10 Top Tips For Picking The Perfect Wedding Ring
You’ve got the engagement ring on your finger, but now you’re off to the business of selecting a wedding ring to go along with it.
We know that there is a lot out there to choose from, so we’ve broken it down for you in our handy guide to selecting the ring that you will love for a lifetime.
1. Narrow Your Focus
With choices in stone, style and metal being so plentiful, it can be difficult to know where to start. Don’t panic just yet. Stop, breath and take it one step at a time. Start with style. Do you envision your perfect ring as a simple band or does it include embellishments such as stones or etchings? Does it need to match your engagement ring? For that matter, does it need to match your partner’s ring? If you can answer these basic questions first, it will help you to narrow down what kinds of rings you want to consider.
2. Buy the Set
This may not be an option for those who were surprised with an engagement ring, but you can always check to see if there is a matching band to go with it from where your partner purchased it. If not, don’t sweat it. You can always find something that compliments it beautifully. Consider the design of the engagement ring. Is it a simple band with a solitaire?
Decide if you want to keep it simple and understated with a similar wedding band or dress it up with a diamond pave band or etched band to bring out that stone’s sparkle. Alternately, you may want to dress a more elaborately designed engagement ring with just a simple band to accompany it without stealing its thunder.
Do consider how the two bands will fit together if you plan on wearing them side by side. Not only should they complement one another, but they should feel comfortable on your fingers. Look for contouring or shadow bands designed to interlock with your style ring. If you are wearing your wedding band alone, you may want to consider a more intricate design that will stand out on its own.
3. The Early Bird Gets the Ring
Now that you’ve spent a little time deciding what best suits your style, it’s time to look around. Give yourself at least a few months before your big day to shop around and allow for resizing, if needed. This may involve combining multiple shops and even revisiting a few to take a second look or compare pricing for similar items.
Of course, if you have a custom ring in mind, you’ll want to allow even more time for its creation and shipping. Even if you aren’t custom designing the entire ring, keep in mind that that certain add-ons, like engraving, can take as long as a month.
4. Don’t Fear Mix and Match Rings
Everyone has a preference for what they want in a ring and that is going to include your partner. You adore yellow gold but your betrothed prefers platinum? No worries. There is nothing to say your rings have to match one another. They can be different metals or even completely different styles.
Perhaps you can meet in the middle with bands that feature the two tones you prefer, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker if you can’t.
5. The Money Factor
The rule of thumb here is that you should spent about 3% of your wedding budget on your bands. Simple 14 karat gold or platinum bands can be costly, with embellishments such as diamonds or engraving adding to the cost.
Engraving is usually based on the number of characters, the font and your choice of machine or hand engraving (the latter usually costs more than the former).
6. Durability is a Factor
Consider your lifestyle when choosing a ring. If you are particularly active, you may prefer a ring that is slimmer, simpler and of a durable metal. Individuals that work with their hands should consider whether gemstones are going to be in peril in the course of their everyday activity or carvings that can collect matter that may be hard to remove. Platinum is going to hold up much better for someone who is super active than a softer gold.
If you are also considering price, you may want to even look at Titanium, built to endure even the most rugged wearer. Not only is it more affordable, but it will not scratch, bend or break and still looks great after years of rough treatment.
7. Pick a Ring That Isn’t Your Style
By now, you should have at least an idea about what you want in a ring, but once you get to the store, you will have other choices at your disposal. Select one that you may not have considered and see how it looks on your finger. It might surprise you. Or talk to your jeweller about what might best suit you.
Just don’t rule out any options before taking a look at them. Not sure if the style works for everyday wear? Trying writing or texting with it on to see if it rubs or cuts into your fingers in a way you will still be regretting at your silver anniversary party.
8. Forever and Always
Trends are great, but are they just a passing fancy or truly you? Don’t let what other people are wearing affect your choice. You will be wearing this ring long after they’ve moved on to another fad.
Go with what you love, what speaks to you and if forty years down the road you have a change of heart, you can always have it reinvented. Add embellishments, engravings, dip it in a different colour metal or just have the entire thing melted down and made into a new ring.
9. Maintenance Time
To keep a wedding band with stones clean and sparkling, you’ll need to wash and soak it in warm sudsy water, then gently brush it with a soft toothbrush or eyebrow brush (too much pressure can loosen the stones from their setting), rinse it and pat it dry with a soft lint-free cloth. Sound like too much upkeep? You may want to opt for a fuss-free gold or platinum ring—simply rub it with a soft, lint-free cloth (chamois works well) and you’re good to go.
10. Size Matters
Most people rarely take off their wedding bands; they wear them through summers, winters, exercise, pregnancies – all times when your fingers swell and contract from heat, cold, water retention or weight gain.
To find the right size that will best weather all of those changes, schedule your final ring fitting at a time when you’re calm and your body temperature is normal. That means you should never finalise first thing in the morning (you retain water from the night before), right after you’ve exercised (fingers swell) or when you’re extremely hot or cold (which can cause your hands to expand and shrink).
By Amy Naves, Excalibur Press