One of the most important parts of a wedding is the giving of rings, which are often seen as symbols of eternal love and commitment. The tradition is believed by some to stretch back to Ancient Egypt. And then the Romans took the practice and made it their own—they gave rings in order to claim a woman as their wife. How romantic.
In Egypt, rings started out as bound or braided sedges, rushes and reeds, and over the centuries they have definitely altered through different cultures. Bands of gold are very popular these days, but there is also silver, platinum, titanium and even meteor rock! There are no limits really. You can be creative about it too—some couples make their own, rendering the giving of the rings even more special and personal. My advice, however, would be to make sure the chosen material is durable. Even the Egyptians had to swap their rings for other materials when they started deteriorating. You don’t have to dive for the largest gem or the shiniest metal you see. With all the beautiful materials and styles in the world you can, with a bit of thought, make something timeless and unique without paying an arm and a leg.
You can shop for rings together, or in secret so you can surprise your partner. For the latter, one of the biggest worries for ring-buyers is not knowing the size needed. Ways around this include:
- Taking the ring measurement way, way before you plan to propose.
- Have a close friend of your partner take the measurement for you.
- Borrow a ring your partner already has and get the size from that.
If you have a special time and date arranged, bear in mind that making a ring takes time—even for the customisation of an existing design. Store and jeweller waiting times will vary.
Traditionally, wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because, historically, people believed a vein ran from this finger directly to the heart. But it varies by means of preference or even things like culture and religion. Wedding and engagement rings may or may not be worn together on the same finger. It is very much a matter of personal taste. Don’t feel pressured by what is conventional.
Whether your significant other has already said “yes” to you or you are yet preparing to ask the all-important question, you might be asking yourself, “Should I get a matching ring?” (It doesn’t even have to be a ring—pendants or charms can work just as well.) Of course you don’t have to. You probably each have different tastes and want a ring that suits you. Why not just get rings that have similar designs or colours, therefore embracing your individuality and echoing your partner.
Not everyone gets engaged, so it really is up to you if you decide to buy an engagement ring on top of the wedding ring (you don’t have to be traditional with engagement rings either!). Here you may run into budget trouble—with both wedding and engagement rings you will be buying four all together. I would advise being sensible with your spending—maybe give yourself a maximum. But personally I think there is a lot of value in an engagement, as it is almost a middle ground of excitement and anticipation. Only one step away from matrimony.
So, to conclude, it’s primarily up to you, your taste and your partner’s taste. In the end you probably know what’s best in choosing the right rings. Trust your own judgement.