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 jewelry that is highly valued.
When buying a wedding ring, the approach is quite different to 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 is made by both parties. What’s more, often it is the most important piece of jewelry that you both will buy together and is an exhibition of your love, style, personality and values.
If you aren’t sure about the difference between wedding rings, engagement rings and wedding bands, read our article Engagement Rings vs Wedding Rings vs Wedding Bands which clears up the confusion.
In this article, we focus on how to choose your wedding ring.
- Start early
Many couples make the mistake of waiting too late to purchase their wedding rings. They overlook production times and don’t give themselves enough time to have their ring completed.
Generally, allow about a 3-4 weeks to have your rings sized and ready.
If you are having your wedding rings custom made, allow even more time. Certain styles can take longer, and retailers may require about 3-6 weeks to custom make your wedding bands.
The recommended time to begin the search is about 6 months before the wedding to ensure that you aren’t under pressure or rushed. If you leave it till the last minute, you might not have time to get that perfect ring and will have to make do with second best.
- 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 the appearance of your ring. 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 color, but the two bands look very similar in terms of quality and beauty. The difference in price? 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 jewelry and whether you purchase it at a big brand store or at the local jeweler’s, there won’t be a huge difference in the look but there 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 jewelry 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 jeweler before you buy.
- Choose your metal
The typical metal for wedding rings has been gold, although today you can purchase your ring in a variety of different metals. For a matched look, it is a good idea for the bride and groom to choose the same metal. While the styles can be different, having the same metal gives the two rings a subtle yet beautiful connection.
Having said that, some brides and grooms prefer different metals to suit their tastes. For example, rose gold is a feminine soft color and is perfect for a bride, whereas the groom might wish for something sturdier and more masculine. This is totally fine as well.
Most brides prefer to choose a metal to match their engagement ring. This ensures that the two rings always work together and not against each other.