Choosing your wedding band
So you’ve got an engagement ring… what about a wedding band?
These rings are a big part of your wedding ceremony and a physical reminder of your marriage.
Historically, wedding bands were a sign of a dowry or contract between two families who united their children in marriage. Some cultures thought a round wedding band was a symbol of eternity, a never ending loop. At Grieve Diamond Jeweller we have helped thousands of couples choose their wedding bands. Since this is a ring you’ll wear for the rest of your life you should make sure it will grow with you. Here are our top tips and tricks for choosing wedding bands.
What will your wedding ring be made of? There are lots of choices! Each metal has different properties and characteristics:
The traditional choice is gold. Pure gold is very soft so to make it strong enough to wear every day, different metals are mixed with it. These extra metals also change the colour of the gold from yellow gold to white gold or even rose gold. The amount of pure gold is measured in carats. The more pure gold, the more valuable but also the less durable the final piece of jewellery might be. Our customers tend to go for either 9 or 18ct gold for strong, beautiful wedding rings. If your engagement ring is made of 18ct gold, get an 18ct wedding band to match. This is because the rate at which different carats of metal wear out is different. White gold is often enhanced with rhodium plating. Rhodium is a precious metal that brings out the shine and bright white colour of white gold. This will need to be done every year or two.
Platinum is also a popular option. Platinum is the most precious metal commonly used in jewellery making. It is more expensive than its white gold equivalent, but it is very strong and resistant to wear and tear. It is also a heavy metal and has a lovely weight to it. Again, if you have platinum engagement ring, go for a platinum wedding band to match. It doesn’t require rhodium plating and is completely hypoallergenic.
Because it is so durable, titanium is a really popular option for men’s wedding rings. It is hypoallergenic and unbelievably strong. It is light weight, dent and corrosion resistant and can be made into a variety of ring styles. Titanium rings cannot be cut off in an emergency though, so we don’t recommend these rings be worn in the workplace or when using machinery or heavy tools.
Palladium is a relatively new metal to use for making jewellery. It is lustrous and white like white gold and platinum, and well priced too. It is popular because it is high in strength and won’t need rhodium plating to maintain its shine.
Other inexpensive metals for men’s wedding bands are sterling silver and stainless steel, both of which come in a huge variety of styles.
Really, anything goes! Most brides like their wedding band to sit snugly next to their engagement ring. This is so the rings don’t rub against each other, and lock together to make a beautiful set. If your engagement ring doesn’t allow a ring to sit easily against it you might need a custom made ring.
The shape of the band is important. Make sure the wedding band is the same width and profile as your engagement ring band. If you turn your hand over and both bands look exactly the same from the back, they’re a good match. Getting these simple things right ensures you have a stunning set of rings that complement each other.
Many engagement rings require a curved band or one that is specially fitted. This is a straightforward process. Our jewellers measure up your ring, draw a design to match your specifications and then make it to suit your budget and timeframe. The beauty of a custom made ring is that nobody else will have one like it and you haven’t had to settle for something less than 100% perfect. At Grieve Diamond Jeweller we can use your own gold or precious metals to make a new wedding ring. Giving new life to old broken jewellery or sentimental unworn things from the jewellery box is a good way of saving yourself a bit of money too!
Once you’ve decided on the shape of your wedding band you might want it set with stones. Diamonds set wedding bands are incredibly popular. If you have an engagement ring with diamonds down the sides, you might want the width or spread of diamonds in your wedding ring to be the same. Similarly, if you have a very simple engagement ring you might want something very sparkly in your wedding band. To know exactly what you want you might have to try on lots of rings to see what suits the most. You can choose the number, size, cut, colour and clarity of the diamonds in your wedding band to suit your engagement ring.
If you want something very unique and unusual, make sure it is a style that will grow with you. Something that is significant and specific to your life right now might not suit you 30 years down the track!
Consider how you might wear the rings. You may work a lot with your hands and need a smooth ring with no stones. If you admit that you are rough with your jewellery, consider a thicker ring made of a strong metal to stand the test of time. Everybody treats their jewellery differently so make sure it is practical as well as beautiful.
What about wedding bands for men? Men didn’t start wearing wedding rings until the 19th century, and even then they traditionally stuck to the classic plain gold band. Nowadays there are thousands of options for men’s rings. Grooms do not have an engagement ring to influence the style of their band but they can keep their ring similar to the bride if they want to. We find that many men are choosing titanium wedding bands because of the brushed industrial look and the strength and resilience of the metal itself. We also find the bi-tone mix of white and yellow (silver and gold) metals are becoming increasingly popular. Men’s rings tend to be between 5 and 11mm wide. Many come with a comfort curve on the inside. A comfort curve is a convex curve on the inside of the ring to make it more comfortable to wear and stops the edges from digging into your fingers.
One last tip is what to do with your rings on your wedding day. The wedding band always goes on first. During the ceremony, wear your engagement ring on your right hand leaving your left hand ring finger free for the exchanging of the rings. When the ceremony is over and you have a spare second, slip your engagement ring on next to it and there you have it!
Buying rings is a big investment so being confident with your choice and knowing you’ve considered all options will make for a lifetime of satisfaction with your beautiful wedding rings.