Going Dutch On The Engagement Ring — Would You Do It?

Jen Huang Photography Jen Huang Photography

Forget about the three-month salary rule or the secret savings account. They don’t apply to the growing number of couples who say they’re opting to split the cost of the engagement ring.

On the one hand, it’s tradition. Then again, if you plan to mix finances anyway, it’s a cost that the two of you will technically be affected by down the line. The conversation heated up on Facebook with a mix of (passionate!) responses.

In Favor…

“My fiance and I lived together before we were engaged and discussed getting engaged, shopped for a ring together and although he took the credit out in his name, we paid the payments from our joint account (OUR ONLY ACCOUNT) so I guess we went dutch on it? If you’re getting married then it doesn’t matter who pays for what. It’s all coming from the same pot in the long run…” — Kelly

“I put money down on my ring. My fiance and I have been together over 7 years now. We work together for what we want and need. We are a team.” — Jessica

“My fiancé and I had a joint bank account before the ring came. Never once have I thought that since the cost was spent, the ring wasn’t special. It’s not about the ring or where it came from. It’s about the promise of a lifetime of love that comes with it.” — Breanna

Not In Favor…

“NO! It should be something he chooses from his heart for you…even if it’s a small ring, it should be the thought that counts.” — Priscilla

“Splitting cost of engagement ring? No. Splitting cost of wedding bands, wedding, everything else for the rest of your lives? Yes.” — Thuy-Tien

“I may be old fashioned but the ring should be a surprise. Too much is changing in this world don’t take away the element of surprise. When my hubby popped the question I had never even discussed rings with him. He had been talking to my mom and she told him what I liked. It was a moment I will never forget.” – Julie

What we do know (according to our 2013 Engagement and Jewelry Study, which surveyed 14,000 brides) is this….

Most women aren’t completely in the dark when it comes to their engagement ring. The majority of brides (64%) are involved in some way in picking their rings, and 27% helped shop for the ring or were even there at the time of purchase. When it comes to budget, brides also have a say, 32% of brides discussed the engagement ring budget or helped decide on the budget with their groom.

What do you think? Take the poll and discuss below!

Want more? Right here!

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  • Lou
    09/28/13 at 09:16

    Really…this sharing the cost of an engagement ring is not new. We did it 21 years ago, one of my family diamonds in my ring and he paid for having the ring designed and made along with add’l diamonds. I supplied the diamonds for his wedding ring and paid for that as well.

  • Richele
    09/30/13 at 12:24

    A lot of the negative responses seem to assume that because the cost is shared the ring can’t be a surprise, but that is not the case. My fiance and I have two joint accounts: checking and savings. My fiance chose the ring and paid the first deposit before we opened our joint account, but monthly payments for my ring continue to come out of the account we now share. You CAN have it both ways.

  • EKP
    09/30/13 at 01:12

    Whatever floats your goat. My fiance paid for mine all on his own, although I did tell him what I wanted. I would say though, that if your intended has a budget and you would like something that costs more, it is only fair that you pay for the difference.

  • megan
    09/30/13 at 01:20

    My fiance set a budget for me and I picked out EXACTLY what I wanted. He paid for all of it, but I came in under the budget that he set. We do not share accounts right now, but do share costs of living since we live together. My rings are a gift from him to me, and I will purchase his wedding band so that it is a gift from me to him.

  • kat
    09/30/13 at 01:30

    I see no problem in splitting the cost. I’m very particular about what I like and my fiance would have had a very hard time trying to shop for a ring (he hates shopping to begin with and has social anxiety issues). We had been talking about getting married and I told him that my mom had already told me that I could have the diamond my dad gave her when they got engaged 48 years ago so that was a relief for him. The night he proposed, it was completely spontaneous (as in, he didn’t even know he was going to propose until it happened) so there was no ring that night. The following weekend, we met up with my mom and her jeweler and picked out a setting and I designed my own custom ring (channel set diamonds in the band with amethyst side stones) and to me, it’s extra-special because it has my mom’s diamond with something that reflects my own personality and taste. I also helped pay for it; he paid more than I did but I helped. We are a team and work together to accomplish things so I don’t see a problem with applying that to the engagement ring.

  • Alex
    09/30/13 at 02:19

    I definitely paid for half and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    We lived together for 3 years before getting engaged and it was something we discussed together as mature adults before deciding on what to do. We picked out a cruetly-free diamond ring made by a local artist, things he never would have thought of doing alone.

