While wedding traditions seem to constantly evolve—even your parents’ wedding will probably look much different than yours—so do wedding ring traditions. For decades it was thought that your gender would determine what role you had in purchasing the wedding rings. Now, the rules have flipped and it’s much less clear as to who is responsible for simulated diamond jewelry. More couples than ever are discussing wedding expenses—including both engagement rings and wedding bands—together as a team.
Although making these decisions as a couple has become the more common approach, many still choose to participate in classic traditions. These traditions may include the groom purchasing the rings, the bride being handed down an heirloom engagement ring, or customs on how to wear a wedding ring set. Before you celebrate your big day or even pop the question, it’s important to know who buys the wedding bands and when to buy wedding bands for the wedding ceremony.
Wedding Ring Traditions
The exchanging of rings is one of the most traditional exercises in marriage and can be traced back to ancient times. When the tradition first began, wedding rings were made of materials such as hemp or leather, and only much later did people start crafting rings out of precious metals like silver and gold. Since the price of metal and gold continues to rise, so too does the price of wedding rings. Now, due to the high financial burden, there is more pressure than ever as to who buys the wedding rings.
The stone in an engagement ring is also one steeped in decades-long tradition. Diamonds are most popularly used in wedding rings. They are the hardest and, arguably, the most stunning substance on earth. While diamonds are captivating set in an engagement ring, technology has given us a plethora of alternative and more affordable options. Now, couples can choose between a variety of man-made stones including diamond simulants, lab diamonds, and lab gemstones. While they each feature different characteristics and each person will prefer something a little different, you can be sure these stones don’t contribute to the ‘blood diamond trade’. While this is certainly new and untraditional in the wedding space, choosing a man-made stone will give you peace of mind when purchasing such a sentimental adornment.
Who Buys the Wedding Bands
While the groom has been the primary wedding ring buyer over the last many decades, that doesn’t mean the tradition still stands. Who buys the wedding bands will depend on a few different aspects- like if you have a shared bank account or you prefer to split costs whenever possible. Every couple will differ on how they choose to deal with the situation. Here are some aspects to consider when deciding who buys the wedding rings for your big day.
Open communication is a great option for overcoming this dilemma. Sitting down and having an honest conversation about what you both prefer will bring you much closer to figuring out an outcome. This will also prevent any negative feelings that could arise from making this large financial investment. You’ll want to be sure you are both on the same page about finances when beginning this new journey as a couple. Plus, since this conversation can happen after the engagement ring is purchased, it won’t give away the proposal if you’re planning a surprise.
While many married couples choose to conjoin their bank accounts, it’s very common to keep finances separate before matrimony. If you are not planning to use the same pot of money for these financial decisions, then it may make sense to try and split the cost evenly. Depending on how much money was invested in the engagement ring, the one who didn’t buy the engagement ring may choose to buy both wedding bands. This will allow for a much more even spend as a wedding band usually costs significantly less than an engagement ring.
Another tip is to look at your financial history as a couple. You should consider what you have done in the past as a couple to help steer you in a direction. If you’ve always split costs evenly whenever possible, then it may make the most sense to continue down this path. It is now more popular than ever for couples to decide to split the cost of all wedding expenses. Most couples choose to buy each other’s rings, although, for more traditional couples it may be more appropriate for the groom to buy both.
Considering your future together is also an important tip to keep in mind. Depending on whether you have big honeymoon plans or if you’re in the process of purchasing a home, you may decide that you will need to stay within a certain budget in order to save money for more important things. You may even decide to buy a set of inexpensive bands for the ceremony that can be replaced with higher-quality ones in the near future.
Who Buys the Groom’s Band
Similar to who buys the bride’s wedding band, many couples have opted for making both ring purchases together. Even men’s wedding bands can be costly as they contain a lot of metal. For this reason, couples may choose to purchase rings for each other, or together using the same pot of money. While the price of a men’s and women’s wedding ring may not be completely equal- especially if one of them features accents- paying for them using one of these two methods is a good idea to even out the expenses.
While most of the attention is often on the bride’s wedding rings- both her engagement ring and wedding band- the groom’s band is frequently left as a last-minute purchase. It is true that men’s wedding bands are much more simple in design than women’s, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less important. They are still just as significant in representing marriage and should have just as much thought put into the buying journey. Couples may even opt to match their wedding bands slightly, in which case, will most likely need to be purchased together. Some matching wedding rings will have similar metalwork or accent stones- although they may still differ in shank width. No matter who buys the groom’s band- whether together or separately- it should be purchased with the bride’s wedding band in mind as well.
Shopping for Wedding Bands
Since there are so many decisions to make before the big day- from the venue to the caterer- buying wedding bands is often pushed back until the last minute. When it comes to an engagement ring vs. a wedding ring, many wedding bands can be made in a speedier time frame. if you’re looking for any custom jewelry design work done to the rings then it’s much safer to purchase as far ahead of time as possible. Giving yourself more time between receiving your wedding bands and the big day will give you a cushion in case anything goes wrong. Issues like the incorrect ring size or engraving flaws do happen, which is why you should be prepared for anything.
If you’re beginning your search for wedding bands, there are a few tips you should consider to make sure you choose the right one for both of you. Design aspects- like metal and style type- should be taken into consideration to narrow the search and make the decision easier. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Metal Type: Gold may be the most popular option, but that doesn’t mean it’s your only one. Other metal types, like platinum, are more hypoallergenic and extremely durable. The downside is that there are fewer color options with platinum in comparison to gold which comes in a variety of colors, from white to yellow and rose. If you want both the bride and groom’s bands to match in any way, the metal type is crucial. Deciding on one should be the first step in the process. If matching isn’t a concern, then both parties can choose the type that is most stylish and comfortable for everyday wear. Many men choose tungsten or platinum, while women tend to lean towards the more traditional options.
- Engraving: Since any type of personalization will most likely extend the delivery timeline, deciding if you want an engraving should be made as soon as possible. If you do, you should order your wedding bands as far out from the wedding as possible to give the jeweler plenty of time. Engravings are typically placed on the inside of the shank so only the wearer can see it when they choose. Although, engravings aren’t the only personalized detail that can be added to the design. Couples may opt for special metalwork or unique stone colors that represent something meaningful in their relationship.
- Band Size: A rather important fact to know about the wedding band you’re looking to purchase is the size you need. This is especially important depending on which style you decide on. Certain styles- like eternity bands- are hard to resize and because of this, you should be 100% certain of the appropriate size before you purchase one. Knowing the correct size will also prevent any delays with receiving your rings as you won’t have to send it back in to get it resized.
In Review: Who Buys the Wedding Bands
Now that you understand that truly depends on your unique situation, you can begin the conversation. While discussing finances is often not the most pleasurable topic, it is certainly essential. Getting married is a lifelong commitment in which you will have many conversations about money. It’s best to start talking about it sooner than later so you can become comfortable with each other in these types of situations.
If your wedding is quickly approaching and you’re still uncertain which path to take, ask others for advice. Friends and family who have been married will be able to share their situation and what they decided to do in the end. No matter which approach you take- whether buying together or separately- both people should feel comfortable with the decision. You will wear your wedding rings for the rest of your life and you want to only have fond memories when looking at them and remembering your engagement journey and wedding day.
*Diamond Nexus strives to provide valuable information, while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab grown stone that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a mined 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.