It sounds like your fiance got stiffed very badly to me. Your fiance is trying to save some money. I actually get it. I thought of some ideas on how to persuade him to sell the ring and wedding dress if he is not comfortable with them. I also have other ideas that may not require getting rid of the ring or the dress.
Here are some options regarding the ring:
1- You can resell the ring in kijiji, ebay or other sites and get as much value as you can for the ring. My fiance sold his ex’s ring to his close friend.
2- Since diamonds are expensive. You can take off the diamond on the ring and sell the ring. Buy another ring without and diamond and place it on the ring. You will be only recycling the diamond and not the ring.
3- Go for lower budget ring so that your fiance is encouraged to sell the ring. There are so many nice cheap engagement rings that you can buy with the money that your fiance receives from selling the ring especially that you are not very particular.
4- Some people don’t wear engagement ring when they get engaged. It may be better not to wear any ring at al than to wear your fiance’s ex’s ring. There are so many ideas that have replace engagement rings online.
5- You can melt the ring and make another ring for yourself. This may become more expensive than the other choices.
6- Buy a wedding ring together and wear it as your engagement and wedding ring. Some people wear the same ring for engagement and wedding. You fiance may be on board with this since he won’t have to worry about buying you a new ring. He can also sell the old one and benefit from it.
Here ares some options for the ex’s wedding dress:
1- Resell it and buy a low budget wedding dress with the money that you receive. Wearing another used dress is still better than wearing the dress of your fiance’s ex. you can find many websites that sell preowned wedding dress that you may like.
2- You could also buy the wedding dress with your personal money so that he doesn’t suffer another debt.
3- This option may not be for you: You could go for a very small wedding or elope to avoid huge expenses on the wedding dress. This option is not for every one but it saves money if you wear a new wedding dress.
4- Alter the wedding dress to your liking and save money on buying a new dress. After all, the ex did not get married in that dress. It also sounds like she has expensive taste, so, there is a possibility that the dress is nice. If the dress needs major alteration because it is not your style, then it’s just cheaper to buy another dress. This may not be a good option for you.