When my husband and I were making wedding plans six years ago, we were blown away by how much everything cost. We live in New York City, where wedding venues charge anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. Even having a wedding in a park -- which we ultimately vetoed because of all the work -- proved to be a pain in the butt after we considered the cost of food, invitations, tables, chairs, and everything else. So when it came time to thinking about our wedding rings, we didn't. My husband had gifted me with an unbelievably gorgeous diamond engagement ring, and I approached the wedding band like some do their bridal undergarments. It was the last thing on my mind. I had a very whatever attitude about the whole thing.
Big, huge mistake. The ring my husband placed on my finger, while saying the vows that meant a bazillion times more to me, now causes my finger to flare up and rash whenever I wear it. And this fact upsets me more than I ever imagined it would.
As the holidays approach, I'd be lying if I didn't admit I've thought about telling my husband that I'd like to replace my contaminated wedding band with something else. Not something super expensive -- just something that won't cause my finger to fall off after prolonged exposure to it. I'm not asking him to buy it for me -- I'm happy to take whatever extra money I've made independent of him. But the thing is, when you're married, it doesn't feel right to spend that kind of money on yourself unless you both approve of it. And certainly not on something as sacred as your wedding band.
There's this voice in my head that sounds like this: What kind of woman buys a new wedding ring years after the wedding? Vows weren't whispered over the new ring. It didn't exist practically as part of my anatomy for six years. It will hold absolutely no significance. The only women who do things like this are ... yikes, Kardashian women. Not the actual Kardashians, mind you, who would have had the sense to shell out a little more money on the ring and a little less on the flowers and the DJ while planning their wedding.
But I don't want to live the rest of my married days, which I hope means the rest of my life, wearing my engagement ring on my finger and my wedding band on a chain around my neck. It feels odd, like I'm sending a message that I haven't made that marital commitment yet.
I know, it's just a materialistic symbol. It's a shallow thought.
But when I recently read that the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,431 in America, I couldn't help but want to shout out loud to any woman currently planning her wedding that she should also consider spending a good amount on a sturdy wedding band that will last a lifetime.
Replace your fancy paper invitations with plain white ones. Get daisies and carnations instead of peonies. Whatever it takes -- your ring will prove far more important to you in 10 years than your flower arrangement did the day after your wedding.
Did you spend a lot of money on your wedding band?
Image via Yovany Alas/Flickr