We know we know, it’s usually the engagement ring that hogs the limelight.
It’s the one that’s talked about in all the rom-coms. It’s the one that gets the grand gesture as a partner gets down on one knee to ask the big question.
Heck, there’s even an episode of Friends where Phoebe and Chandler spend a whole episode finding the perfect one for Monica.
However, wedding rings seem to attract much less attention and the groom’s ring even less. It’s often an afterthought but we don’t think it should be this way. Who buys the groom’s ring anyway? Should it be Monica? Chandler? Ok, maybe we’ve taken this analogy a little far.
The truth is there’s no concrete answer to who should buy the groom’s ring. That won’t stop us from discussing the topic though.
We’ll talk you through who normally makes the purchase, how to decide who buys it, and tips on buying the perfect groom’s ring.
A decision will ultimately vary from couple to couple. However, our goal is to arm you with all the knowledge so that you can make the best decision possible.
So whether you’re a bride, groom, or the parents of a newly engaged couple strap in. Let’s get to the bottom of this.
The History of the Groom’s Wedding Ring
It’s what all the planning and preparation has been leading up to. The exchange of wedding rings at the end of the aisle as all your nearest and dearest watch on.
It’s a practice that has been passed down through generations to be symbolic of two people coming together until death does them part.
In ancient Egypt, wedding bands were fashioned from braided reeds and hemp . It’s been quite the norm for women to wear them even that far back but for men, it’s a much more recent occurrence.
In fact, it’s only really the latter part of the last century that it’s become commonplace .
Men began wearing wedding rings in the United States during the war. Their rings would remind them of their families and wives back home as they went into battle. At this time the groom’s ring would always be made out of metal.
Gold, silver, and platinum are always popular choices for the groom’s wedding band. Whilst these are still the most common form of wedding ring there are alternatives. You can now get silicone wedding bands and you can even have a ring tattooed onto the skin. Oh, how times have changed!
These are much more modern ways to show that you’re married and methods that can withstand the challenges of daily life or simply prove to be more convenient.
Who Buys the Groom’s Ring?
In our opinion, the etiquette for buying the groom’s wedding ring has two methods. There’s the modern way and the traditional way.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Some may seem fair on paper but not when you dig into the finances. Whilst others may cause resentment and frustrations between families.
Let’s discuss the two below so you can see which is right for you.
Wedding Band Etiquette in the Modern Day
A modern couple is much more open to breaking with tradition. As there is no specific rule on who should purchase the ring it’s generally accepted that the groom will either buy it themselves, allow their partner to buy it for them, or they’ll go halves on the cost.
A modern couple might choose to go wedding ring shopping together. This way they can choose rings that match or have a similar appearance.
At the same time, a couple might have a joint bank account to deal with the costs associated with the wedding. The groom’s ring is a legitimate item that has an expense in the same way that invitations, a bride’s dress, or a wedding cake needs purchasing.
What About Going with Tradition?
The trouble with sticking to the tradition of the groom buying the bride’s wedding band and the bride’s vice versa is one of cost.
We know that it’s boring to talk about but if they don’t cost the same this isn’t a fair deal. We think a much better compromise is to split the cost of both rings. Say one cost $989 and the other costs $569 you would each contribute $779.
Another consideration is that the person who proposed has likely already invested a wedge of dollars for the proposal. Engagement rings can generally be much more expensive than wedding day bands. Especially if the engagement ring contains diamonds! So you might need to factor that in as well if you’re splitting the bill.
A very traditional approach is for the parents of the bride to contribute to the purchase of the groom’s ring. They’re likely to be paying towards the wedding anyway if they’re traditionalists.
This is a cost you should discuss with them though. Whilst they might be happy to foot the bill for your venue, centerpieces, and flowers, they may have a more challenging time justifying a major expense on the groom’s wedding ring.
How to Decide Who Buys the Groom’s Wedding Ring
So how are you going to decide? Are you going to toss a coin? In a similar vein to everything involved in your big day, it will have to come down to personal preference.
That being said, here are some factors to consider that might help to influence your decision.
Can you trust the Groom to Pick His Own Wedding Ring?
Let’s say you’re a bride that obviously loves their partner to death.
However, when it comes to style, shall we say he’s a little out of his comfort zone?
You help him pair his outfits and are constantly asking him to get out of his hoodie when you’re going on a date. Sound familiar? Well, can you trust him with the responsibility of purchasing a wedding ring?
If that’s you maybe you need to think about taking on that responsibility and choose his ring yourself.
On the other hand, maybe your groom to be is a fashionista and you trust them implicitly to make the right decision.
They’ll come back from the jewelers with the perfect ring that matches yours.
Should You Choose the Bands Together?
If you don’t like the jeopardy of that first option maybe you should go ring shopping together.
This can be an exciting and romantic occasion that you can both enjoy.
