After you figure out your engagement ring(s), the next question on the table is the wedding band. Essentially the same thing as a wedding ring, a wedding band is what you put on your spouse’s finger when exchanging vows at the marriage ceremony.
As with engagement rings, couples often have a handful of concerns before buying one. So, let’s run through the most common questions people ask, which should tell you all you need to know about wedding bands.
1. Do I Need a Wedding Band?
First and foremost, an important question. The answer is…of course not! You can use the same rings you wore during your engagement during your vows. However, many wish to get a wedding band just as a simple alternative since engagement rings tend to be rather extravagant and not often suitable for everyday wear. Wedding bands are also important if you’re keen on tradition, as you’re supposed to wear it along with (or sometimes in place of) your engagement ring after marriage.
2. What Should a Wedding Band Look Like?
Most of the time, they’re just that—a band of gold, silver, or other metal. For women, it’s also popular to have smaller diamonds on the ring, referred to as an eternity ring if they travel all the way around the band. Lately, men’s styles have added details, such as an engraving or a mix of materials. The options for wedding bands these days are endless, so take your time to browse a few jewelers in search of the right one.
3. How Much Should I Spend on a Wedding Band?
As mentioned before, wedding bands tend to be simpler and therefore cheaper than a traditional engagement ring highlighting a diamond or other gemstone. Percentage-wise, most couples put aside about 5% of their wedding budget on wedding bands. But you should make the decision based on what you can afford. According to some statistics, a wedding band usually runs about 20% of the engagement ring’s price.
4. Who Buys the Wedding Bands?
Traditionally, the groom buys the wedding bands. However, some modern couples nowadays choose to split the costs between each other.
5. Should Our Wedding Bands Match?
It’s a sweet suggestion, but not a requirement. Since this is a ring you’ll both be wearing for the rest of your life (hopefully), it should be something that’s truly yours. If one of you only wears gold while the other is all about silver shades, you shouldn’t force yourselves to have matching rings.
Having said that, many couples often like to match their wedding bands in some way. This doesn’t mean they have to be identical. Instead, they can share some detail between the two. For example, they can be the same shape or design. Or, they can both be engraved with the same message.
6. What Type of Wedding Band Material Should I Choose?
Always look at your day-to-day lifestyle before choosing a wedding band. Do you work with your hands a lot? If so, you’ll need a strong and durable metal. Some of the toughest materials out there are tungsten, titanium, platinum, palladium, ceramic, stainless steel, and cobalt. Gold and silver, on the other hand, are more prone to damage.
Then, of course, consider your budget. Platinum and gold, obviously, tend to be the most expensive while the rest will be lighter on the wallet.
7. What’s a Comfort Fit?
You’ll hear this term a lot when shopping for a wedding band. A comfort fit makes the ring more comfortable to wear and to slip on and off. This is done by making the interior of the ring rounded, kind of like a dome, so that it’s thicker in the middle and thinner at the top and bottom. The alternative is a flat interior, which tends to be snugger. Many people, especially men, opt for a comfort fit.
8. How Do I Wear a Wedding Band?
A wedding band should be worn on your left ring finger, just like your engagement ring. It can be worn on its own. However, if you pair the band and engagement ring together, the wedding ring goes on first, since that makes it closer to your heart!