Somewhere in the planning process, you need to determine how much to spend on a wedding ring. As with every detail—from your venue to your flowers—you need to decide how much of your budget to spend.
A large percentage of people go with a ring like this which goes for under $200 (depending on the metal). But some people may drop 5 digits on a show stopper like this ring.
Review our guide to learn about the average cost of wedding rings and consider buying a wedding ring. We’ll also provide inspiration with the best wedding bands for various wedding ring price ranges.
Average Cost Of Wedding Bands In 2019 – Male And Female
In 2019, the average wedding ring cost for males was $510, and the average cost of a female wedding band was $1,100. Wedding rings, on average, made up three per cent of a couple’s wedding budget. Engagement rings made up 14 percent of the wedding budget.
How Much Should A Wedding Ring Cost?
Wedding ring prices range from $180 to $2,000 and higher. The cost of wedding rings depends on the precious metal, the set design, the number of diamonds and where you buy the rin. For example, this classic 14K white gold ring is $240, while this micropave diamond ring costs $1,080.
How Much Should You Spend On A Wedding Ring?
How much you should spend on a wedding ring depends on a few factors, like your preferred setting style and wedding budget. Opt for a ring you’ll love wearing for years, and that’s reasonable for your wallet. Here are things to consider when buying a wedding band.
Rings that complement each other
Many couples want their rings coordinated, so they look like a pair when side by side. For instance, you might both choose rose gold for your rings. Or you might opt for rings that feature similar designs, like this Princess Cut channel set for women, and this one for men.
Some couples, though, don’t care about coordinating with their spouses. They might have a white gold ring and a yellow gold ring that aren’t similar in design.
Talk with your spouse-to-be to determine if you want your rings to complement one another. This will help with choosing styles and determining the cost of your wedding rings.
Wedding bands that match the engagement ring
Because an engagement ring is usually picked out first, it’s important to find a wedding band that matches. For females, the cost of a wedding ring can be as high as $2,000 or more. Finding a wedding band that coordinates is time and money well-spent.
For example, if your engagement ring is white gold, your band should be white gold as well. Consider the thickness of your band and ensure it doesn’t overpower your engagement ring. Choose a simple band without diamonds or include diamonds to add more brilliance. You can use tools like Blue Nile‘s Wedding Ring Matcher to pair your engagement ring with the right wedding band.
Some people keep their engagement and wedding rings separate, while others solder the two together. The choice depends on your personal preference and how the rings fit together. Soldering them might prevent the rings from spinning and getting out of sync with one another.
Your wedding ring will be worn every day, so be sure it holds up. 14K and 18K gold and platinum are popular precious metals for wedding rings. 14K gold is the most durable and the least expensive. 18K gold has a higher percentage of gold in its mixture and is more likely to scratch, but is still durable enough for everyday wear. Platinum is the most expensive option and is more durable than gold but also requires more maintenance.
How your ring looks and feels to you is the most important element. If you’re into classic styles, you might want a petite milgrain ring. If you want something unique, you might opt for a twisted micropavé wedding band. Your wedding ring symbolizes your love and commitment to one another. It also showcases your style.
The most popular wedding band material for women in white gold and tungsten for men.
Your overall wedding budget
How much to spend on a wedding ring depends on your wedding budget. There isn’t a wedding ring cost rule. On average, couples spend three per cent of their budget on wedding rings. For example, if your wedding costs $25,000, three per cent would be $750.
You might decide you want to spend five per cent of your budget on rings, and a little less on dessert or music. Each couple has to decide how to breakdown their wedding budget. Discuss with your fiancé how much of your budget you’d like to put toward rings. Find an amount you both feel comfortable with.
A Long-Standing Tradition
Traditionally, both the bride and groom will each receive a wedding ring. (Or, in same-sex marriages, both grooms or both brides may give each other rings.) Sometimes the couples’ wedding rings will coordinate, while other times they will be unique.
The wedding ring’s origin as a symbol of a couple’s love can be traced back to the beginning of the Egyptian civilization, where people twisted papyrus into rings and bracelets. These were the first examples of wedding jewellery. Over time, wedding rings became more substantial, progressing to ivory, bone and wood before eventually being made from silver or gold. Today, in addition to silver and gold, platinum and titanium are also popular options. While the wedding ring represents love and devotion, in early times when a man presenting a ring to a woman, it was also a way for him to take ownership of her.
Significance of the Wedding Ring
Some people believe that the wedding ring’s significance is that it’s round and has no beginning and no end, thereby representing two souls’ coming together for eternity. It’s also thought that the space in the wedding band’s centre represents a door that leads to new opportunities.
From the earliest days, wedding rings were traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand because it was said that the vein from that finger travels directly back to the heart (although in modern times, this theory has been disproven, the tradition it signifies remains). In Latin, the concept is called “vena amoris” or “the vein of love.” (It’s interesting to note, though, that in some parts of Europe, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand!)
What It Costs for a Wedding Ring
What you spend on your wedding rings is really up to you and your preferences. Usually, a wedding ring is more a symbol of your union that an extravagant investment. However, if you want to make a loud statement and can afford it, there are of course many quite pricey rings for sale.
Here are some ideas of what you can expect to pay for wedding rings:
How your metal choice will change the price of your wedding rings
Up until recently, platinum was considered the most expensive precious metal choice for rings, due to its rarity, lustre and unparalleled durability, typically amounting to $180 more than gold alternatives. That said, 2020 has seen the price of gold rise to match that of platinum. Whilst platinum & 18K gold are the most common choice for wedding rings, and you may opt for palladium. Since 2019, palladium has soared in price and is now considerably more expensive than platinum and gold.