You’ll be able to see the prices of the rings on offer and assess whether they’re in your budget as a couple.
At the same time, you can choose rings that really complement each other and will look great in that classic wedding photo of you two clutching hands.
Are There Any Differences for Same-Sex Couples?
Nope! Other than buying two groom’s rings of course!
One advantage is that you can be 100% matching if you want. This solves the issue of cost as well as they’ll be exactly the same price.
There is no traditional vs modern etiquette to consider here either.
The only consideration could maybe be that the person who proposed with an engagement ring isn’t the person to buy the wedding bands.
However, that decision is totally up to you and how you want to work the finances.
Tips for Buying the Perfect Groom’s Wedding Ring
As with many decisions surrounding your wedding day, it can feel like there are a million and one options available.
Choosing the perfect flowers, cake, and playlist are all essential and the groom’s wedding ring should be no different.
Below are some of our top tips and things to consider to make it a stress free process.
Heck, you might even enjoy it!
When Do You Buy the Groom’s Ring?
Purchasing the groom’s wedding ring can often be something that is left until the last minute. We don’t think this is wise as you might then be in a rush and not get exactly what you want.
However, you don’t want to buy it too early either. Particularly if your groom is thinking of shedding a few pounds before the big day. This could then mean the ring doesn’t have the desired fit.
If you want to have specific engravings on your ring you should also factor the time this takes into your decision. The jewelers may have a backlog of work and may be unable to get your ring back to you in time for your nuptials.
Don’t panic though if you’re reading this and you’ve left it a bit late. Wedding bands are usually much simpler in design so can have a much quicker turnaround time than engagement rings.
Our recommendation is to start browsing the jewelers or online 3-4 months before the big day. This will give you plenty of time to identify a suitable wedding ring.
You could then look to purchase around 2-3 months before the wedding. This will give you around one month to really think about whether the band you’ve chosen is right for you.
Think About Your Budget
According to California Business Journal  the average cost of a groom’s matrimonial ring is $600.
Obviously, that means that there are much cheaper options such as silicone or less expensive metals. At the same time though there are much more pricey numbers encrusted with diamonds.
When deciding who pays for the groom’s ring, thinking about the budget is really important. If you’re the bride making the purchase, can you afford a really expensive ring?
Or would you and your partner prefer something more subtle allowing you to spend the money elsewhere?
Adding a Personal Touch with Engraving
Having a special message on your ring can also add to the costs. That being said, it can make the ring unique to you and your relationship. It’s a great way to keep a special message close at hand…literally.
The groom’s ring could be engraved with the name of his wife and the bride’s ring scribed with the groom’s name.
As we’ve already touched on, engraving could impact the delivery time of your ring. If you’re choosing to go this way make sure you get to your jeweler nice and early.
Getting the Right Size
Luckily, unlike an engagement ring, there are plenty of ways to get the groom’s ring size ahead of the purchase.
Whether you’re purchasing for your partner or buying it yourself you should ensure a proper fit of the wedding ring. Some wedding bands can be hard to resize depending on the material used so it’s important to get this right.
You should also think about whether or not your measurements are likely to change before the big day.
If a groom is prone to, shall we say, weight fluctuations…it might be best to take measurements over the course of a month or so to determine the average size of the finger.
As this is something you’ll wear for the rest of your life, comfort is paramount so make sure you get this right.
Choosing the Perfect Material Type
Wedding rings come in a huge variety of materials. You can choose something traditional like gold, platinum or tungsten or, opt for something more modern like silicone.
If you’re feeling brave you could even go for a tattoo in the shape of a ring on that fourth finger of the left hand.
You’ll want to check in with each other about any allergies to particular metals. This can be very problematic if you don’t consult each other before the purchase.
Gold for example is quite a common allergen and can cause facial and eyelid dermatitis. That’s one surefire way to ruin your wedding photos!
Equally, if you want your wedding bands to match in color you’ll want to choose a style and material that you’re both happy with.
Consider Your Partner’s Lifestyle
What does the groom do for their day job? Are they a mechanic who is always getting greasy hands? A surgeon who’s always wearing rubber gloves? Or maybe they just sit at a desk doing accounts?
It’s important to consider the groom’s lifestyle as this will ultimately affect the type of ring purchased. The ideal situation is to find one that is comfortable and doesn’t get in the way of everyday tasks.
For example, if the groom does work with their hands a lot, it might be best to choose a scratch resistant material.
FAQs About Who Buys the Groom’s Ring
Who Earns More in the Relationship?
Assuming you both already live together, maybe you already split the bills according to who earns more. Maybe you earn 25% more than the groom and therefore contribute more towards the running of the house.
This same practice can be taken into who buys the groom’s ring. However, It’s quite a boring way to go about it, and getting your calculators out could prove to be quite the romance killer.
