Finding the perfect wedding ring for you and your partner is much easier said than done. Even if you have a specific style in mind, or you've been adding photos to your Pinterest board for years, you're probably still going to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices available today. So, naturally, it's normal to have a tough time making a final decision.
Since your wedding rings are pieces you'll more than likely wear every single day, you obviously want them to be something that you genuinely love. Not only that, but since they also symbolize one of the most important days of your life, it's nice if you select options that truly mean something to you as well. Therefore, while choosing your wedding rings might be a time-consuming process, putting the extra effort in to ensure you're completely happy with your purchase is worth it.
That's why we spoke with two jewelers for some expert advice on how to find the best wedding rings for you. And as they're quick to remind us, it's really about what fits with your lifestyle and taste. "We are happy to see that in today’s fashion, there is no ‘perfect set’ to adhere to," says Page Neal, co-founder of jewelry brand Bario Neal. "Your wedding rings should be a symbol of your love that you are comfortable with, can wear daily, and are just as much in love with as your partner." Read on to learn more.
Meet the Expert
- Page Neal is the co-founder of the jewelry brand Bario Neal, a woman-owned, sustainable jewelry line that is an industry leader in ethical sourcing and progressive manufacturing.
- Priyanka Murthy is a jeweler and the founder of the direct-to-consumer brand Array, a destination for fine jewelry that was founded on the pillars of ethical production, sustainable materials, and fair prices.
How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Rings
The number one thing to think about when looking for the perfect wedding ring is the style that you and your partner love. So, whether they're traditional or not, you're always better off going with pieces that truly resonate with you. After that, everything else just lies in the details.
Find a piece that complements your engagement ring.
Your engagement ring and wedding band are almost always going to be worn at the same time, so you want to pick pieces that look and feel great together. "The band, more often than not, is meant to be a complement to the engagement ring, not the other way around," says Priyanka Murthy, jeweler and founder of Array. "So, the band should be designed with the engagement ring in mind. For example, if a client has a solitaire diamond engagement ring, a band with small diamonds or a plain band could complement well."
Opt for something that is comfortable and convenient.
Again, this is something you're going to wear nearly every single day. It has to be comfortable because if it's not, you're probably going to regret choosing your specific ring in the long run. "One piece of advice I always give is to make sure the height of the ring is something you can live with—you don’t want it to hit things or get things caught in it," Murthy points out.
Stay within your financial means.
Yes, wedding rings are a big splurge, and some might even call them one of the most expensive items you'll ever purchase. That said, you want the price to be something you can deal with and pay off in a reasonable amount of time. There's no reason to put yourself into debt if you don't have to.
Shop for styles that are expertly crafted.
The look of the ring is important, but so is how it was created. "Beyond durability, think about the legacy of your ring," Neal says. "Do you want to incorporate heirloom metals from your family, or craft a new heirloom that you can pass down to your children? Do you want the materials you use to be sourced sustainably and ethically? Where your ring comes from plays into both its inherent meaning and value." When looking at rings, research the jewelry brands, and don't be afraid to ask the jeweler any questions you may have.
Consider pieces you can stack.
Ideally, you want to buy wedding rings that work with other jewelry, especially if you plan on stacking your rings with other pieces. "Couples are going beyond the traditional engagement ring and wedding band to opt for stacks of four or five rings," Neal says. "Think about the overall aesthetic you want and if you’d like to keep it simple, or mix and match." This can mean the difference between something more versatile and simple, or something more bold.
Wedding Ring Styles
While there are scores of wedding ring styles available to stop today, you're most likely going to rung across the below types.
Plain Wedding Rings
Plain wedding rings refer to simple rings that are made of a single metal, such as gold or platinum. They can come in different widths and thicknesses, and usually have a smooth, flat surface with no gemstones, engravings, or texture, explains Murthy. Don't be fooled into thinking plain is boring, though: these minimalist designs can be extremely elegant and are great for someone who wants to keep things simple and versatile. "Plain bands are classic, timeless, and versatile," Murthy says. "They never go out of style and can be paired with any engagement ring style."
