It’s no secret. Weddings (and literally everything that revolves around them) costs a small fortune. Even if you’re trying to keep things on the cheaper end of the spectrum, you’re probably still going to be out a few grand at a minimum. For most people, that isn’t ideal, especially in a world where the pandemic has thrown a wrench in many folks’ cash flow and where inflation still doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. That’s why most prioritize certain aspects of their wedding and cut cost corners for others. Sometimes, the wedding ring finds itself among the latter.
But should it? How much should you be spending on wedding bands? And what is even expected of you anyway? Is a couple hundred bucks or less typical, or do most people assume you’ll go all out and splurge on your bands? Review our quick guide to find out these answers and how much cash you should really put up when buying your rings for the big day.
Average Costs for Wedding Bands
Over the years, there has been a ton of research into how people spend their money, where they spend it, and how much is most commonly spent in the first place. Engagement rings and dresses tend to get the most attention. That’s probably to be expected since they’ve always traditionally been two of the biggest purchases. We’ve compiled a lot of data about wedding bands, too, though.
Curious about the findings? They’re honestly pretty surprising. According to a study conducted around 2019, the average cost for a men’s-oriented ring hovered right around $510 while rings intended for women were a significantly higher $1100. It’s only been a couple of years since then, yet it seems like those have increased even further, rising to about $558 and $1417, respectively. That’s nothing compared to the cost of most engagement rings, but it still makes up a cool 3% of most wedding budgets. Pricey, right?
How Much to Spend on a Wedding Ring
A few hundred to $1500 isn’t exactly a small price to pay for your marital bliss. However, it’s worth every penny. Naturally – you can’t put a dollar amount on love, after all! Though, the costs practically aren’t too bad when you think about all the factors influencing them.
Dependent on the type of precious metal used, the number of diamonds (if any), the cut of your diamonds, band type, ring shop location, and craftsmanship quality, just to name a few, it’s a wonder that wedding bands aren’t more expensive than they already are.
Does that mean you need to buy something within the average spending range? Of course not! Wedding rings go anywhere from under $100 to over $2000. It’s entirely up to you where you choose to fall along this spectrum. You should always only spend what you’re comfortable with. Just be sure to keep a few things in mind prior to buying your wedding band. It’s always best to weigh out all of your needs and wants before anything’s too concrete and firm. Among the considerations you should make, you need to decide:
- Do you want to coordinate rings? There are plenty of couples out there whose wedding rings look different. However, some would rather have matching (or at least complementary) bands in color, style, or both. You should talk with your spouse-to-be and feel out your opinions on the matter as it can dramatically affect how much you end up paying, particularly if one partner has a firm handle on the type of ring they want.
For example, if you want to match rings and one of you has fallen for high-quality gold, you’ll be left shelling out extra for its match. Meanwhile, those who don’t care to coordinate can save cash by buying another, much-cheaper ring for the less picky spouse. Finally, don’t forget to figure out if you want the wedding rings to match the engagement ring!
- What kind of durability will work best for your lifestyle? Wedding rings aren’t like the other accessories that are possibly gathering dust in your jewelry box. They’re something you wear every single day, 24/7, barring maybe a handful of situations. And as such, you want them to last a long time, meaning you should always keep your lifestyle in mind when ring shopping.
Work with your hands a lot, or are simply hard on everything you wear? We’d recommend either a lower karat gold, tungsten carbide, or titanium should you want to spare your budget. Our wooden rings here at Urban Designer also make great choices since they’re naturally scratch-resistant and continue to look better with age.
- Are there any styles you absolutely love? Material is essential but let's not forget that style should be the primary consideration when picking your wedding bands. You’re presumably to wear this the rest of your life or for as long as the ring’s lifespan allows.
You want to like what you’re showing off on your finger every day – looks-wise and feel. Do a little research then with your sweetheart and narrow down the styles you’re interested in. This will not only make shopping more manageable but will also better guide your ring budget.
- What kind of wedding budget are you working with? Speaking of budget, the final factor to mull over as you’re choosing a ring should be the money you’re willing to put up for the wedding in its entirety. Is cash already looking a little tight? It might be smart to avoid splurging on the ring to lower your costs instead or prioritize those for your honeymoon, venue, attire, etc.
Everything looking a-okay thus far? Then spending 3% or more on your rings might be completely feasible. It’s up to you at the end of the day. All couples will have different preferences and priorities. Talk them out before budgeting or buying, and you should feel significantly comfier with whatever choices you make as your planning goes on.