Shopping for Wedding Rings

Picking a Wedding Ring: What Should You Look For?

Selecting a wedding ring that aligns with your individual style and preferences is crucial. As an accessory worn every day for years to come, comfort and durability should be top priorities when ring shopping. Consider the width of the band, the feel of different metals against your skin, the added weight of gemstones. Trying on multiple styles is key to finding the perfect fit.

Prioritizing Comfort for Daily Wear

A wedding ring adorns your finger daily, so finding one that feels natural is essential. Evaluate options in various metals, like gold, platinum, titanium, or alternative metals. Note how different widths and thicknesses feel. If incorporating diamonds or gemstones, it’s important to make sure added embellishments don't impact comfort. Don't settle out of hastiness - your ring should feel like it's always been yours when on your finger.

Seeking Durability to Withstand Lifelong Wear

As an enduring symbol of your union, your wedding ring should withstand the test of time. Choose metals like platinum or gold for longevity, avoiding cheaper alternatives that lose luster and bend easily. Similarly, choose smaller diamonds or more durable sapphires over softer stones like opal or pearl which scratch or cloud easily. Consider lifestyle factors too - those with active jobs may prefer smooth band edges and hammered finishes which hide scratches.

Honoring History Through Heirloom Rings

Cherishing wedding rings as precious heirlooms, passed down for generations, is a touching tradition for many. If fortunate enough to propose using a vintage family ring, ensure it's resized to fit while preserving delicate embellishments. Some reset heirloom diamonds into modern band settings for a personalized twist. If selecting a new ring, choose a timeless style that future generations will admire too. Share your rings' symbolic story - how they represent enduring unity and familial ties.

Back to the Guide: The Complete Guide to Wedding Bands

When to Start Shopping for Wedding Rings

When it comes to shopping for wedding rings, timing is everything. The optimal time frame to begin your search is 6-12 months before your wedding date. Starting the process early has several key benefits:

Explore Options

Beginning your ring shopping early allows you time to research different styles, compare prices from various retailers, and weigh the pros and cons of custom design options. With more lead time, you can try on multiple rings to find the perfect fit and make exchanges if needed without feeling rushed. Taking your time prevents settling on a ring that doesn't fully meet your preferences.

Make Informed Decisions

Researching early empowers you to become educated on ring metals, diamond quality characteristics, engraving techniques, and other facets that influence your decision. With ample time, you can determine what ring details hold the most meaning and symbolism for your relationship. Delaying research limits your ability to make well-informed choices aligned with your budget and style.

Avoid Delays

Custom designing a ring or selecting a popular style that requires special ordering can involve production and delivery lags. Beginning too late allows little margin for error if your ring encounters production issues or shipment delays. It also restricts your ability to exchange a ring if the size, style, or quality proves unsatisfactory upon arrival. When shopping for such an important and meaningful purchase, it pays to start early. Prioritizing this task and giving yourself plenty of runway prevents unnecessary stress and dissatisfaction. Be proactive and begin your wedding ring search 6-12 months prior to your big day.

Ideal Timeline for Wedding Ring Shopping

When it comes to shopping for wedding rings, having a clear timeline is key to ensuring the process goes smoothly. As this section will outline, building in time for research, customizations, adjustments, and potential delays is essential. While each couple's exact timeline will vary based on their individual circumstances, this section provides a helpful framework to guide your planning.

Initial Research: 3-6 Months Out

Ideally, you should start researching potential styles, metals, stones, and jewelers 3-6 months before your wedding date. This gives you ample time to explore different options, browse online and in stores, and make an informed decision without feeling rushed. Consider creating a Pinterest board or folder to save ring photos you love as a starting point.

Selecting and Ordering: 2-4 Months Out

Once you have a good sense of what you want, you can begin seriously shopping and selecting your chosen rings around 2-4 months pre-wedding. This provides time for custom designs, engraving, resizing and other special details. For custom or popular styles, order on the earlier side to ensure timely delivery.

