Just to add my 2 cents as this is an interesting thread… I recently got engaged to my partner of over 7 years, and she got me a ring. It is not huge but it is a beautiful solitaire set in a plain platinum band. First of all, we got engaged because my partner got very sick last year, I apparently took great care of her, and she knew I wanted to get married, since civil partnership is now legal in Ireland, so she thought she’d treat me to a diamond ring. I never saw it coming, I just thought we’d decide one day to do the deed and that would be it. As a gay couple, we didn’t feel the social pressure of getting married after a certain amount of time. Secondly, I never had an interest in jewelry, but as soon as I got the ring on my finger, I started obsessing over diamonds and rings, and diamond rings, and diamond earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc… and I mean, obsessed!! To the point where I actually said to my girlfriend that I wanted a bigger diamond! I don’t, I really love my ring the way it is, but I got sucked into the whole bigger=better craziness that fills the wedding world. I have been living in Ireland for 13 years (I am French), so I can’t comment on whether this is an Irish thing, as it may be the exact same thing France, but I know that in my office, most engaged/ married women look at the size of the ring over the quality. As someone else mentioned, never mind that a huge rock looks like glass, all a lot of women seem to care about is the size, but don’t seem to really mind if it doesn’t sparkle.
Anyway, as I said, just my 2 cents, apologies for the essay – it just hit a nerve!
Congrats to all newly engaged, married and of course, the happily committed – jewelry/ marriage is a personal choice and no-one should feel pressured into anything that isn’t them!