Four Commonly Asked Questions About Same-Sex Wedding Bands

Two brides exchanging rings at their wedding ceremony.

We live in a world where people are beginning to believe that love is love, no matter what. Many nations all over the world have legalized marriage for same-sex couples, which means more people are free to live happy lives with their true loves! But while the courts have caught up with the times, many wedding traditions have not. This can leave LGBTQ+ couples a little unsure of what to do. Should one of us propose? Who’s walking down the aisle? What kind of wedding bands should we wear?

If you ask me, the rules for same-sex couples should be just the same as those for straight couples: there are no rules! You and your sweetheart should wear any kind of wedding ring you want—and here are a few tips to help you with your search.

1. Do Our Wedding Rings Have to Match?

Two men wearing silver wedding bands and holding hands.

Matching wedding bands have been a tradition for many generations, and for many couples, they seem like a must-have. After all, your rings symbolize coming together as one family, complete with matching accessories. And besides, you and your partner obviously have the same taste in jewelry. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be getting married, right?

I think we can all agree that that line of thinking doesn’t make any sense. Couples don’t have to have the same tastes; in fact, sometimes opposites attract! If you and your partner are drawn to the same ring, absolutely get a matching set. However, if you’re both drooling over different designs, different metal colors, or completely different rings, there’s no reason why you can’t wear totally separate styles. The only thing that matters is the meaning behind the ring: your love and commitment for one another.

2. Do We Have to Have Diamonds on Our Wedding Bands?

Over the centuries, the diamond ring has become ubiquitous with love and marriage. This precious stone was first considered the gold standard (or should I say diamond standard) for engagement rings, but it’s since become a popular choice for giving your wedding band a little bling.

Now, does this mean that diamonds are a necessity for your wedding band? Absolutely not! There are plenty of reasons why you might not want a diamond ring. Maybe you don’t support the labor practices (some) diamond mines use. Maybe you want a ring that’s simple and understated or, on the flip side, you want something with more color (wedding bands covered in rainbow-colored gemstones are a popular option for same-sex couples). Whatever your reason may be, you shouldn’t feel pressured into wearing a diamond if you don’t want to. Of course, if you do want to wear a diamond, by all means, do so! There are plenty of jewelers out there who offer gorgeous, ethically-sourced stones that can make your wedding band look extra spectacular.

3. How Do We Wear Our Wedding Rings?

Two brides wearing white and matching wedding bands as they sit with glasses of champagne after their wedding ceremony.

For straight couples, this may seem like an obvious question. It’s customary to wear your wedding rings on the fourth finger of your left hand. But for the LGBTQ+ community, weddings bands (and the finger you wear them on) has a more complicated history.

In the days before gay marriage was legalized, some committed same-sex couples would wear rings on their right hand. This ring symbolized their taken, monogamous status (and in some cases their civil union), but it differentiated their relationship from the norm—that is, from straight couples. However, now that gay marriage is more normalized in many countries, many couples are electing to wear their rings on the left hand. In reality, it doesn’t really matter. Just pick a finger you both agree on and wear your rings with pride!

4. Do We Even Need Wedding Bands?

This is an issue that comes up for many couples planning their wedding, regardless of sexual orientation. Are the rings really necessary? For some folks, the answer is yes. Wedding bands are a beautiful and long-standing tradition that symbolizes commitment to your marriage and your spouse. Who wouldn’t want to wear one?

But on the other hand, there are many reasons not to wear a ring: they can be expensive, they can interfere with your work or hobbies, or they just might not be your style. Some couples have looked into alternative ways to show their affection: getting “rings” tattooed on, wearing necklaces or other jewelry instead, or even planting fruit trees in the yard to commemorate their wedding day and symbolize their growing, blossoming love!

Once again, the choice is fully up to you. If you and your partner want to wear wedding rings, go for it! If you don’t, that’s OK, too! Take some time to discuss your options and find the one that works for you. At the end of the day, who cares about tradition? The only thing that matters is that you and your spouse know how much you love each other and that you show that love in a way you both appreciate.

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