Wedding Rings Buying Guide
The wedding ring or wedding band is the ultimate symbol of love and commitment, and selecting one is a deeply personal choice. The ring is traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand as this tradition stems from Roman times with the vein of the finger running directly to the heart. However, there are thoughts that the early Neanderthals used a ring as a symbol of love, friendship and loyalty.
The ring will secure your wedding day vows and will be forever cherished, though there are many factors to consider when buying your precious wedding ring, not least your budget, style and getting the correct ring size.
You’ll also need to carefully choose a style that you’ll love forever and one that will compliment your engagement ring.
Matching your engagement ring
But where to start is the big question? As a general rule, it’s a good idea to match the widths of rings with your engagement ring, i.e. thin with thin width or chunky with chunky width. However, there are no hard and fast rules as it’s down to personal choice. There are many websites to browse for ideas, and by doing so, you’ll have a firmer plan of what you may wish to try on to see how the rings sit on your finger.
Should you choose a wedding ring or wedding band?
There’s a slight difference between the two, but whichever you choose will signify your commitment to marriage. It’s entirely a personal choice with a plain wedding band which is an ordinary band made of either yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum. A wedding ring is slightly different as it’s normally a band paved with gemstones or diamonds. Most people still refer to their ’wedding ring’, which can be either style.
Which ring style to choose?
Again, there’s a lot to think about as your wedding ring needs to last a lifetime. A good place to start is the budget and what metal and style you’d prefer. Most women go for a light to medium weight ring, which will sit well with an engagement ring, and ideally, the two metals should match. The rings will usually be worn together, so it’s important that they sit well and feel comfortable on your fingers.
A palladium wedding band alongside a platinum engagement ring can be attractive, and it’s also popular for men to choose the same matching metals as their brides-to-be. It’s worth noting that if you have short hands, then a slimmer ring is best, whereas larger hands suit a wider wedding band. Medium hands can suit a concave-shaped ring or even a two-tone variety which offers the best of both.
Traditionally, who purchases which ring?
There are no set rules; however, it’s ideal to choose the wedding rings together as a couple and to each buy each other’s ring. Most tend to have matching metals, but again, it’s your choice. Whichever, it’s an exciting time, not least for choosing rings but sorting all of the wedding day plans.
Which band material to choose?
There are four types of metals to choose from:
- Yellow gold – the traditional precious metal and ideal for those who wear jewellery regularly.
- White gold – very popular today as it offers elegance and a satin look finish.
- Rose gold – highly popular as it offers an attractive blush hue.
- Platinum – very popular as it pairs well with diamonds and coloured gemstones.
A bridal set is available for those wishing to match their engagement and wedding ring harmoniously, both in shape and design.
Wedding rings of various cultures
In the Western world, 14-carat gold is the popular choice for wedding rings, although Germany and the USA tend to go for 10-carat gold. In Asia, where gold is plentiful, 18 to 22 carat is the norm. Indian gold is seen to represent supreme beauty and superiority, which is why Indian brides sparkle on their wedding day, usually adorned with ornate gold jewellery. In France, a wedding ring is often a family heirloom and passed down through the generations.
Women’s wedding ring styles
There are basically two styles, traditional and modern.
Chanel set – is very popular and includes a set of diamonds.
Comfort fit – these are rounded on the inside and create a tighter but comfortable fit on your finger.
Pipe wedding band – this is cut off a pipe and has straight edges and a straight flat top and is often called a flat cut wedding ring.
Pave wedding band – a very popular style with an expensive and classy look with tiny diamonds making the ring highly attractive and affordable.
Prong-set bands - this style has metal prongs holding together a series of diamonds in place.
Wide wedding bands – a very modern trendy style, and the band width should be at least 7mm, but make sure it sits well with your engagement ring.
Matching engraved rings - heartfelt personal engravings on the inside of rings are very popular, and again it’s a very personal choice.
Men’s wedding rings
It was during WW1, when men were separated from their wives, that wearing a ring became popular, and today sees a high percentage of men choosing a ring as a solid union of marriage. That said, there are no hard and fast rules on wearing one, and it’s purely down to individual choice.
If your husband-to-be likes to be trendy, then look at some of the vast ring selection listed below:
- Gold and stainless steel crystal ring
- Gold carbon fibre
- Brushed silver tungsten
- Wood inlay with black tungsten
- Chinese dragon steel
- Oxidised silver and gold ring
- Silver and rose gold
- Blue crystal tungsten
Caring for your wedding ring
Most people choose to wear their wedding ring constantly; however, some activities my damage the ring, including:
- Water activities can loosen the ring, and it may fall off, so it’s best to take it off beforehand.
- Gardening, unless you’re wearing protective gloves, as you may well lose the ring in compost or plants.
- Sports activities can cause damage and even loss of the ring.
- Operating any machinery, so it’s best to take your ring off beforehand.
- Sleeping with a ring on can cause damage by either scratching yourself or your partner or the ring becoming tangled in your hair.
- Baking or working with sticky products can also cause damage to rings.
- When pregnant, it’s advisable to take off your wedding ring as your hands are bound to swell and can often cause difficulty in removing it.
Should you get rings insured?
As your ring is highly valuable and sentimental, it’s certainly advisable to get it insured, either for the ring and your jewellery alone or as items added to your home insurance policy.
It’s best to buy the wedding ring months in advance to avoid any delays in customising, re-sizing or shipment. And make doubly sure the best man has the rings ready to hand to the groom, ensuring your wedding day goes smoothly and memorably. Good luck and happy wedding day.