Today, we discuss choosing a wedding ring and a wedding band which after engagement ring, is probably one of the most important things you can do because it’s a piece of jewelry that you will wear for the rest of your life.
I’ve been wearing my wedding band for 7 years every day and it’s something that becomes part of you and for that reason, you want something that you really, truly like. It pays to invest in quality simply because you wear it every day.
Now, I don’t know your taste and it may be very progressive but from what I can tell, a classic band stands the test of time and chances that you won’t like them anymore after a few years are very little. I’m wearing here a simple yellow gold 14k band with a milgrain edge and it’s accidentally the same style my wife’s grandfather wore and he got married in 1946.
Basic Materials For Wedding Rings
The most popular material for wedding rings is yellow gold. It’s very classic and the best combinations are 14k or 18k because the have the right gold look but they are not too soft otherwise, you’ll see the scratches. Gold itself, a 100% gold is very soft and so if you go over 18k which is 75% of gold, it’s just not perfect for wedding rings.
In England, you can also find 9k gold rings which are 37.5% of gold which is very low in my opinion and it’s harder but the look sometimes is different from 14k or 18k. In Germany, you can even find 333 gold which means 33.3% of gold and to me, it’s not really gold because the majority is something else and I’d rather stick with something that’s at least 14k or 18k.
Traditionally, if you didn’t like gold, which was rarely the case, people went for silver. Specifically 925 sterling silver or 950 or 800 silver. Now, while I like it for pinky rings, I do not like silver for a wedding band because it’s softer and it shows scuffs much more easily. The big advantage is that it’s a lot less expensive than gold and at the same time, it requires polishing because it oxidizes and personally, I find it very bothersome for something that I wear every day.
Platinum & White Gold
Back in the day, the alternative used to be platinum or white gold. Platinum is a different material than gold and it’s usually more expensive because it’s also harder to work on it. White gold is quite popular these days and if you like the silver look, it’s a valid alternative to a yellow gold or maybe even a rose gold.
Rose gold was very popular and personally, I like it a lot. I have cufflinks in rose gold, I have a ring in rose gold, and it’s a nice material and it works particularly well if you are a little more tan because it just has a slightly different look than a yellow gold.
Now, these are the basic classic materials you can wear for wedding rings and I suggest you stick with them because they’ve proven that they work, they last, and they don’t lose their value.
What Look Are You Going For?
The next step would be to determine what kind of look you want specifically, how wide you want your ring to be. Most bands are between 3mm and 8 mm wide. I suggest you go with something maybe 4mm or 5mm because it gets bigger, yes it can look more masculine but it can also be more difficult to get the ring onto your finger and it can be less comfortable when you wear it.
Wedding Band Finishes
In terms of finishes, you can go with a shiny finish that is polished, it’s probably the most classic one. You can get something that’s hammered which is unusual, or ou can get that milgrain edge, the one I’m wearing personally, or you can get something that’s really matte which is hardly ever seen.
Sometimes you also see edged patterns and things like that but the more exotic you can get, the more likely it is that you won’t like the design in 20 years from now. Personally, I think that matte finishes look more like stainless steel and I would stay clear of them but if you love them, go for it.
One thing that you’ll encounter often is the so-called comfort fit. Personally, I like it a lot and what it does, it gives you rounder edges so it makes it easier to take the ring on and off, for example when you wash your hands or if you have a job where it’s not good to have your wedding ring on. Personally, for example, when I go to the gym, I sometimes find it hard to have my wedding ring because I get blisters on my hand if I lift some weights.
“Do I have to match the metals of my wedding band to the rest of my outfit?”
I say no, you don’t have to. Don’t stress out about it. Your wedding ring is a part of you and if you can match it, great! If not, that’s okay too.
Now, if you want to do it, one thing to keep in mind is to have maybe one ring in white gold, and then the same one in yellow gold so you can switch it up so it matches with your tie bars, your cufflinks, or other metal things that you want to wear.
Wedding Ring Don’ts
- Do not to go with unusual materials such as wood, tungsten, cobalt, titanium, rubber, and so forth. They just won’t stand the test of time and chances are you’ll just won’t like the look of them down the line.
- Do not go with finishes that are highly unusual such as blackened or matted, or edged, or acid treated because chances are, it’ll just look dated very soon.
- Do not go with anything that’s wider than 8mm because it’s just way too big.
- Do not add diamonds to your ring because it’s just very flashy and it makes you look like a pimp.
- Avoid adjustable rings. That’s something from a gumball machine and it’s really the cheapest of the cheap and since this is a wedding ring, you want something that’s quality.
Should You Buy Designer Brands?
I would say no because the wedding band is a very classic thing. You can find them from jewelers and it’s more about the weight, the specific design, and the right size for your finger. The designer simply adds a markup to the ring that does not add additional value to your comfort or looks.
Wedding Band Sizing
Personally, I find sizing can be very tricky because, in the US, the size measurements is different than it is in Europe for example. At the same time, at the jewelers, they give you rings that you can try on and sometimes the size of the ring also depends on the width of the ring so ideally, you try on rings the same width that you want to wear afterwards otherwise, a slimmer ring can be tighter than a wider ring.
One thing I personally find challenging sometimes is that your fingers change in size throughout the day but specifically throughout the seasons. During summer time, my fingers are bigger and in the winter when it’s cold, my fingers are slimmer. So when you choose a ring that you want to wear year round, make sure that you don’t buy a ring during the summer time that is almost too big because then during the winter time, it will certainly be too small. Likewise, don’t buy a ring in the winter time that is very snug because it will be painful to wear during the summer.
The best way to figure out your ring size is probably to go to a jeweler. Sometimes you can also find these ring sizers that are made out of plastic and they come in all sizes and you can put them on but usually, they’re quite slim so that can be tricky and throw off the actual measurements for your finger.
In summary, we suggest you stick with the classics just like with anything else on your wedding day such as wedding accessories like my tie, that I’m wearing here right now, or boutonnieres, or pocket squares.