The Complete Guide to Wedding Rings
While engagement rings draw the most attention, wedding rings are an important part of your ring aesthetic – not to mention being the unwavering symbol of your love. From choosing a metal to choosing engravings or embellishments to buying the bands before the big day, expert Shannon Haas breaks down everything you need to know to say “yes” to your wedding ring.
Meet the expert
Shannon Haas is the CEO of The Ring, home to the largest collection of wedding rings in central Texas.
Wedding ring shopping tips
One of the easiest ways to start your band search is to use your engagement ring as a guide. Although there will be times when you rock your wedding ring solo, you want to make sure that it compliments your engagement ring when you wear it together. Go to local jewelry stores and try on everything – even styles you never thought you would consider. When it comes to making a decision, choose a band that you love and that you can wear for a lifetime. Make sure it is comfortable, conducive to your lifestyle, and looks great both on its own and with your engagement ring. Finally, “Make sure your jeweler has an excellent guarantee that they will take care of your jewelry,” advises Haas. They are your contact for all cleaning, size, modification or repair work during the entire service life of the ring.
Inquire about the cost of adjustments, replacements, and insurance before purchasing.
Wedding band options
Yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum, and palladium are the most common options for ribbon, but alternatives such as tungsten can also be used. Most brides have chosen to choose the same metal that is used in their engagement rings for their wedding bands, but here isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you love the look of mixed metals consider using a different type for your band than your engagement ring, or opting for a braided band that combines multiple colors in a single ring. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your metal is that this ring is meant to last a lifetime (and possibly beyond). When working with your hands, consider a stronger metal like tungsten or platinum, both of which are harder than the classic white gold.
Many brides and grooms use stones and gemstones to make their wedding rings unique. While pavé styles (small diamonds line the ribbon) add a lot of sparkle and flair, the gemstones can peel off and fall out over time, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. If you still want the glamorous look but don’t like the risk of missing stones or hooks that come with pavé, consider a channel setting instead. While this look is similar, it involves cutting a small channel in the ring with stones lined up in a row within the channel, making the gemstones more secure. Finally, when it comes time to choose the stones, stick with essential stones like diamonds, sapphires or rubies.
Engraving / etching
From vintage Art Deco designs to stars and flowers, there are tons of ways to turn the metal of your band into a work of art. Keep in mind that intricate etching is more likely to trap dirt (and be harder to clean), and that additional designs (or engravings on the inside) add up the final price. Expect between $ 25 for 15 machine-carved characters and $ 75 for 8 hand-engraved characters.
The width of your ribbon ranges from 1mm to 8 + mm and is arguably one of the biggest decisions you will have to make. Most of the time, brides adjust the width of their wedding rings to match that of their engagement rings, the most common being between 2 and 4 mm. That said, mixing widths can create a unique look. So don’t be afraid to buy something bigger or smaller depending on the overall mood you’re trying to achieve.
“Surfaces on men’s rings are particularly popular,” says Haas. “And not always just the traditional high-gloss polish.” When it comes to the final details of your band, a finish can really set the accessory apart and help your ring stand out. Whether you crave a more textured look in stone, brush, matte, hammer, or sandblast, or prefer a satin or high gloss, a finish is the finishing touch that really makes your band your own.
Frequently asked questions about the wedding ring
When should you buy your wedding rings?
When it comes to choosing your wedding ring, the biggest key is to start shopping early. “Many couples wait just a month or two before the wedding to choose their bands and have spent so much money on the wedding that their bands become an afterthought,” warns Haas. “Remember: the wedding ring is a symbol of your eternity. Choose your date and then your band. “Start your search early and make it an experience. The more time you have to figure out what looks and feels good, the better your chances are of choosing something that will stand the test of time.
You’ll want to place your order at least a few months before the big day so you have a little more time for any engraving, resizing, or any changes that need to be made.
Who will buy the wedding rings?
“Today, our couples share the expenses so often that they buy them together,” says Haas. Whether you go the traditional route and buy each other bands or do all of the expenses together, you should expect to spend around 3% of your wedding budget on the rings. Prices can vary significantly depending on the metal, finger size and ring width. You can expect a simple 14-karat gold or platinum bracelet to cost around $ 1,000 and additional embellishments will add to the final price.
Do the wedding rings have to match?
Wedding rings are very personal and there is no rule that a couple has to agree on a metal or style. It’s about finding out together what you love and what reflects your individual styles! If you want similar bands, consider a unisex option, a braided band that mixes two metals you both love, or something similar like a hammered finish. Regardless of whether they fit together, find something unique or do without bands altogether – it’s about finding a solution together that you love.
How should you take care of your wedding ring?
“To keep your ring in tip-top shape, take it to your local jeweler once a year and have it cleaned, polished, and refinished,” suggests Haas. “If there is a concern about loose diamonds or abnormal wear, we will address them and be able to make the necessary repairs before too much damage occurs.” Daily care and maintenance not only ensures that your rings are checked annually, but also ensures that they maintain their beauty and integrity.
Remove your rings when cleaning, swimming, cooking, gardening, exercising, sleeping, and showering. While many couples love the idea of never taking their rings off, removing them before any activity that can tarnish, scratch, or cause loss is the best way to keep your rings intact forever. To clean in between trips to the jeweler, scrub with a soft toothbrush and mild dish detergent under hot water (just be sure to close the sink).