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Fess Up Friday: Cheap Wedding Band Edition

I guess with today’s confession, if you meet me at the Financial Blogger Conference, you’ll know the band of sparkle on my finger is not the real deal.

cheap wedding ring later upgrade Fess Up Friday: Cheap Wedding Band Edition

How sentimental are you about your wedding bands? Is it OK to get cheap rings now and upgrade them later?

You’ll see from our $7,000 wedding budget that our wedding bands will only cost $70 total. CB bought a tungsten ring for $15, while I have budgeted $50 to get a simple sterling silver / CZ ring. Just a stand-in for a few years until we feel more comfortable spending the $1,000+ it’d cost to purchase a matching diamond & platinum band to go with my engagement ring.

Yesterday,  WorkSaveLive asked whether he should sell his wife’s wedding ring to pay off debt. Well you can imagine the kind of responses it generated! My situation is similar, but with a twist. Instead of selling an expensive wedding ring to pay off debt, we are holding off on an expensive wedding ring so we’d have the money to minimize our debt.

A few readers raised the issue that a wedding band is a sentimental piece of jewelry and that I should reconsider this whole notion of buying cheap now and upgrading later. I understand their concern, because it’s something I’ve thought about myself. How much do I value having the same ring that I am married with? Even among the budgety-minded, I don’t know of many bloggers who talk openly about wearing a costume jewelry ring with the exception of Little Miss Moneybags, who bought her CZ eternity ring (much like the one pictured) for $26 at the Limited.

I know CB will tell me to get the ring that I want, no matter the price. In fact, he has urged me to look at more expensive options at several points through the wedding planning process… he’s probably afraid I’m making all my decisions based on cost. He told me something along the same lines, that he doesn’t want me to regret not getting a ring that I’d love and want to keep forever. This is something I’ve thought about for a while. Although there is always the chance for regret, I am OK with my decision to get a cheap stand-in ring now.

  • I’m surprisingly not too sentimental about things (although you could argue otherwise, given my reluctance to sell my grandmother’s jewelry even in the face of historic gold prices).
  • I am not a big ring-wearer. In fact, sometimes I go days or even weeks without wearing my engagement ring. And when I do wear it, I worry about it getting lost or damaged. It seems an awful a lot of responsibility to wear a couple thousand dollars or more on your hand.
  • Fashion jewelry would suffice for everyday wear, with the added plus of not having to worry about insuring the ring, losing the ring, caring for the ring, etc.
  • Technically, we could get the $1,500 for a diamond and platinum ring… I have a bonus coming up, and we do have money in the bank. But with graduate school and its attendant loans looming in the distance, and my refusal to downgrade our honeymoon, I don’t think spending four figures on a piece of jewelry is the right move right now.
  • And last but not least, I figured if my ring is the only thing I regret about my marriage, I’d be coming out ahead!

Having said ALL that, just in case you think I am somehow immune to social expectations (HA!) or am 100% comfortable with my decision, I must confess: there is still something strange about wearing a CZ ring having people know that I am wearing a CZ ring, even if those folks are just personal finance buddies.icon wink Fess Up Friday: Cheap Wedding Band EditionIt seems like there is something more “official” about having a proper ring in a precious metal, giving the occasion the gravity it deserves. Then again, when your budget is $50, your options are limited.

Would you ever buy a cheap stand-in ring with the thought of upgrading later (or never)? How sentimental are you about your wedding ring?

  • lupe - pshaw…we got ours at Kmart! lol…it didn't matter to us.. i'm soooo not a jewelry kind of girl, plus with all the controversies surrounding diamonds and other stones…. fuggedaboutit! ReplyCancel

  • Jules - The rings don't matter as much as your marriage. ReplyCancel

  • avc - Another option- a second hand ring. I bought mine at a second hand shop 35 years ago and it is going strong! It was cheap, it is real gold so it has lasted, and there is no need to upgrade later.
    ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - My hubby and I wear inexpensive rings. Mine are stainless steel and are beautiful! Two eternity bands with a stainless steel solitaire in between. They sparkle and I get compliments all the time. No one but me knows they aren't real. I don't need a super expensive wedding ring to know my hubby loves me. Besides, this way if something bad happens to them I wouldn't be heartbroken and could replace them with a minimum of fuss. ReplyCancel

  • Lowkie - When my husband and I got married we got $50 silver bands that are inscribed on the inside with a message from each to the other. The intention was to wear these until we could ‘upgrade’. But about four months ago (at out second Christmas as a married couple) we realized we’d both become super attached to our cheap bands and now we’ll probably never replace them. ReplyCancel

