What’s one of the first things you say to a newly engaged woman? It’s probably something like this, “Congratulations! Let me see the ring!” Many people, especially women, want to see the new rock on your hand and hear all the details about how your partner proposed. But what about the ring AFTER you say, “I do”? It’s typically called a “wedding ring” or “wedding band” but many people today are starting to skip this ring altogether.
A ring symbolizes eternal and everlasting love, hence why it’s in the shape of a circle, but why do we need two? Is it normal nowadays to have both? We’ll break down everything you need to know about the difference between the rings, the reason more couples are gravitating towards one ring, plus other trends we’re seeing today!
The Difference Between an Engagement Ring & Wedding Ring
Have you ever wondered about the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding ring? It all comes down to 3 main factors: when you receive it, what it looks like and how much it costs. Let’s break down the two rings and compare them.
Is typically chosen by the groom, without the bride knowing. The proposal is usually a surprise!
Is worn after you get engaged and symbolizes that you’re “spoken for” and not available romantically.
Traditionally worn by just the woman in the relationship.
Tends to be more extravagant and embellished with a center stone or multiple stones, mainly diamonds.
Can be worn alone or with a wedding ring.
The Wedding Ring:
Is typically chosen with the groom after you get engaged or presented during the proposal as part of a matching set.
Is exchanged during the wedding ceremony, symbolizing that you’re already married.
Is traditionally worn by both the husband and wife.
Tends to be simpler, with either a plain metal band or a pave’ band with small diamonds.
Can be worn alone or with an engagement ring.
Another big difference between an engagement ring and wedding ring is the price tag.
According to The Knot’s 2019 jewelry and engagement study, the average cost of an engagement ring was just under $6,000! In comparison, a woman’s wedding ring was about $1,100 and a man’s wedding band was just over $500. Even if the wedding ring has diamonds or other gemstones, the total carat weight is typically less than an engagement ring, thus a lower cost.
Most married women wear their engagement ring and wedding ring on top of each other on the left ring finger. During the ceremony, the engagement ring is removed or moved to the right hand so that the wedding ring sits on the bottom.
Now that you know the differences between the two rings, the question still remains—is it normal to have both? The short answer: yes! Many couples are sticking with tradition and getting both an engagement and wedding ring, but there’s a lot to be said about having a solo ring. Here are some of the benefits and considerations for having just one stunning ring.
Single rings can be more comfortable and less fussy than a ring/band combo.
It’s one less ring to worry about. You don’t have to worry about keeping it clean, avoiding scratches or loose diamonds, or losing the ring completely! (Tragic, but it does happen.)
You don’t have to worry about finding two rings that match if that’s important to you.
You can save your spouse (& yourself) some money! Put the money towards your honeymoon or future home instead.
If you couldn’t wear a ring on a daily basis due to an occupational hazard, like a surgeon or another job where you work with your hands often.
You don’t want to overshadow the beautiful ring your spouse bought or don’t have the room for another! (Like the one above! WOW.)
If you’re definitely on #team2rings, the number one thing a jeweler is going to recommend is buying a matching set. This is a great option if you’ve already talked about marriage beforehand and know that your partner will say yes to your proposal. Getting both rings at the same time is just a no-brainer at that point! It’s guaranteed to match, both rings come from the same shop and you’ll probably save yourself a bit of money too.
Don’t love the idea of stacking your rings but know you want two? Try something different! You can wear your engagement ring on another finger or on the other hand. Some married women prefer to keep them totally separate and wear one ring depending on the event or outfit they’re wearing. For more unique ways to wear your rings, check out these other cool trends of today!
There are so many cool ways to wear your wedding rings now. The options are endless, and the styles are ever-changing! Some of our fave new trends include:
Stacking multiple rings. Add a new band every 10th anniversary, or one for each of your children to symbolize all the love you’ve created in your marriage. We also love the non-traditional look of the different-colored metals together.
Silicone wedding bands are great to switch out with your regular wedding rings as needed. These are perfect for active couples or couples who don’t want to wear their rings on vacation and risk losing them.
Nesting your rings between two skinny wedding bands. This trend really accents the bling in the middle of your finger.
Colored stones like emeralds, sapphires or rubies!
Wearing your ring on a necklace or chain.
Pick out the engagement ring together! A lot of brides are now choosing their own rings before a formal proposal. This way she gets exactly what she wants and the groom-to-be isn’t left guessing.
No matter what you decide to do: one ring, two rings, multiple rings, or no ring—your wedding jewelry is about your love and commitment to one another. Find something that matches your style and that you’ll be happy with for the rest of your life.