- Easy to care for and clean
- Typically less expensive than more elaborate options
- Scratches and other wear and tear can be easily noticeable
- They can look chunky next to delicate engagement rings
- They aren't very customizable and may not be unique enough for some couples
Eternity Wedding Rings
An eternity wedding ring features diamonds (or other precious stones) that are set around the entire band. The stones are usually all the same size, and as Murthy notes, the encrusted stones symbolize eternal love. "The eternity band is very popular as a wedding band because the symbolism of love is meaningful and universal," she says.
- Easy to stack with other rings
- It gives the illusion that the stones are floating in the air
- Cannot be resized because the back is not solid metal
- Usually more expensive than a plain band
Classic Diamond Wedding Rings
Think of this as the classic ring you're used to seeing someone wear on their wedding day: a metal band with a diamond set as the center stone. The cut and size of the diamond and the setting can vary depending on the style you want. In general, classic diamond rings are known for "their timeless elegance and simplicity," Murthy says.
- Versatile enough to look good with everything and will never go out of style
- Diamonds are the strongest stone you can get and are very durable
- Can be very expensive depending on the clarity and carat
- Diamonds require regular cleaning maintenance
Sapphire Wedding Rings
If you want a more unique look, a sapphire wedding ring is a beautiful option. "Sapphires come in every color, including white, blue, Fuschia, green, yellow, and more," Neal says. They are a great option for customers who want to add some color and vibrancy into their wedding band stack."
- A durable stone that can withstand daily wear and tear
- They're usually more affordable than diamonds
- They don't have the same amount of sparkle as a diamond does
- They are not scratch-proof
- They're not as versatile as a diamond or plain wedding ring
How to Care for Your Wedding Rings
How you'll clean your wedding ring ultimately depends on the type of stone and setting you select, but there are always some basic care tips to keep in mind no matter the style. While wedding rings are meant to be worn constantly, there are some instances where you're better off removing your piece so that it doesn't get damaged or lost. "Think gardening, rock climbing, sailing, or maybe even specific careers where you have to wear gloves or work with your hands," Neal says. Murthy also advises against exposing your wedding rings to harsh chemicals like cleaning products, chlorine, and hairspray, all of which could damage the metal and stones.
In general, both Murthy and Neal note that you can clean your wedding rings by soaking them in a gentle bath of regular dish soap and warm water for five minutes. Neal recommends cleaning behind the settings and stone with a soft-bristled toothbrush as well. What's more, you should get your rings inspected by a professional jeweler at least once a year. "A great jeweler can check for any damage, loose stones or prongs, and give them a professional cleaning," Murthy says.
Lastly, Neal suggests always getting insurance for your wedding ring. "You can add your wedding rings to your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy, or get a dedicated policy specific to jewelry," she says. Trust us, this will definitely relieve some stress.
Shopping Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Rings
Whether you're searching for inspiration or headed to the jeweler, don't go into the experience unprepared. Remember the following tips to make finding "the one" ring a breeze.
Set a budget.
Sit down with your partner and really think about how much money you want to sink into your wedding rings. "Wedding rings can vary in price depending on the metal, style, and quality of the stones, so having a budget in mind will help you narrow down your options," Murthy says.
Make time to try on different options.
Even if you're eyeing a ring you want to order online, it's a good idea to try different styles in person so you can get an idea of how comfortable they feel. "We know that what comfort means differs as much as fingerprints, so be sure to try on a number of different rings and bands to get a feel for what fits your personal style best," Neal advises. "Some may like a chunkier feel for stability, while others might want a ring that’s more minimal or lower-profile."
Think about what works with your lifestyle.
This ring is something you'll be wearing all the time, so it should make sense with what you do in your everyday life. "If you work with your hands or engage in sports, a more durable metal like platinum may be a better choice than a softer metal like gold," Murthy says.
Work with a reputable jeweler.
Research and find a reputable jeweler near you that you can trust to help you pick a great option. "Look for a jeweler who has experience with wedding rings, and a variety of ready-made and custom design options," Murthy recommends.