(Closed) engagement rings and customs throughout the world

posted 4 years ago in Traditions
Post # 2
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Brussels, Belgium

I’m American too, but from Hawaii originally and I never noticed anyone there with huge rings, but now that I live in Chicago I have noticed a lot more bling. Lots of halos, too. In fact every friend I have here who is engaged has a halo ring. The center stone for their rings is fairly small, but the halo makes it seem rather large. Fiance and I didn’t take photos. I’m half Asian half white, but my parents didn’t seem to care if we did anything special so we didn’t do anything.

Fiance on the other hand is from Belgium, but I’m not sure if what I’ve observed is just his family or a country thing. His family has long worked in the diamond industry so all the women have lots of jewelry with either plenty of little diamonds or one huge diamonds. My ring is .61ct, which some folks seem to think is small, but I like it. As far as I know none of the people in his family have taken engagement photos. Only one of his friends is married and that was years ago so I don’t know what she did. After getting married none of the guys wear rings (I’m curious if Fiance will when we tie the knot). He’s also Jewish, which I don’t think influences the engagement any, but would in general impact the wedding except I’m not converting. 


catpeaches:  By The Way, I think this is a great thread!

Post # 3
768 posts
Busy bee

            I moved from Italy 3 yrs ago but I live in the DMV area.

From what I have seen in my 20+ years there, engagement rings are anywhere between .25 to .40 carats. I have seen bigger around 1ct or 1.5 but that was rather rare and only “rich” women had them. It is not a tradition to have ER over there, but it has become more popular over the last few years. I have to say that I have never seen other cuts than round stones.

One thing I have noticed, is that ER are very modern over there. Take a look at websites such as damiani or donna oro. You can see that ERs are usually solitaires with a modern look to them. Oh another kind women tend to like in Italy (from what I have seen), are three stone rings, aka trilogy rings.

I’ve never heard of people doing engagement photos. Quite a few friends from high school and college have gotten married recently and they never took engagement photos (or maybe never posted them). 

Traditionally at weddings we give favors along with white “confetti” (Jordan almonds) and for good luck and prosperity, we give 5. The other ones are the common something old, new, blue, borrowed, and wearing the garter. 

Hope this helps!


Post # 4
768 posts
Busy bee

catpeaches:  Oh I forgot something..after the ceremony we throw rice on the newlyweds. I am not doing that as it gets everywhere 

Post # 5
1378 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

catpeaches:  I’m in WI, and the diamond sizes I see here would be considered tiny on the Bee. Most rings here are modest (and I work in a big city, very large university). I would say they’re all between 0.5-1 carat with a few going 1.5. I haven’t seen a lot of halos other than in stores here either. An e-ring is proposed with and then wedding bands are exchanged for both. Usually the woman’s band is a wrap of some sort matching the ring and the man’s is a plain metal band (sometimes with small diamonds inset). Fiance and I are jumping tradition there – my wedding band did not come as a set with my ring, though it coordinates, and Fiance is having a wood inlay in his band. 

Some other traditions here include the dollar dance, garter toss (by sitting on the best man’s knee and the groom gets all up in your dress), neither of which we’re doing. 

Post # 6
244 posts
Helper bee

I’m from South Africa, and weddings differ quite a lot within different cultures in our country. I’m a white Afrikaanse girl, so my wedding and customs will differ from a Zulu girl’s wedding.

Because our country has such a big seperation between super rich and poverty, it’s hard to say how big or small engagement rings on average are – but I rarely see rings over 1ct. I have a .75ct ring, and people often comment on how big my ring is (sometimes I forget that my ring is considered big when I read Weddingbee)

 A typical Afrikaanse wedding doesn’t differ too much from an American wedding. The one thing I’ve noticed on the Bee, is that open bars isn’t really a thing at our weddings. I’ve never been to a wedding that didn’t have a cash bar. My Fiance and I are doing an open bar, but that is only for logistical reasons (we’re getting married on his family’s farm, so we would have to get a liqour licence to sell alcohol)

Another thing we don’t have, are rehearsal dinners.

Post # 7
1519 posts
Bumble bee

In the UK and mine is .72 and everyone considers it huge. I think anything between .3 and .8 cts here are normal, anything over 1ct is quite flashy and people assume it to be fake or that you are very very rich. Solitaires are the norm here as well and i’ve never seen anyone with a halo ring. 

