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Why would the price of a ring, or the actual ring, matter at all?
Do you get married to be with the other person or because you want the most expensive ring possible?
I don't even get the whole marriage thing.
There are some conveniences by law, like your inheritance goes to your SO and I believe you even get some retirement and tax benefits.
I get the inheritance thing, but as a single I want financial benefits too (and let married people live of love, why do they get to be happy twice!?)
And we can see that commitment to family is not what it used to be
Perhaps that commitment never was all that good to begin with, except after generations of bad marriages and unhappy people we finally get to divorce those that we once thought we'd want to be with forever.
When I got married it was about a personal choice, not about cost.
Myself and my wife (We where out in Qatar at the time as I was working out there) decided to just go and have a walk around one of the market places.
We ended up getting 2 very plain, very simple gold rings, what made it special was that we designed the pattern that the merchant then engraved into the rings all told about 500 ryals (About £100 GB at the time - 10 years ago now)
Today we have a set of fairly low quality gold rings, but they have a unique pattern on that's matching on both rings, we know they are OUR rings and symbolize us both as a partnership/team/duo how ever you want to describe it.
In my mind at least, it's not about the cost, it's about the symbolic binding between two people. Neither myself or my wife follow any pre-prescribed religion. My wife Identifies as no particular religion but not as an atheist, and I identify myself as an Agnostic, so the rings where not selected as any kind of religious symbology.
I think to some people it's just about signaling this linking of 2 people and if both parties are happy for that to be a plastic ring then so be it.
I think the reason that most of us are pre conditioned to expect to have to pay large amounts of money to our prospective bride is for exactly the same reason where expected and conditioned to update to the more costly new model of phone, or computer, or car or whatever each year.
Marketing and Consumerism.
Myself and My Wife, got our wedding, her dress, the venue the party & food and transport for relatives all for just under £1000 Gbp when we got married.
My friend who got married not long after, spent £10,000 on his wedding, and the dress was "hired" (They didn't get to keep it) we where shuttled out of the venue as fast as they could move us on to make way for the next couple who wanted their special day at that location, and the after party a number of people got sick due tot he quality of the food.
My friend and his Wife, went for the named brands, the high quality well know caterers, the post Equestrian center.
My Wedding, we had a simple service, and then had an amazing afternoon/evening in a local club, just having a jolly old family knees up, with a lot's of drinking & merriment, and a small buffet laid on by the club we where at.
Sorry, I got off onto a bit of a ramble there... but you get the point I was trying to make, hopefully
My wife and I got married over 25 years ago. She has a stock engagement/wedding ring that we customized slightly with different stones: the stock one utilized all diamonds while heres looks like a white rose (diamond) with leaves (emeralds). She has worn it constantly. I had a simple gold band; which I think may have been free with the purchase of her ring. If not, it was pretty cheap. It was also very uncomfortable, and I stopped wearing it.
Time went on, I started doing some activities (sailing) where I was glad I no longer wore it; I had heard the stories of people losing fingers getting the band caught on a line. We moved a couple of times. Short story: I have no idea where my wedding band went, but I certainly no longer have it.
I have seen the Enso bands, and I have considered getting one just BECAUSE it would be safe, and yet I could again represent my commitment to my wife. I haven't yet purchased one because I agree that they are fairly ugly, but if I find one tolerable in appearance, I probably will get it and see if I can stand wearing it.
So, while this might not be THE explanation of why popularity is increasing, it offers a reason other than being cheap or undevoted.
I actually only tend to wear mine when we go out together, or at family occasions.
I know where it is, I keep it in a box on my nightstand along with my watch and a few other bits.
I can't wear it when I'm typing (Which is 90% of my time) because it's uncomfortable when it rubs against the inside of my fingers, as with you it doesn't mean I think any less of my commitment, my commitment to my wife is proven by the fact where still together.
I talked to a young contractor here at work who wore one of those silicone rings. He and his wife are really into lifting weights & working out. He said it's a trendy thing within his social group of hard-core exercise people to get those rings. He said it's primarily for the practical reason of not having to worry about getting your finger caught when, say, doing pullups, but there's also the financial/social agreement not to expect "2 months salary" for a ring. It's interesting because I agree about wedding ring expense being such a pointless waste of money, but in my social circle I'm shouting against the wind; if I just started wearing one, my wife would be angry/offended, I would get endless weird looks, all that. I would love it if they would come around to this way of thinking but it'll never happen. However, if their entire subculture/clique has all agreed that this is acceptable for them, then it's one more forced-purchase they can cast off, which is wonderful. (I've tried to do a similar thing for birthdays and Christmas gifts--I always suggest that we get gifts for kids, but do away with gift exchanges between adults, who so clearly don't really care about it, but the powerful of the social tradition is just too strong to break away from; nobody has the courage to break from it.)
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