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Engagement Ring Etiquette: Who Pays In 2023?

Engagement Ring Etiquette: Who Pays In 2023?

The search for the perfect engagement ring in 2023 is a completely, monumentally different experience than in pre-1990’s. Up to that point in time, generally the guy picked the engagement ring and the guy bought the ring. Enter the 2020’s and today, most couples go engagement ring shopping together. Why? What’s changed?


It’s a family purchase

In 2023, with the majority of couples cohabitating prior to marriage, this large expenditure can fall into the family purchase category. Typically both in the couple work and contribute to the home and both definitely want to be part of the purchase of a diamond engagement ring. How do they shop? Consider two common scenarios we see:

She comes in to search for her perfect ring with girlfriends

At Perrara, we love when two or three best girlfriends come into support the bride-to-be while she shops copious amounts of ring styles. This visit is all about exploring personal preference as she is not making a final decision and purchasing anything. This is the time for her to explore various precious metal colors- will she ultimately choose white gold, yellow gold or rose gold? This is the time to explore various diamond shapes. She will also get an idea of what carat size diamond she loves. Or for the bespoke bride, what gemstone she may want instead of a traditional diamond (think sapphires or rubies). All of these likes are carefully recorded by her trusted advisor at Perrara so that she can bring her significant other in and gently give some direction on what she loves. Then they can narrow it down to her perfect ring together.

They come in as a couple

Many couples choose to start the journey together and keep it exclusive to themselves. Here again this is a great experience. The couple can have open communication about what each other likes in wedding rings and can explore the above options as partners. In our experience, the ladies are all about choosing the perfect ring style while the gentlemen are all about the intricacies of choosing a diamond. Is a natural mined or lab grown diamond the perfect choice? What diamond carat weight looks amazing but also suits their price point? As this is a purchase with effects lasting the rest of your life, you’ll be glad you have your future spouse by your side for the entire process.


What is the average cost of an engagement ring in 2023?

American website, The Knot, recently published this report regarding the national average in the USA of an engagement ring:

The 2023 jewelry and engagement study on the knot shows that the average price of a ring is $5,900. This is a country average as price varies by region.

For us in Canada, this translates to an approximate spend of $8000. While we see all price points, there is many whose wedding budget allows for $3000-5000 and many who’s personal preferences lean into $10000 and up. While the average amount can vary from region to region, the bottom line is this is just a number. What you choose to spend will be determined by your financial situation.


What should I spend on an engagement ring?

One of the most infamous wedding etiquette rules revolves around the engagement ring. It's known as the "three months' salary" rule, and it implies a guideline that a person should put three months of their salary toward a diamond engagement ring for their future spouse. At Perrara, we say throw the three months’ salary rule out the window and focus instead on what is reasonable for you as a person and as a couple. With so many options in ring styles and carat diamond options, give your attention more to getting her an heirloom, dream engagement ring that she will treasure for a lifetime, while making sure the jeweler is respectful of your engagement ring budget. It can be done! Our rule of thumb: the most important thing is not the budget, it’s creating a personalized ring for your significant other.


Is an engagement ring part of the wedding budget?

It certainly is! As you start to plan your big day, what elements are most important to you, as a couple? For us, it was the engagement ring and wedding bands because we knew those were the heirloom pieces we were going to have for the rest of our lives. After the wedding, the cake would be eaten, the flowers would wilt and the wine would be gone, but our wedding rings would last forever (FYI, my husband and I just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary!) If your diamond engagement ring and wedding rings are a really important feature to you, simply budget it into the overall wedding budget. Perhaps you forgo something that is lesser in importance to you in wedding planning, but in reality it’s great because you get what is important to you!


How do I choose an engagement ring?

We have written several extensive blogs to help, here’s some of my favorites:


Who pays for the engagement ring?

While most couples shop together, overall we see that the future groom buys the engagement ring. The ring style, metal color, diamond shape and cut diamond is determined together but in general, he wants to complete the transaction on his own, without his bride-to-be be involved in the diamond sale.


In Summary:

The bottom line is this: in 2023 there are no rules for purchasing an engagement ring. As unique as you are, so should be your purchase. Set a reasonable and somewhat flexible budget for your dream ring, have open communication if this is a family purchase and most of all, have fun while engagement ring shopping. The end result is a piece of jewelry that will last the rest of your life...make it a good one!

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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