Alternatives to the engagement ring?

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Rose217 Posts : 474 Registered: 8/9/08
Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 1:07 AM

Hi everybody, I'm brand new to the site and really excited to explore all the forums and info here!  Here's my brief story and question...

My boyfriend and I will be getting engaged within the next year, maybe even the next couple of months.  He's been away for the summer and to cheer me up, he encouraged me to start shopping for engagement rings.  I've been looking in stores, on websites, etc. and found some styles I like, but after several months of browsing I'm beginning to get turned off to the idea of having an engagement ring.  I treasure the thought of wedding rings that are exchanged, but I'm just not sure I want a diamond (how can you be sure it's conflict free?) that two poor students can't afford for the sake of tradition.  I know that I've got to give this a LOT more thought (not to mention discuss it with my boyfriend) and if you want to offer your thoughts on forgoing or keeping an engagement ring, feel free. 

However, my real question is this:  What makes a good alternative to the engagement ring?  If you decide not to purchase a ring, but still want to symbolize or mark the engagement some how, what do you think would be an appropriate way?  I'd be happy to hear any ideas, thoughts, or stories!  Thanks!

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MrsRicecake Posts : 700 Registered: 2/2/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 1:36 AM Go to message in response to: Rose217

You could do a ring that isnt diamond. Lots of people get something that could be in their birth stone or favorite type of stone. Some people even get tattoos.


Going to the chapel and we're gonna get married! December 27, 2008!

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Ashleyanne2010 Posts : 447 Registered: 5/3/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 10:55 AM Go to message in response to: Rose217

I've seen everything from pearl engagement rings to pink saphirres to rubies to just plain bands.  Really, it's what YOU want and what YOU like for yourself.  Sure, a diamond is considered the "standard" but it isn't any less of an engagement ring if it's just a solid band or a ring with some other kind of accent on it.
 

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 11:02 AM Go to message in response to: Ashleyanne2010

Because I totally understand about the poor student dilemma, and because I also believe in conflict-free diamonds, we went with this option:

 

It was not classified as an engagement ring, the pearl one, and we went with a straight simple band to go with it for a wedding band.  The pearl ring was packaged with a necklace and earrings that i'll wear on my wedding day. :)

Best of luck! I'm not sure what you'd use if not a ring... 


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 www.chrisandsarah2008.net

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 12:06 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

You can do whatever you want, as long as you're Ok with people commenting on it. We have a friend who gave his wife an engagement necklace and earrings, since she doesn't like rings. She does wear a wedding ring, but she didn't like the idea of wearing an engagement ring as well. Her 'engagement jewelry' is beautiful - simple stud earrings and a single stone necklace in her birthstone, which can go nicely with casual or dressy outfits. Yeah, I'm sure some people commented that she didn't have a ring, but as she didn't WANT one, she didn't care.

I have another friend who got an engagement puppy - for the same reason, because she didn't want a ring. Again, she didn't care when people commented on the lack of a ring, because she had a great story about getting the engagement puppy. She wears a wedding ring as well.

I have another friend who is not engaged, but she insists that if she ever gets married, she wants an engagement home theater system rather than a ring. Her argument is that it will cost as much as a ring (she takes her movies VERY seriously and would get a really nice one) and they could enjoy it together.

I told hubby that I wanted an engagement LCD TV, but he got me a ring instead, so I had to buy my own TV. ;)

I also know a bunch of people who have engagement rings that are not diamonds, so that is an option as well.

If you do want a diamond, it is certainly possible to get conflict-free diamonds. If you google it, I'm sure you'd come up with several sites, since that's a big issue right now. My BIL is a jeweler and has no problem getting conflict-free diamonds.  

Another option is to get a synthetic diamond, which are grown in labs. I don't know a lot about them, but I hear that they look the same as natural diamonds and cost less.

You can really do whatever you want. You don't NEED an engagement ring to get married. You don't need an engagement ring to be engaged, either. Some people may comment if you do something other than the 'traditional' diamond, but as long as you're Ok with that, then it's fine. Honestly, I think the engagement ring is really only important when you're engaged. Now that I'm married, I don't really care about mine (Shhh - don't tell DH!)  


DaisypathWedding Ticker

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britbrat09 Posts : 52 Registered: 8/9/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 5:48 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

I saw something called a Bride's Necklace in a magazine once. The one I saw was two circles intertwined with diamonds in each. I know you are weary of diamonds so you could get them with your birthstones instead. Either that or one of those family type birthstone necklaces would be cool. I know when my cousin went to Jared's they gave her a pamphlet thing that assured her that her diamond was conflict-free. Some places do that. But I don't know if you feel that you can trust them or not. It's a personal decision.

Brittany 9.19.09

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

 

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TanisJ Posts : 2,669 Registered: 4/25/07
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 6:13 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

The ladies have a lot of great suggestions. I know some people who don't like rings at all so they got ring tattoos. hey I am originally from west coast of Canada so lots of tattoos there. Now thats a committment! I have an engagement ring but wouldn't have minded an engagement necklace as thats where my ring ends up when I work out anyway. I have also opted to continue to wear engagement ring as a wedding ring as I do not want another band. I have never had anyone question me about this. Its really up to you and FH how you opt to celebrate and commemorate this.

