Engagement rings may be the sparkly showstoppers, but it’s wedding rings that are the symbols of your enduring partnership. So, it’s important to take the time to find just the right ones for your taste and lifestyle.

Since most people only shop for wedding rings once in their lives, here’s a quick guide to some of the most frequently asked questions about wedding bands.

When should we start shopping?

“Funnily enough, we find that some couples get so wrapped up in the endless details of planning a wedding that they sometimes forget about their wedding bands until the last minute!” says Andrew Lim, co-founder of Holden, an online custom ring company that uses lab-grown and recycled materials.

Since it’s such a big decision – you’ll be wearing it pretty much every day – Lim suggests purchasing your ring at least two months in advance of your wedding to ensure you have time to get it resized. If you’re ordering a custom piece, you’ll want to allow for even more time. 

How much should I plan to spend?

While you can find beautiful rings for just about any budget, the U.S. couples spent an average of $2,200 on wedding rings in 2019, according to the WeddingWire’s annual Newlywed Report. 

Many couples (30%) also said they ended up spending more than they originally planned on their bands, so be sure to be clear with your jeweler about your price limits when shopping. 

“No one wants to fall in love with a ring only to find out they can’t afford it. Make sure the person you’re working with knows your budget and only shows you options that fall within it,” advises Anna-Mieke Anderson, founder and CEO of MiaDonna, creator of conflict-free bridal jewelry. 

What are some current ring trends?

“For women, we are seeing ornate designs or non-traditional shapes, such as V bands [and] half-halos or tiaras. These bands contain smaller diamonds that surround half of the center stone and are perfect for accenting the shape of pear cut and oval diamonds,” says Anderson. “Another trend is stackables. What’s fun about this is getting more than one band so you can stack or mix and match depending on your mood.”

What factors besides style should I consider?

Buying a wedding band is a big – and important – purchase. So, you might want to think about where you’re buying it from in addition to how it looks on your finger.

“We think it’s important to choose a ring that you’ll feel good about wearing every day for the rest of your life. To us, that means a ring you didn’t overpay for from a company that upholds your values,” says Lim.

That means doing a bit of extra research into potential designers. Do they use ethical practices? Do they work with local manufacturers? Do they partner with any charities? Where do they source their gemstones and precious metals from?

How do I know my ring size?

Even if you’ve bought a ring before, it’s smart to go ahead and get sized before purchasing your wedding band. That way, you can avoid resizing costs or accidentally losing your ring because it’s too big or small on the day of the wedding.

Also, keep in mind that the thicker the ring's band, the larger ring size you’ll need, adds Anderson. 

“However, we find a lot of men choose a size that’s a little too large and they end up losing their wedding band within months of getting married. That’s why it’s important to work with a professional jeweler to make sure you get the perfect fit.”

Do our bands need to match?

“That was once very popular, but now individuals are getting the metal or design that suits their personal style,” says Anderson. “If matching with your partner is important, but you have differing choices for metal color, we suggest going with a two-tone band that combines both metal colors.”

How should I care for my ring?

Wedding bands are meant to be worn, so don’t worry if your ring gets a little wear and tear over time. It adds to its character and beauty! However, try to avoid wearing it during strenuous activities, like exercising or manual labor.

“If your ring gets dirty, we recommend wiping it down gently with a microfiber cloth. If the cloth doesn’t do the trick, you can soak your ring in a bowl with a small amount of dish soap and warm water, then brush it super gently with a very soft toothbrush,” recommends Lim.

©CTW Features