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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?

  • Rachel - My husband and I have a cheap wedding rings and don't regret it at all. I have a small white gold and diamond (nontraditional style) engagement ring and a simple white gold wedding band. I don't plan to upgrade at all since I'm stoked about the simplicity. He has a stainless steel band that he's planning to upgrade when he finds something he likes more. While the rings are sentimental, they're just a symbol, so I have no qualms about changing them. Do what feels right to you!!! ReplyCancel

  • Frugal City Girl - Our (silver) wedding rings were a gift from a friend, who does metalworking as a hobby. We offered to pay for them, but she said the total cost of the materials was around 15p for both of them. She also made us spares, just in case, which came in handy when I lost my first ring at the gym five months after the wedding! Since then I've been wearing the "backup".

    It's actually been a major relief to not have to worry about losing it, damaging it, etc. I really feel its absence on my finger when I forget to put it back on after showering, for example, but I'm not sentimental about whether I have this exact ring or a different one. It's the presence of a ring that is meaningful to me, as a symbol of our relationship, not the ring itself. ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I totally commend you for being so unsentimental about the ring! I say, if it feels right to you, then go for it!

    For me, I'm not sure I could. Something about the CZ would bug me, for some reason, though I can't really tell you why since my current jacket of choice is a $17 faux leather one from Old Navy! I think if it were me, I'd rather go for a simple gold band with no diamond.

    Fun story, though: My grandmother passed away a couple of years ago and I got her wedding rings. I only just found them last week (they were in a box in my parents' place) and the diamond in her ring was *so* small! As in, "wait, is there even a diamond there? did it fall out?" small! I don't know when we got to the point where rings were so huge and expensive, but I'd say that just underscores the importance of picking something that you like and are comfortable with, regardless of what sort of ring you're "supposed" to have. ReplyCancel

  • Niki Arrowsmith - Hey Ms Well Heeled! Thanks for the piece. Great reasoning, I think. I'm the same way regarding sentimentality – I mercilessly throw out ticket stubs, playbills (unless they have my name in them, and even that's questionable), and other "memory" items – who needs that junk?

    Anyway, I though you might like this blog post: http://sweatingthebigstuff.com/frugal-engagement-

    I read it a few weeks ago and I just though it was so sweet. ReplyCancel

  • thisaggiesaves - I'm neither married nor engaged, but I'd probably opt for the most cost effective wedding band I could find. Do what you want, all that matters is what you think. ReplyCancel

  • @SmallBudgetBigD - I like really simple wedding bands (no diamonds no fanciness), so I'd be OK with a simple sterling silver or white gold band. That being said, if you're fine with a cz band until you "upgrade" I say go for it. Since you don't wear your engagement ring frequently, you may even decide over time that the upgrade isn't necessary. ReplyCancel

  • Shandril19 - You know yourself better than anyone. If you’re comfortable with it, I doubt you’re likely to regret it later.

    I don’t have an engagement ring. We’re buying a reasonably cheap (~$600) semi-eternity band for my wedding band. Some day years down the line if I want it, I’ll add another ring as an anniversary ring. I think buying cheap bands and upgrading later is completely reasonable.

    (And hold on the the cheap band!!! I know several people who travel with cheap bands and leave the expensive ones at home.) ReplyCancel

  • WorkSaveLive - I love the fact you're willing to do this – many people certainly could not. That's really cool.

    I will say that I believe if my wife and I were to get married now (as opposed to 3 years ago) then I think we could do something similar – however I'm not positive on that. There is little doubt the wedding ring is DEEPLY sentimental and for many guys the value of the ring is an expression of our love. (Sad/pathetic but true).

    I'm doing a follow-up post next Friday about why I wrote the piece and analyzing our emotions/behavior. Kind of fun. ReplyCancel

  • shopping2saving - I honestly don't judge anyone for the ring they are wearing, but personally I have always dreamed of a beautiful diamond ring. It doesn't have to be huge or be the most expensive but it's just a childhood fantasy that I would like to come true. I don't think I'll be getting the ultimate wedding of my dreams and we live a frugal lifestyle, so I think I'd want to splurge on my ring at least. Some gals want fancy and expensive wedding dresses, some want nice honeymoons, some want it all. I think for myself I just want a simple diamond ring and a simple wedding!

