The wedding industry in America is worth over $53.4 billion, but for one woman in Tennessee, her love doesn’t come with a price tag.
In a Facebook post last month, Ariel Desiree McRae proudly shared a photo of her wedding rings:
She had been dating her fiancé for two years, and she admitted that they often have to scrape money together just to pay their bills.
When they decided to get married, Ariel said she:
“Wasn’t even thinking about rings, I just wanted to marry my best friend.”
But her fiancé insisted, so they went to Pandora and picked out two matching rings she loved. The total cost for both of the rings was $130.
As they were ready to check out, another salesperson came over and said:
“Y’all, can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic.”
Quinn, her fiancé, was already upset about the possibility that he couldn’t make her happy because of his financial constraints. When he heard the salesperson’s remark, his face fell.
Already taking on the role of “supportive wife” Ariel told the saleswoman:
“It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that is.”
The two got married in a courthouse ceremony and, as Ariel writes in her post, she is “happier than I could ever imagine.”
The cost of her wedding ring didn’t bother her, but something about the situation weighed on her mind:
“When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring? Sure they are nice, sure the sentiment is wonderful and I’m not trying to cut down any of your experiences, but when did it come to all that?”
Weddings aren’t immune to social media’s use of the “humble brag.” Advertisements and articles often place a large amount of importance on engagement rings:
— Troy Clancy (@TCJewels) December 3, 2016
Ariel also asked:
“Why do material possessions equate love??”
Engagement photos sometimes reiterate this sentiment, showcasing the engagement ring while the fiancé is either out of focus or barely shown.
In 1967, The Beatles said, “all you need is love.” 50 years later, it seems that– for some people– that’s still true.