Sharing The Cost Of An Engagement Ring

Q. Hi Jordan,

I’m from Bolivia, and recently decided to get married to an amazing American guy. My parents weren’t very excited about the news; they think it’s too fast but are doing their best to be supportive. I always wondered: was it hard for you to tell your parents about your [fast] engagement with Kendrick?

My real question is about the engagement ring. I saw on your blog that you and Kendrick chose the ring together. In Bolivia the guy is supposed to pick up the ring and pay for it…but as we are doing it in a different way, should we share the cost of the ring? Is sharing that cost a normal thing in American culture? Did you share the cost of your engagement ring with Kendrick? I have no problem paying half of it, but I also want to know if it is the right thing to do.

Thank you so much! Have fun packing and give a big kiss to baby Indy.


A. To answer your first question, about our quick engagement (above, that’s us around the time that we got engaged): I think anyone who gets engaged after just a few weeks worries a bit (or a lot) about telling their parents, but I probably worried less than most because my parents got engaged on the night that they met (really). But what it came down to is that while I absolutely wanted my parents’ support and approval (as I generally always do), I felt confident enough about our decision that I didn’t need it, if that makes any sense.

But that’s not to say that really wanting (or even needing) your parents’ support is an indicator of how much you love your husband-to-be or whether or not you “should” be getting married – how you feel about them being on board with your marriage is a deeply individual thing that depends on your particular family dynamic, and I’d say just be patient, try to understand where your parents are coming from, and give it time. It sounds like they really want to arrive at a place where they’re supportive of your relationship, and that’s wonderful.

Now, the engagement ring. At the time we got engaged I was…let’s just say “transitional” (transitioning from acting to bartending while I hopefully transitioned right on into something else)…and Kendrick was in an indie band, so we both went into our engagement very aware that the ring was 100% about having a symbol of our commitment to each other, and nothing else. I mean, I wanted it to be pretty, of course, but a big rock didn’t feel like the goal or the point; it never even entered my mind as a possibility.

We bought our ring (pictured above) at a pawn shop in Vegas for something like $350, but going into the store I had it in my head that if I found a ring that I desperately wanted that felt too expensive (not “too expensive for an engagement ring”, just plain old “too expensive for us”) I would absolutely offer to split the cost with him. Whether he would have accepted my offer, though, I didn’t know, so I was pretty excited when I found a ring that I both loved and that seemed reasonably priced. So I didn’t expect to share the cost, exactly, but I was willing to if that was what ended up making sense for us.

Is it “normal” to share the cost of an engagement ring? You know, I don’t know that it’s super common (although I’m sure that it becomes more common every year) and would be interested in what readers have to say on this subject (did any of you split the cost of your ring?)…but it’s certainly something that I consider A-OK. It’s a nice tradition to have a man go and pick out a ring himself, but with many couples today living together and/or sharing finances long before they get engaged, it’s sometimes just not realistic.

To me this is a big “to each his own” situation: if it feels right for you guys and if both of you are comfortable with splitting the cost, I say go for it. If, however, either you or your fiance-to-be are very uncomfortable with the idea, I’d say to just try to be mindful when ring shopping together so that you don’t accidentally choose a stone that’s beyond what he could reasonably afford. (Also, if you’d like a little unconventional engagement ring inspiration, click here.)

Oh yes, and CONGRATS!



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