Diamond Rings & Other Expensive Things - America's Obsession


As more and more of my friends are getting engaged and married, rings and weddings have become a constant in my life. As of April 2015, the average cost of a wedding in the United States rose to $32,641. Yo, THIRTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. THIRTY TWO THOUSAND? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??? And that's just the average across the country. You know what the average is in a city like New York? $82,299. EIGHTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. 😫

Diamond Rings & Other Expensive Things - America's Obsession

That's a lotta money fam. But where did this come from? And why is there such an obsession to spend so much money on this one weekend?

Traditionally, weddings have always been huge celebrations in many countries. It used to be used as a political tool in uniting powerful families, forming alliances, what have you. But in recent times of course, marriage is no longer that, now people marry for love and all that lovely jazz. But marriage is a huge financial burden for many, and many times no longer even about the couple. I've talked to so many friends who are considering eloping just for the sake of a simple ceremony to avoid the stress of money and planning and invites..

Diamond Rings & Other Expensive Things - America's Obsession

Let's talk about that ring bling first, which isn't even included in the overall wedding costs. That's a tear drop shape for the tears I shed for those who shell out more than they can afford for this. THE DIAMOND IS A SCAM. Diamonds are not rare, their costly value is purely dependent on a restricted amount of supply that is controlled by the incumbent in the industry. It's all a marketing play. Quality diamond are rare yes, but to most, if not 99% of people who will see your ring, there is no difference to the naked eye between a VSII and an IF diamond. Nor is there a hugely visible difference between a G color and a D color.

The exponential increase in prices to obtain higher rated gems are barely noticeable when not under a microscope. I've told my friends that I would much rather spend the additional almost $10K vs a diamond substitute (Amora gem for me) the in what I would want I'm a diamond ring in the down payment for a house, or a nice vacation, and got mixed reviews. I had a few go "oh yea that makes a ton of sense" and others say "mmmm... No.... I still want a diamond". It's just not worth it to me. Do I still want something pretty? Yes. Do I want anyone to spend a huge amount of money on it? Absolutely not.

Diamond Rings & Other Expensive Things - America's Obsession

Now let's talk about the wedding. The venue, the food, the drinks, the flowers, the party favors, the dress, the tux, the cake, the photographer, the rings.. All that costs money. And honestly a happy wedding is seeming more and more like a fairytale than a reality now. The amount of stress I see a couple go through to plan a giant wedding is crazy. Who do you invite? Who's gonna get offended by what, who sits where? What goes on the menu? What happens if your aunt gets shitfaced at the bar, do you really have to make this kid friendly?

In pictures everything looks amazing, but behind the scenes it's so NOT that. I've actually seen two rustic weddings, one on a family owned beautiful farm, the other in an amazing backyard, that are just as beautiful in their own way as as fancy country club or church wedding. Not only are the finances a huge consideration now, I've seen that weddings are barely about the couple anymore. One of my best friends from high school got married recently and out of the almost 7 or 8 hours of the entire party, I actually talked to her for maybe 10 minutes. They have to run around and greet guests, make sure family are taken care of, deal with any emergencies at the venue or with the food. And when I talked to her, I asked "how are you?" and all she could tell me was, "I'm so tired.. But I still have so much to do."

I obviously didn't ask her how much she spent on everything, but I've watched enough Say Yes to the Dress to have an idea. And I still don't think it's worth it. Do I want a beautiful and memorable and happy wedding day? Of course. Will I likely go through everything I criticized just now? Probably. But my wedding will be for me and my husband. It will be our day, but it will not be a competition. My wedding is not going to be about getting the most expensive things and outdoing my friends in a grandiose display of monetary items for an event meant to show the value of my relationship. It's basically just a giant fancy party.

End rant.

For those people who have the money to spend on this type of stuff, that's amazing and I find no fault in that whatsoever. It's more of the nature of how society now places so much importance on how a ring and a wedding needs to cost thousands and thousands of dollars in order for it to mean anything. Plan a wedding with a budget, don't go over that budget, this day is for you and your partner. Don't let the media or your friends or family convince you that your wedding has to be a certain way. Europeans reportedly spend a few thousand dollars less on their weddings.


Diamond Rings & Other Expensive Things - America's Obsession
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Most Helpful Girl

  • redeyemindtricks
    My wedding band cost less than $100.
    It's a plain tungsten band that is simple, dark, durable, and has a way of looking better with every passing year. Like... me, and like my husband. And like our relationship.

