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Beyond Bridal: Wedding Bands

Beyond Bridal: Wedding Bands

You scoured the internet (read: Pinterest), flipped through hundreds of bridal magazines, sifted through scores of jewelers and diamond listings and finally found the one. They proposed. Now what? For many brides, the blinders are on for anything but the big day once the ring is on the finger. But between the day you get engaged to the day you say, “I do”, there are several other major jewelry decisions to make.

 

The Frosting to the Cake: The Wedding Bands

Don’t let your wedding band be an afterthought: consider what type of band works best for you while you’re choosing your engagement ring. You may decide you want to always wear them stacked; you may realize you’d like a band that can also stand alone for times when you’d rather leave your engagement ring at home. Either way, your band is just as personal of a choice as an engagement ring and you want to be sure that what you choose meshes well with your lifestyle.

Here’s a quick breakdown of common band styles for you to consider:

classic wedding band

Classic

Pros: Simple, timeless, and wears well with little maintenance. Comfortable and works well with solitaires.

Cons: Pairing this style with an elaborate or highly diamond-embellished engagement ring can look like an afterthought.

 

eternity diamond wedding band

Eternity

Pros: Sparkly and feminine, pairs beautifully with halos and styles with diamonds along the shank. Doesn’t have a “top” so it can spin freely on the finger.

Cons: Can be expensive since diamonds circle the entire band. Since diamonds are exposed on the palm side, there is slightly more risk of damaging stones. This style is extremely difficult to resize later.

 

half eternity wedding band

Half Eternity

Pros: The look of an eternity with half the stones. Smooth shank on the sides can be more comfortable for everyday wear. Easier to resize than a full eternity ring.

Cons: “Spinning” on the finger can reveal the ring’s diamondless side.

 

curved diamond wedding band

Curved Band

Pros: This style nestles nicely against a larger center stone or elaborate engagement ring, creating a more cohesive look and eliminating gaps.

Cons: Because the style is contoured, it can look out of place if you want to wear it without your engagement ring.

 

pave wedding band

Pave

Pros: Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle. Rows of diamond make these rings more eye-catching and easy to wear as a standalone.

Cons: Generally these styles are wider in width. This, coupled with the larger look of diamonds, can sometimes overpower your engagement ring.

 

ring guard wedding band

“Butterfly” or “Ring Guard” Bands

Pros: These unusual rings are designed to fit around your engagement ring to create an embellished “triplet” look. The pieces essentially become one ring but can be separated for different looks.

Cons: Because the band has an empty center in which your engagement ring is supposed to fit, it looks very out of place to wear it alone.

 

color stone wedding band

Color Stone Bands

Pros: Brightening up a classic look with pops of color from stones like ruby or sapphire creates a unique and eyecatching look.

Cons: Bright colors can be tougher to coordinate with other jewelry, making this style better for fashion-forward women. 

 

custom wedding band design sketch

Custom Matching Bands

Pros: A set of bands with matching motifs—say, an engraving, shape, or finish—unifies the pieces in a romantic way. With both partners having an input on the final style, it’s like carrying a little part of them around with you wherever you go.

Cons: As much as you love them, you may not want your partner having style input on your ring’s look. Because of the custom designs and embellishments, these styles are also typically worn standalone or with very simple engagement rings.

 

Dos and Don’ts for Your Bands

DO: pick the same metal as your engagement ring. This isn’t simply a “fashion faux pas” piece of advice: metals wear differently. Platinum and white gold look the same when first purchased but will become very different (and very mismatched) over time.

DON’T: feel compelled to match rings. Maybe your partner really likes yellow gold and, well, you really don’t: it’s ok to pick a different metal or style that suits your taste. After all, do you and your partner regularly wear matching… anything? Make them a pair with mutual (albeit subtle) embellishments, like inner inscriptions.

DO: try on looks outside of your shortlist. You may love the look of a couple styles, but trying on a wide range of looks may change your mind. Take your time and investigate all your options.

DON’T: wait until the last minute to choose bands. Give yourself at least a few months before the big day to find your bands. Between research, shopping trips, and customizations such as ring sizing or inscriptions, you want to be sure your rings are ready for your wedding day.

DO: make sure your ring and band have something in common. A simple repeated motif—engraving, stone shape or color, and metal, for example—will help unify the pieces.

 

Alex Billig, Contributor
I am a web developer, musician, and entrepreneur. I was raised in the Hudson Valley. I'm currently living in the Catskills.
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