Wedding bands may fall to the bottom of the wedding to-do list — don’t let them! Here are some tips for making shopping for wedding bands special.
The time you spend planning and anticipating your wedding is one of the most special times of your life together — and one of the most hectic. No matter how simple or how elaborate the big day is going to be, your to-do list is a mile long. It’s easy to forget something, and it’s easy to rush through all these precious moments without stopping to truly savor them.
One extremely important detail is choosing your wedding bands. It’s easy to wait until the last minute to start looking for your wedding bands, but you don’t want to rush through it! Though perhaps a less glamorous aspect of your wedding trappings, your wedding bands (along with photographs and other bridal jewelry) will be one of the most tangible and lasting elements of your marriage — not only a memento of your special day, but a lasting symbol of your love for (and commitment to) each other. What follows are some tips for giving this significant task its due, and how to enjoy this very meaningful element of your wedding.
Do your homework
As with choosing and purchasing an engagement ring, doing some research beforehand is the best way to have a really good shopping and buying experience.
Armed with knowledge, you can enjoy the process of shopping much more. Start by browsing. It’s best to give yourselves at least a month (two is even better). There’s a good chance you’ll want to buy your wedding bands from the same jeweler where you purchased the engagement ring, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look around at bands anywhere and everywhere. Check out websites, a jewelry store at the mall after a movie, wherever you can find inspiration.
Pay attention to the kinds of rings you gravitate toward as a couple — which metals do you like, would you like to include stones on the bands, is your “couple style” more simple or elaborate? What types of bands look good on the bride’s hand and the groom’s? If you do decide on diamonds, remember the 4Cs. Lifestyle is important too. Remember that if either one of you will be wearing your ring every day, you’ll want a ring that won’t catch on anything and that will be very comfortable. If lots of detail and an ornate style are more important, consider that you may want to only wear it on special occasions.
Set a budget
When purchasing fine jewelry, setting a budget is always a good idea. Try budgeting your wedding bands into the rest of your wedding expenses. This is a purchase that will last decades — ideally, a lifetime — so it should be at least as important a budget line-item as top-shelf champagne or a cupcake tower. Price-wise, wedding bands can run the gamut, depending on the metal(s) used, whether the bands are inlaid with anything and if diamonds or other gemstones are used.
To match or not to match
Whether or not you choose to have matching wedding bands is completely up to you as a couple — there are no hard and fast rules — and should depend on how similar your tastes and lifestyles are.
Differing hand size is also a consideration — if you're set on having the same style band, you may want to get her band in a slimmer width than his to account for this. If she wants a more embellished design to complement her princess-cut engagement ring, and he isn’t much of a fancy-jewelry person, never fear. Many couples in this situation just make sure at least one element of the rings matches to tie them together visually — metal, stones, an inscription or a design element.
Make it fun
When shopping for your wedding bands as a couple, amid all the hectic wedding planning activity, try to look at this time together as the calm in the eye of the storm. Make it special — maybe go out to a nice lunch or dinner, take your time; browse in a few different places. The earlier you start the process, the more relaxed and romantic the whole experience can be. After all, you’re choosing what will most likely be the most enduring symbol of your love, and certainly the most visible, since you’ll probably be wearing them all the time. How lovely it will be to look back on this time and remember the moments you spent together choosing your wedding bands.
Word to the wise: After the rings are chosen and in the time leading up to the ceremony, put your wedding bands in a safe place that you both know about, until you can give them to the attendants who will be in charge of them during the ceremony. After the wedding, remember to always put your ring in the same place when you take it off, and try to never take it off or store it near a sink. It’s also never a good idea to take it off when away from home — it’s when most rings are misplaced and not found.