It is customary around the world for married couples to wear wedding rings (also referred to as wedding bands) as a symbol of their love and commitment to one another. A wedding ring is an item of jewellery that will be worn every single day of your wedded life together and for this reason alone the purchase of a wedding band for your loved one is an extremely important purchase.
Below is our guide to wedding rings and tips to help you to choose the perfect wedding rings that you will love and cherish forever:
Why do we wear wedding bands?
The exchange of wedding bands has been a physical symbol of a relationship status transitioning from a couple to a married partnership for many centuries. In fact the giving of wedding rings dates back to Ancient Egypt when couples exchanged rings braided from sedges, reeds and rushes with papyrus, to give both as a symbol of ownership of the woman, and as a symbol of eternity as the Egyptians believed that a wedding ring symbolised a never ending partnership. Since these ancient times wedding bands have continued to have cultural significance across the world in dozens of countries as a sign of marriage.
Why are wedding rings generally of a plain design?
As with many fashion trends the design of wedding rings has changed throughout history. During the 16th and 17th century Gimmel wedding rings were very popular throughout Europe and were used as wedding rings. These are rings with two or three hoops or links that fit together to form one complete ring. The engaged couple would wear one hoop each and then upon marriage re-join the rings them to form one wedding ring. Where the Gimmel was a triple link ring, a third person could witness the couple's engagement and hold the third part of the ring until they married.
During the Renaissance period Posey rings were the wedding band of choice. Posey rings have a short inscription on their surface. These inscriptions were often quotations from contemporary courtship stories or chapbooks and usually inscribed on the inner surface of the ring to show the couples love.
During World War Two, wartime restrictions limited the manufacturing of wedding rings to a maximum weight not to exceed three grams per ring. They were crafted from nine carat gold rather than 18 or 22 carat and the band was plain. The Regional Assayer Office hallmarked these rings with a special utility mark (resembling a capital ‘U'). This mark was placed adjacent to the mark for the year of manufacture on the inside of the band, guaranteeing the gold content of the wedding ring and compliance with wartime regulations.
From this time onwards the plain style of wedding bands has been copied using rose, yellow or white gold, alongside other noble metals such as palladium, platinum and silver. The plain exterior allows for customisation with personalised engraving this is of significance to the couple.
However, more elaborate wedding rings have recently become fashionable once more including diamond settings and the use of pave and other decorative finishes.
What factors should we consider when choosing wedding rings?
- Budget and shopping for wedding rings
The purchase of wedding rings for you and your fiancé always be included when budgeting for your wedding day. As this is an item of jewellery that will be word everyday it is nice to be able to be comfortable spending a little bit more than you would comparison to your regular jewellery. Wedding bands can either be chosen as a pair in a similar style or you can each have different designs of wedding ring.
Whilst some parts of planning your wedding day re done separately, you should always shop for your wedding bands as a couple. Allocate plenty of time as a couple to visit your chosen jeweller to see different styles and variety of wedding bands before making a final decision. It is traditional for the bride to buy her groom’s wedding ring and vice versa, so make your wedding ring shopping trip as fun as possible but most of all love what you buy! You will be wearing your wedding rings forever so be sure to buy the perfect ring for your style and tastes. If you have any doubts then please consider shopping around before making a final decision on your purchase.
- Start your ring search early
We always advise that you allow yourselves at least two to three months before the wedding date to ring shop. You will need this time to browse research prices and revisit rings that catch your eye. If you have your heart set on a bespoke wedding band, you will probably need even more time to have the wedding ring custom made, plus please keep in mind any extras, like engraving, can take up extra time.
- Keep Your Lifestyle in Mind
A wedding ring is traditionally worn every day so it is important to remember that if you both need to choose a wedding band that seamlessly becomes a part of your life. If you play sports or an instrument, a slimmer ring with rounded edges may make the most sense. If you work with your hands, you may want to search for a simple, solid metal ring and avoid gemstones that can come loose or features which can trap dirt. If you have a very active lifestyle or job, go for platinum, which is extra durable as when scratched, the metal is merely displaced and doesn't actually wear away.
- Carefully consider the shape and size of your wedding ring and your lifestyle
Wedding bands rings come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. In terms of a wedding ring for the bride-to-be careful thought needs to be given to the shape as it will need to sit comfortably on her ring finger and complement her engagement ring. If her engagement ring is an uncommon shape it may well be that her wedding ring will need to be custom made to fit in with this design. For the groom it is very important to bear in mind that many men are simply not used to wearing rings on a daily basis, therefore it is vitally important to choose a shape that will he be comfortable wearing. Here at Reve Diamonds we are very happy to help, guide and advise on what styles are the best when it comes to your choice of wedding rings.
- Choose the right metal
In modern times wedding rings can be designed in a number of different materials including gold, white gold, rose gold, silver, platinum, palladium, titanium and zirconium. For the bride-to-be it’s usual to choose a metal to match her engagement ring and for the groom, a wedding band that is sturdy yet stylish is a very good option therefore platinum or gold are good choices. Prices for wedding rings do of course vary dependent upon the style and weight of metal you choose so consider this when discussing your choice of metal and your budget.
- Size It Right
Most people rarely take off their wedding ring, they wear them through the cold of winter, the heat of summer, work, exercise, pregnancies etc. - all times when your fingers can swell and contract from heat, cold, water retention or weight gain. To find the right size that will best weather all of those changes, schedule your final wedding ring fitting at a time when you are both calm and your body temperature is normal. That means that you should never finalize your choice of wedding ring first thing in the morning (you retain water from the night before), right after you've exercised (fingers swell) or when you're extremely hot or cold (which can cause your hands to expand and shrink).
- Decide on the profile of your wedding band profile
Once you have selected your preference with regards to the metal, ring size and budget then you need to decide upon the profile of your wedding bands. There are a variety of classic wedding ring profiles to choose from such as D-shaped, Classic Court, Flat Rings, Flat Court, Bevelled and Concave. We believe that this factor is just as important as knowing your ring size. Finding the perfect profile for your wedding ring profile will ensure maximum comfort in wearing and this is very important for an item that will be worn 24/7.
- Ensure the quality
As with all purchases of an item of jewellery that is more than purely costume jewellery, be sure to ensure that quality control is applied. Make sure that your chosen wedding ring has two marks inside the band: the manufacturer's trademark (this proves they stand behind their work) and the quality mark, 18kt gold (750) or Platinum (950) for example (this proves the metal quality is what the retailer says it is).
Reve Diamonds offer a superb selection of stunningly beautiful diamond wedding bands as we appreciate that a wedding ring is unlike any other accessory. We offer a wide range of styles from classic to exquisite diamond set wedding rings, vintage wedding bands, creative shaped and curved wedding rings, stunning decorative wedding bands and a large array of finishing touches. We can also personalise your chosen wedding band through the choice of different width, alloys, diamond content, shapes and finishes.