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Just when the novelty of your engagement ring starts to wear off, you get to go shopping for another ring! While this should ideally be a fun and exciting process, for some, choosing a wedding ring can be a stressful and overwhelming process.
There are many factors to consider when buying the ideal wedding ring, and one of the most important is how the wedding ring looks next to the engagement ring. Not every bride will wear both rings together, and not every bride will wear her engagement ring every day. But for those times that you do, it is important that the two rings complement each other.
Which brings us to our first question:
To match or not to match?
If matching your two rings is very important to you, then your best option is to choose a bridal set.
A bridal set consists of matching engagement and wedding rings. You may also be interested in a trio set, which includes the groom’s ring as well.
Bridal sets create a coordinated look and is ideal if you are after a perfectly matching look. On the flip side, they can tend to look traditional and conservative.
An increasing number of brides are moving away from the tradition of matching rings and experimenting with sizes, colors and styles to create fantastic ring combinations.
There are no rules for this.
These two rings are there to signify two separate, important events in your life. They have different emotions and associations linked with them. Wearing different styles can symbolize this fact.
The most important factor is that both the wedding and engagement rings complement each other. As these are two rings that you will wear for the rest of your life, it is critical that you love the look even years down the line.
So, here’s what you need to consider when looking for a wedding ring that complements your engagement ring:
The general rule of thumb is that both the wedding ring and the engagement ring should have the same width. This creates a balanced and equal look between the two rings. For example, see these wedding and engagement rings from James Allen.
However, this can be tricky in some instances.
For example, some engagement rings taper, with the width of the metal band getting thinner as it comes towards the gemstone. Others may have different widths based on the design. In these cases, choose a wedding ring that has the same width as the sides of the engagement ring. This creates the sense of balance and beauty between the two rings.
Choosing the metal
Most often, brides choose the same metal for both rings as this creates a pleasing aesthetic and looks well-coordinated. Both rings will also have the same wearability and will complement each other.
However, for an interesting contrast, mixing and matching metals can be a good idea. This gives a modern and trendy look, and makes each ring stand out. As the years go by, you can add anniversary rings as well.
While choosing the metals depends on your preferences, ensure that the metals you choose are durable. Also ensure that both rings are made of metals that have the same hardness. This ensures that the harder ring does not scratch and wear out the softer ring, as can happen when the two rings sit flush against each other. For example, a hard metal such as platinum can easily wear down gold or silver.
Should my wedding ring be flush fit?
Whether you want your wedding ring to sit flush against your engagement ring is a matter of choice. Many women don’t like the idea of a gap between the two rings and feel that this destroys the look of the two rings working as one piece.
There is no rule that states that the two rings should be of the same shape and fit against each other. You can get as creative as you wish, regardless of the gap between the two rings, choosing bands with different shapes and styles.
However, if you have an engagement ring with a very large gemstone, especially with a shape such as pear or marquise, it may be a good idea to get a contoured wedding ring. This will ensure that your wedding ring is visible while lessening the gap between the two rings.
How do I wear my engagement and wedding rings?
Traditionally, the wedding ring is on the third finger of your left hand with the engagement ring above it. Although this is the most common way to wear your two rings, there are other ways to show these off!
One creative way is to wear two thin wedding rings on either side of the engagement ring. This enhances the brilliance of your engagement ring, keeps the gemstone in focus and gives your ring a dynamic, stacked appearance.
Another way to wear your rings is to transfer the engagement ring to the right hand, while keeping the wedding ring on the left. This adds sparkle to both your hands, and is also excellent if your rings have two wildly different styles.
Consider the styles
Here are some general rules to help you choose a wedding ring that is compatible with your engagement ring. These are just guidelines however, so feel free to get creative.
Solitaire engagement rings
If you have a solitaire engagement ring with side stones, choose a wedding band that is similarly sized in terms of width. The solitaire is sparkly and bright, but it can easily be overshadowed and if set next to a large clunky ring. A pave band will add to the brilliance without detracting from the engagement ring.
Take care when choosing pave bands. Tiny diamonds can tend to fall out, so ensure that the ring you buy is of high quality. If you are considering a micro-pave, be aware that the risk of the diamonds falling out is much higher.
These are very easy to match with wedding bands, and look stunning next to almost any wedding ring style. Pave or channel bands will add sparkle to the ring and create a balanced, complete look. You could also choose a plain pipe-cut or comfort fit wedding band, which will emphasize the diamond.
Halo engagement rings
Halo engagement rings are also easily matched. Because of their sparkle and design, they go beautifully with almost any wedding band. If the gemstone is too large, choose a curved wedding band to sit flush against it.
Three stone rings
Three-stone rings are best paired with simple wedding bands to keep the focus on the stones. Small pave bands or thin channel sets are ideal. For a flashier touch, why not choose a wedding band made up of same-shaped diamonds as the three stone ring? You can also choose to have the accent stones made up of a different gemstone, such as sapphire or ruby, like this ring.
Vintage vs. modern bridal rings
If your engagement ring sports a vintage style, don’t create too much of a visual clash by pairing it with a modern wedding band. These styles generally don’t work well together. Rather, stick with the same stylistic look and opt for a vintage wedding band. Conversely, if you buy a modern, trendy engagement ring, pair with a modern wedding ring.
Gemstone engagement rings
Matching a colored gemstone to a wedding band is quite easy. You can choose the classic diamond pave and channel set bands which will go with literally any gemstone ring. Why not add the same gemstones to the band to create a unified and classy look?
To help you match your wedding ring to your engagement ring, Blue Nile has an amazing tool that shows you what styles tend to go together. It lets you play around with myriads of options, and is pretty fun!
At the end of the day, shopping for your wedding ring should be an enjoyable experience. After all, for many people, it only happens once in your lifetime! So get creative, have fun and make sure both rings bring out the best in the other while maintaining their individual unique looks.
For diamond engagement and wedding rings, we recommend James Allen. If you are looking for a gemstone ring, check out Leibish.com. Amazon has a wide range of beautiful wedding and engagement rings but vet the retailer and check the after-sales policies before you buy.