Wedding Rings Buying Guide
Looking for beautiful wedding rings? We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide to help you make a confident decision, and buy bands to last a lifetime.
Planning your wedding ring purchase
With all the excitement of the engagement ring, it can be easy to forget about the wedding bands. However, with the ring playing an important part of the ceremony and being the ultimate symbol of love and commitment, it’s important to take some time browsing for wedding rings that you will see and wear for years to come.
Here are the important things to consider when researching and choosing your perfect bands.
Budget: how much do wedding rings cost?
The price of a wedding ring can vary massively, from less than £50 to something more luxe that runs into the thousands. The cost depends on a range of variables such as:
- Design or shape
- Size and width
Weddings can be expensive. Alongside the rings you need to think about a venue, the dress, the suits, the food… the list is long. It’s important to set a realistic budget when choosing your rings, so consider your options carefully to find the ones you want and love. If you’re looking to spread the cost, some wedding rings can be purchased on 0% finance, allowing you to pay in monthly instalments at a more purse-friendly level.
Who buys the wedding rings?
Traditionally, the bride and groom would buy each other’s wedding rings. In modern times, couples often favour shopping together for the rings, frequently in search of matching or complementary designs.
When should you buy the wedding rings?
Generally speaking, there’s no hard and fast rule on when to buy your wedding rings. But bear in mind that if your chosen ring is to be engraved or needs to be made to order, there will be a lead time which can be up to a few weeks. If that’s the case, it’s best to be prepared and choose your bands before the last rush in the lead up to the big day.
If it’s a short engagement, you may not have as much time to make up your mind, but it’s still worth looking around and popping into your local H.Samuel store to see your options in person.
Wedding ring styles and designs
Wedding rings come in all shapes, sizes, styles and different precious metal settings. So, there’s a lot to consider. Sometimes there is an obvious co-ordinating ring to match your engagement ring. Otherwise, particularly if you’re looking for something unusual or unique, you’ll have more options to ponder.
From a variety of golds, platinum and silver; sparkling diamonds; precious gems; bridal sets or matching bands; the exciting world of wedding ring shopping awaits.
What width of wedding band should you choose?
One of the key considerations of buying a wedding ring is the width.
Traditionally, the wedding ring is worn first, followed by the engagement ring. This is so the wedding band is placed closest to your heart. As both rings are worn together, it’s important to consider the widths of each of your rings, as well as their overall width when nestled collectively.
Slimmer width wedding rings can flatter narrow, smaller and delicate hands. Regardless if you have long or short fingers. 2,3 or 4mm bands tend to look the best.
Most wedding band styles are unisex. Men tend to favour a wider band, typically 5mm to 7mm. Ladies, when also taking into account their engagement ring, tend to choose 4mm.
A favourite choice for men’s wedding rings, wide, thicker bands between 7 and 9mm look fantastic on those with broader fingers.
Wedding ring sizes
Not sure which wedding ring size you need? For more information on sizing, check out our dedicated ring size guide.
Don’t forget, you can also call into your local H.Samuel store to try on different styles and sizes to help you find the perfect fit.
Shape and fit
There are three main types of wedding ring shape: court shaped, D-shaped and shaped.
Some engagement rings work well with a traditional court band. For those with a more pronounced setting, a contoured wedding ring that curves to follow the line of the engagement ring can work better. Other wedding rings may have a little indent to enable the engagement ring to fit over.
Court shaped rings
Court wedding rings are one of the most classic styles of bands. Straight all the way round the top and bottom. Softly rounded on the inside and outside, this shape offers a comfortable fit.
D-shaped wedding rings are straight all around the top and bottom and are curved on the outside and flat on the inside. This creates a D shape which gives this ring style its name.
Wedding band settings & metals
As with engagement ring settings, there are several wedding band settings to choose from. From stone-set to patterned, plain or grooved, there is every style combination to decide upon.
Wedding ring metals
When it comes to choosing a wedding ring, the type of metal can determine a band’s style and longevity. Precious metals, such as: gold, rose gold, silver, platinum, palladium and titanium all have their particular qualities. Here are some pointers to help guide you.
Yellow gold rings
Gold wedding rings, particularly yellow gold, are very popular and possibly the easiest and most practical to wear. 9ct gold is 37.5% pure gold and 18ct 75% pure gold. Both make a particularly strong wedding band. It also can be crafted to make detailed rings with a variety of settings.Shop Yellow Gold
White gold rings
More of a popular contemporary choice, white gold wedding rings have seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years. White gold rings are made with yellow gold, alloyed with nickel or zinc, to give their silvery colour. They are usually plated with rhodium too, to give a hard sheen.Shop White Gold
Two-colour gold rings
Sometimes rings mix two or more golds, known as two-colour wedding rings.These provide an attractive alternative to the traditional style, and can be a real eye-catching piece for the big day and beyond. Explore stunning two-colour gold rings online today.Shop Two-Colour Rings
Palladium is a metal from the same noble metal family as platinum. It carries the same properties to: silvery, polished and hypoallergenic. Love the look of platinum, but perhaps looking for a more affordable alternative? Palladium wedding bands have all the qualities and are therefore a favourite in men’s wedding ring designs.Shop Palladium Rings
Sterling silver is an affordable white metal, a little more greyish than platinum, but just as beautiful. Pure silver is too soft for jewellery, so it is alloyed with copper or other metals to increase durability. Sterling silver is typically 92.5% pure silver and often marked ‘925’ accordingly. Shop the stunning collection today.Shop Silver Rings
Platinum is a rare noble metal and with its soft, satin-like finish, it holds natural hypoallergenic properties. It is also hard, heavy and durable, making it a popular metal for a wedding ring due to its substantial and prominent nature. Platinum wedding rings are often a favourite metal for men’s bands.Shop Platinum Rings
Other ring metals
Increasingly fashionable for wedding rings, are the alternative metals: titanium, tungsten or cobalt. They offer a contemporary look to a wedding band. Titanium is lustrous grey, extremely strong and lightweight, tungsten has non-scratch, non-tarnish properties and cobalt is naturally white and durable.Shop All
Men's wedding rings
The notion of men’s wedding rings is (relatively speaking) a fairly recent one – it was only in the 20th century that males were first thought to have started wearing them to represent their marital status. This originated during the wartime years, when soldiers would wear the ring as a way of remembering their spouse whilst away in the trenches.
Wedding ring traditions and origins
Did you know that the wearing of a wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand, began with the Ancient Egyptians? They believed that this finger contained the vein of love directly to the heart. So, placing a ring on this finger meant the endurance of everlasting love.
The circular shape of a wedding ring is also thought to symbolically represent the idea of neverending love.
Ready to make a purchase
Now you know everything you need to know about buying a wedding ring, you should have a much better idea of what you’d like.
If you’d like further assistance, make an appointment to visit your local H.Samuel store, where our friendly advisors will be able to help you narrow your choices down, let you try on some samples and even measure your fingers accurately.
Already know what you’re after? Shop wedding rings now.