When the bride and groom place rings on each other’s fingers to symbolise their love and commitment, it is one of the most moving parts of the wedding ceremony. As well as being an enduring memento of your big day, your wedding ring is a symbol of your marriage that you’ll see every day, so you need to get your choice spot on.
Take Your Time
You’ll be wearing your wedding ring every day for the rest of your life – and it could be a future family heirloom – so don’t rush to pick one. “The two lasting keepsakes from your wedding day are the photos and the rings, so it’s important to get a design you are 100% happy with,” says Samantha Edwards from The Perfect Ring Company, which offers a design-your-own service.
Vincent Seymour, owner at The Wedding Ring Workshop agrees. “You can have any style you like if you have your ring handmade, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
“You’ll still want to like it in 15 or 20 years time, so avoid anything too fussy, particularly if you’re the groom,” Vincent adds.
Work With Your Engagement Ring
You’re probably already wearing your engagement ring, so it’s important to make sure the wedding ring will work well alongside it. “You should match the engagement ring so the wedding band complements it, rather than overpowering it,” says Vincent. “Make sure it’s shaped to fit or that the profile matches.”
Samantha warns against picking something that will wear the other ring away. “Match the metal of your engagement ring if possible,” she advises. “That will prevent the metal eroding as the rings rub up against each other. Another benefit of a shaped ring is that it helps to prevent wear and tear.”
Set a Budget
With so much choice, it’s easy to get carried away with your credit card. Work out your budget before you start shopping.
Samantha and Vincent both recommend using palladium as an alternative to platinum; around half the price, it helps to keep prices down without sacrificing style. “Palladium has many of the same qualities as platinum but isn’t as dense so it’s a bit lighter,” explains Vincent. “But it’s just as durable and never fades in colour. An average man’s ring costs £450 to £500 compared to around £1,000 for platinum.”
Add a Personal Touch
Choosing a more intricate design or pattern needn’t blow your budget — Vincent says the cost is determined by the metal: “Little patterns or a brushed finish don’t affect our price. For engravings, the majority are names, dates of the weddings or places.”
Even adding gemstones can be less costly than you think. “Coloured gemstones start from £22.50 and brilliant cut round diamonds from £30,” Samantha says. “Baguette cut rectangular diamonds cost from £110, but you may only want one or two of them.”
Traditional men’s wedding rings may have been a plain band, but there is no reason to limit your choice to an understated design. “We see more men going for a patterned finish, to make the ring individual,” says Samantha.
“A lot of guys go for a brushed and polished effect, while more girls are going for diamond-set wedding rings, which were traditionally eternity rings,” adds Vincent. “And another trend is for white metal rather than gold, although palladium is cheaper and white gold will tarnish.”
Made with Love
Designing your own ring is the perfect way to make it feel special, but to add a uniquely personal touch, you can make each other’s bands at The Wedding Ring Workshop.
“It’s a whole experience, not like you’ve just walked into a shop and bought them,” says Vincent, who’s been offering this service for around 12 years. “We’ve got hundreds of samples, different widths and profiles and if we haven’t got one that matches exactly, we’ll work it out.
“Once the couple has chosen the style of ring, we take them both to the workbenches to melt down their metal and the bride makes the groom’s, and he makes hers, with one of us guiding them through the whole process. If they want little diamonds or engraving, we do that afterwards.”