- More than a third (37%) of Brits would rather receive an alternative to an engagement or wedding ring
- The top alternatives were signet rings (22%), necklaces (10%), bracelets (8%) and watches (8%) – although holidays and home improvements were also named
- Just 40% of those who proposed surprised their partner by choosing engagement ring themselves
- Although couples spend almost five weeks’ wages on engagement rings in first marriages, this figure falls to just 1.3 week’s wages in second marriages
Brits appear to be abandoning traditional notions of weddings as more than a third (37%) of those who’ve received an engagement or wedding ring admit they’d have preferred to receive an alternative, according to research by jewellery insurer Protect Your Bubble.
The top alternatives named were signet rings (22%), necklaces (10%), bracelets (8%) and watches (8%), although a number of Brits confessed to choosing a pen, holiday or even home improvement instead of a traditional ring.
In a further shift from convention, just four in 10 (40%) Brits who proposed surprised their partner by choosing the engagement ring themselves. However, only 56% of those who didn’t choose their own engagement ring said that they loved it. So those planning to get down on one knee might want to think twice about splashing out when choosing their partner’s ring and instead opt for a placeholder ring for the proposal.
Although second marriages are now relatively commonplace, they seem to dictate a significantly smaller budget, as the research also reveals that while couples spend almost five weeks’ (4.8 weeks’) wages on engagement rings in first marriages, in second marriages this spend falls to a meagre 1.3 weeks' wages.
James Brown, director of jewellery insurer Protect Your Bubble, said:“We’ve been drifting away from conventional notions of weddings and marriages for some time now – the bride’s family are no longer expected to cover the entire cost of the wedding, for example, and nor are women expected to wear a veil when they walk down the aisle.
“But to find that such a significant number of Brits would prefer to receive something else instead of a traditional ring is really quite surprising.
“While many Brits appear to be straying away from engagement or wedding rings, the majority of those have opted for another piece of jewellery or watch as an alternative. These will still hold a significant sentimental value – not to mention price tag – so good care needs to be taken to keep this safe and in good condition.
“You should clean jewellery regularly to remove everyday dirt. How you take care of your jewellery will vary depending on the metal it’s made from, so do your research to avoid damaging the jewellery with any harsh or corrosive chemicals.
“It’s easy to catch or break a bracelet or a necklace that doesn’t sit as close to the skin, so you should be careful of such accidental damage. A comprehensive insurance policy can protect against this alongside theft and loss, so look into taking out an appropriate policy as soon as any jewellery is purchased.”