Wedding Rings vs Engagement Rings
If you’re just starting out in your wedding planning and you’ve started shopping for your significant other’s wedding band you have likely realized that you too, may be expected to get one. So here is your guide on the difference between wedding bands and engagement rings and important things to consider.
First of all, if you’re reading this and you just got engaged? CONGRATUALATIONS! We are so excited for you, and we hope that the content you find on this site is valuable and helps answer any questions you may have.
What’s the Difference?
Let’s start with the big question. What is the difference between a wedding band and an engagement ring? For the person being proposed to, typically get the ring with the dominant stone is the one you get during the proposal, or early in the engagement. This is the engagement ring. This dominant stone can be surrounded by smaller stones or can stand alone with a simple band. It’s likely the ring you’ve dreamed of and told your partner about prior to the engagement, etc. This can be confusing because also the ring that after marriage people refer to as their wedding ring, even though TECHNICALLY it’s the engagement ring.
The second ring or the wedding ring is traditionally a smaller plain metal band or a thin diamond encrusted ring that you receive on your actual wedding day. There is a significant price difference between the two of these, as rings are usually priced based on the total weight of the stone (aka the carat weight). When you are exchanging your vows your significant other will slide a ring on your ring finger along with your engagement ring and you slide a band on their finger. These are the wedding rings or wedding bands.
As always, the choice is up to you! You can throw this tradition out if you want. If you want to wear your grandmother’s engagement ring you may not want to add a modern band to it and take away from the look of the ring. You may eve want to talk with your jeweler and purchase a two-band set. One ring is the engagement ring and the second one is the wedding band for the day of. The options are endless and lucky for you, you get to decide.
What Goes Where?
Traditionally speaking, your engagement ring and wedding ring is worn on the 4th finger of your left hand and your wedding band is worn inside the engagement ring. It is worn on the inside so it can be closer to your heart, but of course, if you don’t want to do that you don’t have to. The great thing about traditions is you get to start your own. If your wedding band and engagement ring are super different or don’t fit well on one finger wear a ring on each hand. It’s up to you!
When to Get it and What to Choose?
If you have been following our Ultimate Wedding Checklist we did a little sneak peak of this in part three which is can be found here (Ultimate Wedding Checklist Part 3). You should pick out your wedding bands at least four months before the wedding. This gives you plenty of time before the wedding for any last-minute issues or customizations. Use this time to consider what kind of band you want and explore different options with your significant other.
But Do I NEED Two Rings?
Short answer? No. You can do whatever you want. (There seems to be a recurring theme here). If you want to stick with tradition, then for sure go with two rings but if not then feel free to do something different. You can go modern and stack 3-4 bands if you want or pick two in your face different rings and wear one on each hand, totally up to you!
There are pros and cons to both options. First and foremost is the cost. If you’ve already spent a few thousand dollars on one ring, finding the funds to spend a few more on a second ring can be a heard pill to swallow. Especially when that money could be going back into the wedding budget somewhere. Some brides may opt out of getting two rings because wearing a ring every day is already an adjustment and wearing two rings might make the adjustment period a little uncomfortable. You may even find that trying to find a wedding band that perfectly complements your engagement ring is a bit of a chore if the rings weren’t designed as a set. There are a lot of steps in the planning process and if having two rings is low on the “importance meter” you may want to skip it and redirect your attention to other important planning tasks.
Long story short, the differences between the two rings are the style and when you actually get them. There is no right or wrong answer here and you should do what feels right to you! (Major plot twist, I know.) If you want, you can wear a ring on each finger or have two wedding bands and an engagement ring. Whatever you choose, let it serve as a symbol of your marriage and love to your forever person. Pick the ring or rings that remind you of that!