Cafe Talk: The $1.00 Wedding Ring & Minimalism

I was recently watching a YouTuber, This Girl Audra, who posted a video called “My $1.00 Wedding Ring (Seriously) | Minimalism”. I had a lot of expectations going into the video about what she was going to say – “You don’t need expensive things”, “Your worth is not defined by things”, etc. etc. Those are the kind of messages that I tend to hear a lot from minimalist YouTubers- and it’s not a bad message. Essentially, Audra’s story was that she and her husband planned to travel to teach English as a Foreign Language in another country. Because they would be moving out-of-country, they needed to let go of a lot of what they owned. Naturally, as most people do, they found that many items were hard to get rid of because of the attachments placed on those items.

This led them to look at the things they owned as what they were – simply material possessions. They came to the understanding that material possessions are only valuable when they are given value by people and no matter how valuable a possession, it will not go with us when we die. Audra then had a seemingly crazy idea – that includes wedding rings. With a little convincing, both Audra and her husband sold their wedding rings and purchased new, much less expensive rings – for $1.00. It was around this point in the video where I got hooked. Audra began explaining her reasoning behind the $1.00 ring as well as her experiences with it.

Wedding rings can be easily lost, broken, or become tarnished – especially when traveling.

 A husband’s love should not be measured by the size of the rock that he buys you.

 The only material thing we will bring with is when we die is nothing.

My boyfriend gave me a promise ring several months ago and so the first reason struck a massive cord with me. I was taking out the garbage one day, thinking that I had my ring on when I didn’t. After tossing the bag into the dumpster outside my apartment complex, I realized the ring was not on my finger. I went into a massive panic. Heart racing, I ran back into my apartment in hopes that it was still there and not in the dumpster. Luckily, it was safe in sound – in my white ceramic ring dish with a little bird on it. Since then, I never take out the trash with my ring on – ever.

That scenario taught me a) to be more careful and aware of my stuff and b) stuff can be lost or broken at any time. Losing a $1.00 ring is much more forgiving than losing an $800 ring (my ring isn’t $800, but you know what I mean). Your stuff isn’t going to be there when you die, so why not spend your time and money on things that actually matter like making memories with your partner, family, and friends? My boyfriend is the kind of person to spend money – lots of it. So when the topic of wedding ring costs came up one day, he remarked that he would want a more expensive ring. His price range of what was considered a real and acceptable ring was around $1,000. This was mind-blowing to me and somewhat anxiety provoking as well. My first thought was What if I lose it?

 Carrying that much money around on your hand all day is certainly a cause for some amount of anxiety. What was even more interesting to me was that Audra said she received more compliments on her $1.00 ring in her first year of wearing it than she had in all 7 years of wearing her original big, expensive ring!! I am not at all shocked that people were not able to tell that the ring was inexpensive. Honestly, I would venture to guess that most all Americans cannot tell the difference between a high end or cheap clothing item. Personally, I care much more about how the ring looks rather than the price tag attached to it anyway.

So, will I get a $1.00 ring someday when I get engaged? Likely not. However, this put a lot of things in perspective for me and I will certainly be convincing my boyfriend to cut his ring price in half, at the least. If anything, hearing this story has helped me to further detach myself from my possessions. My mom and I spoke recently about who would receive her engagement ring and wedding band when she passed someday. My siblings and I went into instant bargaining mode to identify who would get which ring. Thinking back on that situation, I realize that the look and price of my mother’s wedding rings were completely unimportant and irrelevant to us. The only thing my siblings and I cared about was that it was hers.

Thanks to Audra for some food for thought! What do you think? Let me know the in the comments!


Good luck to you, where ever you are in your journey!





Photos from This Girl Audra’s Instagram + PicJumbo. I do not own the photos in this post. 

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