9 Ways to Pick the Perfect Wedding Ring
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? We talked to several jewelers about the tips and tricks to know before you start shopping. Read on to get their advice.
Incorporate Your Personal Style
Think about what jewelry you already own and what catches your eye when you're shopping. Are you more of a white gold or yellow gold person? Do you have a specific cut diamond that you prefer over another? Is your style more trendy and modern or traditional and timeless? Take a look through the jewelry you already own and use this information to help define your personal style. "Choose something that represents you because these pieces truly become a part of you, and commonly become heirlooms that are cherished and passed down to future generations," says Alex Stuller, senior director of bridal at ever&ever.
Set a Budget
It's important to have a clear budget in mind when wedding ring shopping. Not only will this help you find a wedding band you can afford, it will also help avoid disappointment. If you walk into the jewelry store with no budget in mind, you might end up loving something that is way out of your price range. "Determine your budget before beginning your search," Stuller says. "Then, be honest and upfront about what it is when working with your jeweler or searching online. It is possible to have a dream wedding band within a budget."
And, don't think working with a budget means you can't go with a custom option you love. There's a common misconception that designing your own wedding band from scratch will cost you more. "Having a bespoke ring doesn't automatically mean that you will be paying more," says Tomasz Donocik, founder and designer of Tomasz Donocik. "Don't hesitate to go to a jeweler or designer and inquire if they can make you your dream wedding set."
"We advise clients to shop for wedding rings as far as six months in advance of the wedding in order to allow plenty of time for the rings to be created," Kwiat says. "There is plenty of planning involved in throwing a wedding, and there will be many details to worry about in the week leading up to the event. You don't need the wedding rings to be the last thing on the list." 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 option. 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.
Since you'll both be sporting wedding rings, it's a fun opportunity to participate in this wedding planning activity together. "We always encourage couples to shop together for their wedding bands," advises Greg Kwiat, CEO of Kwiat and Fred Leighton, both New York-based jewelry stores. "Both partners should be involved to enjoy the process and make sure they end up with something they love. It's also a wonderful and joyous activity that couples should share together as part of their relationship journey."
Shopping together can also help you narrow down the ring style you like best. "Having each other there can also be helpful when narrowing your favorites down to 'the one.' We often see our couples ask each other for their opinion of what looks good on them," says Jennifer Gandia, Co-Owner of Greenwich St Jewelers. Why not make a date out of it? Head to brunch, then the jewelry store.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Do you sit at a desk all day or is your day-to-day more active? The answer to this question could inform what kind of wedding band you should buy. "You should always consider your lifestyle to determine which metal works best for you," says Katherine Kim, the founder and designer of KATKIM. For instance, tungsten is a good choice for to-be-weds who do a lot of work with their hands, as it doesn't scratch as easily as other metals. Titanium is also a great choice for a wedding band, as it doesn't bend or scratch as easily. If you have an active lifestyle but you 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.
Consider Personalizing Your Wedding Rings
"One current trend in wedding bands is some element of personalization with many couples opting to write a sweet message or engrave with their name, initials or wedding date," Kristen Lawler-Trustey, PR Manager of De Beers Forevermark. "If you want some sort of engraving on the inside of your band, make sure you choose one that is wide enough to accommodate your message." If traditional engravings aren't your thing, there are other options.
Hold Off on Re-Sizing Your Engagement Ring
While your ring size might seem off when you're just wearing your engagement ring, wait until you try it on with a band before getting it resized. "Our engagement ring can fit tighter when paired with one or more wedding bands," says Ashley Zhang of Ashley Zhang Jewerly. "Most engagement rings are top heavy and can spin around the finger when worn alone. But once paired with a wedding band, the two rings put more pressure on the blood vessels in the finger and tend to fit tighter."
Think About What Your Wedding Band and Engagement Ring Will Look Like Together
Keep your engagement ring in mind while shopping for your wedding band. "Consider how the bands will physically stack together. For example, if your engagement ring has a flush fit design (meaning a band can sit right next to it without a gap) you may have an easier time finding a wedding band that seamlessly sits next to your ring," Gandia says. "If you don't have a flush fit engagement ring and aren't loving the look of a gap, contour bands, mixed shape bands, or even the custom design route could be for you." And while there are a lot of elaborate options to choose from, Zhang notes it's important not to go over-the-top with your wedding band. "You just don't want a wedding band or bands that overshadow your engagement ring. Complementing the ring is more important than matching," she says.
Trust Your Jeweler
Remember, jewelers and retailers are there to help you. Be open and honest with your budget, and they'll help guide you. "Ask if they have any upcoming bridal events or promotions as they may offer a special gift with purchase, preferred pricing and sometimes even a glass of champagne during your visit to make it even more enjoyable," Lawler-Trustey says. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the ring shopping process, don't be afraid to ask questions. From explaining what precious metals work best with your lifestyle or what ring style is the best—jewelers are the experts. "Talk to your wedding band specialist about what you want and they will help present you with creative options and solutions," Gandia says. "Almost anything is possible, especially if you have the time."