Resizing and Final Touches: 4-6 Weeks Out

Plan to have your rings properly sized 4-6 weeks before the big day. Make final decisions on engraving or other custom finishes at this point too. This cushions any unexpected delays and means you can relax knowing your rings will be perfect on the wedding day. As you can see, the shopping timeline must account for research, customization, alterations, and potential hiccups. While every couple will have unique needs, using this schedule as a blueprint sets you up for a stress-free, enjoyable ring shopping experience. The key is starting early!

Why It's Best to Start Wedding Ring Shopping Early

Starting the wedding ring shopping process early has several key advantages. Most notably, it reduces stress and provides more options to choose from.

Reduced Stress

Shopping for wedding rings months in advance alleviates unnecessary stress. With ample time, couples can explore different styles thoroughly without feeling rushed. This prevents hurried, pressured decisions in the final weeks before the ceremony. Research shows most brides begin ring shopping 5-6 months before their wedding day. This timeline allows them to try on rings, compare prices, and make careful selections without last-minute anxiety.

Expanded Options

Beginning the search early expands the range of potential wedding rings. More time means greater flexibility to browse online inventories, visit multiple local jewelers, or even design a custom ring. Popular styles often sell out quickly, so starting early ensures access to first-choice designs. Early shopping also enables couples to take advantage of seasonal sales events at jewelry stores. With many newly engaged couples searching for rings, particularly in spring and summer, early birds get the first pick of new arrivals.

Comparing for Savings

The extended timeline also facilitates comparison shopping, allowing brides and grooms to find the best value. Researching prices across retailer’s guards against overpaying. Couples can negotiate with jewelers or wait for special promotions armed with this pricing knowledge. Online tools make price comparisons efficient too. By beginning months in advance, couples create time for this due diligence, avoiding inflated rush fees sometimes charged as the wedding date nears.

Avoid Late Shopping for Your Wedding Rings

Rushing to purchase wedding rings at the last minute can lead to regret down the road. When left to the final weeks before your wedding, ring shopping becomes stressful and rushed. Without proper time to research, compare options, and make informed decisions, you risk overlooking important factors and making costly mistakes.

Limited Selection and Availability

Beginning your ring search too late limits the inventory and selection available. Popular styles sell out quickly, especially in commonly requested sizes. Custom designs also require more production time, so placing late orders can mean you won't receive your rings until after your wedding. Even resizing finished rings takes several weeks. Starting earlier ensures you find rings you love with time to spare before your big day.

Rushed Decisions

The pressure of an impending wedding date causes many couples to make quick, poorly considered ring choices. Without time to properly research metals, stones, styles, and jewelers, you may overlook better options or simply settle on whatever is available. Give yourself time to weigh all factors carefully so you select wedding rings that reflect your style and relationship. Rushed decisions often lead to disappointment.


Wedding planning is already stressful enough without adding the pressure of last-minute ring shopping. Trying to balance this critical task alongside other pressing wedding preparations can quickly become overwhelming. Starting the ring selection process earlier alleviates this strain, allowing you to focus energy on other planning areas. Reduced stress promotes better decision-making all around.

Allowing Time for Customizations

Personalizing a wedding ring with custom engravings or unique designs is a wonderful way to make the ring truly one-of-a-kind. However, these special customizations do require some extra time in the design and production process.

The Significance of Custom Details

Adding personal touches to a wedding ring makes it far more meaningful. Engraving a special date, message, or even fingerprints inside the band creates a deeper connection and story behind the ring. Opting for a custom design based on your tastes also results in a ring that perfectly suits your style. When you plan to wear something every day for the rest of your life, such personalization brings joy.

Accounting for Extra Production Time

Unique engravings, specialized sizing, or custom designs all require additional fabrication time. The jeweler needs to handcraft the details, arrange any gemstones in the chosen design, polish and finish the ring. This extra production time ranges from a few days to a few weeks depending on the jeweler's workload and the complexity of the custom order.

