Going round and round trying to decide on your wedding bands? Here’s where to start.
- What can you realistically spend (usually about 3% of total budget)? Many couples will have “starter” bands; something that fits the budget now to be upgraded at a later date (usually an anniversary).
- What is your lifestyle like? If you are active with sports or play certain musical instruments, you might want a slimmer ring with rounded edges, sometimes called a comfort fit.
- Do you want the wedding bands to match? His-and-her’s matching sets used to be the norm, but today the decision is more often based on the need for durability, and personal style.
- Does the bride’s band need to match the engagement ring or just complement it? Buy a band that “goes with” but doesn’t necessarily match to create your custom look.
- Where do your hands spend most of their days? In dirt or grime? For people who work with their hands rings with carvings or filigrees can trap dirt, grime or germs (for those in the medical profession) and stones in rings can come loose and get lost.
Once you’ve decided on the style of ring and price range, there are several alternatives for the metals:
- Platinum: An increasingly popular choice in recent years, platinum is stronger than gold, but not as durable as several other choices such as titanium. Its bright, white color will not fade but it is usually the most expensive choice. Note, platinum can be a heavy metal to wear on a daily basis. Be sure to try one on before purchasing.
- Gold: The traditional metal of wedding rings for centuries. Most come in 14k (more affordable and durable) and 18k. Any karat of gold above 18k is too soft for daily-wear rings. White gold is yellow gold mixed with other metals and coated in rhodium plating. While it looks like platinum, the plating does easily wear off.
- Titanium: The hardest natural metal, it is a popular choice for men’s rings. Not only is it lightweight, it is extremely strong and durable and its silver-gray color will not fade. More affordable than platinum, it can be slightly more expensive than gold.
- Tungsten Carbide: Hard, dense tungsten, when combined with a carbon alloy, becomes four times harder than titanium and can only be damaged through extreme force. In the same price range as titanium, it can be shined or brushed for a variety of finishes. It cannot, however, be resized so be sure to order the correct size.
- Cobalt: A white metal, cobalt has a silver hue to it, and may be mistaken for platinum but the cost is much, much lower.