Q: When my then-fiancé, now-husband proposed to me, we were both caught up in thinking that an engagement ring needed to feature a large diamond and cost three-months worth of rent. So we went ahead and picked a beautiful and expensive ring with which he proposed. Thankfully, with the help of resources like A Practical Wedding, we managed to start thinking outside the wedding industry box and were able to turn things around in time for the wedding. We had an intimate, cost-effective affair that suited our personalities.
Now, we’ve been married a little over a year and I often regret how silly we were to think that we had to lay down so much cash for a ring. Don’t get me wrong. I love my ring and think it’s beautiful, but I’m more attached to my wedding ring and am wondering if it would make sense to sell the engagement ring. We’re twenty-four, I’m still in school, and we’re saving for our future, so the money could do some good elsewhere. The only problem is that I wonder if I’ll miss it when it’s gone? I know we can buy another ring at a fraction of the price but I’m unsure how I’d feel without the original ring. Any advice? Has anyone on Team Practical experienced a similar situation?
–Might Prefer the Cash Instead of a Giant Rock
A: Dear MPCIGR,
Honestly, I’m sort of just dying to see this ring.
But my magpie tendencies aside, do what you want! If the meaning of the whole engagement ring is clouded by financial guilt and concern, sell it. If your wedding ring is ring enough and you could use some extra cash for some bills (I hear ya), sell it. (That said, only sell it if that’s what you want to do, not because it’s what you think you should do. The practical police aren’t going to come after you if it turns out you really do like your ring.)
Maddie aptly compared this situation to a tattoo-or-not situation. It’s the kind of thing where you can’t sit around worrying if every decision will be one you regret. Make the best decision you can with what you’ve got in front of you in this present moment, and commit to it fully. This quirky little turn of events is your story now. It’s fun and personal to just you guys, and you can always look back fondly on the two starry-eyed kids who spent three months rent on a diamond, but then changed their plans. That’s a terrific story! Own it!
If you’re worried you might just miss having the ring on your hand, try living without it for a while.There’s no reason why making the decision to sell your ring means you have to sell it rightthisverysecond. So put it in a jewelry box for a month or two and see how you feel about it come New Year’s. You may surprise yourself and not miss it at all, or by December you may be crouching over your jewelry box petting the precious. Who knows.
I am a smidge worried that you didn’t mention how your partner feels about the idea. Is he open and eager to do the swap, or is this something you’ve cooked up on your own? Even if we weren’t talking about something expensive and flashy and meaningful like an engagement ring, there’s a pretty fair possibility that selling a gift someone gave you may hurt them. Trust me; my grandma was positively crushed when she saw the kittens calendar she gave me in a pile at my yard sale.
But if he’s on board, you’re good to go! In the same way that you figured out that you don’t need to drop a ton of cash to invest in meaning, you also don’t need a tangible trinket to hold onto meaning, either. The happy memories of your engagement are still valid, even if you swap the ring.
Team Practical, did you consider selling your engagement ring? How do you rationalize expense and sentiment?
If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off!