Sure, we like to ohh and aah over the unreal engagement rings of the famous fare. And there's no shame in ogling a super-sized stone whenever a new celeb becomes a bride-to-be. But it goes without saying that your own special sparkler doesn't need a diamond the size of the Titanic iceberg to get you to say "I do." You love your engagement ring for what it represents — the love and commitment between you and your S.O. — not what it looks like. (Although we're willing to bet that it's rather pretty, too!) And no one put that sentiment better than one Tennessee bride when she was forced to defend her $130 wedding ring set.
Ariel Desiree McRae loves her engagement ring and wedding band — sterling silver, cubic zirconia, and all. And the woman is sick of having to say it. Like countless brides before her, McRae took to social media to share an #engagementringselfie with her glittering jewelry proudly displayed on her hand. But this special selfie came with a bit of a disclaimer, defending her rings from those who deem the modestly beautiful baubles "pathetic." (Before you ask, yes, someone actually said that...)
"My husband doesn't have a lot, neither of us do," McRae recently wrote on her Facebook page. "We scrape and scrape to pay bills and put food in our bellies, but after almost 2 years of dating we decided that we couldn't wait anymore, so we didn't." Understandable, right? After all, who really wants to wait to marry the love of their life?
"I wasn't even thinking about rings," McRae continued. "I just wanted to marry my best friend, but he wouldn't have it. He scraped up just enough money to buy me two matching rings from Pandora. Sterling silver and CZ to be exact. That's what sits on my ring finger, and I am so in love with them. While we were purchasing my rings however, another lady that was working there came over to help the lady selling them to us. She said, "Y'all can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic." Umm... Hold up a second, but what??!!
"When she said that I watched my now husband's face fall," wrote McRae. "He already felt bad because he couldn't afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page. He already felt like a failure, asking me again and again 'Are you sure you'll be happy with these? Are you sure this is okay?' He was so upset at the idea of not making me happy enough and of me not wanting to marry him because my rings didn't cost enough money or weren't flashy enough... Y'all I would have gotten married to this man if it had been a 25¢ gum ball machine ring."
In her post that has since gone viral, this head-over-heels bride stresses that it's not the price tag that makes engagement rings so darn special. "Why do material possessions equate love?" she asks. "My husband was so afraid of me not wanting him because he couldn't afford a piece of jewelry. He was afraid that the love I have for him would pale because he couldn't afford the wedding set I wanted... But here I am though, courthouse married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side and happier than I could ever imagine." Don't you just love a happy ending?
McRae's social media story is such a necessary reminder that it's the why we get married that's so much more important than the how.