10 Unique Wedding Band Alternatives for Grooms

If wearing a ring isn't for you.

wedding band

PHOTO BY ERICH MCVEY

For many couples, the engagement ring gets most of the spotlight, but in reality, the wedding band is often a bigger milestone. “A wedding band is a symbol of love, unity, and commitment,” explains the senior VP and chief merchandising officer of Signet Jewelers Tonia Zehrer. “It’s a beautiful reminder of the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with.” However, while plenty of couples choose to utilize rings to commemorate their marriage, the concept of a wedding band isn’t for everyone.

Specifically, grooms who aren’t used to jewelry can feel anxious about wearing a band forever. According to Jenny Wu, founder of Lace by Jenny Wu, it's common for grooms to be apprehensive when it comes to donning a wedding band because wearing a new piece of jewelry usually takes some getting used to. 

Meet the Expert

  • Jenny Wu is the founder of Lace by Jenny Wu, a luxe jewelry line specializing in three-dimensional printed rings and statement pieces. 
  • David Schoenfeld is the founder of Ring Bear, which offers men's wedding bands and gifts. 
  • Tonia Zehrer is the senior VP and chief merchandising officer of Signet Jewelers, the parent company of major jewelry retailers like Kay, Zales, and Jared.

Regardless of your specific concerns, the good news is there are plenty of ring alternatives out there if you or your S.O is hesitant to don a ring. The best part? Chances are there’s an option that will work within your budget. From cufflinks to silicone rings and matching watches, the options are fairly endless.

Whether you choose to wear a traditional band, a non-traditional ring, or forgo jewelry altogether, what's most important is that you and your partner are happy, and make the best decision for your relationship and marriage.

If a classic band doesn’t suit your tastes or you're working to build up your jewelry tolerance, check out some of our favorite ring alternatives to help showcase your love in your own special way.

01 of 10

Bespoke Watches

watches

PHOTO BY ZIBETTI PHOTO AND FILM

What better way to remind your partner that you’ll love them for the rest of time, than with a watch. Zehrer has recently noticed that couples are opting for matching watches in exchange for wedding bands. Not only is this a common and useful piece, but it also has major heirloom potential—and can be easily customized or engraved. Even better? Depending on the style and brand of the watch, you may end up spending less on this accessory than on an actual ring.

02 of 10

Signature Bracelets

groom bracelet

Courtesy of David Von

For a fashion-forward groom who isn’t looking to wear a ring, Zehrer suggests considering a diamond-cut chain bracelet or personalized bangle. If you want something that'll stand the test of time, rows of diamonds on your wrist will certainly remind you of your dazzling love. For those who would prefer something more sentimental, a personalized bracelet, carrying a special message, will also be sure to showcase your union forever.

03 of 10

Wedding Band Necklaces

ring on necklace

Courtesy of weareallsmith

If you still love the idea of a wedding band but aren't comfortable wearing one on your hand, consider wearing your ring on a chain. "Some grooms will wear their ring on a chain, as a necklace," Wu says. Multiple experts agree that from a comfort standpoint, a necklace is less obtrusive, and you're a lot less likely to lose or misplace your ring. The best part is, whatever your budget, there’s a chain out there that can work for grooms of all styles.

04 of 10

Non-Traditional Bands

wedding bands

PHOTO BY KINDRED WEDDING STORYTELLERS

If your groom is hesitant about rocking gold or a traditional metal ring, try considering more non-traditional materials. “With the recent utilization of tungsten, men can get wedding bands that incorporate materials like wood and carbon fiber,” explains Schoenfeld, founder of Ring Bear. “A portion of the population is allergic to gold, which in the past kept guys from wearing traditional wedding bands. Now those grooms can wear platinum or tungsten wedding bands as they’re [made from] hypoallergenic materials.”

05 of 10

Ring Tattoos

tattoos

Photo by Lite Creatives

Showcase your love forever by getting a visual representation permanently tattooed on your ring finger. Consider getting your wedding date, initials, or a small symbol tattooed where you would traditionally wear a ring for a long-lasting reminder of your bond. 

And for couples who decide to opt for this non-traditional option, you’ll be in good company. Lots of celebrities have traded bands for ink, like Beyoncé and Jay-Z who both have the Roman numeral "4" on their ring fingers.

06 of 10

Silicon Rings

wedding bands

Courtesy of Qalo

Silicone rings are becoming more and more popular and for good reason: They’re flexible and great for grooms who work with their hands. "Some of our customers want rings that are not metal-based. A ring that is more casual while fitting a more active lifestyle," Wu says. Though they fall into the ring category and, thus, need to be worn on a ring finger, they're generally more comfortable and oftentimes can feel barely there.

07 of 10

Tattoo Bracelet

Couple with coordinating tattoos

MELISSA MARSHALL

Take the idea of a signature bracelet and pair it with the permanency of a ring tattoo, and you get the tattoo bracelet. While a traditional style might involve a tattoo that looks like a bracelet, don't let that curb your creativity. Corresponding designs (a bow and arrow, perhaps) or a full-arm tattoo design conveying a special message might just be in the cards. 

08 of 10

Nose Rings

Man with nose ring

Paco Navarro / Getty Images

Nose rings are not a new phenomenon, as women have worn them in bridal ceremonies in India and many Asian cultures for centuries. However, nose rings have become more mainstream for both men and women alike. Matching nose rings can visually symbolize the spirit of your union.

09 of 10

Toe Rings

Detail of male's foot with toe ring

t-lorien / Getty Images

Another accessory that traces its roots historically to India, toe rings were worn by women who were married. Today, a couple can select toe rings to reflect the uniqueness of their bond. Much like traditional wedding rings, there are many options to choose from when designing your perfect set of rings. 

10 of 10

No Rings at All

Hands clasped

Roc Canals / Getty Images

Yes, this is bold and unconventional. But so is your relationship—perhaps neither of you like wearing rings or other jewelry for that matter. If you both share a commitment to each other, why wear anything at all?

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