How To Choose a Wedding Ring That You'll Love Forever

These are the tips that actually ring true when choosing the perfect wedding band.
Close up of groom hugging bride form behind while wearing wedding rings
Photo: Apollo Fotografie
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
Fashion Editor, Beauty & Inclusivity
  • Lauren writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in fashion, beauty and size inclusivity.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Lauren worked in wedding editorial for Brides, Style Me Pretty and Enaura Bridal.
  • Lauren studied public relations and advertising at the University of Central Florida.
Updated Jan 29, 2024
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I always knew what I wanted for my engagement ring (a gold oval solitaire, to be exact), but no one ever told me how to choose a wedding ring. It's a big decision after all; this is a ring I plan on wearing every day for the rest of my life, so I went ahead and did all the research, and now that I've gone ring shopping, I'm sharing my findings with you. I have a few tips and shopping tricks up my sleeve so you too can find the perfect wedding ring that not only symbolizes your love but reflects your personality and lifestyle as well. I also chatted with Jillian Sassone, founder and creative director of Marrow Fine to find out how to choose a wedding band for your engagement ring so you can feel confident on your bling shopping journey.

In this article:

Who chooses the wedding rings?

When it comes to who buys the wedding rings, the decision varies from couple to couple. Traditionally, it was the responsibility of the groom to select and purchase the rings. However, in modern times, many couples prefer to make the decision together, considering it an opportunity to strengthen their bond and make a joint decision that symbolizes their commitment.

Choosing as a Couple

There's just something so special about choosing your wedding ring together with your partner, especially if your engagement ring was a surprise. "More often than not, we see both the bride and groom come into our showrooms to pick out their wedding rings as a couple," says Sassone. "This ensures both parties are happy with the ring they will wear for the rest of their lives!" I love this approach because, as Sassone suggests, it's the perfect excuse to make it a date night. "In the whirlwind of planning a wedding, it can be really special to set aside a few hours for yourselves to shop for wedding bands," she says. "We like to offer our clients champagne or something bubbly during appointments because it should feel like a celebration. You can even turn it into a romantic date night at your favorite restaurant after."

Choosing On Your Own

On the other hand, you may choose to select your wedding ring on your own. Whether it's because you want it to be a surprise, you have a scheduling issue, or you just prefer to shop on your own, there is nothing wrong with shopping on your own. For those going solo, it's important to consider your personal style and lifestyle. Focus on finding a ring that feels authentic to you and complements your engagement ring. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from your partner or trusted friends and family members who know your taste well before you head to the jeweler.

How to Choose a Wedding Ring in Eight Steps

Whether you're choosing a wedding ring as a couple or independently, there are a few universal steps here to guide you through the process. Let's dive into the six steps that will help you find the perfect wedding ring, whether you're shopping together or on your own.

1. Set a Budget

This probably comes as no surprise, but talking to your partner about the numbers before you buy your wedding ring is a great way to narrow down your choices. "Having an open conversation with your partner about budgets before shopping for rings will help make the process seamless," says Sassone. This can help the jeweler pull a range of options that are within your desired price range, saving you from the frustration of falling in love with a ring that is far beyond what you can afford. And let's be honest, no one wants to end up falling in love with something that is way out of their price range. Additionally, setting a budget helps you prioritize the aspects of the ring that are most important to you, whether it's the quality of the diamond, the metal type or the overall design.

2. Factor in your Lifestyle

You'll be wearing your ring every single day, so it needs to suit your day-to-day activities without sacrificing style, right? "When choosing your wedding ring, it's important to think about what works for both of your lifestyles," Sassone says. For instance, I'm an editor who spends most of her work week writing on the computer. I work out in my spare time but typically don't wear my rings for that, so I have some flexibility with my choices. If you are constantly working with your hands or playing sports, Sassone suggests considering a simple solid gold design or one that's low profile. If you have an active lifestyle but don't want to sacrifice sparkle, consider a wedding ring with channel-set gemstones. With this setting, the pavé details (read: small, round diamonds or other gems) are placed side-by-side between open channels that keep them secure. This way, you can wear your ring wherever your adventures take you without worrying about potential damage.

3. Look Online for Ring Inspiration

Trust me, scrolling through all those stunning sparklers and celebrity rings is not just a guilty pleasure—it's actually super helpful. Take a cue from celebs like Hailey Bieber or Sofia Richie, who rock some seriously fabulous rings, and let their styles spark your creativity. As the expert Jillian Sassone suggests, "Start browsing for styles you like; set aside some time to start exploring designs you're drawn to, to give you an idea of where to begin when starting to try on rings." It's genius because it gives you a starting point and helps you zero in on the characteristics, details and overall vibe that resonate with you.

4. Shop Early

Just as finding the perfect engagement ring takes time, so does finding the perfect wedding band. You might want to visit multiple retailers or simply spend time at one jewelry store, really thinking through your options. This is something you'll be wearing on your ring finger for life, so you want to make sure you pick out the right ring.

5. Attend a Jewelry Trunk Show

You've heard of a wedding dress trunk show, but how about a jewelry trunk show? This is the perfect opportunity to try on pieces from your favorite designers who might not have a storefront in your area. TBH, I didn't even know that jewelers did this until I stopped by a Marrow Fine trunk show when they visited my area. I had seen so many of their beautiful designs online, but this allowed me to try on different styles in person. The atmosphere was cozy and intimate, and I was able to touch, try on, and truly appreciate the craftsmanship in a whole new light. Bonus: Sometimes trunk shows can even offer exclusive discounts and the chance to customize your ring with the designer.

6. Wear Your Engagement Ring to Shop

The shape of your diamond in the engagement ring can impact which wedding ring style will suit it best. Different diamond shapes, such as round, princess, oval, or emerald, have distinct characteristics and proportions that look better with some wedding ring styles than others. This will give you the best idea of how the rings will look together.

7. Try Before You Buy - Even if It's Online

Even if you plan on choosing your wedding ring online, trying on rings is a must before finalizing your decision. I compare the experience of trying to find my own perfect wedding ring to shopping for my wedding dress. I was shocked at how some of my online favorites didn't "wow" me in person like I thought they would, while other unexpected styles did. "Keep an open mind and try, try, try to get a feel for what you like and don't like," says Sassone. "While you may think you have an idea of what you want, it's important to actually see what it looks like with your engagement ring. You may end up changing your mind!"

8. Trust Your Jeweler

Shopping for wedding rings can be a confusing process, especially since you've probably never done it before. It's different than engagement ring shopping, because this time around, you're shopping for the both of you. If you have no idea where to start, don't fret; jewelers are there to help. Jewelry stores have plenty of ways to help you figure out what you like, so don't worry if you're not sure what you want when you walk in the door. They'll likely show you a variety of different wedding bands with different precious metals to help you narrow down your selection. Try to think of it as a fun experience with your partner. After all, isn't trying on gorgeous jewelry one of the perks of being engaged?

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