Let us be clear. There is not some supreme battle or conflict happening between the engagement ring and the wedding ring. These two iconic bands peacefully coexist in our world today. As well they should. However, there are often questions about the etiquette and tradition surrounding the two rings, and that is what we would like to talk about today.
What differentiates these two rings is really the intention. An engagement ring is given as a promise. A prelude to marriage. Perhaps you are reading this article today because you’ve been given an engagement ring yourself. If so, congratulations to you! This means you are in that glorious intermediate stage between falling in love and walking down the aisle. The ring you wear, the one that was given to you by your now fiancé, is an indication of that.
Traditionally, an engagement ring is defined by one very prominent stone. This is usually a diamond, but it does not have to be. It could be another gem or even a beautiful crystal. Engagement rings these days vary in their style and design. What makes them engagement rings is the meaning that the giver and the wearer bestow upon it.
A wedding ring is that beautiful band that “seals the deal.” This ring is usually incorporated into the actual marriage ceremony and is meant to be symbolic of the newly consecrated bond. A sign of the commitment you have made to each other and the promise to remain faithful to each other “till death do you part.” Typically, a wedding ring consists of a silver or gold band. A simple, yet meaningful, symbol of marriage.
So those are really the differences between an engagement ring and a wedding ring, but most people already know that part. The real question on a lot of people’s mind is:
The short answer is you don’t, but let’s go back a little to see how we got here. In traditional etiquette, an engagement ring is given first and a wedding band is presented at the wedding ceremony. This second ring is meant to be worn together with the first ring as a complement, completing the picture of love and matrimony.
Often, engagement rings and wedding rings are sold as sets. Some of these sets could include an engagement ring, and a wedding band for both him and her. Some wedding sets are designed just for her and include an engagement ring and two wedding bands that fit perfectly on either side of the engagement ring to complete the design. This style is very popular.
But these are simply examples of what people have traditionally done. In contemporary society, though many people choose to have two rings, just as many have opted for a single band. Because the meaning of the rings you wear is essentially the meaning you give them, there is a lot of leeway in this area. Let’s look at a few benefits of only having one ring and then a few in favor of two
1. Peace of Mind – If you only wear one ring to symbolize your relationship, you only have one ring to keep track of. Most of the time, it’s probably on your finger. However, if you do take it off on occasion, there’s less of a chance of misplacing it.
2. Investment – If you only have one ring to purchase, you can invest more money into that one ring. You could have a larger stone or more expensive materials for that ring if you like since you don’t have to make room for a second ring on that finger.
3. Comfort – Wearing multiple rings on one finger might not be very comfortable. With just one ring, your finger is less weighted down but you’re still able to make the loving statement you desire.
1. Tradition – If you lean more towards the formal traditions and long history of engagement and wedding protocols, then wearing a ring to symbolize each is the perfect fit for you.
2. Options – Double the rings means double the opportunity to show off your personal style. You could have two completely different-looking rings to represent your engagement and your marriage, or they could be the perfect complement to each other. The choice is yours.
3. Symbolism – While you are always free to ascribe your own meaning to your rings, the wearing of both an engagement ring and wedding ring has a very specific meaning on its own. The circular shape of the bands symbolizes the eternal nature of love, while the engagement ring symbolizes a promise, and the wedding ring symbolizes the sealing of that promise.
So, what does all of this mean for you? Well, as you can see, there really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what you wear. You can choose one, two, three or more rings to represent your relationship if you wish. It’s all a very personal choice, just like the bond they symbolize.
We hope you enjoyed reading our blog. And whatever ring choices you decide to make in the future, we sincerely hope you find your happily-ever-after in the process.Engagement Rings Vs. Wedding Rings: What You Need to Know by The Bradford Exchange