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Old 09-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #61
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How many married folk here did not buy (or receive) a diamond engagement ring? I bet not many.
Not me. My wife-to-be wanted to use the wedding ring she had inherited from her grandmother. I think it did have a small diamond. The subject of an engagement ring never even came up.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #62
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We haven't even touched upon the way that diamonds have been very successfully marketed as the only acceptable stone for an engagement ring. Not only that, but we have even been told how much we should be spending by the "Is two months salary too much to spend on something that will last forever" campaign.

Many people have fallen for this successful ad campaign and believe that spending a lot of money is the only proper way to show love for their spouse.

How many married folk here did not buy (or receive) a diamond engagement ring? I bet not many.
I received a diamond engagement ring, but it was a small diamond. My daughter and son-in-law, married in March, only purchased matching black bands....no diamond involved. My daughter just isn't into jewelry at all, plus they made the decision that diamonds/gold were just too expensive. Pretty proud of my daughter.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:48 PM   #63
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At times I felt a little envious of those wearing nicer rings, but eventually we decided that the expense of the rings and the length of the marriage had an inverse relationship among our friends.
Plus I imagine there was a sentimental value to wearing your grandmother's ring that can't be replicated with a newer ring that hasn't been in the family before.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:00 PM   #64
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I'm positive neither of my grandmothers had engagement rings, diamond or otherwise. You guys are so lucky to have been able to receive those rings!

The cost of weddings is just like the cost of college--you're in the market only once per kid and you deal with the price if you choose to buy the product, but once you're done, you really don't care that the prices might be ridiculous because you're no longer directly affected by it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:15 PM   #65
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:46 PM   #66
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I inherited and wore my grandmother's diamond engagement ring.
That is a great way to show an engagement.

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The cost of weddings is just like the cost of college--you're in the market only once per kid and you deal with the price if you choose to buy the product, but once you're done, you really don't care that the prices might be ridiculous because you're no longer directly affected by it.
When it comes to those two things – college and weddings, I have to admit mixed feelings much like when passing an accident on the side of the highway. Hoping nobody got hurt, but still slowing down to see the details, and wondering if the accident was inadvertent, reckless or just bad luck. Regardless, there is a sense of accomplishment and survival for those of us that have been through all that.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:57 PM   #67
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Weddings and receptions can be done without spending a lot, but they can also cost as much as a house. This industry specializes in selling dreams and upselling like no other and is ruthless in both creating and exploiting family tensions. Anyone planning on sponsoring nuptials and related celebration must be focused and equally ruthless or just give in, shrug the shoulders, think wtf and make sure the bank accounts are well stocked. There is no middle ground here.
I am the guy who started this thread and I have enjoyed very much the variety of responses. I chose MichaelB's latest response because he put into a few words what most have said.....know the full landscape, use your head and your heart, listen to all truly involved, make the call, then "shrug your shoulders" shut up and enjoy the day.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #68
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We haven't even touched upon the way that diamonds have been very successfully marketed as the only acceptable stone for an engagement ring. Not only that, but we have even been told how much we should be spending by the "Is two months salary too much to spend on something that will last forever" campaign.

Many people have fallen for this successful ad campaign and believe that spending a lot of money is the only proper way to show love for their spouse.

How many married folk here did not buy (or receive) a diamond engagement ring? I bet not many.
I quite emphatically told dh2B not to buy me an engagement ring. Back in the '70's we were both NYC college students, and I felt it was an unnecessary expense under the circumstances. Fiance did have some part-time income, and it turned out that the father of one of his classmates was a diamond dealer. Classmate offered to get a diamond for him wholesale and also knew a custom jeweler who designed a stunning antique-inspired ring that I still find quite breathtaking when I admire it on my finger.
I will gladly pass this heirloom along to my son one day...if he ever gets married. I love inherited vintage engagement rings.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:03 PM   #69
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I find the whole wedding business baffling. In your early 20's there are many things that you need - a good education, a dependable car, a house or a good start on a down payment, a professional wardrobe, healthcare - maybe child care, if you have children. But a $20K or $30K party? The whole thing strikes me as nutz.
+1

When DW and I were married over 43 years ago, the attendees were the preacher, her parents, my parents, her sister, my brother and his wife. The church and preacher did not charge for weddings for members. We had great music because no one had told the pipe organ serviceman that there was a wedding in progress when he showed up to service the pipe organ. He knew all of those wedding songs.

We were married on a Friday evening after I got off from work. My boss at Megacorp let me off the following Monday and Tuesday with pay because I was not yet entitled to any vacation. So, we had a four day honeymoon, then back to work on Wednesday.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:53 PM   #70
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+1

When DW and I were married over 43 years ago, the attendees were the preacher, her parents, my parents, her sister, my brother and his wife. The church and preacher did not charge for weddings for members. We had great music because no one had told the pipe organ serviceman that there was a wedding in progress when he showed up to service the pipe organ. He knew all of those wedding songs.

We were married on a Friday evening after I got off from work. My boss at Megacorp let me off the following Monday and Tuesday with pay because I was not yet entitled to any vacation. So, we had a four day honeymoon, then back to work on Wednesday.
Actually that sounds pretty elaborate JakeBrake.......

We were 22 yrs old. DW took no time off work and I took a half day Friday. The wedding was at DW's church on a Sat morning. We were both back at work Monday morning.

There were five guests (a life long buddy of mine and his wife, my college roommate and 2 of DW's girlfriends) plus the minister, DW and me.

