As wedding and engagement ring specialists, one of the common dilemmas we see at Bannon Jewellers in soon-to-be-married couples is trouble picking the right wedding rings—and it’s only natural, considering the wealth of options available and the financial commitment involved. Your wedding ring is a piece of jewelry that you’ll have forever, so it needs to be perfect.
Don’t worry—we’re on hand to help you feel at ease and actually enjoy this very special shopping experience. Here, we give practical and helpful advice on how to choose the right wedding rings:
1. Know Your Metals
One of the most important choices you need to make about your wedding rings is the metal used to make them. There are numerous metals available, all with different properties and styles that make them more suitable than others.
Yellow gold: The most common option for brides and grooms, yellow gold, comes in different carats. While more precious, 22ct yellow gold is generally too soft to wear on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, 18ct, 14ct, and 9ct gold wedding rings are more hardwearing, and will, therefore, withstand wear and tear considerably better.
White gold: White gold wedding rings are exceptionally beautiful and work well as a compliment to a platinum engagement ring. Remember that these rings are plated with rhodium to enhance their appearance and will require reapplication regularly to maintain their unique visual appeal.
Platinum: Platinum is becoming increasingly popular as a metal choice for wedding rings. The white-hued metal is very well-known for its durability—and rings made of platinum will last forever. But as it’s rarer than gold, it also tends to be significantly more expensive so it’s not an option if you’re on a budget.
Titanium: Titanium wedding rings come in a strikingly different color to platinum, are scratch-resistant, and feel light on the finger. They are fairly expensive but more affordable than platinum.
2. Size It Right
Since you’ll be wearing your wedding rings at all times, it’s important to size them right so they’re comfortable to wear. Weather changes will impact the fit of the wedding rings—for example, if you’re extremely hot or cold, this can cause your fingers to expand or shrink, whereas exercising will cause them to swell. Make sure you schedule your ring fitting at a time when you’re calm and your body temperature is normal.
3. Men’s vs. Women’s Wedding Rings
There’s a big difference between a woman’s and a man’s wedding ring. As the width of a man’s finger is larger than a woman’s, the diameter of the wedding ring is going to be so too. Moreover, a man’s band does not come with fragile settings or features that could be easily damaged during work or sports activities. Traditionally, a men’s band is bolder in design, with distinctive decorative elements if any, whereas a women’s ring is more delicate, with the accent on the setting and intricate detail.
More often than not, women’s wedding rings are meant to complement their engagement rings. As a rule of thumb, both the engagement and wedding rings should have the same width so as to create a balanced look. However, some engagement rings might taper, with the width of the metal band getting gradually thinner around the setting. In this case, match the width of the wedding ring to the width of the sides of the engagement ring.
When it comes to the metal choice, it’s important that both the engagement and wedding rings are made of the same metal as this creates a pleasing aesthetic and looks well-coordinated. If you wish to get a trendy, mismatched effect, try mixing different metals—for example, you could have a yellow gold engagement ring and a platinum or palladium wedding ring.
4. Consider the Shape and Style
Wedding rings come in a variety of shapes and styles. Careful consideration should be taken when choosing them. Court-shaped and d-shaped rings are the most popular option, and also the most comfortable thanks to the slightly rounded design. If the groom isn’t used to wearing a ring or has never worn one in the past, then a court-shaped or d-shaped band will be a suitable choice. If the bride wants something a little unexpected, opt for an eternity wedding ring—the fabulous design is encrusted with gemstones that wrap completely around the finger, providing unparalleled sparkle.
So what options do you have?
- Vintage wedding rings: These are designed to fit specific time periods of jewelry fashion, such as Edwardian, Victorian, and Art Deco. They often feature very intricate details such as filigree and milgrain, which give the rings an antique flair. They usually have a bezel setting with smaller gemstones set all over the shank.
- Celtic wedding rings: These rings are usually solid bands with intricate knotwork designs that carry a wealth of meaning. However, Celtic rings with stone settings are also available—the wide band is adorned with different motifs and features a bezel setting with a diamond or a similarly precious gemstone. You can also opt for a design with multiple gemstones gracing the exquisite band.
- Plain wedding rings: Whether you’re trying to save money or simply want to prolong the lifespan and appearance of your wedding ring by compromising on fancy features, plain wedding rings are your best bet. You can pick a simple band with no gemstones for both of you or have slightly different designs based on your everyday activities—i.e. no fancy stone settings or filigrees if your job involves a lot of handwork that might damage the ring.
- Diamond wedding rings: A classic choice for wedding rings, diamond designs will appeal to any couple. They come in a wide range of designs and setting styles and are available at different price points so you’re sure to find the perfect one for you.
It’s best to discuss the style of wedding rings you’re after with a professional jeweler. They may be able to suggest the perfect options for both of you.
5. Stick to Your Budget
It’s no secret that wedding rings can be pricey—and the fancier they are, the more they’ll cost. As a rule of thumb, you should spend about three percent of your total wedding budget on the wedding rings. In general, a plain, 14-carat gold or platinum ring can cost around $800-$1,000. If you’ve set your heart on a diamond ring, be prepared to spend a couple thousand on it, depending on the number of stones to be included, and their four Cs (carat, clarity, cut, and color). If you plan to add engravings, remember that the price will vary depending on the number of characters, the font used, and whether it’s engraved by hand or machine.
Ready to start shopping for the perfect wedding rings? First, make sure you’ll be shopping together as this will help you make an informed decision that you’ll be both happy with. You may want to look for a bespoke jeweler if you need more assistance finding the right metal, size, or style.