The day you get engaged has got to be one of the most exciting days of your life. Until your actual wedding day of course!
Getting engaged is a big commitment and before you do there are a few things to consider. Not counting what your future with your significant other will look like and whether you both want kids, there’s also the engagement logistics to talk about. How much should you spend on the ring? How do you even choose which ring you like? Are you too young? Is there a good time to propose?
At Easy Weddings, we’ve surveyed 3300 real-life couples to help answer these questions for you, to give you a better idea of what the average engagement looks like. Of course, every couple is different and at the end of the day, you should do what is best for you. But if you are looking for a bit of a benchmark, here’s what Australian engagements looked like in 2017.
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How much does an engagement ring cost?
In Australia, the average engagement ring costs around $5,134. Which is actually down from the previous year by almost $200, with the average engagement ring costing closer to $5,300 back in 2016.
If you think about it traditionally, they say that an engagement ring should cost around one month’s net wage. With the average Australian salary coming in at just under $61,000, the average cost of a ring actually comes in a fair bit above the national monthly average!
Will you already be living together before your wedding day?
But don’t worry if that number seems too high for you because there is room to move. At the end of the day, you should be buying an engagement ring that suits your own budget. If possible, it’s best to save up for the engagement ring before actually buying it. This means that you’re starting your wedding planning and saving without debt, so you’ll be able to budget a lot better. Plus watching money going out towards the engagement ring while you’re trying to save for the actual day can be a bit of a downer.
How to choose an engagement ring
While we have seen an increase of more couples choosing their rings together over the last few years, most engagement rings are still only purchased by one partner. In fact, more than 57% of rings are bought without the other person’s input.
Comparatively, 26% of couples are choosing their engagement rings together, while 6% of engagements are formed without a ring.
So how do you go about choosing the perfect engagement ring for yourself or your partner? The first thing you should do is narrow down what they like and dislike. The last thing you want to be doing is buying something your future spouse is going to hate!
The second thing to consider is how the ring will look. If your partner has delicate hands, a larger ring might not actually look as good as they initially thought. And some designs may be more suited to them in a picture compared to the real thing. Going ring shopping with someone who knows your future partner as well as you do will be a bonus. Particularly if their hands are around the same size!
Once you’ve decided what design you want it’s time to shop according to budget. If you do love something that’s a bit out of budget it means that you can then find a design similar that works better, without having ruled that style out in the first place.
What are the most popular dates to get engaged?
The silly season apparently gets its name for a reason, with 9% of all engagements actually happening between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. That’s a lot of love for a short week and a half!
For that reason, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are four of the most popular days to get married. We also see a few people jumping the gun and not being able to wait until after Christmas, with December 23rd also proving to be a popular engagement date.
Unsurprisingly Valentine’s Day also makes the list, with many couples choosing to spend their lives together on the holiday of love.
Thankfully not many engagements are formed on April Fools’ Day. Though that’s not to say there aren’t a lot of proposals!
Who is getting engaged?
So how do you and your partner compare with all of the other couples getting engaged?
93% of brides are aged 35 or under when they get married, with the national average age being 28. Grooms are a little bit older at 29, with 13% of grooms aged over 35.
If you feel like you’re in the middle of a wedding season you’re not alone! 80% of brides have attended at least two weddings in the 12 months prior to getting married.
How long should we wait to get married?
When it comes to engagements, most couples are engaged for 23 months. With the average wedding planning cycle being around 18 months, this gives you a few months to celebrate being engaged, plan an engagement party and have a bit of a break before the real planning begins.
Again though, this depends on your own life goals. 50% of couples who are engaged aim to already have a house before they get married, while another 39% are planning to buy a house within 3 years of being a married couple.
29% of couples are also already parents or will be expecting on their wedding day. So we are seeing more couples prioritising other elements of life above their wedding.
Predictions for 2018
When it comes to engagement stats for 2018 we do expect a few things to change, particularly with the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia last year. We expect that the age of the average couple may increase slightly, as will the number of couples who already have children or their own house for couples who have been waiting for the law to change.
The cost of an engagement ring may also go down slightly as it has over the last year or so, as more couples are becoming budget conscious about their engagement. Though we still expect most engagements to be formed with one person buying the ring for the other.
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