  • Nikki A. - My husband bought my diamond/white gold ring with cash he had saved prior to our marriage ($800). It's not as nice as I wanted – but it is what we could afford. We agreed we would "upgrade" later – when we had more money. We have more money now. BUT after two kids, two dogs and a mortgage….It is much nicer than we would allow ourselves to afford NOW. Our priorities have changed to college funds and retirement and expensive jewelry is nowhere in our near future. My ring is a sentimental luxury from a time when my life was simpler. ReplyCancel

  • carrir - I've become a lot less sentimental about rings over the years. My husband had a beautiful ring made for his future wife when he was in South Africa before we even met, then we just had it sized once he knew who it was for. We got engaged on tour, so he bought me an arcade butterfly wing ring to wear until we got back. A few years into our marriage we ran on hard times and sold both of our wedding rings and didn't wear any kind of ring for years. I thought it was a sacrifice at the time, but then I found that the absence of the rings made no difference to our marriage; in fact, it was kind of a bonding moment (that I don't necessarily recommend to anyone). About 10 years on he surprised me with plain gold bands for both of us in a very sweet and sentimental way, and we wear those plain bands to this day (28 years married). The struggles, sacrifices, commitment, and genuine love mean a lot more to me than any object. However, I do have pictures of the original ring on our wedding day, and I still have the little arcade ring that I wore for a few days when we were first engaged. I guess I'm sentimental after all. ReplyCancel

  • north country girl - My husband and I got married in Manhattan in 1969. We bought a "gold" band for $2 (no kidding; today's price would probably be about $30??) on the walk from our apartment on the lower east side to City Hall. His parents then took us out for Chinese food. Our honeymoon cruise was a trip on the Staten Island ferry, with beautiful views of the city, which –you could look it up–cost a nickel each way, a bargain even then. After a few months the ring started turning my finger blue, so I put it away for safekeeping/sentimental reasons. The ring didn't really last, but the marriage has:D ReplyCancel

  • Mrs. GK - Thanks for this. I don't know why, but I have never been attracted to diamonds, and my husband was the same way. Plus, I always liked my parents' rings — plain gold bands with their initials and the date engraved.

    A friend suggested making new rings from old jewelry. I dug out every piece of broken or no-longer worn gold jewelry I had. Not enough, but then we asked relatives and friends if they would want to help us make new rings from their old bits, and guess what? It became the shower theme to recycle broken jewelry, and we pooled enough 14 and 18 karat gold to make two wonderful new rings with enough gold value to pay the designer with the excess! A diamond at any price just wouldn't have been this personal, and we have rings that we know nobody else will ever have. And all our friends and relatives feel like the rings really symbolize their support for our marriage. ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - I did a low budget wedding as well and bought a cz ring because I did not want to support the diamond industry and all of the human rights violations that go on there. My husband bought an antique reproduction and it is beautiful. Still I kind of wanted a real diamond up until I got married. However, what I have found is that no one can tell! I get compliments on my ring all the time and since I have a tendency to take them off and have almost lost them many times it is comforting to know I could afford to buy the same ring all over again. You really won’t regret it, even if you decide not to replace it with a “real” rock. ReplyCancel

  • Weekly links and carnivals for April 22, 2012 | Personal Finance Success - [...] Well Heeled Blog conveys the practicality of having an inexpensive wedding ring.  My wife has a nice engagement ring with 3 diamonds, but our wedding rings were simple and inexpensive.  I do not place much importance on having fancy jewelry.  I would rather put that money into passive income streams. [...]ReplyCancel

  • Riss - I have a cheap Tacori ring. Tacori joined with QVC and made a line of fake rings…platinum plated rings with manufactured diamonds. I spent about $150 on my e-ring and wedding band combined, and I get LOADS of compliments on them. I've had them for three years now and they still look good. ReplyCancel

  • Our ,000 Southern California Wedding: The Budget Recap | Well Heeled Blog - [...] bought a tungsten ring for $35 from Amazon.com. Originally, I planned to get a cheap stand-in wedding band, but then I realized I’m fine with just wearing my engagement ring. There’s no point in [...]ReplyCancel

  • Fess Up Friday – Cheap Wedding Band Edition – My Stand-In CZ Wedding Band – Well Heeled Blog | My Cheap Wedding Information - [...] Fess Up Friday – Cheap Wedding Band Edition – My Stand-In CZ Wedding Band – Well H… http://www.wellheeledblog.com/2012/04/13/fess-up-friday-cheap-wedding-band-edition/ My Stand-In CZ Wedding Band Well Heeled Blog. Personal Finance + Savvy Living = Save for Tomorrow, Enjoy Today. Written by WellHeeled on April 13, 2012. I guess with today’s confession, if you meet me at the Financial Blogger Conference, you’ll know the band of sparkle on my finger is not the real deal. [...]ReplyCancel

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