Surveys

Engagement Ring Spending Flatlined in 2018, Survey Shows

SurveysFeb 12, 2019

Engagement Ring Spending Flatlined in 2018, Survey Shows

It’s part of a continuing trend of couples spending less on the big day.

The Wedding Report released its 2018 report this week. It found that the average amount spent on an engagement ring in 2018 was $3,388, while The Knot has it at about $5,800. This ring from Just Jules in 14-karat white gold with a rose-cut diamond retails for $4,100.

Tucson, Ariz.—There was no spike in engagement ring spending in the United States last year, part of an overall trend of couples tightening the belt on their wedding budgets, a new survey shows.

On Sunday, The Wedding Report, a Tucson-based research company that tracks and forecasts spending and trends in the wedding industry, released full-year 2018 data.

The data is based on 6,792 surveys collected between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018 and includes both couples who were already married and those who had spent money on their wedding but hadn’t yet tied the knot when they took the survey.

Overall, The Wedding Report found the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. slipped 4 percent, from $25,764 in 2017 to $24,723 in 2018.

It was the first time since 2009 that the average cost of a wedding has slipped below $25,000 in The Wedding Report’s year-end survey and was on par with what consumers spent in 2008, when the average was $24,100.

Spending across almost aspects of the ceremony and reception declined or was flat, including spending on engagement rings and wedding bands.

According to the survey, the average amount spent on an engagement ring in 2018 was $3,388, down less than 1 percent from $3,402 in 2017.

Spending on the wedding band for her was $775, down only slightly from an average of $782 in 2017. The average amount spent on men’s bands was $454, virtually unchanged from $455.

Spending for other wedding jewelry—bracelets (average of $174), earrings ($151) and necklaces ($199)—also was flat year-over-year.

The engagement ring figure from The Wedding Report is always lower than what The Knot reports in its various surveys; the latest figure from the popular wedding planning website had average engagement ring spending at $5,764.

The Wedding Report founder and CEO Shane McMurray said Monday he believes the difference is that people who use The Knot are, for the most part, planning large weddings with bigger budgets and, therefore, have more money to spend on engagement rings.

His survey, meanwhile, cuts across a broader socioeconomic swath, encompassing everyone from couples getting married at the courthouse and holding a reception in the backyard to those planning a more traditional, higher-cost ceremony.

While the numbers might be different, both The Wedding Report and The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study (the 2018 version is due out later this week) are reflective of the same trend: Consumers are

starting to spend a little bit less on their big day.

McMurray attributes the change to two factors.

First, there is what he calls “lifestyle creep”—all the little things that people want or feel they need today that add up and eat into budgets, like that daily latte from the local coffee shop, the latest smartphone, drinks and dinners out with friends, styling and subscription services like Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway, and fees for the premium versions of streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, etc.

All of these little things “just keep adding up,” McMurray said.

Second, there’s rising rents, and not just in big cities like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago; McMurray noted that rents in his town, Tucson, are increasing too.

Both these factors have consumers cutting back on “traditional wedding expenditures,” like limos, live bands, videographers and wedding albums.

There were a few areas, however, where demand picked up in 2018: event spaces, food and decorations. This points to couples “looking for an experience, not a traditional wedding.”

“The reality is people’s priorities are changing,” McMurray said. “They’re different.”

To see The Wedding Report’s tables on spending in 2018 vs. 2017 visit TheWeddingReport.com.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Events & AwardsDec 03, 2021
JA New York's Spring Show to Return in 2022

The New Designer Gallery will also make its comeback.

Events & AwardsDec 03, 2021
Gary Roskin Will Receive the 2022 Bonanno Award

Roskin heads the International Colored Gemstone Association, and is a graduate gemologist, author, journalist, and diamond grading expert.

Policies & IssuesDec 03, 2021
Alliance for Responsible Mining Names New Executive Director

Gina D’Amato joins with more than 15 years of experience in sustainable development.

Brought to you by
Train Your Staff Today with Interactive eLearning

Join the prestigious brands, industry organizations and sellers using IGI’s educational services.

CollectionsDec 03, 2021
Piece of the Week: Angely Martinez’s Island Bar Ring

The designer’s memories of beach trips and nature in the Dominican Republic inspired her new opal and pearl collection, “Aqualescence.”

Weekly QuizDec 02, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 3, 2021.
Take the Quiz
FinancialsDec 02, 2021
Signet Raises Guidance Again, Expands Selection of Lab-Grown Diamonds

Its additions include an exclusive lab-grown diamond cut for Zales’ “Vera Wang True” line and a lab-grown option for Kay’s “Leo” cut.

TrendsDec 02, 2021
A New Book on Lover’s Eyes Jewelry Is Out Now

“Lover’s Eyes: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection” features more than 130 examples of the much-sought-after antique style.

Brought to you by
3 Tips For Entering the Estate Market

Generate foot traffic and expand your jewelry expertise by adding an estate assortment to your store in partnership with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

TrendsDec 02, 2021
Amanda’s Style File: The December Blues

The hues of the month’s three birthstones bring forth the calming emotions so needed during the hectic holiday season.

×