« on: February 15, 2006, 08:33:13 AM »
My DH and I married 9 years ago while we were both in grad school and broke, living on borrowed money. We wanted to get married and priced rings, found out that we were in no position to pay for it. The way I looked at it was, if we were going to be married, the debts were going to be both of ours after marriage. The practical thing to do was to forego the huge rock. it didnt make sense for us to buys something extravagant when we didnt even have a reliable car to drive. I was okay with waiting for the larger rock later on, and that worked out fine for us. Although in the "Jones'" circle, it can be intimidating for some to be okay with that arrangement. Some of the older couples have said that it was a wise and savvy thing to not blow a huge sum on a ring we could not afford. My younger sister, insisted on a 3 grand ring and believed that she would never upgrade and wanted to big rock right away. To each his own.
Another friend bought his fiance's ring a year before proposing so by the time he proposed, the ring was pretty much paid off. Given the OP's situation, a good idea might be to take the diamonds out of his grandmother's ring and have it custom made intoa new ring so the ring is new, updated and will suit the fiance's tastes. Most of the cost is in the diamond, anyway so if u can get for free, go for it.
When u look back at this years down the road, u wont see this as such a big deal. I have so many friends who dont even wear their engagement ring and either wear the diamond band or downgrade to a plain band to avoid accidentally scratching their newborn.
It is far better to be able to provide financially to allow ure wife to stay home to raise kids if she chooses, live in a nice area, nice house, etc than get a rock u can't afford or will be paying on it for years.
A little off topic....A colleague of mine has a beautiful diamond and I said jokingly to her, "You cant be that brokw with that diamond on your finger" and she just looked at it and laughed saying, "Yeah right! this was bought back when we had no mortgage, car payment or other big bills. We could afford to make payments on it back then, but now forget it!"