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How Millennials feel about Engagement Rings

1st September 2020

by Kundan

Millennial Marriages: How do Generation Y feel about Engagement Rings?

We’ve all heard it many times before, how Millennials are the ‘lazy’ and ‘entitled’ generation. But, right now, they are the generation that are most likely ‘to put a ring on it’. We were curious about whether these preconceptions make Millennials feel differently about proposing, compared to other generations. Do they feel the need to spend so much? Do they believe in marriage at all? Or are they more traditional than others think?

We surveyed over 2300 people to explore how much Millennials think they should spend on engagement rings, who they think should buy the ring, and whether a placeholder is a good idea - the results may surprise you!

Actual vs Expected costs of engagement ring according to millennials

As Millennials are either just starting their careers or, right in the peak of them, the amount they spend on diamond engagement rings can vary dramatically. 

Nonetheless from our data, we discovered that millennials spend £1911 on average, on an engagement ring. While they are only spending marginally more than the national average (£1865), Millennials feel like they should be splashing the cash. They believe they should spend around £3045 on an engagement ring, which interestingly, is higher than any other age group.

Our survey results show that Millennial women think an engagement ring should cost £2885, while Millennial men believe it should cost £3626, which is almost double than what is actually being spent. Whether it’s because they’re keen to impress, drunk in love or just among the higher earners, their expectations are high.

These high expectations may be a product of Millennial-esque ambitions, or their surprising desire to follow some engagement traditions, like the 3-month rule. From our data, we learned that almost 28% of Millennials think that the 3-month rule is about right, which means they think they should spend, on average, £7650 on an engagement ring…

Use our engagement ring calculator to help you set budgets based on your lifestyle to help you buy the perfect ring.

Who do millennials think should pay for the engagement ring?

 As Millennials want to abide by weddings and engagement traditions, the majority of 25-39 year olds believe that the proposer should be the person who pays for the ring. However, in a surge of independence, 11% of proposed millennials decide to pay for their own ring, and although 7% think that the cost of the ring should be shared, only 4% actually split the cost between them. In a few years time, when Gen Z’s are ready to pop the question, this number may rise as they are known for being more invested in inclusivity than previous generations.


How do millennials view placeholder engagement rings?

One of our survey questions was centred around the idea of placeholder rings, which is very popular if someone doesn’t have the funds yet to get the ring their partner desires, or if they’ve proposed very impulsively. When it comes to Millennials though, they think that placeholder rings are one of the worst ideas possible. In fact, when asked if a placeholder ring is a good idea, a huge 25% said no with 57% not knowing what a placement ring even was. 

So, if you were thinking of proposing to your Millennial partner it’s probably best to either take your time to invest in a real engagement ring or choose one of these alternate ideas to propose without a ring, to avoid disappointment!

If you’re entering the world of engagement ring shopping, read our handy engagement ring guide for everything you need to know. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something different than the standard diamond ring, take a look at our beautiful gemstone engagement rings.

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