Now that you've gotten the engagement ring (after dropping a few clues), it's time to choose the ideal wedding ring to go with it—and we've got all the resources you'll need. Check out our guide to every essential aspect to consider before saying "I do" to the ideal wedding band.
1. Make a list of your wedding ring options.
Don't be intimidated by the prospect of limiting down your ring choices to diamonds or gemstones, platinum or gold. Take everything one step at a time. Begin with your own style: Do you want a plain band or one with embellishments? Do you want your wedding band to match your engagement ring in metal? Do you believe your rings should be the same as your partner's? Prepare answers to this kind of question ahead of time so you can pinpoint precisely what you're searching for when you go shopping.
2. Buying Your Ring and Bands Together
This may not work if you want to be shocked with the engagement ring, but knowing what bands match with the engagement ring may assist you in making a choice. If you have a unique engagement ring, for example, you may prefer a basic, no-fuss band, while a plain engagement ring may need the additional glitter of a diamond pavé band. Consider how the rings will fit together.
Look for a contour or shadow band intended to interlock with the matching engagement ring if you plan on wearing your engagement and wedding rings side by side all day. If you're intending on wearing your wedding band alone, go for a more elaborate design that will complement your engagement ring. Consult your jeweler to select a band that complements your ring (some can even create both at the same time).
3. Begin your ring search as soon as possible.
After you've got a general notion of what type of ring you want, it's time to try them on! Allow at least two to three months for ring shopping before the wedding day. This time will be used to explore, investigate pricing, and return to rings that have caught your attention. If you want a one-of-a-kind ring, you'll probably need even more time. Also bear in mind that add-ons such as engraving may take up to a month.
4. Change It Up
If you like platinum while your spouse prefers yellow gold, don't worry. There's no need that you use the same metal or even style. You might compromise by wearing braided rings that combine the two metals or go completely different—the key to finding something you both like is to choose wedding bands that represent your distinct personalities.
5. Make a financial plan
Shop with the expectation that the rings will cost approximately 3% of your entire wedding budget. A basic 14-karat gold or simple platinum ring may cost about $1,000 depending on the store. If you want to customize your rings with diamonds or engraving, keep in mind that these additions will rapidly add to the cost. The cost of engraving is generally determined by the number of letters, font, and whether the engraving is done by hand or by machine (hand is usually pricier).
6. Keep in mind your way of life
Remember that you'll be wearing this band every day, so pick something that will blend in with your daily routine. If you participate in sports or play an instrument, a thinner ring with softened edges (dubbed the "comfort fit") may be the best choice. If you labor with your hands, you should look for a basic, sturdy metal ring that is free of loose gemstones and carvings that may trap dirt. You're really active, platinum is a good choice since it's more durable (when scratched, the metal is just shifted rather than worn away).
7. Experiment with New Ideas
You may like the concept of a braided rose gold ring or a diamond eternity band, but once you're at the shop, try on some bands that aren't on your wish list. Consult with the jeweler, then allow them to make recommendations depending on your preferences. Don't rule anything out. Just as with wedding gowns, you may fall in love with something you never expected to adore. Wear it for a few minutes around the shop, and while you're wearing it, try writing and texting as a comfort test.
8. Consider the long term.
While being fashionable isn't a bad thing, be sure the style you choose is one you'll want to wear for the next 40 years. Just remember that you're not wedded to the ring, and you can easily alter it later to commemorate a significant occasion (by adding diamonds or switching from white gold to platinum).
9. Think about the upkeep
Wash and soak a wedding ring with stones in warm sudsy water, then gently brush it with a soft toothbrush or eyebrow brush (too much pressure may dislodge the stones from their setting), rinse it, then pat it dry with a soft lint-free towel to keep it clean and shining. Sounds like a lot of work? Choose a fuss-free gold or platinum ring—all you have to do is rub it with a soft, lint-free cloth (chamois works great) and you're done.
10. Size It Appropriately
Summers, winters, exercise, pregnancies—all times when your fingers expand and contract due to heat, cold, water retention, or weight gain—the majority of individuals seldom take off their wedding rings. Schedule your last ring fitting when you're calm and your body temperature is normal to discover the appropriate size that will best weather all of those fluctuations. That implies you shouldn't finish the first thing in the morning (you retain water from the night before), immediately after exercising (fingers swell), or while you're very hot or cold (which can cause your hands to expand and shrink).
11. Verify the product's quality
All rings, not only wedding bands, are subject to quality monitoring. Check for two markings within the band: the manufacturer's brand (which shows they stand behind their work) and the quality mark, such as 24K or PLAT (this proves the metal quality is what the retailer says it is).