    But as you said, it's a personal decision and if you are truly happy with it – you should go for it! ReplyCancel

  • therandompath - Although my ring is the real deal, my husband's isn't. We got married on a tight budget and my guy really wanted me to have a nice ring. He was okay with the fact that his ring barely cost anything, because he said what mattered was the fact that we were getting married, not the jewelry that accomadated it. (he is an awesome guy :) ) He bought my engagement/wedding ring and surprised me with the engagement so I didn't have a chance to say whether or not he should buy me a nice ring. It's been 4 years and he still has the same ring. And he is cool with it.

    Do what works for you; that's all that matters at the end of the day! :) ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I commend you for your decision.

    My husband and I did something very nontraditional too. We had a custom made CZ ring. We are both uncomfortable with diamonds (for us, have no problem with what other people want.) and we are both frugally minded. BUT, I still wanted something beautiful. We went to a local jeweler and told him our issue. And explained that I'd like a green stone and showed a picture of the inspiration ring. He pulled out 5ish stones (all different) that were green. I told him not to tell me about it and I picked the one I liked the most. Just so happens to be CZ. I was a little nervous about how I'd feel telling people my ring is all CZ, but I'm honestly fine with it. I get more compliments on my rings than anyone I know. http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/Southern5f
    Yep, all CZ and custom made. (Convincing the gemologist to cut the CZ was FUN!)
    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/Southern5f

    We also held a frugal wedding. My husband made all the beer for the wedding, I made the favors. It was a meaningful and beautiful day.
    Beer and Menus http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/Southern5f
    Favors http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/Southern5f
    Bouquet http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/Southern5f

    Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you're cheap! Have a lovely wedding and an even better marriage. (Because isn't it the marriage that counts anyhow?)

    ReplyCancel

  • bogofdebt - I'm ambivalant about the whole wedding rings–I don't really care excpet for the fact that I worry about the price. I finally told my BF that if he really wanted to spend money on an engagement ring that I would prefer it to be part of bridal set and to not go over a certain amount of money. I figure this way he can get the ring(s) that he wants to get me and it won't cost an arm and a leg. I actually suggested a CZ and he naysayed it. ReplyCancel

  • Cristina - I think it's totally fine to replace your ring down the line if you're comfortable with it, but although I'm not super sentimental, I'm sentimental enough to know I want to keep the wedding band I that I got married with forever. Even if I stopped wearing it on a daily basis at some point, I'd still want the keepsake, so I'd prefer something that will last a lifetime. I would be more inclined to buy a plain white gold band than a silver one with CZs. ReplyCancel

  • Dime - I've been married for almost 17 years and, as we have increased our income and purchasing power, I have quietly watched while friends of mine have upgraded their engagement rings. Not for me. Although I have a beautiful diamond engagement ring, I usually only wear the simple gold band I received on our wedding day. I'm looking at it as I type and I can tell you right now, I wouldn't trade it for any of those "show piece" rings my friends have just as I wouldn't trade my husband for any of theirs. Not in a million years.

    What do I have instead. No debt. Fully paid of cars. An AIRPLANE. Travel memories.

    ReplyCancel

  • MasterTheArtOfSaving - I think you're making a really wise decision about your wedding ring. I'm not sure if I could have made the same one, but my wedding ring rocks. :-) I found the perfect one and can't imagine not having it, but if something ever happens, I could sell it and my world wouldn't end. I think people worry too much about having fancy/expensive rings; the reason you have it in the first place is much more important.

    -Jen ReplyCancel

  • Leah - To me, it was important to have a "real" band, whether it was plain or had diamonds on it, and I think it's because I'm not of the opinion that a ring is "just a thing." It's the most personal, sentimental life-long gift that my fiance will ever give me, and it's the only outward sign of my (future) marraige to the world.

    "With THIS ring, I thee wed." THIS is the ring I will wear every day for the rest of my life.

