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Serious Question: Who Buys the Wedding Bands?

You asked, we answered.
Emily Platt - The Knot E-commerce Editor
by Emily Platt
Emily Platt - The Knot E-commerce Editor
Emily Platt
Editor, E-Commerce
  • Emily is a writer and editor who specializes in shopping content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Emily wrote for Martha Stewart Weddings
  • Emily has a bachelor's degree from Vassar College
Updated Jun 09, 2020
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According to The Knot 2019 Jewelry and Engagement Study of over 21,000 to-be-weds or newlyweds, 94 percent of proposers pay for the engagement ring. But who buys the wedding bands? As with engagement rings, a precedent has been set. That said, there actually aren't hard-and-fast rules. 

Here, we tell you what's "traditional" when it comes to who pays for wedding rings, plus what modern couples are doing. Yep, you have options—so choose what's right for you. And once you determine who's footing the bill, we'll help you find a place to buy the jewelry.

In this article:

Who buys the groom's wedding ring?

Tradition has it that the "bride" (with or without help from her family) buys "the man's" wedding ring. But this "rule" is obviously binary—it assumes that all weddings involve a woman and her groom. In more inclusive terms, each half of the couple is expected to pay for their other half's wedding band.

Nowadays, though, who buys the wedding bands is pretty up in the air. Some couples are splitting the cost of their wedding rings. This might make sense if you've already combined your finances prewedding, or if you two are paying for all (or part) of your wedding together as a shared expense. This doesn't mean you have to contribute an equal amount to the bands though (you could divide the total cost proportional to your individual incomes, for example, which is a common practice when it comes to splitting costs as a couple in general.)

As with most relationship situations involving money, talking it out and coming to a mutual agreement is the best course of action. Maybe you buy both the wedding rings, and your partner covers a different wedding expense. Maybe your parents chip in. Maybe you buy your own ring, and your future spouse buys theirs! It's all about what works for you, your significant other and your families.

Who buys the bride's wedding ring?

Tradition has it that the bride (and/or her family) buys the groom's wedding ring, while the groom (and/or his family) pays for the bride's. Again, this language is binary—the real moral of the story is that each person traditionally pays for the other person's ring. 

Nowadays, as we've explained above, who buys the wedding bands is really up to the couple. Go ahead and gift each other wedding bands ahead of the big day, or work out a different payment plan with each other and/or your families. 

Where do you buy wedding rings? 

Once you've figured out who will pay for the wedding bands, it's time to figure out where to get them. There's no one "best" place to buy wedding rings—like always, it's about preference. Visit your local jeweler's to buy in person, or order them online. We like the wide range of options offered by Blue Nile, James Allen and Etsy, but there are plenty of other places to browse—household-name brands like KAY Jewelers and Instagram-famous shops like Mejuri all sell wedding rings on the web.

If you're feeling stuck, shop somewhere familiar. The Knot 2019 Jewelry and Engagement Study found that 35 percent of proposees' wedding rings were purchased at the same place as their engagement ring. In fact, 30 percent of both partners' wedding bands were bought where they got the engagement ring. This makes it easier for all your jewelry to match. Check out our complete guide to choosing wedding rings for more shopping tips.

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