A wedding ring is a symbol of commitment; a promise, a pledge, and a vow. The promise is to forsake all others, to stay devoted and true; the pledge is to honour that promise selflessly, to see the whole thing through; and the vow is to keep that pledge unwaveringly until the days are few. It is a mutual agreement to become one instead of two.
There’s so much talk about engagement rings that wedding rings sometimes don’t seem to get the attention they deserve. After all, a wedding ring will be worn every single day for the rest of your life! It signifies the greatest commitment that you have made and is an enduring visible symbol of your marriage.
Throughout history, wedding rings have symbolised love, loyalty and faithfulness. This tradition springs from ancient times and is widely found in almost every culture. Wedding rings are often considered a sacred piece of jewellery that is highly valued.
When buying a wedding ring, the approach is quite different from an engagement ring. Most couples buy their wedding ring together, and there is no element of surprise attached to this. It is a sensible, practical decision that both parties make. What’s more, often it is the most important piece of jewellery that you both will buy together and is an exhibition of your love, style, personality and values.
11 Basic Tips on Choosing a Wedding Ring
That’s why we are ready to help you pick up the perfect band and avoid the problems that can emerge while shopping for rings. So, before saying “I Do” to a certain wedding ring, have a look at the following tips.
Decide what ring options are acceptable.
You need to narrow your ring choices by setting the acceptable options. Would like to have minimalist rings or the ones featuring some intricate décor? Do you want to have diamonds or rhinestones on it? Do you want to have a classic, high fashion or vintage wedding rings? Would you like your wedding band to match your engagement ring? Do your and your future spouse’s rings need to be matching? By answering these questions, you will understand what rings you want and thus, the first step to a successful purchase will be made.
Choose your metal
While gold is a traditional metal of wedding rings for women and men, it’s not the only possible option. Among some good variants of metals are:
Yellow gold, which also contains some silver and copper in its alloy, is a couples’ classic choice. If opting for yellow gold, it’s better to go with 14 carats or 18-carat gold as they look great and, simultaneously, are durable. If the gold has more than 75% purity, it can be too soft for daily wear. At the same time, gold lower than 14 carat is very durable but doesn’t look fantastic.
White gold is a cheaper alternative to platinum. It contains pure gold combined with white metals like palladium and silver. The brilliant white shine is reached by rhodium plating. It’s hypo-allergenic and serves to protect the gold. It looks very beautiful but requires some polishing from time to time as its rhodium plating may wear off.
Rose gold, also referred to as red gold or pink gold, is gaining popularity. It’s durable thanks to containing some copper in its formula. It maintains its colour and doesn’t tarnish.
Mix of Gold
Also, you may have the gold of various colours mixed in your wedding ring. Thus, you can combine white with yellow or rose gold. Also, some cute ring designs are featuring all three types of gold.
Platinum is a more expensive material than gold as it’s 30 times rarer. However, it’s extremely durable and can last you a lifetime. Such rings are resistant to scratches and don’t lose their natural white colour. Platinum rings are heavy, strong and hypo-allergenic. However, keep in mind that platinum can wear out other metals. So, be careful if you plan to wear it with your gold or silver engagement ring.
Many couples, who have a tight budget, opt for sterling silver rings as this material is one of the most inexpensive precious metals. They are available in many cool designs and can look like white gold. However, this metal requires regular polishing to remain shining and beautiful.
Choose your budget
Choosing your budget at the start can help you decide on your rings and not get side-tracked when shopping. It is generally recommended to set aside about 3% to 5% of your total wedding budget for your wedding rings.
To make your budget stretch, you can play around with the ring metal and styles. For example, choose a half eternity rather than a full eternity band as it will cost less yet won’t make a big difference to your ring’s appearance. Another example would be to choose white gold over platinum, as they both look very similar, but white gold is more affordable.
For example, let’s compare these following two rings. This is a half eternity prong-set wedding band, while this is a full eternity band. Both are made of 14k white gold. The half eternity holds the equivalent of .30 carats of diamonds while the full eternity has diamonds equivalent to .75 carats. There are other small differences in terms of clarity and colour, but the two bands look very similar in quality and beauty. The price difference? Almost a thousand dollars!
Big brand names and designer rings can also add a considerable mark-up to the overall price of the ring. Remember that a wedding ring is a classic piece of jewellery and whether you purchase it at a big brand store or at the local jeweller’s, there won’t be a huge difference in the look, but they’re definitely will be a difference in the price!
Consider your lifestyle
While this may seem like an obvious point, many people forget to remember that the wedding ring they choose should suit their lifestyle. Considering that this is a piece of jewellery that you will wear every day for a lifetime, it is very important that it fits your lifestyle to ensure that it lasts a lifetime.
The ring you buy should be stylish but also practical. For example, if you have a very active, outdoorsy lifestyle or are exposed to lots of chemicals, your ring should be tough enough to withstand that sort of exposure. Take this into consideration when deciding on your metal and style and make sure you check this with your jeweller before you buy.
Start the search early.
It’s recommended to start the search for wedding rings at least a couple of months before the wedding. You need some time to do the research and discover more about the prices, jewellery stores near you as well as online shops where you can buy the rings cheaper. Not all couples like rings at the first store they visit. So, be ready to spend some time on the search in order not to make the wrong choice of buying a ring in a hurry.
Moreover, note that rings size alteration and engraving also take up some time. Usually, it’s about 3-6 weeks.