    Of course it's a personal decision, and I would never judge you (nor be able to tell) for purchasing a ring that you believe best fits your current lifestyle. In fact, I know plenty of couples who wanted CZ rings all along for humane/cost/appearance/lifestyle reasons. But it seems like you already made up your mind that you don't truly want this ring for the long run. I guess that's where I'm caught up. You might not regret it, by why take the extra step? ReplyCancel

  • Claire - There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with an upgrade later in life, when you're ready for the expense. A ring is symbolic. It could be a piece of twine. When you think about it, it's not the RING that you wed with, contrary to Leah's comment, but the PROMISE that you wed with. The ring is a symbol of that promise.

    My hubby and I had a total wedding budget of $1500; our rings, combined, cost us maybe $100, and we couldn't be happier with them. I'm studying for the healthcare field, so I purposefully picked surgical steel (in case I had to boil it…oy) with a smooth outer edge and blue, man-made gems all the way around. He chose a tungsten ring (for durability – he does a lot of the DIY around here) with a completely smooth band that had a stripe down the center; it works well for him, because he's a software engineer and types ALL day long.

    Take it from me – getting caught up on the price of your ring is not worth the trouble. I've had ladies oooh and ahh over my lovely little $25 ring; when I look at it, though, I don't see a ring — I see the promise that we made each other on our wedding day, and that, my dear, is the important part.ReplyCancel

    • Leah - I never said that the ring "married" two people, and you had to know that before you put that little dig in there, Claire ;) It could be any of those ring-giving phrases, "take this ring is a token of my love and fidelity," "this ring symbolizes an unbroken circle with no beginning or end, so shall be our love" etc.

      I DO know that my ring will be symbollic of my fiance's vows that he shares on our wedding day.

      All I'm saying is it's clear that our fair writer isn't going to want to have a sterling silver and CZ ring next to a platinum and diamond ring forever. It's a mismatch that she already expresses hesitation about. She'll have an MBA, high-powered job (and a lifestyle to match, rightfully so), and a husband who wanted to give her the platinum band all along. I think she should go for the ring she really wants and that her husband wants to give her.

      It isn't all about impressing people with how little (or for that matter, how much) you can spend on something. For some, the sentiment transcends the cost. As for me, I opt for sentiment. ReplyCancel

      • Claire - Hi, Leah,

        Your exact words were “With THIS ring” indicating that THAT ring, that object, was somehow important to a marriage. And not just that often in general, IE the ring, but THAT specific ring that you wore on THAT specific day. My comment want a dig, but a disagreement with the sentiment that an object has that much importance on your big day. It is the promise that matters, not a dress, not a cake, and certainly not a ring. I had no intention of insulting you, so I’m sorry that you felt an attack. I was merely pointing out that so many people in our society get caught up in having THINGS that they forget what really matters. ReplyCancel

        • Claire - Also, phone typing sucks… Typo typo typo. Hopefully, you get the jist :) ReplyCancel

  • MommaStar - I think it's personal preference. I have a CZ and love it each and everyday. I probably would upgrade later down the road but for now it's perfect. My husband has a Platinum ring because for everything that he's put up with I think he rightfully deserves the real deal ;-) ReplyCancel

  • kim - "Although there is always the chance for regret, I am OK with my decision to get a cheap stand-in ring now." I disagree – there is no chance for regret because you can always switch rings – the beauty of your decision is that you can't lose! Some things are so ingrained in society that it's a fierce struggle to do the opposite; while you made your decision you've brought it up in a few posts so I detect a hint of worry. It's your wedding, do what you want. ReplyCancel

  • LittleMissMoneybags - Thanks for the link! A year and a half in, I have no regrets at all. The money that could have gone towards a "real" ring have been put towards a cross-country move, two cars, a house…basically, creating a life that we want, as opposed to weighing down my finger.

