Choosing your wedding rings is a challenge – there are so many options! This article will serve as a quick wedding ring buying guide for the bride and groom. Wedding bands for grooms tend to be simpler so we’ve mainly focused on the bride - but much of the advice applies to both.
One finger, two rings
You’ll probably wear your wedding ring and engagement ring together – so they need to sit comfortably alongside each other. Ideally you’d buy them at the same time to create a perfect match. Some couples do this, but most don’t – for obvious romantic reasons.
There are two criteria to bear in mind - aesthetic and physical. A very striking engagement ring may dictate a no-fuss wedding band. However, if your engagement ring is simple, or you plan to wear your wedding ring alone, the added sparkle of a diamond pavé band could be ideal. You could also have a shaped or contoured wedding ring so it fits snugly with your engagement ring.
Your love may be boundless but it’s best to set a budget for your wedding rings. About 3% of your total wedding spend is the norm. Adding diamonds, or engraving the band, will obviously add to the cost.
Ask the right questions
The sheer range of options can be overwhelming at first but you can soon narrow things down. Do you want a simple wedding ring or something more embellished – a classic plain band, a ring with a single diamond or something with multiple diamonds in a pavé or channel setting, a design featuring some other gemstones, a patterned wedding ring, a shaped wedding ring? What metal takes your fancy – gold, white gold, rose gold, silver, platinum, palladium, titanium or zirconium? What’s going to work best with your engagement ring? By process of elimination the range of options soon slims down.
Don’t rush it
Ideally you should start your wedding ring search about six months before the big day. Research online and allocate a couple of days for visiting physical jewellery stores. Set your heart on a custom wedding ring or band and you'll probably need even more time. Extras, like engraving, can also take up to a month.
Your fingers swell and shrink depending on a variety of factors and your rings should be sized with this in mind. Schedule your final wedding ring fitting at a time when you're calm and your body temperature is normal. Avoid first thing in the morning (you retain water from the night before), right after you've exercised (fingers swell) or when you're extremely hot or cold. Of course, if your finger changes permanently you can have your wedding ring re-sized.
Consider your lifestyle
Your wedding ring will become almost a part of you – so you want a design you’ll find easy to live with. If you are sporty or play a musical instrument a slimmer ring with rounded edges is sensible. If you work with your hands a simple solid metal ring may be most practical - gemstones can come loose and carvings can trap dirt. Platinum is good if you’re super active – it’s extra durable.
Keep an open mind
Initially you might love the idea of a braided rose gold wedding ring or a diamond eternity band but don’t rule out other suggestions. Family, friends or a jeweller may come up with an inspired idea that you’d never have imagined on your own.
You are the best judge
Hopefully this guide to buying wedding rings will help you arrive at a decision you love. Ultimately it’s a very personal choice so the only hard and fast rule is to find the rings you feel totally comfortable with – ones that express your commitment, reflect your style and suit your lifestyle.