Planning for a Personalized Ring

To ensure your custom wedding ring is ready in time for the big day, begin the design and shopping process 2-3 months in advance. This provides adequate buffer room for:

Building this lead time into your shopping timeline guarantees you receive your one-of-a-kind ring well before the wedding date.

Choosing a Reputable Jewelry Store

When selecting a jewelry store for your wedding rings, reputation and reliability should be top priorities.  Selecting your wedding rings is deeply personal. Finding a trustworthy jeweler who listens to your vision and guides you to the perfect match is key for this meaningful purchase. Taking the time to carefully evaluate potential stores will pay dividends in peace of mind.

Key Factors When Selecting a Jewelry Store

When selecting a jewelry store for your wedding rings, there are several key factors to consider:

Reputation and Reviews

A jewelry store's reputation is crucial - it indicates their commitment to quality products and good service. Seek out stores with consistent positive feedback and few complaints.

Quality and Craftsmanship

As you will wear your wedding ring daily, excellent craftsmanship is a must. Scrutinize construction, gemstone quality, and precision of stone setting.

Customer Service

Exceptional customer service ensures a stellar shopping experience. Seek out warm, patient staff members who cater to your specific needs. By evaluating these key factors, you can determine the best jewelry store for your special purchase. Trust your instincts and don't settle for anything less than ideal.

Physical vs Online Stores: Buying a Wedding Ring Online

When shopping for wedding rings, one of the key decisions is whether to purchase from a physical jewelry store or an online retailer. Both options have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages to weigh when deciding what will work best for your needs.

Convenience and Accessibility

Online jewelry stores offer the ultimate convenience - you can browse rings anytime, anywhere from the comfort of your home. This allows you to take your time evaluating different styles at your own pace without any pressure. However, physical stores allow you to see rings in person, try them on for fit, and get personalized service from jewelry experts.

Product Range and Customization

Online retailers tend to have a wider range of inventory, styles and customization options. You can easily filter and compare hundreds of ring designs across different sites. Physical stores are limited by shelf space so the selection is narrower, but some may offer onsite custom design services.

Pricing and Incentives

Online stores tend to have very competitive pricing since they have lower overhead costs. They also frequently offer sitewide discounts, coupon codes and cashback incentives. Physical stores can be more expensive but may price match or negotiate on high-ticket items.

Security and Authentication

The main concern with online ring shopping is verifying authenticity of diamonds/gemstones and assessing quality before purchase. Reputable sites provide certification details but seeing stones in person offers more peace of mind. Physical stores allow hands-on inspection.

Return Policies and Customer Service

One advantage to buying a wedding ring at a physical store is face to face customer service; although many online retailers are using technology to level the playing field. When it comes to exchanges and returns, make sure you shop with an online retailer that offers a generous return policy with free shipping on returns and exchanges

How to Set a Realistic Budget for Your Wedding Rings

Setting a realistic budget for your wedding rings is a crucial first step in the shopping process. This will help guide your decisions and prevent overspending on this important purchase. Here is some step-by-step guidance on determining your ring budget:

Consider Your Overall Wedding Budget

Your ring budget should align with your total wedding budget. Generally, plan to spend 3-5% of the total wedding costs on rings for both partners. If your budget is tight, aim for closer to 3%. With a more flexible budget, 5% is reasonable.

Factor in Your Income and Savings

Consider your current financial situation realistically. If money is tight, don't overextend yourself on rings when other expenses need attention. Be honest about what you can afford now and, in the months leading up to the wedding.

Look at Future Financial Goals

Your wedding rings will hopefully last for decades, so keep the big picture in mind. Will you need money for a house down payment or other major purchases in the next few years? Make sure your ring budget aligns with long-term financial goals.

Use Online Calculators

Helpful tools like the Wedding Wire Ring Budget Calculator allow you to input details like overall budget, guest count, and ring metal type. It then suggests a sensible range for ring spending based on your input.

Discuss Openly with Your Partner

Have an open conversation with your future spouse about ring expectations, budgets, and financial realities. Compromise if needed to find a comfort zone for both parties.

