Choosing A Wedding Band: Should It Match Your Engagement Ring?

how to match wedding ring with engagement ring

Your engagement ring represents all the history of your relationship, and the way it’s paired with your wedding ring can symbolize how beautifully your past fits with your future. 

Just when the novelty of your engagement ring starts to wear off, you get to go shopping for another ring! While most people buy weddings bands as an afterthought, it is important to appreciate the importance of this piece in marking the transition from the status of “engaged” to “married.”

Your engagement ring represents all the history of your relationship, and the way it’s paired with your wedding ring can symbolize how beautifully your past fits with your future. The trick is in finding a piece that easily matches with the ring in size and design and it is not easy.

It’s not always simple to choose an engagement and wedding ring that feel comfortable, and look good together. What’s more, planning your wedding is a busy time, so it’s easy to slip into the trap of not ordering your wedding rings on time.

A lot of women question whether they should wear their engagement ring and wedding band together, or even if the wedding band needs to match the engagement ring.

The reality is, not every wife will wear both rings together, and not every bride will wear her engagement ring every day. But for those times that you do, it is important that the two rings complement each other. Read on for some practical pairing suggestions and helpful considerations.

Ready-made combinations

It is safe to say that if a bride chooses to wear her engagement ring with her wedding band, they should look like they belong together. For example, if you are wearing two different rings, one being yellow gold while the other being white gold, people will definitely see the difference.

Not only are ring metal types something you need to consider, but also your engagement ring shape. It is accustomed that your wedding band sits below your engagement ring, especially since it will be the first of the two placed on your finger. It is important that if you choose to wear your engagement ring with your wedding band that you try it on, so there isn’t a noticeable gap between the two rings.

If matching your two rings is very important to you, then your best option is to choose a bridal set. A bridal set consists of matching engagement and wedding rings. These sets are found at many jewelry stores and make choosing matching wedding rings very easy.

Bridal sets create a coordinated look and is ideal if you are after a perfectly matching look. Just as you were both made for each other, so were these two rings. A bridal set on the ring finger looks thoughtful, finished and elegant. On the flip side, they can tend to look traditional and conservative.

Consider the shape

You can absolutely match a wedding band to an engagement ring without purchasing a designed-to-match set. It just takes a little bit of savvy.

The first step to choosing a closely fitted wedding band is determining whether your engagement ring can sit flush with a straight wedding ring. Many classic engagement ring styles are already designed to sit flush with a straight band. Look for an elevated head that allows the center gemstone to sit above the band.

Contouring is the most common technique for flush wedding ring design, and elegantly accommodates a wide range of engagement ring styles. A contoured wedding band is designed to match the curvature of your engagement ring. Most frequently, that means a contoured band is shaped at the front to follow the contours of your engagement ring, and then straight in the back.

Unlike a contoured wedding band, a notched wedding band is completely straight. Instead of bending around an engagement ring, the wedding band features a notch that allows the two rings to fit together like puzzle pieces.

A notched wedding band is a great option, but keep in mind that the wedding ring must be wide enough to safely accommodate a notch.

One potential style concern with a contoured or notched wedding ring is that it may be harder to wear when you take your engagement ring off  (when you’re traveling or exercising, for example).

Because the wedding ring is designed with a complementary ring in mind, some women feel like something’s missing when worn on its own. Other women don’t mind the look at all, or simply turn the contoured or notched section around to show the straight back of the ring when wearing the wedding ring alone.

Some tips on design

A solitaire engagement ring, whether its a princess, round, or emerald cut, is the easiest ring style to pair. Other most popular engagement ring designs are halo – a solitaire diamond that’s surrounded by smaller stones; sidestones – additional diamonds on the ring’s band; cluster – many small diamonds set together to create a larger shape, and gems – colorful gemstones like sapphires, emeralds and rubies.

Look to your jeweler for help — his or her knowledge will be invaluable. Some of the most important things to consider in choosing the style are the following:

  • If your engagement ring features a colored center stone, consider a wedding band that also incorporates that gem. A band that alternates between colored and white gemstones is a smart choice—it coordinates, but doesn't compete with, your engagement ring. The stones may be the same, or you can mix white diamonds and color diamonds or gemstones.
  • A large gem can be lovely, but it's not the ideal choice for everyone. If the person wearing it works with her hands or needs to avoid high profile gems for other reasons, a smaller stone may be a better option. Similarly, some people prefer the simplicity of a smaller stone. These factors are very important when considering the right gem size.
  • The metals may be the same (platinum and platinum; rose gold and rose gold), or you can mix gold tones in the engagement ring and wedding band. If you are looking for a more eye-catching look, pair your solitaire ring with a wedding band made from a different colored metal, for example, the rose and yellow gold.
  • The general rule of thumb is that both the wedding ring and the engagement ring should have the same width. This creates a balanced and equal look between the two rings. However, this can be tricky in some instances. For example, some engagement rings taper, with the width of the metal band getting thinner as it comes towards the gemstone. Others may have different widths based on the design. In these cases, choose a wedding ring that has the same width as the sides of the engagement ring. This creates the sense of balance and beauty between the two rings.

While you shouldn't be afraid of being trendy, make sure the style you choose is something you'll want to wear for, say, the next 40 years. Just don't stress too much: you're not married to the ring and can always make changes to it (for instance, add diamonds or go from white gold to platinum) later on to mark a special anniversary.

To match or not to match?

Not everyone is looking to match their rings. It’s a personal choice, and it may be yours. You might choose a wedding band that stands on its own. It might contrast with the engagement ring instead of merging, to create something new and different that really expresses your creativity and personal style.

Just because the engagement ring and wedding band are worn on the same finger, it doesn’t mean they’ll always be worn together. Many women only wear their engagement rings during their engagement or for several years into their marriage.

Lives are busy and complex, and hands (and rings) can take a beating. Perhaps the fiancée may put her engagement ring away for safe keeping, only taking it out for special occasions or “dress up”, while her wedding band becomes “everyday wear.” If the wife-to-be has a lifestyle that works this way, there is no true need to match the styles of engagement ring and the band.

An increasing number of brides are moving away from the tradition of matching rings and experimenting with sizes, colors and styles to create fantastic ring combinations. And there are no rules for this. These two rings are there to signify two separate, important events in your life. They have different emotions and associations linked with them. Wearing different styles can symbolize this fact.

If you are worried about not finding the ‘perfect’ match to your engagement ring, try not to stress too much. A lot of designers actually make their engagement rings with a matching wedding band, making your band selection a lot easier.

And if you decide to pick a totally different metal type and ring shape than your engagement ring, why not think about wearing your engagement ring on your right hand versus the left? This way you can wear both rings, without having to worry if they match or not.

Either way, make sure that you consult your jewelry expert, as they will be able to give you the right idea.