So you’re getting married? Congratulations! Among all the other plans and dreams that lie ahead, you may be wondering about one of the most fundamental questions of all: how do you choose the right wedding ring? Here’s a guide.
Decide on a Style of Ring
There’s a lot to decide on in terms of style. Do you want something more simple and fundamental or a more ornate, fancy ring? Would you like to match the metal of your engagement ring with the metal you choose for the wedding ring? In addition, would you like the style or even the exact same ring as your partner? Once you decide questions like these you are ready to begin shopping by metal (gold, platinum, etc) and by additions (diamonds, gemstones, etc) as well as specific design styles.¹
Matching Wedding Rings
Matching wedding rings continue to be a popular option, and if you are going for this then it can often work best to shop for matching gold bands or another style you have decided on with your significant other.
If you decide to go for a unique individual style instead, it’s important to try to make it complement and fit well with the engagement ring. A plain gold band can still be classic and perfectly romantic, but having a diamond or gem can also be the choice that really makes the ring shine.²
Choosing a Metal
Historically, gold has been the go-to metal for wedding rings, but there are also many different options such as platinum or cobalt. There are also different types of gold such as rose gold or yellow gold that can add a lovely complement to the engagement ring. When it comes to choosing the right type of gold, keep in mind that it can be important to consider purity.
For example with yellow gold you don’t want to be over 18 karats and 75% of purity because it will be too malleable and scratch, but you also don’t want to go below 14 karats. Platinum won’t fade or get discolored and is scratch-resistant, but it will be abrasive to other metals it comes into contact with, so it should always match your engagement ring.
White gold is beautiful but will need to be periodically re-polished, and rose gold is another stunning option that has a pink-ish color that won’t scratch or discolor, while titanium and tungsten are further options that some newlyweds are going with these days, as well as stainless steel.³
Getting your partner’s ring finger measured by a jeweler is the best way to make sure the size is right. If this isn’t an option or you want it to be a complete surprise then consider asking his or her friends or family about size. Another sneaky and effective trick is to borrow one of their rings for the day, take it to a jeweler and say you want this size.
In the worst-case scenario if you end up buying a ring or having a ring made that isn’t the right size then you can have it resized after the wedding and most places will do this for no extra fee.⁴
As with anything, budget does come into the picture. In general, wedding experts recommend spending around three percent of your total wedding budget on the rings between the two of you. Prices for a simple 14-karat gold band can run you about $1,000 so keeping it within three percent is realistic, although deciding to go higher is always an option and is your choice.
Personalizing rings, more expensive metals and other factors will bring the price higher, but at the end of the day a wedding ring is a very personal decision and it’s all about what your vision is for the perfect ring.¹