Buying a wedding ring set is often the first big purchase you’ll make as a couple once you’ve decided to walk down the aisle. It’s a purchase you will have to talk about together to ensure you both have something you love. Different metals, designs and other options can make it a challenge for some couples, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here we have six super simple tips that will make finding and buying your wedding set easier. From deciding on a metal type to sifting through design options to find something that is perfectly you. So, sit back, stop worrying and find out how to make finding the perfect wedding ring as easy as saying ‘I do.’
1. Play Off Your Engagement Ring
A common question is how wedding rings differ from engagement rings. An engagement ring is typically a bold piece – something stunning and breathtaking that your partner uses to propose. A wedding ring is usually simpler and matches between the couples. Many couples simply choose a band that is either worn alone (if no engagement ring was used) or stacked with the engagement ring.
When worn stacked, the wedding band goes on the bottom (tradition holds that it makes it closest to your heart – Awww) and the engagement ring goes on top. Some people choose to have the rings joined – essentially welded together – but this does mean the rings could never be separated.
When you’re ready to choose your wedding rings, take a cue from the engagement ring. While the styles don’t necessarily need to match, it’s nice for symmetry if couples choose the same metal and a style that matches or complements the engagement ring.
The easiest way to create a matched look with an existing engagement ring is to match or compliment the metal. Consider the following metal information to find the perfect companion:
- Yellow Gold – Yellow Gold is perhaps the most traditional option for couples. Its buttery coloring lends a rich shine to a wedding set. PRO TIP: When considering different types of gold, avoid 22 carat gold since it is too soft for daily wear. Instead, consider options in 18, 14 or 9 carat gold.
- White Gold – White gold is a popular option for couples who want to match platinum engagement rings. PRO TIP: Many white gold rings in plated with rhodium as a way to enhance their appearance. This plating should last for years but ask your jeweler about option for re-plating as needed in the future. Some jewelers will guarantee their work with a lifetime guarantee that may cover this.
- Platinum – Platinum is extremely resilient making it ideal for daily use. However, it is rarer than gold and so comes with a higher price tag. Still, its overall durability and amazing shine makes it a worthy investment. PRO TIP: Check the alloys of the platinum ring you’re considering. Rings marked as .90 or .95 should be alloyed with cobalt or ruthenium. Some rings are alloyed with iridium, which is less expensive but is also a softer alloy that increases the chances of the ring becoming scratched and dull.
- Titanium – Titanium is another high-end, popular choice for wedding rings. They are exceptionally durable and resilient and they have a dark, striking appearance. PRO TIP: Titanium is an exceptionally strong metal, which makes them difficult to resize. To avoid problems, get your ring sized by a professional when you place your order.
2. Pick a Profile
A ring’s profile is essentially how it sits on your finger. The rings design and thickness determine its profile and they can range widely. Choosing an option – or two – will help to narrow the field. Not to worry – choosing a profile is often pretty straightforward.
- Court – This is the most traditional option for wedding rings. The ring is rounded along the inside making it comfortable for daily wear.
- Flat – Flat rings feature a chunky, flat style with hard edges all around. This creates a modern, flat top edge and profile but it can compromise on comfort.
- Flat Court – The Flat Court combines the modern style of the Flat with the comfort of traditional Court. In this profile, the inside edge is still rounded for added comfort, but the outside edge is Flat cut, with a sleek and modern profile.
- Flat-Sided Court – Flat-Sided Court rings are rounded on the inside and outside like a Court ring, but they have flat sides
- Halo – A Halo ring is perfectly round even when seen from the side. It’s a classic profile but does stick out away from the finger, making it uncomfortable for some.
- Concave – Concave rings have a normal, rounded interior side for comfort of wear and then a concave, or dipped in, exterior surface. It makes for a truly different look but does not work well with all settings.
3. Decide on the Finish
Different finishes will create different looks. A shiny finish will dazzle while a matte finish creates a subtle and distinguished look. Get familiar with different finish options as well as how they will look when full set in the metal of your choice and any setting or engraving you’ve chosen. Typical options for finishes include:
- Mirror – A mirror finish is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a shine so bright you can check your Chapstick.
- Fine Matte – Fine Matte is a process where the surface of the metal is lightly scratched to produce a misty or gauzy look.
- Coarse Matte – Coarse Matte is a harsher form of Fine Matte. In this case, the metal is scratched and distressed more prominently creating an overall weathered look.
- Hammered – No, this doesn’t have anything to do with an open bar at your wedding. Hammered rings boast a multi-textured finish that is perfect for people who want something dynamic.
- Stardust – This finish mixes elements from Mirror and the different matte options to create a ring that is highly polished in some areas while dinged and misty in others.
- Sandblasted – High pressured sand is used in this finish to create a matte look with a highly textured surface.
4. Check In With Your Budget
No doubt you included a budget for rings when you initially set your wedding budget and now is the time to apply that budget ceiling to your field of choices. Add your budget to your set filters and – BOOM! Instantly, you’ll have a refined list that will be easier to sift through.
5. Get Your Finger Sized Professionally
I know, I know, you’ve been buying jewelry for yourself for years, you know your true size, you don’t need any help … yeah, I hear you. But listen up, choosing a wedding ring often means having a ring made to order. That means ensuring that the size is spot on, including if you’re even a half size up or down from what you usually wear.
Taking the extra time to have your finger professionally sized will ensure a smooth ceremony on your big day. When you’re ready to have your finger sized, keep these simple tips in mind:
- Get Sized After Lunch – Have your sizing done in the late afternoon as this is when most people’s hands are at their largest.
- Disconnect – Some jewelers use metal sizers connected to a large ring. This can actually pull down on the sizer as you are wearing it, distorting how the size actually feels and fits. Take the sizer off the ring for a more accurate fitting.
- Crosscheck With a Mandrel – A Mandrel is a tapered pole (essentially) that rings slide down in order to determine their size. Crosscheck your own size with the size of a comfortable ring on a Mandrel to get the perfect fit.
6. Check the Jeweler’s Practice and Credentials
Don’t buy a ring that will symbolize your love and commitment from a jeweler with unethical practices or dodgy sales tactics. When considering styles and options from different jewelers and companies, take the time to research their practices.
Sustainable mining and sourcing of gemstones is about more than being environmentally friendly (though that’s important). Sustainability is also about improving and maintaining the local environment as well. From working with local miners and land experts to collaborating with local artists to create designs and settings that showcase each gem’s natural beauty, sustainability is about acting locally to impact globally.
Ensuring that you work with a company with strong ethics and a dedication to quality. This should be reflected in both their mining and sourcing practices as well as their level of service to customers. Opt for a jeweler with dedicated customer service before, during and after your purchase of wedding rings. Work with a company that helps to guide you through the process of selecting and customizing your set, one that offers safe and secure shipping and then stands behind their product. Look for comprehensive lifetime guarantees that gives you peace of mind by ensuring the gemstones, setting and metal.
Choosing a wedding ring set seems like such a small and simple thing at first. After all, it’s just rings, right? The truth is that as you begin to look at sets, you can quickly become overwhelmed by styles, finishes and embellishments. Take a step back, take a deep breath and grab your partner’s hand: You got this.