Wedding Rings - the Latest Trends, Styles, the Checklist and Much More

Engaged couples are usually very quick at starting planning for one of the most significant events of their lives - their wedding. They have a lot of decisions to make in a relatively short time: the date, the venue, the dress, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the honeymoon, the list goes on. One of those decisions is about the wedding rings and the millions of options available these days.

Here we will address frequently asked questions about wedding rings, the latest trends, should they be of the same style for the bride and the groom, how much you should allocate for this occasion, etc.

Do Couples Select the Wedding Rings Together?

Absolutely. Unlike an engagement ring, where the task of acquiring one rests on the groom's shoulders, the wedding rings are one of these things that couples usually do together shortly after their engagement has been announced.

For a lucky bribe whose groom did go out of his way and commissioned a custom made engagement ring, that's excellent news. If the ring was designed and made by an experienced jeweller, the task of getting a wedding band that would perfectly match the engagement ring is way simpler. In this case, the jeweller would already be a step ahead and most likely had thought about what type of a wedding band would complement the design of the engagement ring. 

Do the Wedding Rings Have to Be the Same?

The simple answer is no - they don't have to be identical in style, design and execution. However, if you commission your wedding bands at Red Cloud Jewels, our head jeweller will often incorporate some elements of design, so that the wedding rings would look like they belong to the same family. What are those elements? It can be the profile of the rings (half-rounded or flat), the treatment or finish (polished or matt), diamond pattern, or the base material (platinum, white or yellow gold).

Later we will talk about different trends and options for designs, but for now, it's important to remember that a well-designed wedding band for the bride should suit her engagement ring and could influence the design of the wedding band for him.

How Much Should You Spend for a Wedding Ring?

If for an engagement ring the sky is the limit, the wedding bands tend to be one of the lowest expense categories in the overall wedding budget.

From our experience, guys used to spend only a third of the total wedding ring budget on themselves. So if a couple budgeted around $3,000 for their wedding ring set, his ring would have been around $1,000 and hers - $2,000. This allocation was quite a norm about ten years ago. These days men tend to choose more exciting and sophisticated styles, quite often featuring diamonds, too.

A Wedding Ring for Him - the Latest Trends

As mentioned before, over the last decade, we have observed a considerable shift in men's tastes regarding jewellery. Modern men tend to keep clear of simple half-rounded bands so popular in their fathers' generation and go for something a lot more exciting.

It's not unusual these days for the groom's wedding ring to feature diamonds (or other precious stones). Since men's rings are usually quite thick (2-3mm) and a lot wider (6-8mm) than women's, it gives the jeweller a lot more options to customise the design. While her wedding band usually sits next to her engagement ring, his wedding ring does not necessarily have to be a traditional round band. Some men prefer to wear a signet ring as a wedding ring. The profile of a signet ring provides a lot more options for a customised design that could feature a diamond pattern or even an engraved family crest.

This custom made gent's wedding band features 0.05ct princess cut diamond and five round brilliant cut diamonds set in yellow gold with combination finish (one side has a matt finish, and the other one is mirror polished)

For a man involved in manual labour, we would recommend pairing his wedding band with a matching necklace. It means he can secure his ring on the necklace while at work and minimise the risk of any damage or even a finger injury. The same advice applies to the active types - surfers who don't want their rings tangled around the surfboard's rope.

Here is another exciting trend in wedding rings worth considering. We get more and more requests for fingerprint engravings. We use laser engraving technology to customise wedding bands by etching her fingerprint on the inside of his ring and vice versa. It's a nice touch that many couples prefer to add to customise their rings.

A Gentleman's Wedding Ring with a Fingerprint Engraving

There are also a lot more options of materials to choose from for his wedding ring. These days it's not unusual for a guy to get a black zirconium ring instead of a traditional yellow gold one. Multiple options are available; for instance, a zirconium ring can incorporate a nice strip of contrasting yellow gold and feature a diamond or two.

A Wedding Band for Her

Since there is usually an engagement ring in place already, the task of the jeweller is to design a matching wedding band. We recommend using the same material for the wedding band as the engagement ring. At the end of the day, both rings need to complement each other and should not create visual tension.

Married women these days anticipate adding a third ring to their collection - an eternity ring. Usually, an eternity ring is gifted after the tenth wedding anniversary. Together with the engagement ring and the wedding band, it forms so-called the perfect diamond set. 

So, if you plan to add an eternity ring to your set later, please let your jeweller know, as this fact might influence the design of your wedding band.

What Finger Do You Wear a Wedding Ring on?

Traditionally in Western Europe, North and South America and Australia, people wear their wedding bands on the ring finger (the one next to the pinky) on the left hand. 

In some Eastern European countries and the former Soviet Republics, you would wear your wedding ring on the right hand.

Ring Sizing

The size of your fingers fluctuates throughout the year depending on the season, the ambient temperature and even humidity. To get a perfect fit, you also need to consider the width of the ring because the wider the ring is, the slightly larger the circumference of the ring has to be. That is why it is pretty tricky to measure your finger size at home. It would be better to let your jeweller do it. A good jeweller will have a couple of finger gauge ring sizers with different profiles to measure your ring size accurately.

Getting Your Wedding Rings - the Timeframe, the Process and the Brief

Unlike an engagement ring, where it might take a while for the jeweller to finalise your design, wedding rings are a lot more straightforward to make, and because of that, they don't require as much lead time. So if you set aside about two-three weeks from your initial consultation with the jeweller, you should be ok.

To streamline the process and make it more enjoyable for both of you, it would be worthwhile to sit down together beforehand and write down your wishlist (your brief) for your jeweller.

Here is what your brief needs to cover.

For Her:

  • Details about your engagement ring:
    • The material used of the band (yellow gold, white gold, platinum, etc.);
    • The engagement ring style
  • Are you planning to add an eternity ring to your set later on?
  • Would you like to feature any diamonds or other precious stones in your wedding band?
  • What kind of profile (half-rounded or flat) would you prefer?
  • Would you like to have a trim (edges)?
  • What kind of finish you'd prefer (polished or matte)?
  • Would you like to incorporate a fingerprint engraving (inside or outside)?
  • What is your ring size (if you know it)?

 

For Him:

  • Would you like your ring to match her's or incorporate some elements from her ring?
  • What kind of profile (half-rounded or flat) would you prefer?
  • Would you like to feature any diamonds or other precious stones in your wedding band?
  • What kind of thickness would you prefer (2-3mm is the norm for a gent's ring)
  • What kind of width would you like to choose? (6-8mm is quite popular these days for a wide ring, but you might also consider a thin one (2-3mm))
  • Would you like to have a trim (edges)?
  • What kind of finish you'd prefer (polished or matte)?
  • Would you like to incorporate a fingerprint engraving (inside or outside)?
  • What material would you prefer (white gold, yellow gold, platinum, zirconium)?
  • What kind of style would you prefer (traditional round band or signet ring)?
  • Would you like a matching necklace (for the occasions when you have to take your ring off, i.e. at work or during sport activities)?
  • What is your ring size (if you know it)?

Conclusion

There are many things that might cause stress in preparation for your wedding, but wedding rings should not be one of them. Stick to your budget, allocate enough time and do you homework before you commission or buy your rings. And if you don't know where to start, contact our head jeweller, Wayne Doyle, for an obligation-free consultation.