Wedding bands are a symbol of a couple’s eternal love and commitment, but they’re also an added expense in the wedding budget. One way to potentially score a deal on your rings is by shopping during strategic times of the year.
Sales often occur in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And you may find a bargain during September and October, when jewelers need to clear out old stock before the holidays.
But February, the month devoted to lovers, can also be a good time to shop for wedding bands. Here’s why.
Reasons to Buy Your Wedding Bands in February
There are a few reasons why you may want to shop for wedding rings during the shortest month of the year.
It’s a Popular Time for Proposals
Many people pop the question between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, and Valentine’s Day continues to be one of the most popular holidays for couples to get engaged.
Jewelers know this, and they often prepare for the influx of business by rolling out promotions on engagement rings and wedding bands. Consider hitting the stores between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day, before the crowds show up. And if you can, shop during an off-peak time of day when the store is quieter. You may find it easier to try to negotiate a better price for your bands.
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Bridal Fairs Are Kicking Into Gear
Many bridal expos are held in February and March, offering couples a chance to see the latest wedding band styles without the sales pressure. Vendors are there to give tips as well as a good pitch, and some may offer limited-time, expo-related discounts.
Gather up information and coupons at the bridal fair, then give yourselves a day or two to regroup and possibly go make a purchase.
The Timing Works for a Summer Wedding
Jewelers typically recommend shopping for wedding bands at least three to four months before your wedding date — longer if you have your heart set on a one-of-a-kind design. That will give you time to look and look again, get the rings sized, and have any engraving or other customizing done.
For couples getting married in the summer — peak wedding season — this will mean starting the ring buying process in February.
How to Shop For Wedding Bands
No matter what time of year you shop for a wedding ring, it’s a good idea to do a little prep work before you hit the stores. Here are some things to consider doing ahead of time.
Set a Budget
You want bands you’ll love forever, but not at a price that will put you in debt for the rest of your lives. At the start, let your jeweler know what your budget is, and they can work with you to find rings within that range.
Consider a Wedding Set
If you haven’t settled on an engagement ring yet, you may want to look into purchasing a wedding set. This set includes your engagement ring and a matching wedding band. Buying both at the same time could save you money.
As with most major purchases, you’ll want to shop around for wedding bands. Visit different jewelers, including online shops, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the pros and cons of different metals, gemstones, and designs.
Once you find the bands you want, try negotiating for a better price. You may be able to increase your chances of getting a deal by offering to pay all cash.
How to Pay For Your Wedding Bands
A wedding ring is usually cheaper than an engagement ring, but it can still take a significant bite out of your budget.
According to The Knot, the typical men’s wedding band costs around $510, while the average woman’s band runs closer to $1,100. Prices can vary widely based on a number of factors, including the metal type, overall design, and gemstones.
Let’s look at a few common ways to finance wedding rings.
No-Interest Credit Cards
Larger jewelry stores usually offer some sort of in-store financing, including no-interest credit cards. You can also apply for one directly with a lender.
This option lets you buy the bands you want today, which is a major benefit. And it could make good financial sense if you’re able to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends. However, if you can’t, you’ll have to pay interest on whatever you owe. And that interest rate probably will be higher than other credit card or loan offers available to you.
Buy Now, Pay Later
Think of buy now, pay later (or BNPL) as a kind of installment payment plan. It allows you to purchase your wedding bands today and then spread out payments over a set number of weeks or months, often for zero or low interest. Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm are all common examples of BNPL providers.
Usually, no minimum credit score is required for approval. Rather, providers will consider the amount available on the debit or credit card you’re using in the transaction, your history with that lender, and key details about the item you’re buying.
Also, a soft credit check is typically conducted to approve or reject your request, but it does not impact your credit score.
As with a no-interest credit card, if you pay off the BNPL plan as planned, you may not incur interest or fees. But if funds aren’t paid on time, or a longer-term plan is chosen, you could be hit with a high interest rate and/or late fees.
You can get a personal loan from a bank, credit union, or online lender. Many, but not all, personal loans are unsecured, which means you won’t need to put up any collateral, such as a house or car. Instead, lenders will consider your creditworthiness.
Most personal loans are paid back within three to five years, and the interest rate tends to be higher if there is no collateral. The better your credit score is, the lower the interest rate and monthly payment will be. However, the lower the payment, the longer it might take you to pay off the loan.
Generally speaking, once you’re approved for a loan, you can receive funds within days. In some cases, you may be able to get the money within a day or two. This quick influx of cash can come in handy if you’re planning to haggle for a better price on the band.
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Wedding bands can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but fortunately, there are ways couples may be able to save money. Shopping during certain times of the year, including February, can help. During that month, you may be able to take advantage of special promotions, including those offered at local bridal shows. Be sure to shop around, and when you find the ring you want, don’t be afraid to try your hand at haggling.
If you need help paying for the rings, you have several options to explore. For example, no-interest credit cards and buy now, pay later programs can both provide you with the funds you need right away. However, if you don’t pay off the balance before the promotional period ends, you could face high interest rates. A personal loan is another way to pay for rings. While you may not be required to put up any collateral, the lender will consider your creditworthiness.
Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.
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