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JEG Posts : 72 Registered: 8/27/07
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 7:00 PM Go to message in response to: TanisJ

Like others have said, it's what YOU want.  Personally, I don't like diamonds.... they're too plain.  I also don't like gold. My ring is silver with my favorite stone, sapphire.  It cost $45.

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TanisJ Posts : 2,669 Registered: 4/25/07
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 7:18 PM Go to message in response to: JEG

Hey JEG I am not really a diamonds person either really, but when my FH engaged I was living in Canada and he was in the USA and I would have to give up a lot to be with him so I think he thought he had better show up with something big. He also proposed in front on my entire family. My first thought when the ring came out was oh so romantic "Is that real?"I didn't ask for diamonds so I thought it might be a cubic. I had mentioned I liked black diamonds, which he had incorporated and it required removing clear diamonds so I thought that was sweet, even though it decreases the value of the ring all round. I don't care because he remembered it. I just thought it was nice he thought due to the circumstances he had better show up big.

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DutchBride Posts : 118 Registered: 3/11/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 10:05 PM Go to message in response to: TanisJ

Well, I did do the engagement ring, but I did not do a white diamond.  I wanted something different, so I got a champagne diamond and I get many compliments that it is beautiful, but also a lot of people think it's an amber stone.  It cost a pretty penny more, but when they say "is that amber?" I just let them know what it is.  If not, I am okay with them thinking whatever because it's my ring.  I know what it is and what it symbolizes.  

To officially show your engagement I guess you could just do a very simple ring on your wedding finger to allow others to know, but spend your moneys elsewhere on another very special piece of jewelry or anything that symbolizes your engagement between the two of you. 


 

I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & that the Eskimos has a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me when you sleep & there are no words for that -Brian Andreas

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KPM Posts : 577 Registered: 1/20/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 10, 2008 10:21 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

FH wanted a set that went together.  I was not set on having diamonds.  After much discussion and finding an incredible jeweler we custom designed our rings.  *I know the student budget your on - these aren't as expensive as it might seem*  I don't have a diamond as a center stone, rather a purple sapphire.  Purple is both our favorite colors.  The band we each have is matching.  I am not wearing the band with my ring - that is the engagement part for us.   

The company we used does lots of different designs with a very wide budget.   There are many different designs and things you can do - dependent on what you desire.


 

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cheesecake in one hand, rum in the other, body totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!

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Rose217 Posts : 474 Registered: 8/9/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 11, 2008 4:35 AM Go to message in response to: KPM

Thank you ladies, for the great advice.  It's nice to know that I'm not the only girl out there questioning the diamond or ring in general.  I've been considering a sapphire, a plain band, or something entirely different (like a puppy ;) or a baby tree, or a new camera since I'm a photographer).  Somewhere on these boards I read about a woman and her FH who both wore silver bands during their engagement, and I think that's a great idea.  I'll keep thinking, and let you know what me (and ultimately my boyfriend) decide.... Hopefully sooner than later. ;)...  He returns from Japan in only two more weeks! 

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 11, 2008 8:50 AM Go to message in response to: Rose217

AN engagement PUPPY!!! I love it!!! LOL. Why didnt we think of that? Too funny. I also like the idea of using your birthstone as a rinng, and sapphires are gorgeous. (Thats my birthstone so Im biast but I love them.)

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MsMeghann Posts : 147 Registered: 3/4/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 11, 2008 10:55 AM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

hi there! i've been engaged for about 5 months now, and getting married next june. i absolutely adore my ring (of course i do- its mine!!), but i still enjoy looking.

if youre more traditional, but worry about the conflict-free and budget-minded, i read about a stone that looks like diamond, but is MUCH cheaper and looks just like one. its called moissanite. you can get it set any way a stone would be, but its so much cheaper. and since is lab created, you dont have to worry about your moral standards. check out this link: http://www.moissanitediamond.com/ 

most importantly, i would stress to you to do your research first before picking anything. it sounds like you're off on the right foot on that part. but, once you make up your mind about what you do want, check out lots of places that offer what youre looking for. all the other PPs about just going with your favorite stone would certainly work too! it's about what YOU and your future fi want! :) good luck to you both!!


~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~
Soon to be Mrs. Scherrer
www.MattandMeghann.com

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DawnaCrystal Posts : 990 Registered: 4/7/08
Re: Alternatives to the engagement ring?
Posted: Aug 12, 2008 12:14 AM Go to message in response to: MsMeghann

For the short on money people that care about getting conflict free jewelry I recommend http://www.diamondnexuslabs.com/?gclid=CPnfq-C3h5UCFQGbnAodATdrqA I got my ring there and I love love love it. Lifetime warranty (and they mean it I had a diamond fall out and they replaced for free, I didn't even have to pay a setting fee) They are lab created so there is no issue there. I highly recommend them.

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