Wedding Band Buying Guide
The planning of a wedding comes with no shortage of important decisions to make, but one of the most significant is, perhaps, picking out the perfect antique wedding rings.
A wedding band isn’t simply another piece of jewellery – it’s a token of love, shared vows and the commitment of a lifetime.
With that in mind, your wedding bands should reflect yourself and your partner perfectly.
When you begin your search for the perfect wedding bands, however, the wide variety can understandably be a little overwhelming…
At Gatsby Jewellery, wedding bands are just one of our specialities – read on for our ultimate guide to selecting the perfect wedding bands for your upcoming special day.
What do wedding bands mean?
The exchanging of wedding rings can be traced back thousands of years, with the tradition practiced as early as Ancient Egyptian times, when couples would gift one another rings fashioned from braided reeds and hemp.
It’s a tradition that has well and truly stood the test of time, much like many of the marriages that are marked with the exchanging of these wonderful pieces.
Wedding bands are rich in symbolism, representing not just the love between couples on their wedding day, but the depth of the promises being made at the altar.
After all, a ring has no beginning or end, making it the ideal way to represent the idea of infinity and lifelong commitment.
Wedding band material guide
There are certain metals that come out on top in terms of their popularity when it comes to selecting the right material for your wedding bands.
Of course, selecting the right type of metals for any jewellery is important, but this decision is perhaps at its most important here – after all, if wedding bands are there to symbolise longevity, they need to stand the test of time.
The majority of wedding bands are made designed using precious metals, with gold, silver, platinum and palladium amongst the classic choices. Some even use a combination of different precious metals, such as this stunning diamond etoile ring by Tiffany & Co, which uses both platinum and 18k yellow gold.
Gold is arguably the most popular of the four and the most traditionally used within wedding rings.
Valuable, durable and the easiest to keep in good condition, gold has been a favourite amongst betrothed couples for many years and remains the go-to in the 21st century. Both yellow gold and white gold are widely used in the manufacture of wedding bands, both being as practical as they are beautiful.
Less traditional but increasingly favoured in recent decades is platinum – famous for its rarity and incredible finish, platinum is as strong as it is beautiful.
It may be at the higher end of the price point, but this does little to buck its popularity – platinum rings are generally of the highest quality and the cost is seen by many couples as being reflective of the band’s great sentimental importance.
Silver and palladium are considered more affordable alternatives to gold and platinum respectively.
Whilst neither are considered particularly traditional choices for use in wedding bands, there is still no shortage of beautiful wedding rings on the market with these materials as their bases.
Wedding band style guide
Another important element to take into account when selecting your perfect wedding bands is the style of ring that you and your partner would each like – given the significance and longevity of the rings, it’s important to make sure that you’re happy with every element of its design!
Luckily, there are plenty of options out there, with something to suit all tastes.
Traditionally, simplicity came out on top when it came to the design and style of wedding rings, with minimalistic bands still a very popular choice to this day.
The popularity of simple eternity bands like this mid-century gold wedding band (circa. 1966) can be put down to several factors, such as the timelessness of this design, its suitability for both men and women and its durability (for example, no risk of stones falling out of place and requiring repairs).
These rings can often easily be engraved with a short message personal to the couple on the inside of the band, too, adding to the deep sense of sentimentality that comes with this style.
However, there have always been couples that have craved something a little more elaborate, with the era of Art Deco making way for more extravagant wedding band designs.
This began the trend of wedding bands featuring intricate engravings on the outside of the ring, along with the inclusion of precious stones and diamonds, previously only traditionally used in engagement rings. This incredible ruby, sapphire and diamond flip-over eternity ring is a beautiful example of how, when it comes to wedding bands, the motto is no longer always ‘less is more’…
Which band width should I choose?
When narrowing down the choices for your wedding band, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what width works best for you. Do you want a band that’s slim and understated? Or do you prefer something with a little more heft?
