Everything you need to know about the wedding rings
While you’ll pick out the ring designs together, traditionally the groom is supposed to pay for both wedding rings. This is one of those things that comes down to the couple and many people do just pay for one ring each (either their own or their partners as a nice gesture). But regardless of who pays, it’s the groom’s job to pick them up and keep them safe until the big day.
Does the groom need a wedding ring?
Technically, no. While the bride has always had a wedding band, the groom band has only become common place in recent times. It does depend on the country you’re in and over the years, it has been more common in mainland Europe; however, while our dads may have decided against it, the modern Irish groom more often than not opts for a wedding ring of his own.
First of all, it seems weird for you to put a ring on your bride’s finger and then have nothing yourself. Blame Hollywood, but we’re just used to seeing an actual ‘ring exchange’ at weddings. Secondly, it’s a bit archaic to have your fiancée wear a ring to tell everyone you pretty much own her, while you walk around with nothing at all.
Finally, and most importantly, it’s a meaningful gesture. It means a lot to a bride for the groom to willingly wear a wedding ring and it’s an important symbol of the commitment you’re making to each other. If you start kicking up a fuss, you’re going to make her feel insecure and probably a little suspicious. What’s the big deal? It’s not like it’s a pretty diamond ring.
What should the wedding rings be made from?
Traditionally, wedding rings are gold, but many couples go for platinum or white gold options. Rose gold has enjoyed some recent popularity, but like silver, this is trend-based and will no doubt be out of fashion within a decade. Gold is timeless and will always look well. But as we always say, at the end of the day, it comes down to what you and your fiancée want, so read up rules, traditions and guidelines, but build your own experience.
And don’t forget the finish. Many jewellers sell wedding rings in a matt finish instead of the traditional ‘shiny’ finish. While this is down to you, keep in mind that the shiny finish loses its lustre after being worn for a few months anyway.
Is there a particular style?
Again, the wedding ring tradition has always been to have a simple, plain band with an elegant sizing for the bride and a slightly thicker version for the groom. Tradition aside, it is usually the preferred option because it will fit easily on your fiancée’s ring finger with her engagement ring and it’s a simple design that men feel comfortable with.
Wedding bands with a flat outside edge creates a modern look, while one with a curved outside edge is a more timeless option. Thickness of the band comes down to what you prefer or what you think suits your hand better.
Still, there are couples who decide to opt for a more exciting design, particularly if your fiancée decided not to get an engagement ring. You can get a ring that is two or three bands of different metals combined or a thicker ring with an elaborate design engraved on the surface.
Choose a good jewellers
Considering the fact that this is a ring you’ll have for life (don’t panic!), it’s important to choose a good jewellers and establish a rapport with the staff, who can help and advise you so that you choose the right band for you.
If you bought an engagement ring and had a good experience, you can just go with the same jeweller. Don’t feel you have to though – maybe you picked that jeweller because they had the specific design your fiancée wanted, but didn’t have a good experience with their staff.
When looking for a jewellers, check out online reviews, speak to married friends and drop in to a few reputable stores in order to get a feel for the place and their stock. A good jeweller will be able to advise you on the durability of the band and the overall style of the piece. They’ll also be used to dealing with couples looking for wedding bands and should be able to tell you what wedding rings will suit you.
When to buy?
Aside from the time it will take to choose the right design, the jeweller may not have the ring in your size, which means you can’t just purchase your wedding rings on the day. In other words, don’t leave it until the week of your wedding. Tick it off your list a few months in advance; it’s not a particularly stressful job, so it will be easy to complete.