Concept of Value for Money

When ring shopping, the goal is finding the best ring possible within your budget. Opt for a high-quality ring with timeless design over size alone. Well-crafted rings in classic styles offer better value for money in the long run.

What Influences the Price of Wedding Rings

When shopping for wedding rings, there are several key factors that influence the overall cost. Understanding these elements can help couples set realistic budgets and make informed decisions when selecting their rings. The three main components that impact wedding ring pricing are:

Metal Type

The type of metal chosen for wedding rings greatly affects the price. Precious metals like platinum and gold are more expensive than silver or alternative metals. Within each metal type, factors like purity and durability also impact cost. For example, 18K gold is more expensive than 14K gold due to its higher gold content. Similarly, platinum is valued for its purity and strength, commanding a premium price.


Incorporating diamonds or other precious gemstones into wedding ring designs adds significantly to the overall cost. Larger carat weights and higher diamond grades/quality result in exponentially higher prices. Beyond diamonds, precious stones like sapphires or rubies also boost the ring's price in relation to the gem's rarity and brilliance. Couples should carefully weigh their preference for including stones against their budget.


An often-overlooked price factor is the skill and effort required to craft the wedding ring. Complex designs, hand-engraving, and other artisanal details require more intricate work, increasing labor costs. The jeweler's reputation and expertise also influence price, especially for custom-designed rings. Artistry, attention to detail, and a jeweler's unique talents contribute to a ring's price. When balancing these factors against budget, couples may need to make trade-offs. For example, opting for a simpler 14K gold ring without diamonds rather than an ornate platinum ring with gemstones. The key is determining priorities and finding the best value for money at each price point. Compromise and creativity can yield beautiful, budget-friendly wedding rings.

Choosing the Right Wedding Ring Design

Selecting a wedding ring design that aligns with your personal style and lifestyle is incredibly meaningful. Your ring will serve as a daily reminder of your commitment, so opting for a design that resonates with you can deepen its significance. When browsing different styles, consider what aesthetic elements appeal to you and which bands complement your look.

Popular Wedding Ring Styles and Trends

Some top wedding ring style trends include:

Beyond trends, classic styles like solitaires, three-stone rings, halo settings, and eternity bands remain beloved choices. Determine which style categories appeal to you as a starting point.

Tips for Coordinating Your Rings

When selecting your wedding band, consider how it pairs with your engagement ring. Some tips include:

You can also coordinate rings with your partner by incorporating similar design details. Just ensure your styles still reflect your individual preferences.

Finalizing Your Ring Choice

Making the final decision on your wedding ring is an exciting milestone, but also one that warrants careful consideration. With this cherished piece of jewelry destined to adorn your finger for years to come, taking the time to make the right choice is key. Here are some tips to help guide you:

Try Before You Buy

If you haven't already, try on different ring styles to get a feel for what compliments your hand and suits your personal style. Pay attention to the fit - you'll want something comfortable that allows for subtle movement yet won't slip off easily. Trying rings in person also allows you to inspect quality and craftsmanship details up close.


Consider how durable the wedding ring is for regular, daily wear. Opt for metals like platinum or gold over silver, which scratches more easily. If choosing a ring with stones, go for harder gems like sapphires or diamonds over softer stones like opals. Also inspect the prongs and settings to ensure the structure is secure.

Lifestyle Factors

Your lifestyle can influence your wedding ring choice too. For example, someone very active or working with their hands a lot may prefer a simple, smooth band over an intricate, elevated setting which could catch on things. If you plan to wear other rings on the same finger, test how they fit together.

Trust Your Instinct

Even with practical considerations, there should still be an emotional "spark" when you find the one. The excitement of making this symbolic commitment to your partner should be reflected in your feeling about the ring. Don't ignore any hesitations or second thoughts - this ring should feel uniquely "you" when you finally slip it on. Take your time exploring all the options. Revisit favorite contenders. See how the rings feel over several days, not just in the moment. Once you've selected your wedding ring, you'll know - a perfect, enduring representation of your promise and love.


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