You found The One, and you’re marrying them. So now it’s time to find the perfect wedding ring. Here’s our handy guide to getting it right.
Princess pink; StarTrek themed; on horseback; under a teepee in the garden... no matter how different each and every wedding, one simple piece of jewellery connects them all: the wedding ring. The age-old tradition symbolises commitment like no other object on earth, transcending cultures, languages and religions across the globe.
Like any tradition, though, it’s evolving: wedding rings have historically been plain gold, but in recent times more detailed and ornate styles have caught on. Gemstones, engravings, unique patterns - there’s now a world of choice, and a tempting one at that. So how to choose? Should you keep it simple or opt for something fancier? As something you’ll wear for the rest of your life, one thing’s for sure - it pays to spend some time choosing a wedding ring that’s perfect for you.
"I always thought I’d go for a pretty traditional wedding ring, but when we went shopping for them I came across one I loved instantly. It was white gold, quite thick, and had a small square emerald in the middle. My now-husband loved it too, so we chose one similar for him - he wasn’t so keen on the emerald, though. He said he’d feel like a mafia boss. So instead I had a tiny little one put on the inside of his ring, where only he would know it was there." - Karen, 28.
What you need to know
Check how the ring sits with your engagement ring
How do the two rings look side-by-side? If your engagement ring has a very big central stone, there might be a gap in between the two rings, which bothers some people. In this case, consider how a curved wedding ring may be deigned to curve around the engagement ring or consider how a fitted wedding ring may be designed to interlock with the engagement ring. You might also want to think ahead, and leave room for an anniversary eternity ring (hey, wishful thinking never hurt anyone).
But don’t over-think it
Sure, it’s nice to have your wedding ring complement your engagement ring, but don’t stress if they’re not twins. They’re two separate rings for two separate reasons, and seeing that distinction isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, some people prefer it.
Don’t feel obliged to pick a plain wedding ring just because it’s tradition. Look at unique accents and interesting details in case they appeal even more. Remember: your wedding ring should match your personality, no one else’s.
Throw in some diamonds
Once you’ve chosen the wedding ring, consider popping a few diamonds (or other precious gemstones) into the ring. Diamond-set wedding rings are a popular choice, largely because they provide a beautiful sparkly backdrop for engagement rings. Of course, diamonds aren’t just for the girls. Consider a single diamond or coloured stone in the groom’s ring, too.
“My fiancé and I knew we wanted quite plain wedding rings. My engagement ring was a simple solitaire so the goal was something equally as simple and understated. We didn’t mind if they didn’t match each other, and we both found rings we loved quickly with the help of our jeweller – mine a plain 18ct yellow gold ring and his a 18ct white and yellow gold ring. What made them even more special was the engraving - ‘You have my heart.’” - Emily, 33.
A key factor when choosing a wedding ring is the metal it’s made out of. For the bride, it is normally determined by what metal her engagement ring is.
Prized since prehistoric times, gold is a reliable choice as it doesn’t rust, tarnish or corrode. It also mixes well with other metals. Wedding rings come in 9ct, 10ct, 14ct, 18ct and 22ct gold, which can be yellow, white or rose-coloured, depending on your personal tastes. Pure gold, which is 24 carat, is often considered to be too soft for jewellery and requires much more care.
An ideal choice for wedding rings is 18ct, which is 75 percent pure gold and has a richer hue than 9ct (which is 37.5 percent pure gold). It also tends to retain its good looks better as it ages.
One thing to keep in mind is that to keep your white gold wedding ring looking beautiful, you’ll need to have it periodically plated with rhodium.
WHAT IS RHODIUM PLATING?
Rhodium, part of the platinum precious metal group, is used to plate white gold because it is dazzlingly white and mirror-like, whereas white gold can be slightly grey in tone. Rhodium is shiny and cool, almost like chrome, but even whiter. It also acts as a protective coating for your ring, enhancing its life span.
PLATINUM & PALLADIUM
Two popular choices for wedding rings are platinum and palladium, which don’t require rhodium plating. Their natural brilliance makes them the perfect choice for jewellery that lasts pretty much forever. Recently, palladium has become a popular alternative
to platinum because of its similar colour yet more budget -friendly price tag.
Titanium rings have some unique properties; they’re hypoallergenic, lightweight, corrosion-resistant and strong enough to keep their shape, even when knocked about. For this reason they’re a great choice for those with active lifestyles who don’t want to worry about wear and tear.