Wedding bands and engagement rings, oh my. If you’re getting married, you already know it’s a monumental life step, and it can be somewhat scary to contemplate too deeply.
Along with rational fears that accompany taking such a step, you might be stressed over more minor things, such as making sure you follow the proper etiquette when you send out wedding invitations or wondering how PC it is to skip cocktail hour and go right to the wedding ceremony.
You might even be mulling over questions like, do engagement rings come with wedding bands, or do wedding bands have to match? These questions seem like no brainers, but they are questions many couples have, and for a good reason. After all, there are so many choices in today’s jewelry market, and it does feel like a wedding band should come with an engagement ring purchase, right?
The short answer is that even though it seems like the two should always come together, it’s entirely possible to buy an engagement ring and wedding ring separately. Though this is a great option for couples that highly value individuality, the only problem with this scenario is that you could accidentally buy rings that don’t even complement each other, much less match.
Thankfully, in today’s culture, bridal sets have become all the rage for many couples. They make buying matching rings almost a non-starter because you can purchase already matching sets, with both the engagement ring and the wedding band included. Even better, sometimes you can get the groom’s wedding band included in the set too if you want.
Talk about taking the pressure off! It certainly makes the whole ring buying process much easier, especially if you’re unsure about who buys the man’s wedding band or where to even start. Once you find that perfect bridal set, your search will be over, and you’ll be ready to rock in the ring department when your wedding day arrives.
Things to Think About Before Ring Shopping
Before shopping for any kind of ring, whether it’s a wedding band, an engagement ring, or a bridal set, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Ring Size: Make sure you have an accurate ring size before you try to purchase a ring, especially if the ring is intricate or of a design that doesn’t lend itself well to resizing. You don’t want to get stuck with a ring you’re paying for that doesn’t fit properly. And you definitely don’t want to have to return a ring you’re in love with because it’s the wrong size and you can’t do anything to fix it. That’s like a heartache waiting to happen!
Budget: It’s important to consider your budget before doing any sort of ring shopping. It would be downright painful to get your heart set on a piece of jewelry that is way beyond your budget. Better to decide ahead of time what you intend to spend, so you know your limits and can avoid looking at rings that don’t fit your pocketbook.
Material: Ring material can increase or decrease the value of a matching wedding band set. Obviously, sterling silver is less expensive than say, platinum. Before you start shopping, know what kind of material you want your rings made from because it will impact your overall budget. Material can also determine whether or not your ring has the ability to be resized and how well it holds up to the normal grind of day-to-day living.
Style: There are many different engagement ring styles and ways to style them. It can be overwhelming to choose the one you like best and leave you wondering “Does the wedding band go on first, or does the engagement ring?”. Do some styling comparisons and know ahead of time exactly what you’re looking for. Not only will it save you time, it may save you money because you won’t be prone to impulse buying and emotional spending.
You’ll know your budget, exactly what you want the ring to look like, and won’t get sucked into spending more than you intended. There are styles of wedding rings that run the gamut, from wedding rings that interlock like a puzzle, solitaire designs, twist designs, and so much more.
Detailing: It’s a good idea to decide the kind of detailing you want your perfect ring to have. Are you looking for more intricate detailing, like a wedding band encrusted with diamond and gemstones? Or do you prefer simpler detailing, like a plain band with perhaps an engraving on the inside that holds special meaning for you?
Just remember that the more detailed and ornate the ring, the more of an investment you will make. Also, the harder it may be to adjust if you accidentally purchase it in the wrong size, or your size changes over time.
Personal Tastes: Consider the personal tastes of both you and the groom before wedding ring shopping. You don’t want a ring that’s flashy and ostentatious if you prefer a more subtle, low-key look. You also don’t want to buy a ring that’s too simple if you enjoy wearing bling that catches the eye and turns heads.
It’s a good idea to discuss with your fiance what you both like and try to find a middle ground in ring style, budget, and detailing. This is especially true if you decide not to purchase a matching bridal set and instead choose your own rings. You still want them to complement each other, and if they are too different in style and design, they will clash instead. You’re basically buying three different rings, and all three have to play well together, which can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Consider Your Lifestyle: Couples that are very active may want wedding rings that are light-weight and simpler in design, just for the sake of comfort and convenience. If you and your guy are less sporty and more GQ, you might both prefer rings that are eye-catching and sleek, with less of a concern for comfort when you’re outdoors.
If one or both of you works in industries where wedding rings can be in the way or dangerous to wear, you might decide to buy a simpler version of your wedding band to wear during your normal working hours and purchase a nicer ring that matches your engagement ring to wear on off days. Think of your day-to-day routines and shop for rings based on how well they will fit into your lifestyle.
Bridal Set? Or Complementary Rings?
Buying your wedding bands and your engagement ring as a full bridal set can really simplify the shopping process. You don’t even have to think about finding a match because they will already be perfectly paired. It also makes shopping easier, because you’re just looking at sets to decide on one you both like.
However, if you don’t care for bridal sets and prefer to have a more unique look, you can still shop for engagement ring styles and designs that complement each other well. For instance, you can choose rings made from the same materials, but with different designs.
Since the metal matches, they look similar and complement each other well. You can also choose similar detailing but opt for different metals and materials. Maybe you really like the look and feel of platinum, but your guy has his heart set on yellow gold. That can work, provided you choose the right design and choose metals that play well together, to avoid potential damage to your rings.
It’s best to consult with a knowledgeable jeweler if you decide to go the complementary route. They can help you weigh in on your choice and show you rings that will look nice together, and help you avoid buying rings that clash.
Don’t forget to consider the shape of your rings. This is less of an issue between your rings and your groom’s, but when it comes to your wedding band and engagement ring, you definitely want both to be of the same shape. Otherwise, the rings will feel awkward when you’re wearing them and can even become uncomfortable. Be sure to consider weight and proportions, too. If your engagement ring is large and in charge but your wedding band is small and simple, the two looks can detract from each other, instead of allowing each perfect ring to shine in its own right.
So, does the wedding band come with the engagement ring every time? No, not always, unless you are considering purchasing a bridal set. Just remember, if you choose to buy each ring separately, get help from an experienced jeweler, like Diamond Nexus, to help you sort through your options. You’ll be wearing these rings for years to come, so it’s important to make sure they are rings you both love!
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.