By Chayya Syal@c_syal
As we begin 2014, many couples think about the direction that their relationship is going in and what they want from their partners. From marriage proposals, divorces and break-ups to new relationships, the New Year can be seen as an appropriate time for steering your love life into new waters.
Expressions and gestures of love vary amongst couples; for some a simple gesture might suffice whilst others prefer a lavish gift.
For those intending to ‘pop the question’ to their significant other half, the first step is to make it official with an engagement ring. So far so good, until the price of love begins to add up and your bank account looks bleak.
The BBC found that Asians in Britain spend on average over £30,000 for a wedding with all the trimmings. Additionally, a survey of 2,000 women by the Daily Mail found that they expect their engagement ring to cost over £1,000. With this in mind, is it worth spending a months (or more) salary on an engagement ring?
Traditionally, the type of gem in an engagement ring is believed to reflect the worth of your woman’s love. It is also thought that a woman’s engagement ring is a reflection of her partner… and possibly their income. Jay-Z reportedly spent a whopping $5million on a diamond engagement ring for Queen Bey.
Bearing in mind the average man doesn’t have Jay-Z’s budget, is it possible to buy a sparkly diamond ring without an eye-watering price tag? Naturally this depends on your level of income and how much you are willing to spend on an engagement ring, but in short, probably not. The general rule when buying diamonds (or other gems) is that the more you spend, the better the quality - makes sense.
But I’m not convinced that big bold diamond rings are once the declaration of love that they used to be. Given the current economic climate and in some cases with expensive weddings and honeymoons taking place so soon after the proposal, some couples have begun to incorporate the cost of the engagement ring into their wedding expenses and budget for it as a separate item.
As many of us dig deep into our pockets and tighten our purse strings, more and more couples are becoming increasingly prudent and practical with their wedding budget. Recently engaged Entouraaj reader, Razi tells us: ‘I’ve seen people spend thousands and thousands on an engagement ring, only for it to be replaced by a wedding band.’
He added: ‘I think that people should only spend £1-2k at the most for an engagement ring. Anymore and it doesn’t seem right, I mean the money could go towards something more beneficial like a new home, new car or family stuff.’
Surprisingly his fiancée Nafeesa agrees, explaining: ‘Your engagement ring should be practical. It’s a symbol of the first step towards marriage and you should be able to look down at your hand and always see it.’
The value of an engagement ring has changed from once being a statement of love to one where practicality and symbolic value matters more. Couples are beginning to recognise that there’s no point in buying an expensive engagement ring as budget is the main determinant behind decision making with all wedding costs nowadays. An engagement ring represents two people coming together to celebrate and acknowledge their love – surely you can’t put a price on that?
However, a word of advice; when you proceed to discuss the topic of the engagement ring, tread carefully, this can be an emotional minefield for some ladies. Saving a little on the ring could cost you a whole lot more in the long run.