Engagement Ring Traditions: Adopt or Avoid?
As you watch other couples go through the motions, you can think about which wedding traditions to embrace and which ones to avoid. With so many things for you and your honey to discuss, we listed engagement ring traditions here to help you get started!
Traditional approach to purchasing the engagement ring
Is your soul mate ready to purchase your engagement ring and pop the question? Maybe he's asked you to help and you've been shopping around. Or he's gathered clues so he can choose one by himself!
No matter the approach, there are traditions for picking out your engagement ring and standards on how much to spend.
What to spend on a traditional engagement ring
There's an old benchmark set for determining what a hopeful groom should spend on an engagement ring. According to this tradition, the cost should equal 2-3 months salary. Some men follow this rule exactly while others give priority to the bride's style and taste, with consideration given to what is affordable. There's a convenient number crunching tool online to help you determine what to spend on a traditional engagement ring.
The average cost of an engagement ring in New Jersey is $8,427. In the state of New York, willing grooms spend around $7,789. In Pennsylvania, most engagement ring purchases are around $5,726.
Non-traditional couples can start an engagement ring fund together, if they both work. Since a traditional groom won't receive a ring until the wedding ceremony (despite attempts to establish a men's engagement ring tradition) the couple may join forces to purchase an extravagant engagement ring.
Price-conscious couples set a budget based on household costs and income, especially if they are already living together. There is a wide range of metals and gemstones. Know what you can afford and shop for the rings in your price range.
Engagement ring traditions for picking out the right one
Does he know your style well enough to pick out the ring? Does he know your size?
If he wants the ring to be a surprise as with most traditional proposals, he may ask your mom or best friend for a second opinion. If you suspect he's been engagement ring shopping, send some ideas to your mom and your bestie, so you're on the same page!
If you're part of a traditional family, you might use an heirloom for your engagement ring. Some tight-knit families hand down treasured pieces from past generations. You'll need to have it resized and polished and might even be able to customize the design.
Don't worry, though. If you're not comfortable wearing your mother-in-law's ring (or one from your side of the family) make sure that your man understands that. There is nothing wrong with breaking tradition and getting the engagement ring that just feels right.
Presenting an engagement ring to a traditional bride
Traditionally, men put a lot of thought and effort into the proposal. He'll want the right setting and he'll want to give a heartfelt speech that will sweep you right off your feet!
Proposal traditions and receiving your engagement ring
These fellows go to great lengths to keep engagement rings in a safe and secret place.
We're all familiar with the classic format: he will take your hand and say that he wants to honor and cherish you for the rest of his life, and he'll ask you to be his bride. If you say yes, the engagement ring will be slipped onto the fourth finger of your left hand.
Most times, the man will kneel down on a knee and will do all of the talking. This tradition is modified from time to time, but this is still the standard way to propose.
Engagement ring photo shoot and announcement traditions
A current tradition for newly engaged couples is to make it official with a photo shoot. These photos can be used to formally make the announcement! You'll probably want to share the exciting news with your closest friends and family first, and later use images from your photo shoot to spread the word on social media.
Engagement photo shoots are fun! It's a great opportunity to show off your gorgeous engagement ring and to get some professional shots of you as a couple. This is a fairly new tradition that has quickly become the norm.
What to do with your engagement ring during a traditional ceremony
Move the engagement ring to your other hand
Traditional brides will position the wedding band below the engagement ring, for the sake of convenience. Your engagement ring may need to be removed at times whereas your wedding band will usually stay put. The tradition is to move the engagement ring to the right hand before the wedding ceremony. This makes it easier for the groom to put a wedding band on the bride's finger when they exchange vows.
Following this tradition, move your engagement ring to your right hand directly before the ceremony, and move it back to your left hand once your wedding band is on your proper ring finger.
Will you do or ditch these engagement ring traditions?
It's up to you whether to do or ditch these engagement ring traditions.
Go with classic and traditional or stick to personalized and unconventional, or try a hybrid of both. Every detail from your engagement ring to your honeymoon location should be a reflection of your style and personality as a couple.
The opinions of you and your honey are the only ones that matter when it comes to your engagement and wedding. Make plans as a couple, and either give each tradition a thumbs up or give it the finger!