    Incidentally, I *do* wear both rings most of the time – when I wear them at all, that is. Turns out, I'm not a big jewelry person in general, and I usually only wear them to work. I always forget them on the weekend. Peanut doesn't wear his ring at all; he keeps it on his keychain. For those reasons, I'm extra glad that we saved the money – what a colossal waste if we had spent $$$ and then never wore them! ReplyCancel

  • wmwo - For myself personally, I wouldn't want to buy now and upgrade later. I'm a very, very sentimental person. I would want the ring I was married with to be the one I wore for the rest of my life. Whether that ring was platinum with diamonds, or silver with cubic zirconias, I wouldn't feel 100% okay with changing the ring at a later date. That's just me though. One thing I will say about upgrading your ring later is that you'll have a good stand in ring for travelling. ReplyCancel

  • Miss Jessie - I don't even have a wedding band. I got my ideal engagement ring. We spent about $1,500 on it, and that was enough for me. Part of the reason for not getting a band was financial, but the other part is somewhat OCD– I don't like nonsymmetrical things. I personally don't like the look of an engagement ring and then a wedding ring on one side. ReplyCancel

  • Happy_Homeowner - I think this is GREAT! Kudos to you for bucking the norm when it doesn't work for you. I personally would do the same thing, although I have to admit that I do like the idea of a nice engagement ring…haha…. ReplyCancel

  • jeff sustainlifeblog - This seems to be the trend for guys, but like most guys i'm going to get a durable metal (titanium or tungsten) ring. Probably get it from amazon, but i'm not totally sure yet – it's not worth it for me to get an expensive metal ReplyCancel

  • SavvyFinancialLatina - We actually had an interesting story to tell when it comes to getting our wedding bands. We had a budget of max of $1,000 for both. When my husband walked into the jewelry stores he immediately headed for the pricey bling, and I slowly walked towards the more conservative wedding bands. At first, he felt really bad for not being able to get me a pricey ring, but after going to a pawn shop and showing him he could indeed get me a pricey ring within our budget, he decided that my elegant, understated wedding band was okay. I got a $400 gold wedding band with 20 little diamonds around it. And my husband got a white gold wedding band for $500. I love my wedding band! Its the sentiment behind it not the price. ReplyCancel

  • Nick - I L.O.V.E. this! (I'm a bit of a jerk/joker… and explain that my wife's ring is fake whenever anyone says something like "nice bling." Unfortunately, it's not…)

    But that's awesome. Her rings are all very nice, white gold and real diamonds. Mine is a hand-me-down yellow gold band from my grandfather. And it's priceless.

    ReplyCancel

  • MyMoneyDesign - To each his own. If you are comfortable with this, than go ahead. I don’t mean to sound greedy, but to some degree my wife’s real wedding ring WAS considered a starter ring – we just knew that later on we would probably get something bigger. 10 years later (and more financially sound), we did! ReplyCancel

  • BlueCollarWorkman - well, let me offer you this thought — you barely even wear your engagement ring because you're not super into blingity bling and becuase you worry about ruining it. That tells me that you'll be the same way, even worse, with an expensive wedding band. So I say buy the CZ one you have your eye on (or what about just a metal band and no stone?) and don't even bother getting a more expensive one later. Why bother? The ring isn't super impt to you (which is great) and you'll only end up never wearing it becuase you'll worry! ReplyCancel

  • Invest It Wisely - Speaking of tungsten, one of the big controversies out there is about people getting ripped off with gold-plated tungsten… ;)

    I think your decision is very reasonable. A wedding should be special, but what makes it special is the union of two people coming together, and the diamond cartel doesn't necessarily have to get the biggest share of the party :) ReplyCancel

  • seenonflickr - My rings are CZ and were $50 for the set. Of course, my original engagement ring was plastic and cost $19.99 so I have already upgraded!!

    If I was going to spend big dollars, I’d go on a trip. I’d just be too worried with that much money on my finger. ReplyCancel

  • femmefrugality - I think it's awesome that you're doing it that way. I don't know if I could. If it's just the wedding band, though, and budget were an issue, I'd probably just have a gold or silver band anyways. So adding the CZ shouldn't really matter, I guess. I don't know. Kudos to you. I'd probably let my emotions get in the way more than I should. Why am I emotional about metal and rocks? ReplyCancel

  • serendipitysavings - I think it just depends on what you feel comfortable with. When Rambo first proposed he actually used my mom's wedding ring given to him from my aunt. But, it didn't feel right and didn't feel me. After many years ( and growing pains) later, he ended up buying me a $4,000 ring for $2,300. It is a vintage style and I sincerely love it and get so many compliments on it. When the big day comes, we'll probably go ahead and just buy a custom made band to fit it. We also probably won't be buying Rambo a wedding ring because he can't wear one properly due to his hands and it makes him uncomfortable.

