While it's (unfortunately) a well-known fact that weddings are expensive—and according to Brides' American Wedding Study, they were even more expensive in 2018, as the average wedding cost skyrocketed to more than $44,000—it turns out that the road to saying "I Do" has also gotten more costly, namely the engagement ring.
Brides' study, which surveyed almost 850 brides-to-be or newly married women, found the average amount spent on engagement rings in 2018 was $7,829, compared to $5,023 spent in 2017. (It really puts the $500,000 price tag on Hailey Baldwin's ring or Cardi B AND Paris Hilton's $2 million engagement rings in perspective, huh?) And even more surprisingly, couples tend to spend much more on engagement rings than their actual wedding bands. AWS found that engagement rings in 2018 made up 14 percent of the overall wedding budget, whereas the wedding rings only composed 3 percent, with the average couple spending around $1,800 on their nuptial jewelry.
That being said, even though averages hovered around $7K there is no one correct price point for an engagement ring—don't believe the age-old myth that you need to be spending three months salary on a diamond. As Taylor Lanore, diamond consultant and PR director for Ring Concierge, told Brides: "Spend whatever you're comfortable with—there's no reason to go into debt. It also depends on your partner's preferences. If she wants something very minimal, it's hard to spend a lot. But if she wants a big stone, it's still very doable. There are ways to accomplish any look for any budget."
Popping the question, in general, has also given people more reason to celebrate. Brides' study found that 38 percent of couples in 2018 had engagement parties, up 6 percent from the year prior. And even more staggering: Eight out of 10 couples in 2018 scheduled in time for an engagement photo shoot; In 2017, only 66% took part in this pre-wedding trend.
We can't be that surprised that the engagement photoshoot has taken off considering the popularity of Instagram. (Guess "Pics or it didn't happen" also holds true for getting married.) Luckily, the Internet is awash with inspiration for engagement pics; from the funny, to the award-winning, to even the photoshoots for couples who hate photoshoots, there’s something for everyone.
Just don't forget to also get a "ring selfie"—you need a way to show off that pricey bling!
See more: 15 Engagement Ring Trends for 2019