Your wedding bands are perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of jewelry you will ever buy, wear own. Naturally, you will have many questions about the process; including whom usually pays and who is supposed to buy them? In preparation for my own upcoming marriage, I spent some time researching both tradition and etiquette to find out exactly who should be responsible for what.
So, who pays for the wedding bands? It is tradition for the bride and groom to buy each others wedding bands. Although, if you have one singular and joint bank account, the expense will likely be shared. Equally, some couples decide to use some of their wedding fund to make the purchase – this could be from leftover budget or by adding to it. It has also been known for other couples to purchase their own rings.
While there are traditions around the purchase of the wedding bands; these are definitely not ‘rules’ to follow. It will depend on your own circumstances, individual factors, preferences and of course, your personal finances.
What matters most is that you communicate openly with your partner and are both fully aware of what’s involved. Besides, your finances will likely be a significant aspect of your life and communication is of course imperative to a happy marriage.
Let us now take a closer look at some of those other questions you will likely have; such as whom is supposed to buy the wedding bands, whether you should pick them together and how much you should be looking to spend.
Who Is Supposed To Buy The Wedding Bands?
Tradition states that the bride should purchase the grooms wedding band, along with providing a small gift. Equally, it has been the expectation that the groom purchases the brides wedding band in return.
That being said, whether or not you follow this tradition is a decision that you will personally have to make.
It all depends on the context.
And this is why not all couples continue to follow it.
This is why you sometimes hear that the man exclusively purchases the wedding bands, or that a bride has taken on the full cost.
Ultimately the decision is all yours.
But if you are not sure about what to do, consider the following factors and how this could influence your decision.
Consider the cost of either band. If you are purchasing matching wedding bands then they will likely be a similar price.
Nonetheless, you want to think about who can realistically can afford to take on the cost.
Equally, you may want to consider the price paid for the engagement ring and how this affects your finances.
Do you share a bank account or live through shared finances? This is an important aspect to consider because it may well mean that splitting the cost just make sense.
How much do both of you earn? It may make sense that the higher earner pays for the wedding bands in their entirety, or a higher percentage of the total cost.
If one of you is not working for example, then it may cause some tension if you suddenly expect your partner to find the monies.
Who Is Paying For Other Elements Of The Wedding?
Its a good idea to think about who is covering the rest of the wedding expenses.
It makes sense that the individual not paying for them could more realistically afford the wedding bands, or would like to do so as a means of contributing.
Whatever you decide to do, it should make sense and be from a position of open communication and excitement, rather than the potential and cause for conflict and resentment.
Are You Supposed To Pick Out Wedding Bands Together?
Whether or not you pick out your wedding bands together is another decision you will need to make.
Some couples decide against the idea; keeping it a surprise until the special day.
In this way, there is an element of excitement at the wedding ceremony when the ring is seen and worn for the first time.
This is also the somewhat traditional approach.
However in recent times, it has become more and more common for couples to go and choose their wedding bands together.
Again, there are positives to this approach too.
For one it ensures that both individuals are happy with the band and how it looks, its generally a lovely experience to make this purchase together and you may even be able to get your bands custom designed together.
When it comes the decision as to whether you pick out your bands together, do what feels naturally right for you as a couple.
Just be sure to prepare and plan long in advance to ensure that everyone’s expectations are set and there is a process in place to actually get them!
How Much Should You Spend On Your Wedding Bands?
How much you spend on your wedding bands depends on your band preferences, budget and also whom will be taking on the cost.
That being said, a good general rule of thumb that couples typically follow, is to spend 3-5% of their wedding budget on their wedding bands.
For example, if your wedding is to cost $30,000, you should be looking to spend between $900-$1500 for both of your bands.
Of course, the decision is up to you and you can spend more if you like.
You may even take to a certain bands and may want to stretch your budget accordingly.
One of the benefits with a wedding and having a budget, is that you can adjust it accordingly. So, if you wanted to spend more on the rings you could spend less on the flowers, or vice versa.
How Much Do Wedding Bands Typically Cost?
The average wedding band costs between $200-$2500. Although the overall cost will depend on the metal used, the design, the jeweler and where you buy the bands.
Taking these prices into account, one 2019 study found the average that people paid for a male wedding band was $510, and $1,100 for the female band.
As you can see by the difference in price, the average couple were not purchasing matching rings.
Instead, the same study found that white gold was the most popular band material for women, whereas tungsten came out as the most popular for men.
So, when it comes to your wedding bands, consider that they will typically cost less than the price paid for the engagement ring. Although how much you want to spend is totally up to you – these are just averages.
It could be much more; it depends on your own finances and preferences.
Who pays for your wedding bands is a decision that you will need to make, as a couple.
We cannot stress the important of open communication here.
At the end of the day, you have options; either sticking with the tradition or taking a more modern day approach.
Either way, what is important is that you both get the right bands to signify and express your love and commitment to one another.