Pairing a wedding band to your engagement ring is more difficult than it sounds, because you have so many factors to take in. Your daily life, how active you are, how much you want the band to stand out form the ring, how much it matches your partner’s band (or not), how well it looks on its own, and how much you like the combination between the two rings when you look at them.
Today we’re guiding you through some key points to remember when choosing your wedding band, with your engagement ring in mind.
Choose a wedding band that compliments the engagement ring style
The most important point of all, whatever wedding band you choose it must compliment the engagement ring. It must not compete, it must not detract from the beauty. So something in the same general style as your engagement ring, or perhaps a simpler style will work great with the e-ring itself.
For example if you have a very dainty, delicate-looking e-ring with a flower pattern, perhaps with a few marquise diamonds in place of leaves, then the wedding band could have a vine texture, a bark texture, it could be a thin band with more marquise diamonds as a row of leaves, or perhaps it could have a floral pattern etched onto it.
If your style is very flashy and you want to make an impression, then choose a wedding band that is impressive but still in the same style as your engagement ring. For example a pave wedding band for a pave and solitaire engagement ring. A pave wedding band may also work when the diamonds are very small, and the center diamond on the e-ring is much larger, like a 1 carat.
Floral, geometric, simple, textured, any wedding band you choose must add to the beauty of the whole set. If in doubt it’s best to get a simple wedding band. It will always match anything since it doesn’t have a specific style that might clash with the engagement ring.
Read also: Engagement Ring VS Wedding Ring
Unique engagement rings need unique wedding bands
High profile engagement rings like cathedral, Tiffany, or prong-settings allow any sort of wedding band to fit snugly next to the ring. This is because the prongs that hold the diamond are set higher and the band can be immediately next to the ring. If your engagement ring is like that then you won’t have as much trouble as others when deciding on your wedding band.
But if your engagement ring is a low profile one like a bezel, trellis, cluster, or asymmetrical then the wedding band will have to be accommodating. For special shaped engagement rings, a special wedding band may be necessary. Examples include:
- a chevron wedding band for a marquise/pointed/chevron engagement ring
- a curved wedding band for a low-profile round or oval cut diamond
- bespoke bridal set that includes a wedding band that complements the shape and the stones in the e-ring
- ring enhancers instead of a traditional wedding band
There are plenty of styles to choose from, but whatever you choose, remember to compliment your engagement ring ! The whole look of the e-ring+wedding band must be cohesive and look great together.
Use the same metal for the e-ring and wedding band
Your engagement ring probably came before the wedding band, and as such the metal is already chosen. The typical engagement ring is 14k white gold, followed by platinum. Your wedding band should be the same metal as your engagement ring for two key reasons.
First, that cohesive and complimentary look is far easier to achieve if the metal is the same for both rings. Two 14k white gold rings will behave the same over time, they will scratch at the same rate, they will be just as durable and will look very similar.
Second, not all metals are made equal in terms of hardness or softness. Most rings are 14k white gold, which is softer than platinum. So if one of your rings is platinum it will rub against the 14k white gold and wear it down, and worse it will eventually reveal the gold color underneath the rhodium plating. Even fi your gold ring is rose gold or yellow, so not plated, it will still wear down faster than a platinum or a palladium ring.
What about different karat rings ? Say a 14k and an 18k ring. Well the 18k ring has more pure gold in it (about 75%) which makes it a bit softer than the 14k one (58.3% gold), so the 18k would show signs of wear faster than the 18k.
If you’re feeling adventurous you could pair different color gold (like white and yellow, yellow and rose, rose and white, etc) but be sure to keep them the same karats, otherwise they will wear down uneven. This is not an easy look to pull off, but some people do it well enough.
Does the wedding band go under or on top of the engagement ring ?
Traditionally the wedding band goes under the engagement ring, so it is the first to sit on your finger. This is because during the religious ceremony the engagement ring is removed, and the wedding band is placed on the ring finger instead. The original point of the engagement ring was to signal that you’re getting married soon, and also a placeholder for the wedding band itself.
That being said, you can swap the rings after the ceremony is over, and wear the engagement ring first and the wedding band on top. It’s you who has to like the look of the rings together and order in which they come, not anyone else. Don’t fret too much over it, as long as you’re wearing the engagement ring and the wedding band there is no real problem.
Read also: How To Wear Engagement And Wedding Rings
How wide should my wedding band be ?
Choose a width that feels comfortable when worn flush to the engagement ring, if you’re planning on wearing them together. A wedding band wider than the e-ring is fine, as long as the total space occupied on our finger doesn’t get in the way of everyday activities, and still allows you to open and close your palm.
The traditional or older style of wedding band was wider than the engagement ring band. Current trends (post ’00) aim towards skinny wedding bands, usually the same width as the e-ring band. That being said there isn’t a real rule as to how wide or thin the wedding band must be.
For our own wedding rings, we opted for a 4mm 14k white gold band for my husband, and a 3 mm white gold band with a diamond pattern on it for myself. My engagement ring band is 2mm 14k white gold as well.
Read also: How Should A Wedding Ring Fit ?
Do my engagement ring and wedding band have to match ?
Your wedding and engagement ring don’t have to match or be from the exact same set. But they should compliment each other, meaning they shouldn’t clash when worn together. Most of the time it’s easy to get a good combination if at least one of the rings (wedding or e-ring) is on the plainer side.
For example a pave engagement ring works just fine with a plain gold band, or a pave wedding band, or even a matte finish band. However it won’t go very well with an intricate design on the band, such as filigree or a very busy design with plenty of detailing. This is because there is enough going on with the e-ring, a very different band would only confuse the eyes.
Should my wedding band match my partner’s band ?
Ideally you and your partner’s wedding bands should echo one another, so it would be another symbol of your commitment. This being said, more and more couple are choosing to express their personality through their respective wedding bands, and sometimes they end up with two very different wedding rings.
This is perhaps the most difficult part of wedding band shopping, getting something both you and your partner will agree on. Some couple are prioritize having the exact same style of band, while others insist on the same width of the band, and others still on the metal or mix of metals.
Read also: What Carat Diamond Is Best ?
In the end the decision is up to you and your fiancee. You are about to spend the rest of your life with this person, hard conversations will have to happen every now and then. Talk to them and express your own feeling about whether you think the wedding bands should match or not. You might be surprised at what your fiancee would choose.
For example when we picked our wedding bands I knew from the start I wanted a pattern that went all around the band, so it will look the same whenever the band would twist on my finger. And I tend to favor very flashy rings so I ended up with an eternity-illusion band, where the metal is cut to sparkle like a row of diamonds. My husband wasn’t going to wear something as flashy, he wanted something simple but not necessarily plain.
So we found a set that had the illusion diamond cut I liked, and the ‘male’ band was similar but without the pattern. It has a mirror finish and the same edge and fit as mine.
A pair of friends of ours chose a set of identical bands, 7mm wide 18k yellow gold bands, domed. His and hers are the same. Another pair of friends chose a set where the only difference is that her band has a set of tiny diamonds (3 of them) on the band.
So you do you. If you want a certain band and your partner wants a completely different one, talk it out. Maybe you’re both fine with different bands, or maybe you’ll have to compromise and get a pair that you both agree on, r perhaps have one custom made for you.
Are bridal sets a good idea ?
Yes, bridal sets are a great idea as long as both you and your partner are on the same page. Bridal sets often come with the engagement ring and the female wedding band in the same style. There are also sets that come with a third band, the male wedding band, in the same style but with fewer diamonds.
Not everyone may agree with a bridal set, because in a couple there are two people involved and you might find that you and your partner disagree on the styles available.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.