Engagement rings often get more attention than wedding bands, but wedding bands are still an important consideration. Whether you’re buying wedding bands individually or as a couple, there are some important things you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing the right bands.
Considering Factors for Wedding Bands
Wedding bands for women and men are very similar, though you can find unique styles suited to one gender or the other. No matter what, you’ll need to think about the following factors:
- Metals. Different metals have different levels of durability and malleability, but most people choose a metal based on its color and appearance. The most common strategy is to choose a wedding band material that matches the material of your engagement ring band. However, this isn’t a strict requirement. Some of the most common materials are yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, palladium, platinum, and tungsten. White gold is a classic, but tungsten and platinum offer superior durability.
- Stones. You don’t need to have a stone in your wedding rings, but it’s certainly possible. Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are popular choices, but it’s up to you how you want to adorn your ring.
- Width. Generally speaking, wedding rings fall between 1 and 8 millimeters in width, but this isn’t a strict requirement. Brides often try to replicate the width of their engagement ring, so the engagement and wedding ring function as a matching set. However, going with a different width can add contrast to your look.
- Engravings and designs. If you want a classic, minimalistic look, avoid etchings or engravings. However, if you want a more unique style, you can add designs like floral patterns or stars to your wedding rings. Just keep in mind that adding etchings and engravings will increase the cost of your rings and potentially make them more vulnerable to attracting dirt and debris.
- The finish. You’ll also need to think about the finish of your wedding ring. The traditional approach is to seek a high polish, but you can also get a more textured look by using a stone, hammered, matte, or sandblast finish.
- Matching. In many cases, couples intentionally try to get their wedding rings to match each other as close as possible. However, this isn’t a strict rule. In fact, you may prefer to have each wedding band uniquely styled to suit the personality of the individual wearing it.
Making the Decision
As you get closer to making the final decision, do the following:
- Talk to your partner. Many people like to keep their engagement ring purchase a secret, so the proposal can be a surprise. But there’s no reason for secrecy when discussing wedding rings. Talk to your partner about what they want and see if you can get on the same page. Do you have similar ideas for how your wedding rings should look?
- Set a budget. While average engagement rings cost around $5,900, wedding bands are considerably cheaper. You can pay thousands of dollars for an upscale, luxury ring, but you could also get something durable and practical for just a couple hundred dollars. Consider establishing a strict budget for your purchase before shopping around.
- Consider your personal style. Think about your personal style and what you want your wedding ring to represent. Are you looking for something stylish and unique, or would you prefer a more minimalistic, traditional look? Do you prefer the aesthetics of softer metals, or would you prefer something harder and more durable?
- Shop around (and try on many varieties). The best way to see what wedding rings are best for you and your partner is to shop around. Visit multiple jewelers and try on various rings to see how you feel about them. You might be surprised to see where your taste leads you.
Preserving Your Wedding Band
Many people love the idea of keeping their wedding band on at all times, but there are certain activities where it makes more sense to remove your ring. If you’re planning on gardening, cooking, or participating in other messy activities, take your ring off. You should also remove your ring before showering, swimming, working out, or sleeping.
Additionally, you should consider bringing your wedding ring into a jeweler at least once a year to have it professionally cleaned and refinished. This annual checkup can proactively catch issues before they become a problem and make sure your wedding ring constantly looks its best. In the meantime, you can use a soft toothbrush with a bit of dish soap to keep your ring clean.
Choosing a wedding band can be a difficult decision, especially with so much flexibility and so many options on the market. But with a better understanding of your desired style and look, you should have no trouble finding a wedding ring that fits your needs.