Exchanging wedding rings is probably one of the most significant wedding traditions. However, wedding traditions have evolved a lot over the years and deciding what tradition to follow can be quite difficult!
We spoke to the experts at Anania Jewellers who have some excellent advice when it comes to wedding ring etiquette...
Engagement ring vs. wedding band
An engagement ring is a more extravagant ring than a wedding band and tends to feature a prominent gemstone, whereas wedding bands are often simpler and understated in design. Typically, an engagement ring is used for the proposal whereas wedding bands are exchanged at the wedding ceremony.
Conventionally, only the man purchases an engagement ring for his partner, however, these days some couples choose to both get engagement rings. Anania Jewellers explains that unlike women's engagement rings, male engagement rings are understated and simple in design. Women tend to wear both rings on the same finger whereas men often choose to replace their engagement ring with their wedding band or to wear their engagement ring on their right hand.
How to wear your engagement ring at your ceremony
On your wedding day, you are going to share the special moment where you exchange wedding bands with your partner. Many brides are unsure what to do about their engagement rings during the ceremony. There are three common ways to go about wearing your engagement ring at your wedding:
1. Many brides choose to not wear their engagement ring at all during the ceremony, but wear it afterwards for their reception.
2. A common choice is to wear your engagement ring on your right hand during the ceremony and switch it to your left hand after the ceremony.
3. Some brides choose to keep wearing their engagement rings normally during the ceremony and simply switch the order of the rings afterwards.
Typically, the engagement ring should come on after the wedding band. Many couples choose to buy matching wedding bands or even a set, where the wedding band matches the engagement ring. Some ring designs allow you to merge your engagement ring and wedding band into one ring.
Traditionally, an engagement ring was the man's sole responsibility and it was custom for him to choose his partner's engagement ring without consulting her, and then utterly surprising her when he proposed. However, this tradition has changed quite a lot in recent years.
Since couples often discuss the possibility of marriage beforehand, it is quite common for the woman to have a say in her ring. It has become conventional for couples to go ring shopping together, or for the bride-to-be to design her own engagement ring. However, it is no longer expected that the man should spend three months' worth salary on the engagement ring!
Surprise or choose your own ring?
There are naturally advantages and disadvantages to all the ring-shopping options.
If you opt to design or choose your own rings, you might not have a surprise, but you know that both of you are getting exactly what you wanted, including the ring's style and size and the stone's cut.
On the other hand, many women like the idea that their partner chose or designed their ring, however there is always a small risk that the ring isn't quite to the woman's taste (and it can be an expensive mistake!).
Depending on the style, most rings can be resized. However, Anania Jewellers advises that men should observe the size of their partner's other rings to get a rough idea. Anania Jewellers suggests that if men want to surprise their partners, they can easily find out what their partner might like by asking their friends or even seeing what they posted on social media like Pinterest.
Wedding traditions are evolving and it doesn't matter what tradition you choose to follow, as long as it is what makes you and your partner happy.
Need more advice on wedding accessories? Read some of our tips and ideas for wedding jewellery.
Special thanks to the team at Anania Jewellers for their advice and wisdom! All rings pictured are designed by Anania Jewellers. Anania Jewellers are located Level 1, 235 Clarence Street Sydney and welcome you to stop by and browse their extensive collection of diamonds, engagement rings and wedding bands for men & women or you can keep up to date with their latest design on Facebook!