Posted by: CeCe | November 23, 2013

Diamonds: Not always a girl’s best friend

I don’t know about anyone else, but it kind of feels like I’m being inundated with commercials from jewelry stores, and it’s gotten me thinking.  My wedding set is over 80 years old (it belonged to my grandma, and then my mom), and the only cost to us was having it soldered and re-sized, which was a little over 100 dollars.  The diamonds on it are small, but that doesn’t bother me.  I don’t like ostentatious jewelry.  I look at the costs for some of these rings (1600-9000 dollars!) and I can’t help thinking, what kind of woman would demand something like that?  Personally, unless I was dating a multimillionaire, I’d rather save the money for something practical, like the down-payment on a house, car, or new furniture.

I suppose the idea behind such an expensive ring is that it shows that the man values his girlfriend enough to spend an ungodly amount of money on her, but maybe I’m weird in that I just don’t understand this concept.  If my husband had spent that kind of money on my ring, I would have felt that he was irresponsible and impractical, and more concerned with the appearance of “status” rather than actually investing in our future, and I would not have considered marrying him.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that some of the rings displayed on these commercials are beautiful (they’d better be, with as much as some of them cost!), but I just don’t think it’s worth it.  It’s the same thing when I hear how much people are spending on their weddings.  According to slate.com, the median cost for a wedding varies between about $8,000-16,000 depending on the region of the United States.  Although the median is far lower than the $26K+ average widely reported by numerous sources (for example, here, here, and here), it still seems ridiculously exorbitant to me.

The total cost of my wedding, including my dress which was $750 with all the accessories, was less than $2000.  My now ex-sister-in-law made the cake, which was beautiful.  My other sister-in-law did all the floral arrangements, except for mine and my husband’s, which I bought at a local florist company for less than $150 for both.  My eldest brother was the photographer, and the reception was held at the clubhouse of my mom’s trailer park.  The wedding itself was held in the backyard of my sister’s employer at the time.  The reception lunch was simple: burgers and hot dogs.  I’m nothing if not easy to please!  What meant more to me was just being able to marry the man I loved, with my family and a few close friends present.  There was no need to spend the cost of a nice car to get married, when it could be done for much cheaper.

In my opinion, too many people place too much emphasis on the wedding, and not enough on the marriage.  Spending thousands upon thousands of dollars does not tell the world that you’re committed to the person whom you’re marrying; it just says that you’re willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars for what basically amounts to a party (Monica from Friends would kill me for saying that!  You get a cookie* if you understand the reference.).  I think that society tries to convince men and women that they need the 9000 dollar engagement ring, the 2000 dollar wedding dress, the tuxes, the fancy cuisine at the reception, etc. etc. etc.  But none of those actually prepare a couple for the journey ahead of them, nor do they guarantee a successful marriage.  Only commitment and a willingness to put your spouse above yourself (and have them do the same for you!) can do that.

Maybe the reason our divorce rate is so high is because too many people put all this effort into the engagement ring and the wedding, and not enough into marriage.  That’s what I think, anyway.

What are your thoughts?  Do you believe that spending a lot of money on an engagement ring and/or the wedding is important?  Why or why not?

Thanks as always for reading!

*no cookies, sorry.  I lied.

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Responses

  1. I don’t think it’s necessary to spend that on a ring or a wedding, and I don’t understand the backlash against women who feel this way. I basically felt the same way as you mention about an engagement ring, so when marriage discussions started, I told my husband that if he bought any engagement ring, I’d say no to the proposal. I cannot understand spending that kind of money for something I’d hate wearing and for something (the diamond) that is artificially inflated in value anyway. Most of his friends tried to tell him I was “saying saying that” to see less greedy (or…something, I’m still not sure why they thought I would lie to my future husband — a weird test?), so I had to make it explicitly clear that I didn’t want one, and no, I wasn’t saying one thing but meaning another. (Luckily, he had learned that I say what I mean and mean what I say. I hate playing games like that anyway.)

    I don’t have an engagement ring, and I’m just as married as I would have been with one. I like that yours has sentimental value in your family, and the family attachment would mean more to me than a new “rock.” My husband showed that he valued me by asking me to marry him, and I showed that I valued him by saying that I would — and then we did that. (All-told, our wedding cost about $1000, give or take, so I’m with you on that, too.) If he had gone against my wishes or had decided to follow a tradition with no meaning to me, that would have shown how much he did not value my own morals and feelings.

    We spent the months leading up to the wedding focusing on each other and on building a marriage that would last, talking and discussing any potential sticking points to make sure that we were on the same page for the things that mattered. Seeing how frazzled people are when they are planning big weddings, especially when they are focusing on minor details and not on their future partner, well, that just made me realize what was really important when getting ready to be married (and not just getting ready for a wedding).

    • Jessica, thank you very much for your amazing comment! I especially love your comment about focusing on your future husband, rather than all the minutiae that went into the wedding, in the months leading up to your ceremony. It sounds like you and your husband have built a loving, strong marriage that will last a lifetime! 🙂

  2. I seiously am falling in love with all of your blogs! Lol I was randomly searching for people who thought fast food was a hard job and have begin to read all of your blogs and decided to comment. You have literally stated the exact thing i have told everyone. My husband and i paid about 3,000 for everything not including my parents gift of 1500. My ring was on sale for 300 and is a promise ring lol. My girlfriends were actually apalled at not spending 10,000 at my wedding like they did and my exact reply was, its not about the wedding, its about the marriage. Its one night of your life, we bought our house for 24000 and i literally just went to a wedding that totalled 30000! Ahhhh makes me crazy! Continue on with this great blogging! 🙂

    • Thank you very much, Jessica! 🙂

  3. If I ever marry it’ll be super cheap. I bought my own ring already ($150.00) very pretty. I have a dress in mind ($250) and the price you pay for the court house to marry, and gas to get there. I’ll make my own cake ($25), and food will be burgers, hotdogs, chips, juice, corn on the cob, beer, icecream, and grilled chicken. (And a kids/baby selection just need allergy lists from friends. (I have 5 kids and a huge family).


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