We bought lunch for the 5 guests at the OHare Marriott where DW and I spent Sat night. (Yep, that was the entire reception and honeymoon.) Sunday we moved DW from the apartment she was sharing in Evanston to my apartment on the NW side of Chicago.

That was that.

41 yrs and counting.

Edit: Oh yeah...... we gladly kicked in half the cost of a nice wedding and reception for son and DIL. They and DIL's mother came up with the rest.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:49 AM   #71
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How many married folk here did not buy (or receive) a diamond engagement ring? I bet not many.
DH's grandmother gave him her engagement ring for me. He was her oldest grandson. The ring is from 1925 and I love it. She was the 2nd wife (first wife had died) and she had the diamond from the first wife put into a new setting. She offered me both settings and I kept the diamond in the setting from her marriage and returned the other one to her. She kept her wedding band so we bought one, very thin with flat sides so that it nested properly next to the engagement ring.

A while ago a jeweler told me that the stone is loose and that the ring needs new prongs so I have not been wearing the engagement ring, just my tiny wedding band. I miss wearing the engagement ring, I need to find a jeweler that I trust to have it re-pronged.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #72
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As someone delving into my parent's wedding day photos (hosting their 50th wedding anniversary party tomorrow night), I see that their wedding was a small, family affair that was a far cry from my own rather rowdy (but still inexpensive) 300 person party 18 years ago.

Here is a great shot that I'm using in a slideshow for the party. It is actually from their high school prom, but that dress is just so fabulous!
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:59 PM   #73
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I don't think scary topics like this should be allowed.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:13 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
We haven't even touched upon the way that diamonds have been very successfully marketed as the only acceptable stone for an engagement ring. Not only that, but we have even been told how much we should be spending by the "Is two months salary too much to spend on something that will last forever" campaign.

Many people have fallen for this successful ad campaign and believe that spending a lot of money is the only proper way to show love for their spouse.

How many married folk here did not buy (or receive) a diamond engagement ring? I bet not many.
Heeheeeeheeee

My engagement ring (from late husband) was a beautiful star sapphire mounted on a simple sterling silver ring. I specifically told him I did NOT want a diamond (so typical yawn), and DID want a star sapphire. Diamonds can be faked, but a star sapphire is tough to fake, at least in 1980 before synthetic gemstone technology progressed. All of the jewelry he bought me over the years is made from natural gemstones. I still wear the star sapphire ring on my right hand.

The ring Mr B gave me last year is a blue topaz, with tiny diamond chips in the gold ring setting. He saw it in a used jewelry store while we were waiting for them to weigh up some miscellaneous silver his father had squirreled away over the years. It was a perfect fit for my finger.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:41 AM   #75
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How many married folk here did not buy (or receive) a diamond engagement ring? I bet not many.
Me.. I got married in my mid-30s (this was about 20 years ago) and wanted an interesting ring. The ring was amethyst with a couple of 1 carat diamond accents. At the time it cost about $9000 which seemed like a fortune. DH to be and I shared the cost of it.

I never got the idea of having big expensive weddings and always thought it was just foolish to pay the going rate. We decided to get married in Las Vegas. It really wasn't an elopement. We told our families but didn't invite anyone. I didn't really expect my parents to pay for anything, even though it was my first weeding. They gave us $5000 which we could spend how we wanted. We spent some of it on the wedding and honeymoon in Las Vegas and the rest basically went for my share of the ring.


For my kids I'm sure we would contribute something, probably in the $5k to $10k range.
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:58 AM   #76
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Diamonds for engagement/wedding rings are not (yet) popular in Germany.
Usually we have wedding bands only.
Recently it is becoming more and more popular for couples to design and make their own band rings at a jeweler.

But we are catching up, I fear. From all the US wedding movies younger people are picking up
- the habit of handing over the lady from father to husband at the altar, (we use to walk into church together)
- the bridal shower or lunch,
- the bachelor party and / or hen night
(instead of these we have a low key evening party one or 2 days before the wedding for family and friends and close colleagues, as the after wedding party is often quite small.)
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:44 AM   #77
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my wife and I got married 40 yrs. ago and we had the ceremony in the church, invited friends and family back to our home for food and drink. spent probably less than 500 dollars(1972 dollars). If I had it to do again I would do the same thing. we had no in-laws living to contribute, so no problem there. I always believed that if your friends and family wanted to celebrate something important with you, the cost should not be the main focus.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:47 AM   #78
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We haven't even touched upon the way that diamonds have been very successfully marketed as the only acceptable stone for an engagement ring. Not only that, but we have even been told how much we should be spending by the "Is two months salary too much to spend on something that will last forever" campaign.

Many people have fallen for this successful ad campaign and believe that spending a lot of money is the only proper way to show love for their spouse.

How many married folk here did not buy (or receive) a diamond engagement ring? I bet not many.
My ex requested and received a sapphire stone (surrounded by a couple smaller diamonds).
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:36 PM   #79
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Not only did I not get an diamond engagement ring, I didn't want an engagement ring or wedding ring of any type. Not interested in jewellery and I have to say 18 years I've not had a moment of regret about not having one.
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:53 PM   #80
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I have a $200 (in 1972) sapphire engagement ring and our wedding on a Thursday evening at the parson's home and the dinner for 10 that followed in a restaurant was much less than the cost of the ring. On the other hand, I must admit DD has a gorgeous rock and we threw out the budget for her wedding without a whit of regret; five years later people are still talking about it as the best wedding they were ever invited to, and DH and I also thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
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