling and buying themselves.”

And with a recent survey by Beaverbrooks revealing that a staggering 72% of females wouldn't trust their other half to make the decision on a ring, it’s understandable that more women want to do the ring-buying themselves. 

There are some cultural reasons women are taking on the role of ring purchaser too.

“Long gone are the days when women were the property of their father, lacking earning power of her own,” explains psychotherapist and sex and relationships expert Lucy Beresford, author of ‘Happy Relationships at Home, Work and Play.’

“Women now often earn as much as if not more than their partner, so can afford to treat themselves to the ring of their dreams, without the middleman.

“And with the rise of same-sex couples, no-one thinks twice about a woman buying a ring for herself,” she adds.  

The buying your own engagement ring trend looks set to rise [Photo: Getty]
The buying your own engagement ring trend looks set to rise [Photo: Getty]

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Beresford believes the buying of their own ring can have some positives for the couple’s ongoing relationship.  

“It’s a great opportunity for couples to talk about topics such as duty, rituals, expectations and finances – all topics which can be awkward and swept under carpet,” she explains.

“Plus, in an era when women can be their husband’s financial equal, the man can feel the pressure is off him to be the constant provider, and this might be symbolised by the woman buying her own ring.”

But she also has a word of warning for any soon-to-be brides determined to buy their own bling.  

“Heterosexual couples need to be on the same page on this topic,” she says. “The man might believe that paying for the ring is part of his role in wooing his wife-to-be.

“Many men may feel disappointed – or even emasculated – if they are denied the chance to perform an act they have long looked forward to.”

Jahan says there’s also the potential loss of sentiment to consider which could be associated with your partner not picking the ring for you.

“While some couples may still experience the magic of a surprise proposal (depending on how they do things), when you know the ring has been bought and what it looks like, you can lose the traditional value of being amazed with that special, mystery ring,” he says.

No doubt there will be some wedding tradition purists who believe that some of the sparkle will be lost if your other half doesn’t buy your ring, but isn’t the real romance to be found in the marriage itself?

Besides if it is your hand the ring will be adorning, surely it makes sense if you have a say or stake in it?

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