CHOOSING THE PERFECT RING IS NOT AS EASY AS YOU MIGHT THINK...
There are a lot of different variables to think about, so we've put together a guide to try and help you negotiate your way through it:
You may have a precious metal in mind, but ideally, the metal you choose should be the same as your engagement ring. This is because the two rings will sit alongside one another and rub together. If one metal is softer than the other, it will be worn away at a faster rate.
It's not absolutely vital and we have seen it where clients have for example an 18ct engagement ring and a platinum wedding band, but in an ideal world, to reduce the possibility of any future issues, choose the same metal as your engagement ring.
Guys are less precious (excuse the pun) when it comes to the metal in their wedding band and there is quite a lot of choice. Titanium, Palladium, Platinum, 18ct Gold and 9ct Gold are all popular choices when it comes to gents wedding bands. Knowing which is the best choice for you or your hubby is crucial in getting the perfect ring.
Lifestyle plays a big part when it comes to choosing a man's ring - if you do manual work as part of your job, then a soft metal is no going to suit and neither is a band set with delicate gemstones. Practicality has to come into it. Speak to your jeweller about the different metals available and which one will be best for your lifestyle, budget and personal style. If you don't want to wear a ring past the wedding day (and a surprising number of men don't) then choose something inexpensive. If it's going to spend its life in a box in the back of a drawer, you may as well spend your wedding budget on other things.
Some girls just want bling. The bigger the diamonds the better. But, sometimes it just needs thinking through properly. Finding a good jeweller who can show you a range of different styles and shapes, both gem-set and plain is vital to get a good idea about what suits you and what is going to sit nicely against your engagement ring.
Don't choose diamond-set just because it's what you thought you wanted. A beautiful plain band can be just as stunning and can actually set off a stunning solitaire engagement ring perfectly.
If you are wanting a diamond-set band, then also consider whether it is a full set band you want or a band that is perhaps half-set around with diamonds. There are potential issues to consider with both:
Full-Set Wedding Bands....
are gorgeous and the fact that the diamonds go all the way around the band means that it doesn't matter if the ring spins around on your finger. However, having diamonds set at the back of your hand, which comes into contact with a lot of surfaces, means there is a risk of damaging your diamonds. And, don't for one minute think that this isn't possible. It is and it's actually quite common (see my post about how diamonds are NOT indestructible.)
The other thing to consider is sizing of a full-set band. This can be tricky, even for the most experienced of goldsmiths. Making the ring smaller will usually mean taking a diamond out and enlarging the ring, might mean adding in a piece of metal and another diamond. You will be limited to how much the ring can go up and down in size, so if you don't get the ring size right to start with, you might end up with all sorts of problems.
Half-Set Wedding Bands....
are also beautiful and re-sizing half or part-set wedding bands is no problem at all for a decent jeweller. What is something to consider though, is the annoying way a band will spin around your finger and inevitably not be in the correct position on your finger for most of the time.
This simply doesn't bother many women, but for others it can be a source of incredible frustration and annoyance.
There are a few things your jeweller can do to try and limit the spin: getting the size right in the first place is important so that it grips your finger very slightly, leaving not much room for spin. Tiny beads can also be set on the inside of the band to stop any spinning, or if you have a shaped wedding band, the shaped part should fit against your engagement ring and reduce the spinning.
Speak to your jeweller about your options once you have decided whether you are having diamonds or not, and if so, whether it's a full or part-set band.
MIND THE GAP
The gap between an engagement ring and a wedding band can be hugely important to some brides, whereas to others it is just not something they even think about. Then there are all those brides in-between who fall into the camp that think it's something they will just tolerate, despite it being a little annoying.
The thing to figure out early on in your wedding ring search is which camp you fall into. Is it important that your rings fit together seamlessly, or is a small gap something you are not bothered by?
Most engagement rings are created so that they are what is called "wed-fit". This basically means that a wedding band will sit snugly against the engagement ring and that the diamond or gemstones have been set in such a way that they will not get in the way of a wedding band.
Despite this, a tiny gap is very common, even with "wed-fit" bands. And, if you have an unusual engagement ring, then you will need something a little unusual to sit against it.
Most high street jewellers have a certain range of shaped bands that you will be able to choose from. What most high street jewellers will not be able to do is design and create a bespoke wedding band to fit against your engagement ring perfectly. If this is something that is important to you, then find a very good working jeweller who designs fabulous quality jewellery. Or...get in touch with me.
Set your budget and stick to it. Weddings are expensive enough - what you don't want is to find you have blown your budget by adding a little extra here and ordering a bit more there. If your budget is realistic, then you should be able to find a jeweller who can create you something beautiful to fit your budget.
Most good jewellers will be able to work back from your budget. So start there and then add in your requirements....explain you want diamonds / no diamonds / half-set with diamonds. Tell him or her what metal you would like ideally and what styles you have seen that you like and detail what your budget is for both rings.
If, as the bridegroom you are simply not as bothered about what kind of ring you haves, what metal it is made out of and how wide or deep it is on your finger (and trust me, most are not), then you may be able to give more of your budget to your wife's ring by changing your ring slightly. This won't affect your overall budget, but will mean that the most important person - your bride - is happy on her wedding day.
When you order your rings, your finger sizes need to be checked. A slightly wider band can feel more snug on your finger, so if your wedding band is slightly wider than your engagement ring then it might need to be a slightly different size.
Also, before the big day and once your wedding rings are ready, make sure you try them on, at the jewellers with your engagement ring. Ensure the size of both rings are perfect and that the rings are exactly as you wanted them.
Do not leave it until the week of the wedding - make sure you try them on and check everything in plenty of time. If there are any tweaks needed, or if the size of your rings needs adjusting, your jeweller will need time to ensure that it is done properly. The last thing you want is for your jeweller to be rushing your job through his workshop - this is when mistakes can be made and things can go wrong.
The Importance Of Your Wedding Ring
Remember that your wedding rings are the one things that will last a lifetime: The flowers will fade; the dress will be adored (but never worn again); the shoes will hide in your wardrobe; the order of service will be placed in an album or put in a drawer; your memories will fade and the hilarious and heart-felt speeches will be confined to history (and possibly a family DVD).
But, your rings will be on your fingers for the rest of your lives, all being well. So, they should be chosen with care, they should be perfect for you.
GET IN TOUCH TO KNOW MORE
For help creating your own wedding rings, then just get in touch. With years of experience designing and creating bespoke wedding rings and diamond jewellery I can help you create your perfect rings.