Choosing a wedding band can seem less important than finding the right dress, but you'll be wearing this fashion piece for years to come. Comfort, style, and compatibility are all factors to consider when ring shopping. We got the scoop from Yehouda Saketkhou, the CEO of Yael Designs, on how to find the perfect complement to your engagement ring:
When to Shop
Ideally, you want to start searching for ring inspiration about four months before the big day so that you have ample time to hone in on the right style. It takes up to six weeks to create a custom-made wedding band.
"The groom should consider the band when shopping for the engagement ring, although admittedly that is rarely the case," Yehouda says. "I advise for the groom and bride to shop together for the engagement ring and wedding band instead of risking getting the wrong style or type of ring. He can still surprise his bride once the ring is finished," she explains.
Hot trends right now include rose gold, modern settings with a halo or bezel, vintage-inspired pavé settings and custom-designed rings.
Finding the Right Design
While your wedding band and engagement ring don't always need to be inseparable, if you plan on wearing them together most of the time, it's important that the band doesn't overpower the engagement ring. "Balance is important, so the band is a sidekick instead of a distraction," Yehouda says. Start the process by searching for bands in the same metal or width as your engagement ring.
For a sleeker look that pairs well with modern rings (think minimal design with clean lines, simple geometry and high practicality), a simple band may be best, with little or no embellishment.
For a little more sparkle, try a diamond-studded band to bring out the vibrancy of your engagement ring. Yehouda recommends matching the setting type: bezel with bezel, pavé with pavé, prong with prong and channel with channel. "Always play it smart, though — a band with diamonds all the way around should be avoided because you won't be able to easily resize it if you ever need that later in life. For example, when you gain a little weight during pregnancy," Yehouda explains. She recommends that the diamonds go no more than three-quarters of the way around.
While the design of your wedding band doesn't necessarily have to match your engagement ring, coordinating design elements such as a similar diamond cut or band embellishment can tie the look together. For instance, in the ring pictured below, the stones in the wedding band mirror the round-cut stone of the engagement ring.
Dread having a gap between your engagement ring and band? The center stone can be raised to accommodate for a straight band, or the band can be bent to mimic the shape of the engagement ring. A curved/matched band can make your engagement ring and band look bigger as a unit. However, this look works best for those brides who always prefer to wear both rings together, since a curved band won't look the same when worn on its own.
Must Mine Match His?
There are no rules that say your ring and your partner's ring must match — that is entirely up to you! "Some couples find similar wedding bands while others select rings that they like to reflect their commitment, rather than similar sense of style," Yehouda says.
Ring engravings are still popular: consider having your dates, names, or the special place where you met or got married engraved on the inside of your wedding band. The sayings are usually super personal to the couple. Or you could include each other's birthstones on the inside of the wedding band, as a subtle form of personalization.
Don't Skimp on the Quality
Once you narrow down the design that you want, remember that quality counts. After all, this band will be on your finger for decades, so choose one of good workmanship.
"If compromises are made to minimize the amount of gold and platinum used to make the ring cheaper, the ring's structural integrity will be undermined," Yehouda explains. Poor quality rings can include issues like loose stones, a dull finish, metal that deforms and twists, and shank cranks, resulting in a waste of time and money.
Casting is the most important indicator of quality workmanship. For a budget-friendly choice, consider 14k gold, which is strong, practical, and easy to polish and repair. The next step up is 18k gold, which is luxurious and vibrant. Platinum is the strongest metal but is not as easy to repair or polish.
If you have family heirlooms, consider repurposing your grandmother's or mother's diamonds or gemstones to make a new engagement ring or wedding bands. Utilizing vintage jewelry is not only environmentally responsible but also adds sentimentality to your rings.
Plus, check out 70+ Beautiful Engagement Ring-Wedding Band Combos.
— Stefania Sainato