Proposing with a wedding band instead of an engagement ring isn’t a faux pas, contrary to what some people may think. In essence, both rings are a representation of love between two soul mates. Throughout history, presenting an engagement ring during the proposal has been the tradition, but today, many couples today are choosing to propose with wedding rings instead.
The piece of jewelry you choose for your engagement depends entirely on your personal preference, regardless of what others would say. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the difference between engagement and wedding rings as well some useful tips on how to choose the ideal wedding band for the proposal.
Difference between Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands
There are a number of differences between engagement rings and wedding bands including the following:
1. Their Purpose
The main difference between these two types of jewelry is that an engagement ring is used for proposing, whereas a wedding band is exchanged on the wedding day.
2. Who They’re Worn By
Engagement rings are typically worn by women whereas wedding rings are worn by both the bride and the groom. Having said that, today, there’s a growing trend of men wearing engagement rings.
3. Ring Metals and Designs
Engagement rings are more elaborate in design and style and are usually made of different metals ranging from gold to silver and brass. Most of them have precious stones embedded in them. Most popular stones for engagement rings include diamonds, rubies and sapphires, but you can choose any stone you prefer.
On the other hand, wedding bands are simple in design and are exchanged when you take your vows. Although wedding bands may look simple or less extravagant than engagement rings without a large center stone, this doesn’t mean they’re dull or ‘boring’ as some tend to think.
You can choose any design and style that you want for your wedding band. You can also have it engraved with your initials or the date of your wedding (or both), to add a personal touch to it.
There is a considerable price difference between wedding and engagement rings. Engagements rings are far more expensive than wedding bands since they typically feature intricate details and a large stone (usually a diamond). Wedding rings are much simpler in style and design, which is why they cost less.
For example, compare this half-eternity pavé diamond wedding ring with this four-prong solitaire engagement ring. Even though the wedding ring is fairly detailed, it comes at a much lower price than the wedding ring.
Wedding Band Instead of Engagement Ring – Is It Right For You?
Many brides prefer to wear a wedding ring instead of an engagement for various reasons. Some may favor wedding bands seamlessly paired with their engagement rings, while others prefer just one to serve both purposes. If you fit into any of the following categories, you might prefer wearing a wedding band instead of an engagement ring.
1. Keeping to a Budget
Planning a wedding is costly and a bride on a tight budget will always be on the lookout for ways to save money. Funds will need to be allocated for things like the venue, wedding attire, the cake, catering, the photographer and a lot more.
Most engagement rings are embellished with precious stones such as diamonds, which can be extremely expensive. Due to this reason and the fact that wedding bands are much more affordable, a budget-conscious bride may choose to wear a wedding band in place of an engagement ring.
2. Setting a Trend
This may come as a wonder, but style sometimes calls for choices that others might call ‘odd’. While presenting an engagement ring when proposing is the tradition, a stylish bride who wants to deviate from the norm would choose to go for a wedding band instead.
During the past decade, eternity band rings have been greatly popularized by celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian, who wore an eternity band on the left ring finger after her boyfriend proposed. As a result, eternity bands have become a popular alternative to the typical engagement ring and many couples choose to put their own twist on it.
Weddings bands come in various designs and style, giving the stylish bride a wide range of choices including the following:
- A plain, single metal wedding band
- Two-toned metal bands
- Wedding bands with engravings
- Wedding bands with embedded gemstones
- Curved wedding bands
The choice is entirely up to the bride. If she wants to, she can choose to have an elaborate band (like a white gold wedding band embellished with blue sapphires, for example) and could leave out the engagement ring entirely.
3. Keeping it Minimalist
A minimalist bride would opt for a wedding band in place of an engagement ring since she probably has a minimalistic view of life.
Wearing two rings won’t make sense to her since one ring can easily serve the purpose and she can still feel special wearing it. A gigantic diamond engagement ring wouldn’t interest her, and she’d rather have a delicate wedding band with a simple yet elegant design for her engagement.
Many conservative brides tend to choose minimalist rings such as those made from plain gold or silver with precious stones in a simple setting.
4. To Suit a Busy Lifestyle
Brides who lead busy or active lifestyles typically want a practical piece of jewelry instead of something flashy.