Size of engagement ring
For starters, think about how the width of your band will relate to the size of your engagement ring. If you have a large, showy ring, you might want to balance it out with a thinner band. On the other hand, if your engagement ring is on the daintier side, you can go for a wider band to add some visual weight.
Style of the wedding band
The style of the wedding band is another factor to consider. A simple band will look best with a thinner width, while a more ornate ring can handle a wider band.
Size of finger
If you have a smaller finger, a thinner band will be more flattering, while those with larger fingers can usually pull off a wider band.
Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the perfect width for your wedding band:
2 mm: This is a popular choice for those who want a simple, minimalist look. It’s also a good option if you’re looking to save on cost.
4 mm: This is a great middle-of-the-road option. It’s not too flashy, but it’s still substantial enough to make a statement.
6 mm: If you want your wedding band to really stand out, go for a wider width like 6 mm. This is also a good choice if you have larger hands or fingers.
Budgeting for a wedding band
When planning a wedding, couples often focus on the big-ticket items like the venue, dress, and catering. But don’t forget about the smaller details that can add up, like the cost of a wedding band.
How much should you budget for your wedding band? It depends on a few factors, like the style of ring you want and whether you’re buying new or preloved. If you’re set on a designer ring or something unique, expect to pay more. But you can save money by shopping for pre-owned rings or opting for a simple design.
No matter what your budget is, there’s a beautiful wedding band out there for you. Shop around and compare prices to find the perfect ring at the right price.
Frequently asked questions about wedding bands
What is the correct order to wear wedding rings?
There is no correct way to wear a wedding band, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Some people choose to wear their wedding band on their left ring finger, followed by their engagement ring. Others choose to wear their engagement ring on their left ring finger and their wedding band on their right ring finger. There is no wrong way to wear your rings, so do whatever feels most comfortable for you!
What is the difference between a wedding band and an eternity ring?
When it comes to rings that symbolize eternal love, there are two main types: wedding bands and eternity rings. Both are beautiful and have their own special meaning, but there are some key differences between the two.
A wedding band is a ring that is worn by a person who is married. An eternity ring, on the other hand, is a ring that symbolizes eternal love. It can be given to someone on their wedding day, or it can be given to someone as a gift for any special occasion.
Additionally, a wedding band is typically much simpler in design than an eternity ring. It is meant to be a symbol of the couple’s commitment to each other and their marriage, not necessarily their undying love. An eternity ring, on the other hand, is usually adorned with diamonds or other precious stones all the way around the band. This represents the infinite nature of true love. Another key difference is that a wedding band is only meant to be worn by one person, while an eternity ring can be worn by either partner in a relationship.
Who buys the wedding bands?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to who buys the wedding bands. It is typically seen as a joint purchase between the bride and groom, but some couples opt to have one person buy both rings. There is no set amount that you should spend on your wedding bands, but it is important to find something within your budget that you both love.
When should we buy our wedding bands?
Most couples choose to buy their wedding bands at least a few months before the big day, while others wait until closer to the big day. Ultimately, it is up to the couple to decide when they feel comfortable making this major purchase. If you’re set on a certain type of metal or gemstone, it’s best to buy your bands at least 3 months in advance so that you can be sure they’ll be available. However, if you’re flexible on your choices, you can wait until closer to the wedding date. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to have the bands made if you’re going custom!
Finally, there’s little reason why a ring designed for any other purpose can’t be used as a wedding ring.
Couples are increasingly open to the use of cluster rings, crossover rings and solitaire engagement rings as wedding rings – not only are these rings beautifully designed, but the use of vintage or antique rings gives the piece an increased sense of longevity and sentimentality.
Here at Gatsby Jewellery, we pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of wedding bands for both men and women. With a range of metals, our collection of Art Deco wedding rings, bespoke pieces in The Gatsby Collection and stunning antique, vintage and retro finds, we believe that there’s something for everyone within our collection.
Get in touch with us today for more information on the stunning Gatsby Jewellery collection.