Though not as flashy or celebrated as the engagement ring, the wedding band is arguably a more potent symbol of your marriage. Serving as a token of you and your partner’s lifelong commitment to one another, and showing everyone else that you’re both off the market, a wedding ring seals the deal. But how do you choose this crucial piece of jewelry wisely?
Whereas an engagement ring is meant to sparkle and be shown off, a wedding band should be more subtle, blending seamlessly into your everyday life. ”There are so many options out there but at the end of the day, how you wear your jewelry and what one is comfortable wearing every day is unique to each individual,” says Yves Spinelli, who founded and designs for his namesake jewelry brand Spinelli Killcollin.
If your everyday wardrobe is slacks, button-down shirt, and a tie, then you might want to go with a classic, polished ring. If you work with your hands or play sports regularly, you’ll want a ring that is made of a more durable metal and with a smaller width. It’s these kinds of details you need to take into consideration when shopping for a wedding band. Do you want your rings to match? Do you want a more matte or shiny ring finish? What shape and how wide do you want your ring to be?
“My favorite part [of the process] is meeting the individual/couple, seeing what they wear every day, learning about them, their lifestyle, and how they like to express themselves. All of these elements help us create the perfect ring for them,” Spinelli says. So before settling on your ring, educate yourself below on the key elements of the wedding band.
Width is one of the more noticeable aspects of a wedding ring. Most wedding bands run between 3mm and 8mm wide, with a larger width typically considered to be more masculine. That said, the average purchase for most bands is between 4-6mm. But there are also other factors to think about. “I feel someone’s hand size should be taken into consideration, and also of course personal preference,” Spinelli says.
Both ends of the spectrum have their pros and cons. Too narrow, and you will barely be able to notice it. Too wide and it ends up looking out of proportion to the rest of your finger, and may be harder to pull on and off. However, a narrower ring is better if you do more manual labor or daily sports, because it is less likely to get in the way. And wider bands can be great if you need extra space for an engraving inside.
Domed, squared, beveled, stepped: it sounds like a bunch of technical gibberish, but it’s important. Just as there’s no one right width, there’s no one right shape.
If you want a more classic, basic silhouette, try out a court ring, a shape with a fully rounded interior and exterior. Then there’s it’s close relative, the D-Shaped ring, which is rounded too but boasts a flat inside. Spinelli says that his brand exclusively sells rounded rings for aesthetic and comfort purposes. Court and D-shaped rings are also the most common bands for couples who want to match because they can be both masculine and feminine at the same time.
And for those style rebels out there, look at square style–flat on both sides–as a more modern alternative. The only disadvantage is that the sharper edges are more likely to get caught on clothing and are at a higher risk of becoming scratched.
If you still want a rounder band though but with a tad bit more creativity, try out either the beveled edge or the step-down rings. The former style slopes downwards from both sides, adding more dimension to the band, while the latter actually has several “steps” coming down from the ring’s otherwise flat profile.
Traditionally, a groom’s wedding ring is more basic than a bride’s. While the majority of men still go for the time-honored “shiny and polished” finish on their bands, in recent years there has been a trend towards experimenting with other various styles.
Take the soft, satin finish for instance, which is the second most popular choice for men. It’s matte, so it doesn’t reflect light, and it doesn’t require as much washing and maintenance. One drawback: it wears down easier and becomes shiny again, meaning it will need to be periodically re-matted.
For a similar, yet rougher exterior, there are the brushed and sandblasted finishes to choose from. And yes, they both look just like they sound. With the brushed finish, you get an exterior that looks like you’ve just run a brush across the surface, leaving minuscule raised lines behind. The sandblasted finish offers a grainer texture, taking on the subtle appearance of sandpaper. If you’re scared about scratching or damaging your ring at all, these types of finishes are your best bet.
However, beware of choosing something too trendy, such as a matte black or acid finish. A few years down the road, you could find that your ring is long past its expiration date.
Comfort fit is a particular breed of wedding band recommended especially for men. The interior is made with a slight dome, allowing it to slide on and off of a bigger finger without difficulty.
Spinelli explains that not only is the rounded band easier to wear, but that it’s also “a good option for people that are hard on their jewelry.” If you know that you’re one who leads an active lifestyle, and will have to remove your ring frequently then this style is probably your safest bet. The only downside? The Comfort Fit is a bit pricier, so if you’re on a tight wedding budget you should probably start saving now…