A Step-By-Step Guide To Buying Your Wedding Rings

A pair of wedding rings are the symbol of love, commitment, and eternal promise. This is why the process of buying a pair of wedding rings can be difficult, and sometimes, frustrating: we all want the best, lasting pair of rings, but we are also faced with limited time (and budget).

So, how should we approach the process of purchasing a pair of wedding bands? In this guide, we will learn how.

We will discuss a few necessary steps and the important considerations you should cover, and without further ado, let us begin with the first step.

1. Discuss It With Your Spouse

Remember the fact that wedding bands come in pairs. Both the bride and the groom will wear the wedding ring in a daily basis, and so you will need to make sure that both you and your spouse are comfortable with the ring, as well as actually loving the design.

Also, you both should agree on a budget (we will discuss this more further below), as this can be a sensitive issue.

There are generally two different approaches you both can take here regarding the design: getting a matching set of wedding bands, or you can mix them up. Nowadays, some couples even opt for two totally contrasting ring designs. For example, the bride might choose the popular rose gold finish while the groom can pick a titanium or ceramic ring. Discuss this with your spouse, compromise with each other, and commit. This way, you can have a beautiful memory together in deciding the wedding bands.

2. Decide on a Budget

We have briefly discussed the importance of having a set budget above, and here we will reiterate. A pair of wedding rings can be very, very affordable or very expensive depending on many different factors from the stone quality, metal choices, and the complexity of the design.

So, technically you can get any types of ring you want, and the limit will be your budget. On the other hand, your wedding rings can easily become really expensive if you are not careful with your budget. Decide on a budget, and stick to it.

3. Choosing Your Stone

Most wedding rings for the bride will feature at least one gemstone (diamond or other choices), while the groom will usually opt for a small stone or none at all.

Diamond is obviously the most popular choice here, but nowadays colored gemstones and birthstones are also popular.

If a diamond is your choice, there are four main factors—dubbed the 4Cs— that you should consider. 4Cs will also apply, to a lesser extent, for other gemstones:

  • Cut: a common misconception is that a diamond’s cut is about shape, while actually diamond cut is about shine and brilliance. The better the cut is—as determined by GIA’s cut grade scale, the better the diamond’s ability to transmit light.
  • Color: the less color the diamond has (the more transparent), the better the color grade will be.
  • Clarity: clarity is about the tiny, microscopic imperfections within a diamond stone. For most people, this is the least important factor, but a stone with high level of clarity can be really expensive.
  • Carat: carat refers to the stone’s weight, which usually—but not always—corresponds to size. Probably the most famous of the 4Cs, and a quick tip to remember is that most people can’t differentiate the tiny difference in carats, while the price difference of, for example, a 0.8-carat stone and a 1-carat stone can be really significant.

Last but not least, remember that the stone’s shape can also affect price and overall quality.

4. Choosing Ring Shape

There are generally three different wedding ring shapes:

  • Court shaped: the classic, rounded on the outside and inside. The main consideration when choosing this shape—besides its timeless quality— is the fact that it’s generally the most comfortable shape to wear day-in-day-out.
  • D-Shaped: curved on the outside with a flat inside, creating a D-shape, hence its name.
  • Shaped: the term “shaped” here refers to all ring shapes outside court or D-shape, so here you have absolute freedom. If you have a uniquely-shaped engagement ring—for example—, you can use a similar shape with your wedding ring to complement.

5. Choosing Your Band

A pair of wedding rings are not only about the stones. The precious metal used to make your wedding bands will also determine its quality. As stated before, you can either opt for matching metals with your loved one’s, or choose a completely different one. Generally, however, you should go for the same metal as your engagement rings.

Here are some of the common metal choices for your band:

  • Yellow gold: the classic, and is expected to be making a comeback in 2019.
  • White gold: the primadonna of 2018, and is here to stay. Made from mixing yellow gold with platinum and/or silver.
  • Platinum: the rarest precious metal with its natural white shine.
  • Rose gold: a modern take on the classic yellow gold, and is increasingly popular nowadays.
  • Titanium: strong and durable, a popular choice for the grooms. Lightweight with a dark grey color.
  • Palladium: often considered as the more affordable alternative for platinum with the similar white sparkle.

6. Planning a Timeline

Now that you have the basic idea of the pair of wedding rings you’d like, it’s time to actually purchase your ring. Ideally, you should spare at least two to three months before the special date to shop for your ring. If you are planning to get a customized pair, you’d probably need to spare even more time depending on the complexity of your rings.

This process will include comparing different jewelers (price, quality, unique design touches, etc.), browsing for the rings that match your preference, trying different pair of rings, and so on.

It is very important to find a reputable, trustworthy jeweler. You are investing a significant amount of money, and if you are getting a custom pair of rings, you are investing a significant amount of time. Thankfully, nowadays you can check for various online reviews before deciding on a jewelry shop/designer. Make the most of this process.

7. Consider the Maintenance

Different metal bands and different stones can require a different type and amount of maintenance. Gold and platinum rings are generally considered to require the least amount of maintenance: simply rub it with a lint-free cloth, and you are good to go. On the other hand, the popular white gold rings will require rhodium coating on an occasional basis to maintain its bright luster.