You’re not done jewelry shopping once you’ve got an engagement ring—you still have to find a wedding band to go with it before you exchange your vows! And if you’re like us, one wedding band might not be enough. Enter the ring stack. From adding bling to telling a story, layering multiple bands around your engagement ring really serves to put that milestone piece front-and-center. So how do you build the perfect stack? We’ve turned to some of our favorite stack-loving jewelry designers for the inside scoop.
How many rings should be in a stack?
The short answer is: The more, the merrier! “Start with three (including your engagement ring) and build a well-curated stack until you run out of room between your hand and your knuckle,” says Sofia Kaman. Then move on to another finger! Adds Alysa Teichman of Ylang 23, “I’m definitely partial to odd numbers—three looks better than two, and five looks better than four.”
Can you mix metals? What about stones?
“Absolutely! Now more than ever, it’s all about mixing metals, stone colors, and shapes to add excitement to your stack,” says Emily Goldstein of EF Collection. Teichman agrees. “Mixing metals and stones will add personality and make your stack different from anyone else’s. It’s all about buying and wearing things that make you happy, so if you want to pair a family heirloom yellow gold band with a platinum engagement ring, go for it!”
Kaman recommends choosing a focal point to keep things cohesive. “If you choose yellow gold as a common thread, mix textures and stone colors but keep the metal matching. If you prefer mixed metals, stick with a single stone color like white or champagne to pull it all together,” she says.
What’s the best way to layer different styles?
Again, Kaman emphasizes that a theme is key. “You might love texture, or want to mix modern and vintage designs,” she says. “In that case, pick a single metal and play with silhouettes. Part of the fun is seeing what each person comes up with as she expresses her individuality!” Goldstein also loves a cohesive element. “You could layer different styles in a matching metal, or stick with simple eternity bands and play with the finish to create interest.”
Teichman reminds brides to keep it light. “Don’t overthink the process! Different styles add interest, so try on everything. As you play with shapes and sizes, you’ll figure out what feels great and what layers well on your hand.”
Are there silhouettes or styles brides should look for when building a stack?
Rings come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so what works best? Goldstein suggests starting with a classic base and building from there. “My three favorite silhouettes are the classic pavé band, a bezel-set band, and a baguette band,” she says. These rings all have smoother edges and similar profiles, which Kaman loves. “Profile refers to the chunkiness or thickness of a band, how it feels between your fingers. Try to keep that thickness similar across all the rings you choose to give your stack balance.” For Teichman, it’s a puzzle.
“The ideal is to find several bands with different shapes that fit well together, but there’s no perfect stack that works for every bride. We love and sell them all, from thick and thin bands to curved bands and even ones with hanging stones!”
Is there an engagement ring style that works best in a stack?
Kaman has three ways to answer this question: “If you want a big, blingy look, opt for an engagement ring with a raised mounting. This will show off the sparkle of your center stone, as well as allow for a flush stack. If you prefer a lower mounting and a more subdued look, seek out contoured bands that fit snugly against the engagement ring’s setting. And if you want an eclectic, collected feel, mix and match lower mountings with straight bands. There will be negative space between the engagement ring and your band, which can be a design element on its own.” For the third option, she recommends that brides pay special attention, as the rings can wear down where they rub against one another.
Teichman prefers that funky, collected look, with gaps between the engagement ring and the bands, while Goldstein has another solution altogether: Wear your stack on your other hand! “Your engagement ring is the main event, so commit to one you love, then create a stack that complements it without distracting,” she says.
See More: 8 Engagement Ring Trends for 2018
How should you shop for a stack?
It’s all about finding your options. “Find a store that has a wide array of stackable rings,” says Kaman. “You really need to experience trying them on together in person! We’re constantly surprised by the combinations and unexpected pairings that emerge when people try on different options in the store” But don’t feel pressure to build an entire stack all at once. Says Teichman, “When you build your stack over time, it takes the pressure off of finding the perfect stack right away. We are big proponents of mixing it up, upgrading over time, and wearing bands with or without your engagement ring.”