YESTERDAY the Leader revealed almost half of married or engaged women in Wrexham know of someone who had paid for their own engagement rings, according to a survey commissioned by QVC.
Wrexham has the highest percentage of anywhere in UK – the study said – as around a quarter of women asked also said they would contribute to their own rings.
One thing the survey did not tell us was why?
So Leader reporter Rhain Waller asked some women with personal experience.
Natalie Roberts, 45, of Wrexham, said: “A lot of people I know are doing it, because they don’t trust the man to get the right ring.
“But I had to pick mine because he couldn’t afford it, even though he was working.
“I actually ended up footing the bill for the wedding and then both the rings – for both of us.”
Sadly, the purchases didn’t last long.
She said: “He lost his in a swimming pool and mine went up a friend’s hoover, which I thought says it all.
“I picked it out of a catalogue because I couldn’t afford to get one from a jewellers.
His attitude was: ‘Well, you wanted to get married. Weddings are a girl thing. You started it, you may as well get the work done’.
“Fair play, his family were very supportive.
“His mum was brilliant. But him, not so much.”
Was it happily ever after, following Natalie’s investment? Unfortunately, no.
Natalie said: “My partner’s sister was in the same boat. She bought her ring and she’s now separated. Now my daughter has picked her own, which has rung a few alarm bells!
“I say if you can’t get a man willing to buy you a ring then don’t bother.
“But to be fair, at least it was clear that’s how it was going to be. If I ever wanted anything I had to get it myself.”
Natalie and her current partner have been together for 18 years.
She said: “We treat each other, which is lovely. I don’t have a good track record with rings though.
“We’ve been engaged for a while, and in that time we’ve gone though five engagement rings. Each time we get a pair, one of us loses a stone or it falls off. At least he buys mine and I buy his.”
Another resident from the Wrexham area, who wanted to be known only as Susan, found herself in a similar situation.
The 43-year-old, from Penycae, said: “My fiance didn’t work. One day we went out and looked at a set of rings and he said ‘pick whichever one you want’.
“It turned out he could afford to be generous because I was paying for it – so I chose the cheapest.”
She added: “I’d buy my own Christmas and birthday presents. So when people asked ‘what did he get you?’, I couldn’t answer.
“In the last three years, I just gave up lying. I’d tell them he’d got me nothing.”
A number of other Wrexham residents said rather than following the tradition of the man secretly selecting and paying for an engagement ring, couples buy each other rings after the marriage proposal.
But at least one romantic kept the engagement ring a secret.
Dee Hillier, 33, of Ruabon, popped the question to girlfriend Ashley Parry ahead of the law change which saw same-sex marriage legalised in March.
She said: “I brought my girlfriend’s ring in May last year. I hid it for two days.
“I was going to ask her that evening, but I bottled it.
“On the Saturday we went for a picnic and it was so pretty with the view.
“I had the ring in my pocket. When we finished eating, I was trembling like a wreck. I pulled the ring out and she said ‘what’s that?’.
“I then asked her to marry me. She laughed but she did say yes and she got me a ring shortly afterwards.”