“Square cut or pear shaped these rocks won’t lose their shape! Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” ~ Gentleman Prefer Blondes
Every relationship is unique, each story quite different. Sometimes, he proposes to her, other times, she proposes to him! Whatever the circumstances, if you are starting to make wedding preparations, you are probably in the market for a wedding ring.Choosing a wedding ring used to be quite simple. In the early twentieth century, the gentleman would select a simple band, either gold or silver, for his bride to be, and she alone would wear it throughout the course of their marriage. Somewhere along the way, however, men’s rings came into fashion. Now, couples all over the country opt for a double ring exchange during the ceremony, and both the bride and groom wear the jewelry.
To meet the demand for his and her rings, jewelry stores all over the world have risen to the occasion, providing couples with countless options, designed to fit the unique personality of their relationship. Whether your relationship is traditional or unconventional, or your personal style is classic or alternative, there is a wedding ring out there for you! Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect one.
The most obvious of choices for wedding rings in the current era are the traditional white diamonds. If this is the rock for you, there’s a few things to keep in mind. First, avoid any color grade below H – unless you’re purposely searching for a yellow diamond, your wedding stone should not be yellow. Second, aim for a cut grade above “Very Good.” A diamond should sparkle, and any grade below this won’t be as dazzling. Because high quality diamonds are expensive, you may need to shave off carats if you’re on a tight budget.
Third, make sure the stone is certified by the GIA or American Gem Society. You want to make sure that you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Now, what if you don’t want white diamonds? Truly, the possibilities are endless. You can choose colored gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, rubies, or colored diamonds. It’s not only the ring that’s symbolic, but the stone that is in it is also symbolic. For example, sapphires symbolize sincerity and emeralds stand for faithfulness – both very positive messages.
Typically if you go to a jeweler to buy a wedding ring, they will give you these options: gold (yellow, rose, or white), silver, platinum, titanium, and tungsten. The first three are more traditional, and the last two are more modern. They come in a number of widths and textures – and in order to become familiar with what’s available, it’s best to physically visit a jewelry store and shop around, even if you’ll ultimately be buying online.
3) Settings and Styles
Gone are the days of the boring wedding band! Now the varieties and styles of settings are as vast as the different relationship personalities. Ultimately, there are five categories of wedding ring settings and styles, and the characteristics of each:
- Traditional: Typically in Gold, Silver, or Platinum with white diamonds for her, and a stoneless, relatively thick band for him.
- Vintage: This could be a ring passed down from family member through the generations, or something you might find at an antique store, made in the last century. Also, if you don’t want a used ring, many jewelry designers are starting to create new designs that give a subtle nod to the vintage beauty of decades past.
- Modern: These could be sleek or suave, made from tungsten or titanium – modern wedding rings have the most unique styles that defy the traditional perspective in favor of something wholly new.
- Alternative: Perhaps you prefer a wedding band with onyx or opal, or a metal that’s not traditionally used – a number of alternative jewelry designers specialize in wedding rings that don’t exactly fit the mold.
- Custom: Any combination of the above to create something brand new!
5) Budget and When to Buy
Whether you are on a strict budget or an open one, it’s a good idea to get an idea of how much you want to spend on a wedding ring before you start to shop around. The rules are different for everyone, but having a plan will help you narrow down your options. Also, jewelers typically need 4-6 weeks to set and prepare the rings, maybe longer if you wish to have them engraved. So make sure you plan to order them with enough time before the wedding.
6) Shop Online
If you’re on a tight budget, one of the best things you can do is shop for the wedding ring online. Not only will you save money, but you’ll have access to stores and merchandise that don’t necessarily exist in your area.
7) To Match or Not to Match
To quote Shakespeare, “That IS the question.” Although many couples decide to have matching bands, sometimes the groom doesn’t necessarily want to wear rose gold. Whether you decide to have matching rings or not, it’s certainly something to talk about.
8) It doesn’t have to be a ring
Your wedding ring is something you’ll be wearing for the rest of your life, a) it should be comfortable and b) you should want to wear it. Sometimes, the bride or groom (or both) may want to forego the wedding band in lieu of something more unconventional – maybe a necklace, bracelet, and in some cases even tattoos!
Whatever wedding band you choose, it is a symbol of the unique love that exists in your relationship. You don’t have to settle for something less than perfect, you deserve the best – something that demonstrates your singular style, and makes you proud to wear it.