As with most raw materials, the various prices of metals can fluctuate, largely due to demand and availability at a given time. That said, the cost of wedding rings has generally stayed consistent over the past few years – whether you buy your wedding rings 3 months, 6 months or even a year before your wedding, you’ll likely pay the same amount!
Whilst this hasn’t always been the case, the cost of your wedding rings won’t change depending on your choice of metal. You should note that white gold needs replating every so often, as the white-toned rhodium will wear off to reveal the more buttery-yellow colour of the unplated white gold. Most jewellers will charge for re-plating; the cost will build over the years with every re-plating.
How Much Do Diamond Wedding Rings Cost?
Diamonds are amongst nature’s most sought after products; exquisitely created over millennia of Earth’s natural processes, and it’s no wonder that adding diamonds to your wedding ring will make it more costly. The bigger each diamond, and the more of them used on the wedding ring; the more expensive your wedding ring will cost.
You’ll be able to choose between a 100% set diamond eternity ring, meaning the diamonds are set around the band or a couple of alternative options that can help reduce costs. 60%, 50% or 40% diamond wedding bands feature fewer diamonds and are therefore a more economical choice. The percentage refers to the amount of the band that will feature diamond coverage. A 40-60% diamond set wedding ring will appear just like a traditional eternity ring but will be plain on the underside when viewed from above.
So how much do diamond wedding rings start from? Based on the average woman’s wedding ring size, M, a 60% diamond set, 1.6mm ring would cost around $1,120. A smaller size would be closer to $1,000, and slightly bigger, say $1,200.
How Much Do Plain Wedding Rings Cost?
Simple in design and without the embellishment of diamonds, plain wedding rings are the most affordable wedding ring. The price of a plain wedding ring will largely be driven by the amount of precious metal needed to craft the ring; the thicker the band and the bigger the ring size, the more expensive the ring.
In either platinum or 18K gold, a plain, light court wedding ring with a 2mm width will cost around $320 in the average woman’s ring size, M, or $350 for size T, the average ring size for men. If you’re after something a little chunky, say 5mm in thickness, you’d be looking at $760 based on the woman’s average size and $870 for men.
Wedding Band Vs. Engagement Ring: Is the Engagement Ring More Expensive?
For the bride, the engagement ring is typically a big-ticket item. Many have dreamed of what their ring might look like their entire lives. So is the engagement ring more expensive?
In general, engagement rings are bigger and flashier than their wedding ring counterpart. They typically feature a larger centre stone (often, a diamond), and are characterized, for many, by their bling factor.
Thus, the engagement ring is generally the more expensive of the two rings. So, how much should you spend on an engagement ring, and what’s the best way to budget for it?
Cost of Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Ring: Why Engagement Rings are More Expensive Than Wedding Bands
Tradition says that the engagement ring’s cost should be equivalent to between two and three months’ salary for the proposer. According to The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Survey, the average amount many couples spend on an engagement ring is more than $5,600! However, suppose you are someone who is living month-to-month on your salary or already suffering under the burden of significant student loan or credit card debt. In that case, this may not be the most feasible or sensible option.
Is the engagement ring more expensive? Typically, yes!
Essentially, you shouldn’t pay more for an engagement ring than what is reasonably within your budget. There are many ways to make this work, including choosing a cheaper, more meaningful custom design with smaller stones or using a vintage ring that holds personal meaning such as a family heirloom.
Cheap vs. Expensive Engagement Rings: The Cost Doesn’t Measure Love.
Choose An Engagement Ring That Symbolizes You
When budgeting for an engagement ring, there is just one thing to keep in mind. The ring should be a meaningful expression of your love and commitment.
Above all, it should hold personal meaning to you and your fiance, as something representative of your relationship. As a symbol of true commitment, the ring should not break the bank, but it should signify consideration and investment.
So, no matter what, the ring will represent an investment in the relationship. This is also why engagement rings are often pricier than their wedding counterparts, as they represent a financial investment in your partner, as well as a romantic one.
Your partner will know what you can and cannot afford, so they won’t be expecting you to present something outside of your means, but they might be expecting you to show something that indicates this serious commitment to your future together.
Wedding Band Vs. Engagement Ring: Budgeting Wedding Bands
Wedding bands are typically the less expensive of the two rings. Frequently, they feature no gemstones but are merely a plain metal band. Often, the bride’s wedding ring is designed to match and fit with the engagement ring.
Since both the bride and groom wear a wedding band, they also frequently match each other. Wedding bands should be selected by couples together as a perfect pair, just like the marriage itself — rather than matching each other or an engagement ring, and it’s most important they reflect the two individuals wearing them.
How Much Should You Spend on Wedding Bands…in General?
There isn’t a simple answer to this, as it depends on your budget and style. A wedding ring could be anything from a plain gold band to a diamond-encrusted one — it all depends on what you want to spend.
Many couples also select bands with a signature engraving or a special metal that bears some significance to their relationship. The wedding ring is the place to budget — beautiful bands can be purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars (sometimes even less if you hit the right sale).
If My Budget is Limited…How Much Should I Spend on a Wedding Band?
If you want a fancy wedding band, but can’t afford one, start with a cheaper ring for the ceremony itself and save the more expensive option for an anniversary present down the road. This is a great way to ensure you don’t go over your wedding budget and it also helps with a built-in gift idea for later.
How much to spend on the engagement ring and wedding band is based on your budget, style and preferences.
Express Your Love and Protect Your Investment
Ultimately, both rings should be an expression of your love, as well as your taste and style. This, more than the expense, is what matters.
With a little planning and a clear understanding of your partner, you can get the perfect set of engagement and wedding rings for your wedding.