Wedding Rings

How to Pick Your Style

The tradition of giving a ring as a symbol of one’s love has been around for thousands of years. The Egyptians are said to have first used braided reeds to fashion a ring. While that’s a long way from the ornate engagement rings and wedding bands that are common today, the tradition of why we exchange rings when we say “I do” holds true.

The History of Wedding Rings

Ancient Egyptian scrolls depict couples presenting rings to each other. After braiding plant versions, they used stronger materials like leather, ivory, or stone to create rings. The more expensive the material, the more love was being shown. The Romans and Greeks adopted this same tradition, typically with the groom presenting an iron ring to his bride. The Romans were the first to engrave their bands and, along with the Greeks, to place rings on the fourth finger of the left hand. They believed that this finger contained a vein that ran straight to your heart. It’s why our “ring finger” remains the dominant location for both women and men to wear their wedding bands.

During the Renaissance, a gimmel ring made of two interlocking parts was popular. The bride and groom each wore a part of this joint ring during the engagement period. During the wedding ceremony, the groom would place his ring on the bride’s finger, reuniting the set and symbolically the couple together. In many cultures, women only wear a wedding ring, and this was actually commonplace in the United States after World War II. During that time, men serving overseas wore their wedding bands as a way to remember their wives back home and as a symbol of their commitment. Regardless of the time period or culture, wedding rings still represent the union of two people and the love they share.

Engagement Ring or Wedding Band: What’s the difference?

An engagement ring is typically presented during a marriage proposal. It represents a couple’s intent to formalize their relationship in life-long partnership. Engagement rings can feature one dominant stone or be surrounded by smaller diamonds or precious gems.

A wedding ring, also known as a wedding band, is typically presented during the formal marriage ceremony when vows are exchanged. Traditionally, the wedding band was a simple metal ring made of yellow, white, or rose gold, or platinum. Today, many wedding rings contain diamonds or stones and, with the engagement ring, create a special piece of jewelry.

In many cultures, it’s less common to add a wedding band. In others, the wedding band, worn by both people, represents a couple’s commitment to one another. Whether you decide to wear a wedding ring is entirely up to you.

Finding Your Wedding Ring Style

There is no right or wrong when it comes to selecting and wearing your wedding band. It’s helpful to consider metal color, design, fit, and how the diamonds are sourced. Many couples are more environmentally aware and consider lab-created diamonds as an option when creating their personal wedding ring style.

  • Keep it classic: If your engagement ring features a brilliant center stone or a lot of sparkly diamonds, you may want to shop for a simple gold or platinum band. Having the metal engraved with a meaningful message or your wedding date may be all you need to round out your piece. When you’re creating complementary jewelry, let the metal used in your engagement ring, along with its height, shape, and finish guide your choices.

  • Chart your path: Some people want a wedding ring that will accentuate their engagement ring, not blend the two together. This popular trend allows couples to express their creativity bringing in options like vintage cuts and different metals. Look for elements like light from diamonds and metal tones, to bring unexpected beauty and versatility to your wedding jewelry.

  • Complete the set: Consider a bridal set if you want your rings to match perfectly. These paired pieces will ensure you have the same details, accents, stones, and embellishments on both rings. Choosing a bridal set also means you don’t have to shop for a wedding ring down the road. This is an ideal choice for those who like symmetry and order. Plus, you’re guaranteed a beautiful combination.

Men’s Wedding Rings

Grooms have more ring options than ever before. While typically more simple than women’s jewelry, men’s bands may include intricate details or have diamonds embedded into the band. Men should select a style that matches their personality and fits their lifestyle. If they work with their hands a lot, a more simple design made from a strong metal could be a better choice. Most men’s bands are made from gold, titanium, or tungsten carbide and the metal can be polished, hammered, brushed, or even hand-braided. Many couples often choose wedding rings that complement each other by matching the metal types.

Regardless of what style you choose, wedding rings are symbols of your commitment and love. That tradition will continue for thousands of more years.

Common Terms

Shopping for wedding bands can be confusing. Here are some common terms to help your research:

  •  Wedding ring/band: The ring that sits beside the engagement ring and is presented during your wedding ceremony when you exchange vows.
  • Eternity band: This is another name for a wedding band. Eternity rings are often given as gifts outside of weddings, like on an anniversary or the birth of a child. They are often part of a beautiful ring stack.
  • Anniversary rings: This type of ring is also commonly used as a wedding ring. Simple in design, anniversary rings are given to celebrate a milestone in a marriage. It often includes pave diamonds or gemstones.
  • Pave ring: Any style of ring that features a band of stones, often diamonds, that extend halfway or all the way around the ring.