What is the right wedding ring? In essence it is a ring that suites your lifestyle, represents your character and, believe it or not, does not give you allergies. When buying a wedding ring, the approach is quite different from an engagement ring. In this article we explain how to choose a wedding ring that will suite you for the rest of your life.
Taking into account the following four points will make choosing the right wedding ring easier:
1. Consider buying your wedding rings together
You and your fiancé must remember that your wedding rings will be on your fingers forever and a reminder of your wedding day for the rest of your lives. Before buying, make sure that those rings are something that you both love.
2. Set a budget
Like most couples you will have a wedding budget. You can either go out on a limb and buy your wedding rings and then fit them into your budget or, far better, set your wedding ring budget before you start shopping.
3. Start your ring search early
As Wedding and Function we recommend that you start to search for your wedding ring three to four months before your wedding day. This will give you enough time to browse ring styles, take a few shopping trips to try them on and decide together which wedding rings are best for you.
4. Think long term
Before buying your wedding rings you must bear in mind that you won’t be changing your wedding, so be 100% sure that you choose a ring that will last a life time.
The origins of wedding ring tradition
Symbolism of a wedding ring
A wedding ring is like a circle – it has no beginning or end and is, therefore, a symbol of infinity and eternal love.
Wedding rings have been around for millennia. They were worn by ancient Egyptian who wove their rings from plants that grew alongside the Nile River.
Wedding Rings symbolise eternal love shared between the wearers of the rings.
In Christian and Jewish wedding ceremonies it is common for the bride and the groom to receive a wedding ring on their wedding day.
The tradition and symbolism of the ring are still strong despite the modern changes of lifestyles. A wedding ring is an emblem of love through time, a symbol of devotion and agreement between two parties to love and cherish one another for the rest of their days.
Why is the wedding ring worn on the left hand and on the wedding finger?
The heart is placed on the left, so are wedding rings. The story of why wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger on the left hand can be traced back to ancient times where Romans believed that the vein in the ring finger ran directly to the wearer’s heart.
Romans called the vein “vena amoris” or vein of love. To ensure that the love shared by the newly wedded couple remains rock solid, then a ring would be placed on the fourth finger of their left hand. The rings became a symbol of love and romance the couple shared.
Unfortunately, science proved that all fingers have veins that are connected to the heart so Rome’s history doesn’t apply in the modern-day understanding of science. Even so, people still wear their wedding rings on the fourth finger of their left hand.
However, it really doesn’t matter on which hand you and your spouse choose to wear your wedding rings. In doing so, you’d be following the example of many central and northern European couples.
Choosing a wedding ring with your fiancé
This is a perfect opportunity to show how well you know your fiancé and to work together on a project successfully as their will be plenty more once you are married!
To wear a ring or not
Ladies, remember that not all men like wearing a wedding ring and for some it is impractical and even dangerous for their work lifestyle. Some married couples do not see the need for a wedding ring and many women will only wear their engagement ring.
Although a wedding ring portrays a deep meaning of eternity, it is quite common to see married men not wearing their wedding ring. Whether you choose to wear a ring or not it depends on your common agreement as a wedded couple.
Once you have crossed this bridge it is important to consider each other’s taste, style, hand shape, allergies and lifestyle.
Stylists’ advise that wedding ring buyers should know what will suit their hand shape best. A thin wedding band will not suite a man with big hands and a wide band will not suite a lady with small fingers. Ask your jeweller for advice.
Which metal to choose
There are plenty of metals to choose from, including steel, tungsten and aluminium and of course the more precious metals. Interestingly some people do have allergies to certain metals. I, for instance, discovered that I was allergic to gold and so changed my wedding ring to a high grade stainless steel a few months after getting married.
From your dress style, you know that certain colours suite you better than others. When choosing your rings with your fiancé don’t forget their colouring too.
For those that prefer expensive and sophisticated wedding rings but also want naturally hypoallergenic to avoid irritating their sensitive skin, then rings made with Platinum and palladium are the right rings for them.
Plain yellow or white gold are usually considered the traditional form of the wedding ring. They are still commonly worn, particularly by people who lead active lifestyles or who need a ring that can easily be kept clean.
Rose gold is said to represent love while white gold represents friendship and yellow gold means fidelity.
Rose gold contains copper and silver along with the gold, but a slightly higher amount of copper gives it a coppery hue.
The wedding ring budget
An engagement ring usually costs a lot more than a wedding ring because of the diamond and other precious stones found in the engagement ring.
The cost of wedding rings is largely dependent on the size, design complexity, the type of metal and the fineness of the metal in the ring.
Platinum is more expensive than gold which is more expensive than white gold.
The fineness of the precious metal is the percentage of that precious metal found in an object. It is impossible to produce pure gold or platinum. There are always a few trace elements found in a gold or platinum object.
Gold of a very high level of fineness is very soft and not practical for placing in rings as they well bend and break.
The most practical level of gold fineness is known as 9 carat gold. In 9 carat gold rings you will find that just over one third of the metal in the ring is gold. The balance of the ring is made from strong metals. These rings are very durable and will not be damaged easily.
Platinum is more durable and can contain as much as 95% platinum. Thus platinum rings are more expensive because they have more precious metal in the ring than gold and because platinum is more expensive per gram than gold.
Wedding rings that contain complex designs will require more of a jewellers time to produce and thus add to the cost.
There is no rule as to what should be spent on wedding rings and no rule as to what percentage of the budget should be spent on a wedding ring. The decision is entirely yours!
Buying your wedding ring
When to buy your wedding ring
The perfect time to start searching for your wedding rings is around three to four months before the actual wedding day. This will give you enough time to browse ring styles, take a few shopping trips to try them on and decide together which wedding rings are best for you and your fiancé.
It is also recommended to have your wedding rings in hand a month before the wedding ceremony to avoid last minute shopping. The wedding ring is the most lasting memory of your wedding day. Make sure that you have had time to choose your rings carefully.
For men who don’t normally wear jewellery it may be a good idea to test to see if gold or any other metal irritates your skin before making a final decision.
A big part of wedding ring planning is to make sure that they are on hand at the wedding itself!
Where to buy your wedding ring
A good place to start your wedding ring buying is online. Most of the large retail jewellers have online portals for buying a wedding ring.
Here are a couple of online stores to begin your search:
The larger national stores produce large quantities of standard designed rings which are very inexpensive.
Many of the smaller local jewellers will produce custom designed rings. If you want something truly unique then this is where you should be shopping.
To find the right wedding ring for you and your partner always remember:
- As a couple decide on whether you will be wearing a wedding ring or not.
- Have fun helping each other find a ring that best suits your lifestyles.
- It is best to determine your entire wedding budget before buying the rings.
- Start looking at ring options at least three months before the wedding.
- Make sure you have bought and acquired the ring well before the wedding day.
- Check and check again that you have the wedding rings on hand on your wedding day!