Buy wedding rings with your significant other
While an engagement ring may be a total surprise for you, the choice of a wedding band mustn’t be surprising for your partner. That’s why it’s better to shop for your marriage symbols together. Also, think about how your rings look together.
You can buy absolutely identical rings or opt for wedding ring sets featuring rings which are different but matching. Some couples also opt for different wedding bands due to different tastes. But our opinion is that it’s better if your rings have something in common, at least a metal type.
Decide where to buy rings.
Actually, there are two types of places where you can buy a wedding ring. You can do that either at your local store or online. Both methods have pros and cons, and we are going to tell you about them below.
Physical vs Online Shops
Fitting. The main plus of a physical shop is that you can try a wedding ring on before buying it as well as examine it carefully for flaws and defects. Moreover, you can check the quality marks. Online shops don’t offer such an opportunity, and so, you need to read the description carefully and look through all the photos of the item.
Price. Online shops are the winners in this category. Actually, if you seek cheap wedding rings, online shops are the best way to save some money from your wedding budget. The prices at them are about 10-25% lower than at their brick-and-mortar competitors.
Selection. Usually, online shops have a wider selection of products, but it doesn’t mean that the selection at physical shops is poor. However, online shops are the winners as there are many retailers as well as shops who deal with drop shipping. Moreover, you may find some really unique rings online.
Convenience. Many people love online shopping for its convenience as you have a chance to buy everything you need without leaving your home. Online shopping requires less time and energy, while the result can be astonishing. Moreover, no one makes pressure on you, and you are free to contemplate the purchase as long as you need. Of course, there are some people who think that shopping at an ordinary store is more convenient.
Security. Many people consider online shopping less secure than the one at a physical shop. Clearly, you may face some scammers on the net who take your money and send nothing in return. That’s why don’t make purchases on suspicious sites. If you have some doubts, check the information about the company and make sure that it really exists. Real companies usually have some reviews as well as many of them are now active on social media or run their own blogs. Moreover, read the description of the item very carefully and look through all the photos. If you need a consultancy, turn to the company’s customer support.
Keep your lifestyle in mind.
If you are a proponent of an active lifestyle, a ring with a huge diamond or intricate details won’t be practical. Or, if you work with your hands, carvings may catch dirt while any embellishments can be spoilt. That’s why it’s better to opt for something simpler, a ring which doesn’t prevent you from doing your daily routines.
Don’t stick to fashion.
Fashion trends change pretty often. A wedding dress is worn only once, and that’s why it can be ultra-trendy. However, things are different with a wedding ring. While choosing the one, keep in mind that you will wear it for decades and so, it must look great no matter how fashion changes or how old you get.
Choose the proper size.
The choice of size is very important for both women’s and men’s wedding rings. As rings are usually worn daily, you must feel comfortable no matter how cold or hot weather is and what you do. It’s a fact that fingers may swell and contract from heat, cold and water retention. That’s why the best time to fit your potential wedding ring is when your body temperature is normal. So, it’s better not to shop for rings when the weather is too hot or too cold. Also, keep in mind that in the morning, you retain water from the night before and after exercising, your fingers swell.
Check the quality marks.
If you buy gold, platinum or silver ring, it must contain a manufacturer’s mark as well as the quality mark, which proves that your ring is really made of a precious metal. Gold rings may feature such hallmarks: 375 (9 carat), 585 (14 carat), 750 (18 carat), 916 (22 carat), 990 (24 carat) and 999 (fine gold). Silver hallmarks are 800, 925(sterling silver), 958 and 999. The platinum rings need to contain one of these quality marks: 850, 900, 950 or 999.
Now, you know almost everything about wedding rings and can start the choice of the best brands for you and your future spouse. In addition to the all stated above rules, we would like to add that it’s also very important that you like your rings. Even if the ring meets all your requirements, don’t buy it if you don’t like it or feel uncomfortable wearing it. Remember that your ring will definitely wait for you to come and pick it up.
Different Wedding Band Styles
Wedding rings come in a range of band styles. The below gallery explains what the design names mean and what the key features are.
Half Round Rings
These rings have a rounded top but are flat inside the band, giving the band a ‘D’ shape in profile. They are comfortable to wear and will suit most engagement rings.
Flat Wedding Rings
Flat wedding rings feature a flattened inner and outer surface, giving them a lower profile than round wedding rings – offering a less noticeable feel than round rings. I smooth the edges to make them comfortable.
Comfort rings are similar to half-round, but they feature a rounded curve to the outside face and a concave curve inside the band, like an oval. They’re our best-selling wedding ring design as you hardly feel you’re wearing the ring.
Ribbon Twist Rings
These unique wedding rings feature a single or multiple twists in the metal. They make more of a statement while retaining classic style, making them a popular alternative wedding ring choice.
Diamond Wedding Rings
Adding a diamond or single statement gemstone to a wedding ring can make it look that little bit more special. Black and blue diamonds are increasingly popular choices.
Halo Wedding Rings
A continuous circle of rounded gold, usually in thin bandwidth. These rings look similar to an angel’s halo, and they’re the perfect choice for wearing with larger engagement rings.
Features a dip in the band height, with a pointed chevron. These rings are a good choice if you need a little space to accommodate an engagement ring and are also sold in bridal ring sets.
Square Profile Rings
Square profile rings aren’t actually square as such! The flattened sides of the ring are simply all the same width. Square rings sit flatter against your finger and are great for stacking.