In the Know

2015 Wedding Jewelry Trends

February 22, 2016
Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Brilliant Earth

The Knot recently released the results of The Knot 2015 Jewelry & Engagement Study. The third biannual comprehensive report, the largest of its kind, surveyed more than 12,000 US brides and 1,200 US grooms engaged or recently married from 2014 to early 2015. The goal was to uncover the financial spending habits and trends of proposals in America. It’s good news for brides in that spending, research and quality are all on the rise for soon-to-propose grooms. See The Knot’s top 10 trends for 2015 below.

1   Men Are Spending More on the Ring—and She Knows Just How Much!

Spending on the engagement ring is at an all-time high with men spending an average of $5,978, up from $5,403 in 2013 and $5,095 in 2011. They’re also revealing the cost to their significant other – 68% of women know how much he spent on the ring, with 34% having a general idea and 34% knowing exactly how much he paid.

2   She Knows What She Wants, and Makes It Known

Sixty seven percent of brides began researching rings before getting engaged, using their mobile devices to browse ring styles (43%), share ring ideas with their fiancé (35%) and research ring designers or retailers (29%). Eighty percent of men said their partner dropped hints and 71% of women admitted it. Of the hints they dropped, 51% of women pointed out styles while shopping, 36% told him outright what they wanted and 11% left ads or pictures lying around.

3   The Perfect Ring Takes Time to Find

Guys aren’t just popping into a jewelry store and buying the first ring that catches their eye. Men say it took an average of 4.8 months to research and 3.6 months to find the perfect engagement ring. They also visited five retailers and looked at an average of 25 rings before purchasing “the one.”

4   Public Proposals   

Proposals are increasingly becoming public affairs with 45% of grooms proposing in a public place, up from 34% in 2011. Where are they popping the question? Twenty eight percent proposed in a scenic spot, 21% at home and 18% on vacation. For 40% of brides, it was a complete surprise, while more than half (58%) knew it was coming but weren’t exactly sure when.

5   Tradition Is Alive and Well

The majority of grooms are taking tradition to heart when they propose. More than three-quarters of men (77%) asked for the father’s or parents’ permission before popping the question (up from 71% in 2011) and 85% proposed on bended knee. In fact, 89% even said the words, “Will you marry me?” and 88% proposed with the engagement ring in hand. 

6   Capturing the Moment, Then Using Social Media to Spread the News

Executing the perfect proposal and capturing the moment are high on men’s priority list. Forty-one percent had a photographer or videographer capture the proposal as it happened. This could be why 48% admitted they meticulously planned the proposal down to the last detail. Once engaged, 79% of couples shared the good news on social media within three days. 

7   Precious Stones Are on the Rise, the Halo Setting Triples and Round Still Rings True

Although diamonds are still the number one engagement ring stone choice (63% received a clear diamond center stone with side stones and/or accents, and 21% received a clear diamond solitaire), 8% received a non-diamond precious stone engagement ring, up from 6% in 2013. The trendiest engagement ring setting? The halo, which tripled from 7% in 2011 to 22% in 2015. The most popular diamond cut is round (49% received this shape), followed by princess (22%), then cushion (6%). Nearly 3 in 4 women (74%) received a ring weighing in at .5 to 2 carats, and 45% received a ring sized at 1 carat or more.

8   Quality Over Quantity  

Eighty-five percent of men would rather buy a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality, and 57% of brides admit that they’d rather have a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality. Additionally, brides want to stand out, with 33% saying they’d prefer a different shape stone than the traditional (and most popular) round shape.

9   Customization Is Crucial

Whether they completely designed the ring with a jeweler or made custom changes to an existing design, 45% of men are choosing to add personal elements to the engagement ring. Eighty-six percent of brides received a new ring, 11% an heirloom and 3% a vintage piece.

10   Wedding Band Spend Is Up… He Wants Comfort and She Wants Diamonds

Having a comfortable fit is the top priority (28%) for grooms when choosing a wedding band, while showing off a band with diamonds is essential (46%) for brides. She prefers a white gold (68%) wedding band above all, while he likes a variety of metals including tungsten (30%), white gold (27%), yellow gold (12%) and titanium (12%). Couples spend an average of $1,417 on her wedding band (up from $1,126 in 2011) and $558 on his band (up from $491 in 2011).

Wyndham Alltra

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.