    With that being said, it's personal finance and it's what works for you. You don't have to upgrade ever if you don't want to. :) ReplyCancel

  • Bobbi - My husband and I married when I was still in med school and we were both oh so broke. We got super cheap rings and didn't go on a honeymoon until a year after we got married. We still wear the same rings now 10 years later even though we can afford more expensive replacements. My husband is sentimental about his, even though he has told me to replace mine. I don't think I ever will because how much it costs really don't mean anything. It's all that we have been through together that really counts. I like to think we married for all the right reasons, without the distraction of haves and wants. ReplyCancel

  • seedebtrun - I don't even wear my wedding ring right now, because I have a 9-month-old who's nursing and even when she's not eating, she's practically attached to my hip. I'm afraid I'd scratch her accidentally with my high-sitting diamond. My husband picked out my ring before I even knew he wanted to marry me. I love that he picked out my ring without me, as I think it's romantic. He had no clue what I liked or what size to get me….and he did awful on the size! I'm a 6 and he bought a size 8! It was too big for my thumb and needed to be resized before I could even show it to people. :) ReplyCancel

  • AverageJoe - We bought WAY inexpensive rings (the number 2 meal at McDonalds probably costs more….). Mine broke within a year and Cheryl's a few years later. We did it to save money, thinking we'd get better ones later. Now that we have the money, guess what we've done? …spent that money on a trip to Paris, a trip to the west coast, a trip out east, Cheryl went to China, I went to a couple of conventions. At this point I'm not sure that we'll replace them. It'll sound trite, but we've got something stronger than metal. ReplyCancel

  • SWR - I've really enjoyed reading all of the comments on here!

    I am big on tradition, and wedding rings are a kind of tradition in my family. If/when I marry, I will wear a wedding band of my own and that of one of my grandmothers. My sister will wear my other grandmother's. My own band will also be gold or platinum so that it will survive to be passed down in my family.

    My engagement ring, on the other hand…I couldn't care less what it looks like or is made out of. I won't even be wearing it on my wedding day. ReplyCancel

  • Katie - I am not too sentimental about the actual wedding rings – just what they represent. My husband and I both went to the pawn shop to get our wedding bands. We ended up spending about fifty bucks a piece. In the future if we ever have the desire to get more expensive rings then that is always an option. But I am just fine with my cheapy wedding band. ReplyCancel

  • Frugal Fries - Kudos to you for doing your big day on a $7,000 budget. Mine is almost double that, we're constantly struggling too! Granted we have three times the size of your guest list (big Belgian family syndrome).

    I love the wedding bands–thankfully we're just going with plain gold, but those are proving to be expense in their own right. My engagement ring was a sapphire, so we saved big time on that cost though. Diamonds are so overpriced! ReplyCancel

  • @mealplanrescue - According to my husband, he knew he was going to marry me when I told him I didn't want a giant diamond. My engagement/wedding ring cost $400 and was my dream ring, a beautiful emerald cut aquamarine. His ring cost the same and is a black titanium ring with a tension set diamond. Shortly after we were married I realized my ring could easily get lost or damaged so I bought a titanium ring with a tension set aquamarine…for $35. I still wear it to this day. ReplyCancel

  • Carnival of Personal Finance 357: Hotel Room Edition - Start Talking Cents : Start Talking Cents - [...] Heeled Blog from Well Heeled Blog presents My Confession: Cheap Wedding Band, and says, “My fiance and I have budgeted $70 for our wedding bands… which means [...]ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I bought the cheapest 10k white gold band I could find which was less than $100. I though about getting a sterling silver band, but I'm worried about it tarnishing all the time. I don't think there's any need for me to have a fancy band right now. I'll probably upgrade down the road. My fiance was willing to splurge on my ring but given our life stage it didn't make sense to do that. ReplyCancel

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Strange and Beautiful Day Edition | The Simple Dollar - [...] My Confession: A Cheap Wedding Band A ring is just a physical object. It’s the people in the marriage and their relationship that really lasts. (@ well heeled) [...]ReplyCancel

