Every few months there's a new meme about why size matters — The size of an engagement ring, that is! I recently saw a meme that was a Walmart advertisement for an engagement ring that costs $24.99. Everybody seemed to have an opinion on whether or not a ring with that price tag was up to par. One woman on Facebook bluntly said that “marriage is a business, if you can’t invest in it then you’re not ready for it.” Cue the Diane from Black-ish shocked face because what in the what?! Others quipped that women put up with a lot more for free so what’s the price have to do with it? Then the news broke of Paris Hilton’s ginormous ring and the internet collectively lost her mind.
I can admit I’m not a huge fan of Paris Hilton. If I had to describe it, I’d be largely neutral about her persona. I didn’t care much about her antics as a teenager, but ridiculous or not, she took her already-minted name and turned it into her own brand. On Instagram and Twitter, many women seemed to take issue that a woman “like her” got such a huge “reward.” She didn’t take a more “virtuous” woman’s place. Her fiancé wanted her, her as she is now and her as she was. We all want the same, right? So why be in our feelings about a person we’ll never meet, getting a rock unintended for our hands, from a dude we don’t want? Worse yet, in all the chatter and conversation I couldn’t help but notice how the importance of the ring’s value was tied to the value of the person wearing it.
As a wedding planner I see this all the time. You’re ecstatic about marrying the love of your life when Aunty Shades-a-lot has something to say. “That’s all he could afford?” Or my personal favorite, “Where is it?” #notonyourfingersis
We measure worthiness and value in all the wrong ways. I’m not going to preach that having a huge rock makes you the devil. Does it mean something to you? Did they pick out the ring you’ve dreamed about? Did they design it? Did they get a cost effective ring because your dream is to own your own home? Context matters. A ring has monetary and sentimental value. Who cares what it looks like or how much money was spent on it. It’s a signifier for the two people involved, and them alone.
Most importantly, whatever happened to just being happy for people? You know your friend has been looking for love for a long time and a great person has finally come along that respects, challenges, and loves them. Would you really tell them it’s not in their best interest to say yes because they didn’t spend according to your standards? Chile please.
Whether the ring is 20 carats or $25, if you’re not the one rocking it, keep your two cents to yourself.
Jordan A. Maney is a San Antonio-based wedding planner and owner of All The Days Event Co. She she started her company as a planning haven for all the couples the industry chooses to ignore. Instead of just making a brand, she's building a community. Find more of her sass, humor, and Southern hospitality at allthedaysweddings.com.