An engagement ring with a large stone wouldn’t be the ideal piece for such a bride since she’s looking for functionality rather than style. Her lifestyle is demanding and hands-on, so she’s most likely to prefer one wedding ring instead of the hassle of wearing two ring.
For this reason, she may go for a simple wedding band in place of an engagement ring.
Why Should I Wear a Single Ring?
If you’re not sure about whether to choose a wedding band for both the engagement and the wedding, let’s weigh the pros and cons first, starting with the pros:
- You’ll be saving on money that you could spend on the wedding, your honeymoon or a single ring that could be a standout.
- You won’t have to deal with the hassle of wearing two rings. or soldering them together.
- You don’t have to worry about finding two rings that match perfectly.
- Single rings are usually more comfortable to wear.
While wearing a wedding for your engagement has its advantages, somewhere down the line you might regret your decision to have a single ring.
To avoid this happening, make sure to put a lot of thought into it first. It’s an important decision that needs to be made since you won’t be able to change it later.
How to Choose a Wedding Band as Your Engagement Ring
The choice of a wedding band depends on your style and preference. Here are some points to consider when choosing the ideal wedding band for your engagement ring:
Wedding bands come in various types of metals including the precious metals – gold, silver, platinum and palladium. However, there are also rings made of more affordable metals such as copper or brass. Most people tend to choose precious metals for their wedding bands since they’re more durable, look good and are less prone to tarnishing over time.
You can also choose a copper or brass ring but be warned:
These metals aren’t hypoallergenic and can tarnish quickly. It’s also important to keep durability in mind when choosing the wedding ring and to choose a metal that’s tough enough to handle rough abuse.
Since you’ll be wearing your wedding band every day for the rest of your life, remember to choose one that will fit your lifestyle.
If you lead an active lifestyle or work with your hands a lot, you might want to choose a wedding band with a simple design that’s durable enough and will last for years to come. You can even opt for something non-traditional like a silicone wedding band.
Avoid wedding bands with many gemstones if you work with your hands since these can loosen and fall out over time. They can also be difficult to clean. However, if you feel you MUST have gemstones on your band make sure to choose a setting that will protect the stones as much as possible.
3. Style and Design
Since you’ll be wearing one ring instead of two, it’s important to decide on the perfect ring style for you.
Some brides choose to have flashy rings with a lot of intricate detail and large gemstones, to make up for the missing engagement ring. However, others choose to have a simple and less extravagant ring.
Make sure to take your time and decide on your ring style so that you’ll have no regrets later. Since engagement rings are usually flashier than wedding bands, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this by choosing something that looks too simple and insignificant.
Choose a wedding band that you can easily resize since the size of your fingers can fluctuate (don’t worry, it happens to everyone!).
A wedding band that’s too tight would be uncomfortable and if it’s too loose, you risk losing it. Soft metals like gold and silver can easily be resized while tough metals such as tungsten (a highly durable metal for wedding and engagement rings) cannot.
It’s also important to remember that certain ring designs (e.g. eternity bands) don’t allow for resizing.
When choosing a wedding band for your engagement, choose something of excellent quality. After all, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone by wearing the same ring for both the engagement and wedding.
A good quality ring might be a little more expensive than you hoped, but remember you’re not paying for two, just one.
Many couples believe that high prices guarantee quality. However, this isn’t always true. The best way of finding a high-quality ring is by shopping at a reputable jewelry store where you won’t be scammed and remember to ask for a certificate of authenticity from your jeweler.
Where to Buy Wedding Rings
For good quality rings, shop at a reputable jewelry store. There are hundreds of options to choose from and if you don’t find what you’re looking for at a local store, you can search online. Some of the best online jewelry stores for wedding rings include:
- Blue Nile – For stunning diamond rings and jewelry at competitive prices.
- Delarah Jewelry – For a wide range of high-quality gemstone rings and jewelry.
- White Flash – For the best diamond cut and exclusive ring settings.
- James Allen – For a stylish selection of diamond ring designs and facilitated shopping.
- Etsy – For the widest range of wedding rings, from artisan pieces to genuine antiques.
Tradition dictates that you have to purchase two rings to get married – an elaborate engagement ring with a dazzling center stone to propose, and another for the big day. However, regardless of public opinion, how you choose to display your marital status is entirely your choice. You can always style your wedding band to look just as exquisite as an engagement ring so that you won’t be missing out on anything. Think out of the box and make your decision on what you feel is best.