    I can wear it to the gym, it doesn't catch on things, I don't have to be paranoid about checking the setting all the time to make sure "precious" stones aren't lost, etc. etc.
    And it's beautiful in its simplicity.

    At this point (married over 15 years), I have a couple of other wedding band sets that my husband actually made me. (He's a leatherworker by trade, but he also does metalwork, too.)
    One of these sets is actually worth a few thousand in melt value, and would be worth five figures on the market I'm sure (it's 18k white gold and platinum) -- but that's not the point. The other sets are made of inexpensive metals like stainless steel and brass, but they're handmade and totally unique -- they are literally the only rings of their kind in the whole world.
    These rings mostly for more "special" / dressy occasions. For day-to-day, I still wear the plain black band that my man put on my hand when he made me *his*, forever.

    If you have a REAL commitment and you know it, it doesn't make ANY difference how much yr ring costs. That's between you and yr fiancé, and, frankly, it's none of yr family's business (this isn't the 17th century anymore, when a wedding could signify a future war alliance or geopolitical arrangement).


    On the other hand -- you should make sure that YOUR FIANCE doesn't actually enjoy the idea of a more expensive ring.
    A lot of men actually do. It's not a "marking territory" thing -- it's just that lots of men enjoy spending money on the finer things in life that matter to them, and they would genuinely delight in seeing a woman they love wearing an expensive band that they worked hard to pay for.

    If yr fiancé is one of these men, then, you should give at least some consideration to that. (For men like that, rejecting an expensive ring and insisting on a simpler one can be like constantly rejecting compliments or gifts -- after a while it hurts! Remember, he's gna see you wearing that ring EVERY DAY for the rest of yr lives together.)

    If he's not -- i. e. if both of you are frugal and have good financial sense -- and it's just yr family that's bugging you here, then, you should find the kindest, most diplomatic, and most polite way possible of telling yr family to butt out and mind their own fucking business.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Also...

      • Nice Take!

      • If you're going the more traditional route -- with parents paying for the wedding -- then, honestly, parents should have a say. In those kinds of families, the celebration is almost like a kind of "remuneration" for all that effort invested in parenting, for all those years. In other words, the wedding is more a party for the parents than for the newlyweds.

      • A good wedding planner is worth her (could be his I guess, but usually her) weight in gold.
      In fact, hiring a good wedding planner will cost negative dollars -- in addition to all that time saved -- because she'll save you $$ on everything with her connections.

    • jesshkah

      Totally agree. Luckily so far any man who I've breached the conversation with have all been on board and agree with this approach.

      For me personally I do not expect my parents to be paying for the wedding. They likely will want to have their say either way haha but we'll see what happens when we get there.

      Thank you for the recommendation for a planner though! I've heard mixed reviews but I've never yet met anyone who's had too terrible an experience yet.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Cosytoasty
    82 grand for a wedding? IN a city? wow. That's madness if i paid that kind of money i'd be having it as far away from a city as possible. Mine will be around half that, but on a Carribbean island somewhere with perhaps 30 people.

    You and me got it alright though fam, all those red envelopes collected in an empty Lychee crate at the door rofl! I'm sure for our weddings, there is a ratio of guests to gifts where you turn a profit.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • EmpatheticLady
    I just couldn't do it. How can anyone shell out that kind of cash for something that doesn't even last all day? I'm not a fan of having a wedding if I do get married. If it happens, I just want to hit the courthouse and have a small celebratory party afterwards with family and friends. That's all that seems necessary to me.
    • ... so, in other words, you want a wedding, and then a reception?

      I kid.
      Yr future husband will probably find that just about ideal.

    • @redeyemindtricks Lmao. Honestly, I don't even need the party afterwards. I just have a feeling my friends and family will be annoyed if we don't do something.

  • Fathoms77
    The amount of money people spend on weddings just boggles the mind. It makes even less sense if you're young and just starting out.

    Use that 40K on 24 hours or as a down-payment on a freakin' house? Hmmm... :P
  • YourFutureEx
    LOL I'll ask my SO "Can't we just fuck for free?" :D
    But nah. I guess my marriage would cost ~$100K as there are going to be so many guests and we have various religious ceremonies.
    • jesshkah

      Hahahaha yesss.

      Yea one of my friends has a lot of extended family overseas so she's had to have two full weddings.

  • mikemx55
    If I spend 1500 that's already asking too much lol.. And I'm assuming the bride's dress is expensive as fuck already..