The person who earns more might just decide to bite the bullet and purchase the groom’s wedding ring themselves. If that’s the bride then maybe they could insist that the groom buys them the pair of Louis Vuitton shoes they’ve had their eyes on.
Are Parents Contributing Towards the Wedding?
According to The Knot’s 2022 real wedding study , the average U.S. wedding will set you back $30,000. The price varies by state though. For example, in New York, the average is around $46,000 whilst a wedding in Utah can be just $16,000.
Regardless, that’s a huge chunk of change for any couple. With that in mind, it’s likely you’ll be asking for financial assistance from your parents.
If you’re lucky enough to receive this help you could put some of this money aside to assist with the purchase of the groom’s rings.
You should discuss it with your parents to find out if they’re happy with the funds being spent in this way. After all, it is their money that you’re spending.
Related Reading: Story Amour’s Guide To Wedding Band Buying
Do You Know Your Partner’s Style?
What we like and dislikes is personal to everyone. Choosing to surprise a partner with a ring without considering their style could be a disaster. Unless the jeweler has got a good returns policy of course.
If they already wear jewelry like watches, rings, and necklaces you could use these to gauge the groom’s style. However, if they already have these pieces the chances are high that they’ll be very particular about what they want from their wedding ring.
We think it’s best to discuss this with your partner. Perhaps you could whittle the choices down to 3 for example but you have the deciding vote.
This way you’ll still be able to surprise them to a degree but have the safety net of him not being disappointed.
Do Guys Pick Out Their Own Wedding Ring?
This can be the case for many grooms out there. Ultimately this is the only way they’re going to find a wedding band that they absolutely love to look at and wear.
That being said, this method isn’t for everyone.
There’s the potential that your wedding bands won’t match on the wedding day. Some couples are fine with this whilst others see the unity in picking very similar if not identical rings.
How Much Should a Groom’s Ring Cost?
This could be one of the biggest determining factors in deciding who buys the groom’s ring.
With wedding bands costing anywhere between $200 and $800 it can be a big investment for whoever is paying.
The price you pay will generally be determined by the type of metal you choose.
Platinum, for example, will inevitably cost a lot more than silver. At the same time, any additions chosen such as precious stones or engravings will amp up the costs further.
This could mean the groom’s ring ends up costing upwards of $2000. The type of ring, where you buy it, and any customizations will all have a role to pay in the cost.
Does the Bride Buy the Groom an Engagement Ring?
Another thing you may have to factor into the decision of who buys the groom’s ring is whether they also require an engagement ring.
Typically it’s the groom that will propose to the bride but it’s 2023 so all bets are off.
Equally, if you are a bride and have received an engagement ring from your husband to be, you might wish to return the favor. The same obviously applies to any LGBTQ+ proposals.
Instead of an engagement ring, you might look for something else your groom may appreciate more…like a PS5 or some sort of hair-raising experience like bungee jumping or skydiving.
Related Reading: Do Men Wear Engagement Rings?
Does the Groom Have to Have a Ring?
It’s not a rule that the groom has to have a ring. That being said, it’s very much a part of the tradition of a wedding.
The exchanging of the rings during the ceremony is supposed to represent the vows and promises that a couple has made. It might look a bit odd to not uphold this tradition.
Many husbands out there will have exchanged rings but choose not to wear them. We think this is perfectly fine. Perhaps they don’t like wearing jewelry as they find it gets in the way.
Others will wear their rings on a chain around their necks. This can be popular with anyone who uses their hands a lot for work as it keeps the ring close to them but prevents it from getting damaged.
Related Reading: Wedding Ring Symbolization: A Deep Dive
Where Should You Buy the Groom’s Wedding Ring?
According to The Knot, 35 percent of proposees’ wedding rings were purchased at the same place as their engagement ring. They also found that 30 percent of both partners’ rings were also purchased from the same place.
So around 3 in 10 are establishing some sort of loyalty but what about the remaining 70%?
There are lots of options on where you can buy the groom’s ring from. Online retailers have become increasingly popular as it’s a convenient way of doing it having the ring delivered straight to your door.
That being said, there is nothing like seeking professional advice from a jeweler. This method can also be a lot more instantaneous as you can see the rings in person as opposed to on a screen.
An online retailer may be cheaper but it can’t compete with seeing the item in the flesh and being able to try it on there and then.
Hopefully, after reading through our guide you’re a little clearer on who buys the groom’s ring. As I’m sure you can appreciate, it’s a tough question to answer and all we can do is give you guidance.
The topic of money and who pays for what in a relationship are always difficult conversations to have. That being said, you’re getting married for goodness sake so it’s best to start the ball rolling on these types of dilemmas early.
Whether you’re a groom and you choose to buy your own ring, or if you’re a bride wanting to surprise your husband, we hope you’re now a little more confident in making that decision.
The clocks ticking as your wedding soon approaches. It’s time to start the conversation with your partner now!