  • Annie - I have a simple white gold band for every day wear and a nice diamond when I want sparkle (say, when we are out for dinner). Now that I am a mom, it is a lot of responsibility to worry about losing the diamond while I am struggling with a wiggling baby. Not to mention that I am terrify of getting poop on the diamond when I am changing my baby. I did not get the diamond until after we are married for a few years. My husband wanted me to get a diamond since he could not afford it when we got married. ReplyCancel

  • DontDebt - Hubby and I just got married seven months ago. He used a wedding band from his previous marriage (I can hear the gasps now, LOL) and he bought me a lovely set of rings at the local higher end pawn shop that also is a jewelry store. They do a ton of business other than secondhand and have tremendous prices. We shopped around while on vacation in Branson, Missouri last fall and then at several name brand jewelry stores locally. The pawn shop was about 1/3 of the price of the jewelry stores. I'm more than satisfied with it. It's not the ring that matters, it's the marriage relationship. ReplyCancel

  • Sheila C. - When we got married 22 years ago, my husband was just starting his own business. We could barely afford to put food on the table the first few years, much less an expensive wedding ring set. We got simple, matching gold eternity bands for $99 at Montgomery Ward before it went under. His business is very successful now and we pretty much can afford any upgraded set we could want. But when I look at his band today with the dents and dings from wearing it day in and day out and mine with the eternity circles almost completely worn off, I could never imagine trading "up". Our simple bands tell the story of where we came from, where we've been and yes, even where we move on from here. Best of luck to you and I wish you the simple happiness that comes with mindful living. ReplyCancel

  • France's - I've only been married for a month (though we've been together for years) and I have to say that I very much value my ring…which is yellow gold with Canadian diamonds. No conflict diamonds for me, thank you, but the fact that they are the real thing matters; I'd feel wrong symbolizing our relationship with something man-made, but that's just me. Also diamonds are fairly indestructable. But we paid attention to financial reality too by choosing 14k over18k or platinum, having several smaller diamonds instead of a solitaire, allowing my wedding band to stand alone, and by not bothering about the status of the jeweler where we bought it. We window-shopped at the posh places, but we found the look for less at the mall. There's lots of room between the "cheap" ring and going over the top. ReplyCancel

  • LC - My husband gave me a very valuable heirloom ring and we purchased plain bands to go with it. I never ended up wearing the diamond since it made me nervous and kept getting caught on things. Eventually, I accidentally lost the (cheap) band and replaced it with a $25 CZ ring similar to what is pictured here. Now I get some sparkle on my finger with no protruding rock and no worry about losing it. I couldn’t be happier with it. ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - My husband did propose to me with a "real" ring (platinum with diamonds that had been in the family), but for our wedding bands, we decided to go for something both cheaper and more sentimental. We bought a $20 1-foot long round bar of stainless steel (grade 316 was what I decided on after much research). Friends helped us get it set up on a metal lathe, and we each made our own wedding band. Platinum is a very tough metal, but dents and dings pretty easily, so we didn't want to have bands, especially his, made of that. We both prefer the look of silver-colored metals over gold, and we didn't want rings that we felt we needed to take off when doing dirty work or tough jobs, or stuff like that. The stainless steel, to us, symbolizes the fact that our marriage should be made to weather all kinds of tough situations, just like our wedding bands. ReplyCancel

  • oceangrl22 - My hubs and I both have titanium rings we purchased off Amazon which we wear when we travel, teach scuba, ski, hike, etc etc. They were $15 off Amazon and honestly I'm just as attached to these rings because of all of the crazy adventures we've had while wearing them :)

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  • The Laundry Lady - We went with inexpensive plain gold wedding bands and an engagement ring we could afford (about $500 if I recall correctly). I got flack for it from friends who claimed you couldn't get a "decent" ring for under $1,000. Sadly, those same friends were still paying off their several thousand dollar engagement ring while going through divorce proceedings a few years later. The promise is what matters, not what kind of ring you use to symbolize it. That being said, I am very sentimental and would likely be devastated if I lost either of my rings, regardless of their inexpensive to replace status. Maybe I'll get a diamond wedding band to wear when I'm dressed up as a 10th anniversary present, if we have the money. But even that will likely be on the inexpensive side to blend with my existing engagement ring. ReplyCancel

  • 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.
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  • 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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