Okay, the engagement ring is like the ritzy glitzy older sister who is super popular and always the topic of conversation…. and the wedding band is like the 2nd uncle, twice removed, that you forget to invite to the party until the last minute. Most people aren’t sitting around thinking about what type of wedding band they’re going to want one day, until that day arrives. So, if that’s you, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to cover all your basic wedding band questions - types of bands, what to look for, how much to spend, and that burning question of who is technically supposed to buy the wedding band?!
The standard wedding band is usually a solid metal. The most popular of the metals are golds - white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold, then probably followed by something like platinum (silver isn’t used often because it tarnishes).
We like these options because they are resizable, which doesn’t sound very exciting, but all kinds of things can alter the size of your finger (weather, moving to a different climate, weight gain/loss, etc.). At least having the option to be able to resize your wedding band, instead of getting a new one, seems fairly practical (plus you’ll probably be attached to your original one anyways). Another benefit would be the fact that the metals are easily engravable, which you should definitely take advantage of!
Being able to resize isn’t everything… I get that. If you’re into alternative wedding band selections, some of the most-trendy options include materials like stainless steel, Damascus steel, tungsten, carbide, wood, or even silicone. Two-toned rings are also a fun way to add a little extra appeal to the standard band. Even though most of these bands can’t be resized, they can be more interesting than the basic metal bands.
A diamond eternity band is also a favorite because, duh, extra diamonds. I know you’re wondering, or maybe you’re not, but yes - these are also extremely hard to resize. The process involves adding or removing diamonds, which is slightly complicated and definitely a little more expensive than a normal resizing.
What to Look for
What exactly are we looking for anyways? It’s just a simple ring, right? I can say confidently - the most important factor should be comfort. Put it on your finger, make sure the fit is right (of course) but also see if it has any textured feel to it around the outside. If there is, check to see if that bugs your skin. You’ll be wearing this ring constantly, so this is pretty essential.
It’s important to look for something that is your style… or maybe even something that matches the engagement ring. And IF you happen to be the one wearing the engagement ring, make sure your wedding band sits flush against it. It would be annoying (for us who get annoyed easily) to have a big difference in band heights on the finger.
Lastly, not all colors (like yellow gold or rose gold) match in tone. If you’re looking for the band to match the engagement ring perfectly, or if you're trying to match the wedding bands to each other, I would suggest buying bands from the same person you bought the engagement ring from. They should definitely be able to help with color.
How Much to Spend
This is always the big question in life, on everything. The short answer is to spend what you can afford, or to buy something you like. Hopefully it is one in the same! I have asked around to get a more general answer and what’s common is 20-30% of the engagement ring cost… so for a $6,000 engagement ring, about $1000 on a wedding band.
Who Buys the Wedding Bands
And without further ado… whose responsibility is it to buy the bands?! What I have heard (from a small inner circle sampling) is according to tradition the band buying falls to the woman’s family, or person being proposed to. But let’s be real, I don’t think there is an actual standard for this. What is important is that you both agree on who is buying, and that you really love your bands because you’ll be wearing it forever! (unless you get a ring that’s not re-sizeable and needs it to be resized)
Truthfully, the majority of couples just shop for the bands together. This makes it super easy if you’re trying to match them to each others. For the record, if you want to be proactive, I think it’s a fantastic idea to go ahead and buy wedding bands that match the engagement ring from the beginning. Especially if you are going to custom design a ring, throw in the wedding bands and maybe even an anniversary band while you’re doing it. You’ll thank me later!
Wedding bands aren’t very complicated. Comfort and preference and budget should be the driving factors. Go in and try some rings on, get a feel for what you like and what feels good, and ask any questions you may have. They are there to help!