    I’m the breadwinner and I’m half of the team…the idea that a woman has to wait for a man to pick one out and pop the question is heteronormative and old fashioned!!

  • Nicole
    10/02/13 at 01:26

    Hello Alex:
    I’m a journalist in NYC doing a story on local couples who split the cost of the engagement ring. Do you live in New York or New Jersey? If so, I’d love to hear your story. I’m available by email at npesce@nydailynews.com or (212) 210-1667. Thank you, and belated congratulations.

  • Kristina
    09/30/13 at 04:45

    Before I got engaged, I thought yes, the groom absolutely must pay for it, 100%. Now that I have this amazingly beautiful ring I wear every day, honestly I feel a little guilty that he paid for the whole thing.

    (I know exactly how much he spent on it because I took out an insurance policy for it in my name…yikes!)

    We are paying for the wedding ourselves, and I feel like I should be paying for more of it, but he insists we split it down the middle.

  • Rebecca
    09/30/13 at 07:24

    I’ve always felt a bit sorry that men have to spend so much money. At the time we got engaged my fiancé really wanted a new no expense spared computer, so I insisted on paying for that as he wouldn’t let me pay half to the ring.
    It cost around 2/3 of the price of my ring so I don’t feel guilty now and it was nice to know he also got something that was special to him from me

  • kirstin
    10/01/13 at 05:48

    no one knows my taste, so my man would have no way of knowing what i would like in an engagement ring. i don’t have a problem with going dutch if that’s the only way we could afford what i want.

  • chellie
    10/13/13 at 01:43

    My fiance and I found the ring at a pawn shop it called out to me and when I tried it on it was a perfect fit I knew emediately it was the one! The ring was on sale for 60 % off but only through sunday. That posed a huge problem as my fiance did not get paid till Monday. We found out how much it would cost to put it on layaway and I gave the money to my fiance and sent him back for it. He wanted it to be a surprise but I wasnt about to loose that ring lol. We share the responsibility with all our other bills and obligations and the money for my ring came from the same place so theres no difference. I love my ring and I love my fiance!

  • Alisa
    03/01/14 at 02:05

    I’ve gotten some amazing jewelry at pawn shops. They are a terrific, untapped resource.

  • Heather B.
    11/06/13 at 08:53

    I think it’s the couple’s choice. I thought it was a terrible thing to ever think about and now we are considering it now. I picked out my ring that he will order, still surprise me with [because he wants to still do things that way :) ] but I just wanted to have say in what my ring was going to look like. We will be splitting the cost of it and I’m okay with. We live together, we’ve been together for 5 years, and we are both ready to move to the next level.

  • Alisa
    03/01/14 at 02:03

    I had an amazing opportunity to purchase a beautiful 1 carat diamond at a drastically reduced price long before I met my husband. I hid it away in a safe deposit box until we started to talk about marriage. Then I gave it to my then boyfriend with good direction on how I wanted it to be set, and he pulled off exactly what I wanted and was able to propose on his terms. That was 17 years ago, and I still look at my ring everyday and smile.

  • 05/07/14 at 11:29

    Great post! Been reading a lot about buying a diamond ring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here!

  • kathryn
    10/28/14 at 04:05

    My fiancé and I already had a beautiful citrine ring picked out almost since the beginning of our relationship. Fast forward three years the ring is no longer available and we were forced to find something different. We ended up with a beautiful gold ethically sourced diamond ring. My fiancé was planning on financing the ring with the company but I thought I should pay for it. We live together and he pays 90% of the bills. I’m finally about to graduate college after a long journey that he has fully supported me in. I work a part time job where I make really good money so we decided I would just pay for the ring in full. Many people see this as taboo but for the man who keeps a roof over my head and asks for nothing in return it couldn’t have been a more perfect decision.

  • Lan
    01/18/15 at 11:02

    I helped my fiance pick out my wedding ring set, but he paid for it all willingly and without being asked. However, I think that splitting costs is a good idea, and I wish I had thought about it then. If two people are getting married, they love and care about each other enough to worry about each other’s finances before or after the wedding. We shared all the other costs of the wedding, and I gave him a diamond wedding band to complement mine. I didn’t feel I had to, I just wanted to because I love him.

  • 01/18/15 at 06:21

    We did a combination. I designed my ring, we paid for it, and his mother gave us the diamond from his grandmother’s engagement ring. This made our ring so special because it was a labor of love through and through.

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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