Guys are you planning on popping the question, but don’t know a thing about engagement ring and wedding ring protocol? Don’t feel bad; women spend their entire lives, up to the wedding, planning for the big event. Even before she met you she was likely browsing wedding magazines, drooling over wedding gowns, weighing the color options for bridesmaid dresses, designing her bouquet, and envisioning her perfect engagement ring. We girls know all there is to know about wedding protocol, it’s in our genes.
So, before you get down on one knee, open the box, and present her with the engagement ring, here are a few tips on wedding band and engagement ring etiquette, to get you up to speed on what she is likely to already know.
The Engagement Ring:
This is the ring you used to pop the question, and the ring that she will wear until your wedding day. Some women choose to remove it when you get married, but most often they don’t. We will talk more about that when we get to the wedding band topic.
Engagement rings start with what is called a setting. This setting can be made of many different kinds of metal, including yellow gold, white gold, platinum, palladium and silver and it secures the gemstone in place. All engagement rings should include a gemstone. Traditionally diamonds are the stone of choice because they are both strong and beautiful, but more and more women are opting for engagement rings with a colored stone, such as a ruby, sapphire, or other precious gemstone. Tip: even if you do not purchase an engagement ring with her birthstone, you should know it anyway, and use it for a future jewelry gift, she will love it!
The Wedding Band:
This is the ring that you will buy and give to her during the ring exchange ceremony, your best man holds onto it for you. There are a few ways you can go here. If you plan to buy her a stellar engagement ring that she will want to wear for the rest of her life, then you need to buy a wedding band that will accompany her engagement ring. If she wears them together, the wedding band will be on the inside of her finger, closest to her heart. You can buy both the engagement ring and the wedding band separately, but again, you need to make sure they will work together. You can also find many beautiful matching wedding ring sets on the market, such as these:
If the wedding band will stand alone, and perhaps she tucks the engagement ring safely away, or wears it on her other hand, there are a lot of options for you. Tip: Make sure this ring can stand alone! Basic wedding bands are traditionally used with the engagement ring, so get a wedding band with a little extra flare. You can find handwoven wedding bands, hand carved wedding bands, and wedding bands with stones set into them. All of these can be beautiful stand-alone wedding rings. See some of these examples below:
So that’s it, wedding band and engagement ring 101. Now you are armed with the basics and can start shopping, good luck!