Even if the engagement ring a man buys his fiancée isn't quite what she had in mind, she'll love it anyway because it's from him...right?
Well, apparently not, in many cases.
According to the results of a British survey that caught our eye last week, one in six women said they were unhappy with their engagement ring. And a similar survey done on this side of the pond by David's Bridal makes the situation look even worse – it claims 57 per cent of women would change something about their engagement ring if given the opportunity.
Tradition leaves this outcome somewhat inevitable. This ring becomes a part of a woman's daily look – and yet, long-held customs dictate that it's chosen by someone else and she has no influence over the decision. Somewhere down the line, we've really made things hard for ourselves. On the other hand, the British survey found one in three men spent just two days looking for the ring – so maybe some guys just need to try a bit harder!
The truth is, nowadays couples have options when it comes to choosing a ring. Traditions are certainly changing, with recent surveys suggesting two thirds of women are 'somewhat involved' in the decision and as many as a third choose their own ring. In the past, men would be expected to spend around three months' salary on an engagement ring to prove to a woman that he can provide for her, but it's often the case now that women don't want their men to spend too much on a ring.
One option that's becoming more and more popular is to have an engagement ring custom made – more than two in five grooms are now choosing rings with custom design elements. The possibilities are almost endless with custom made jewelry, and it makes sense that if the couple work together on a custom design there's little risk of either party being disappointed with the outcome. It also allows for the option of using a stone that has been passed down from an older generation of your family as part of a new ring.
We can't ignore that traditions are very important to some people, and many would argue that the surprise element of the man revealing a ring he has chosen on his own adds to the magic of the proposal. Certainly if done right, it's a real winner. But even in these cases, men needn't go it alone – with the flexibility and personal support offered by a custom process like that of Chris & Alix, the chance of coming up a winning ring is drastically increased.
Take Chris McGoldrick, for example. Here was a customer who wanted to do things the traditional way, but cared deeply that the engagement ring was right for his fiancée. By going custom made, he could not only create a one-of-a-kind piece that would suit Stephanie's personality, but also had expert help from Chris & Alix in creating a design she would love. And it paid off!
Something we didn't mention earlier in this piece is that the bleaker David's Bridal survey was conducted 18 months before the British study. Does this perhaps show signs that satisfaction with engagement rings is improving? And with custom jewelry having increased in popularity during that time, could it be the answer to this age-old dilemma?
(Top photo: Gary Bridgman / Licence: CC)