Our typical wedding day is similar to american weddings but the build up is different. We don’t have bridal showers or rehearsal dinners. Engagement photos are becoming more popular but not expected. Most people dont have engagement parties either and wedding registeries are quite rare. Another difference is that Hen parties are often organised by the bride and bridesmaids aren’t expected to do anything towards the wedding except show up. The bride pays for their dresses too. For the wedding itself, the ceremony must take place in an authorised venue (usually a church, registery office or hotel) and can’t be held outside. The ceremony therefore costs a bit more than in America. Otherwise the rest of the wedding is the same.

Post # 8
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Maui

I’m American, but I’m living in Japan and I’m engaged to a Japanese man.  When a couple gets engaged, there is usually no ring or romantic proposal. What usually happens is the couple agree to get married, and the parents of the couple meet face to face. It’s traditional for the groom’s family to offer a generous cash gift to the bride’s family, something like $10,000 or more, which will be used by the bride and groom to buy stuff for their new place. This isn’t always done nowadays. Some guys do buy rings, but they usually choose it together with the bride after the proposal, and they are much smaller than American rings. Around 0.2~0.3 carats is average. They still cost quite a lot of money though. Women usually do not continue to wear their engagement rings past the wedding, and only wear them on special occasions. Engagement periods are really short, maybe only a few months. This is because the only way to get legally married in Japan is to file paperwork at the city hall. Wedding ceremonies are only symbolic and have no legal weight, so couples tend to get the legal paperwork out of the way quickly, and plan the wedding ceremony for later. They don’t really do casual engagement photos like in America, but they do take formal studio portraits in traditional kimono, wedding dresses, or fancy colored dresses. These photos are often displayed somewhere at the reception.

As for the wedding ceremony itself, it can be done in tradtional Shinto style at a shrine in kimono, or it can be done western style in a “church” with the white wedding dress. The “church” is usually built into a hotel and is only used for weddings. Western style is much more popular. The wedding reception is very formal and extravagant. It is pretty much always a full course French or Japanese meal, open bar, and involves lots of speeches. The bride usually changes her dress iat some point. There is no dancing, but there are videos, songs, skits, etc. performed by guests to keep people entertained. Everyone brings cash in envelopes instead of gifts.  The amount of cash varies depending on the relationship with the couple, but it is generally $300 and up. This is the unspoken rule but this varies across Japan. In my part of northern Japan, people are poor so $150 is standard per person, and the amount is specified on the wedding invitation. This seems rude to westerners to flat out ask for money on the invitation, but here it is just seen as being kind and generous to your guests, because if no amount is specified everyone will feel obligated to bring $300 or more. The money is collected before the reception begins and is used to help cover the wedding costs. Wedding costs are normally quite high, national average is $35,000 but where I live it’s around $20,000. Most places don’t allow DIY stuff to cut costs. When you choose your wedding venue, you basically choose their set plan and can’t deviate much from it. Even the dress is rented through the venue as part of the plan. 

Oh yeah, and there are no bridesmaids or groomsmen, no bachelor or bachelorette parties, no bridal showers.

Overall it’s all pretty costly and elaborate here so we are skipping it and eloping to Hawaii. 🙂

Post # 9
6529 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

catpeaches:  I was born and raise in Brooklyn, NY and I work in Manhattan so as you know being a NYC resident, you know that there are a lot of women with huge stones. (2ct or more and a halo which makes it look even bigger!!!) 

Its very easy for women to be intimidated here and make sure they have a ring that will fit in with everyone elses. 

Me, I didn’t care what Darling Husband got me, I just wanted to marry him! But Darling Husband surprised me big time, he got me a beautiful, gorgeous 1.25ct solitaire cushion cut diamond in a platium setting and pave band. Its classic, timeless, and its my ring and I love it. I kept telling him that I didn’t need a big ring, I had gone shopping one day in the city and was with a bunch of my friends and just for kicks we tried on some rings at Tiffany’s (which By The Way is extremly overpriced-you are just paying for the name!) but we tried on some gorgeous engagement rings, and I really liked the way the .75ct stones looked on me and I told Darling Husband and he was adament about getting me at least a carat and to stop shopping and to let him take care of it Lol, so I did and he did any amazing job. 


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