So, your spouse picked the ideal engagement ring—a heartfelt “congratulations!” is in due. But what exactly is the difference between engagement rings and wedding rings? And, if you like your engagement ring so much, do you really need a matching wedding band? Or can you just wear your engagement ring once you’ve married? Also, is it possible to wear one (or both) of your bands on the other ring finger? Let’s settle the debate over engagement ring vs. wedding ring etiquette once and for all.

4 Reasons to Stick to a Single Ring

Traditional engagement rings often have one main stone that either stands alone or is surrounded by lesser stones. An engagement ring is often presented as part of the proposal, or, if not, during an early stage of the engagement.

A wedding ring, on the other hand, is either a simple metal band or a diamond-encrusted eternity band that you receive and wear after exchanging vows during the wedding ceremony. There is usually a large price difference between engagement rings and wedding bands; even if the wedding band includes inlaid diamonds or other jewels, its total carat weight is usually less than that of the engagement ring.

Tradition may, of course, be thrown out the window. Brides are having greater say in the choosing and style of their rings, according to Lan, a diamond consultant and engagement ring designer for Lauren B. Fine Jewelry and Diamonds. Not only are they breaking with convention, but they are also diversifying their engagement and wedding ring choices. “People are doing whatever they want, and wedding rings allow them to express themselves more,” she explains.

How to Wear Your Wedding and Engagement Rings

Traditionally, your engagement and wedding rings are worn together on the fourth finger of your left hand. In terms of stacking them, tradition maintains that you should wear the wedding band within the engagement ring to bring it closer to your heart (aww).

Having said that, some women choose to wear their engagement ring on one hand and their wedding band on the other, particularly if the bands are too different to stack.

Why Do People Wear Their Wedding Rings on Their Left Hands?
When Should You Buy Wedding Bands?

Lan advises couples to choose wedding rings at least two months before the wedding. “By doing so, you can account for any last-minute wedding planning issues that may arise, and your rings will already be in production.”

If you’re confused about the kind of wedding band you want, wear your engagement ring for a few months before deciding on a wedding band. Your tastes may vary, so try on your engagement ring to have a better idea of the wedding band you’re looking for closer to the wedding day.

Do You Require Both?

In the end, it all boils down to personal choice. Of course, if you enjoy the conventional style. A wedding ring and engagement ring combo is a classic and attractive aesthetic, whether you add an eternity band studded with pavé diamonds or a simple metal band. Building a ring stack of three (or more!) bands, frequently with varied metals and styles, is a current fad that shows no signs of abating.

Of course, it’s totally OK to wear just one ring to represent both your engagement and your (future) marital status. Here are a few valid reasons why some brides choose to wear just one ring:

Single bands may be more comfortable and less formal than a wedding band and engagement ring combination, and they can look extremely gorgeous on their own.
It’s one less ring to lose (which is particularly crucial if you’re a little scatterbrained).
You also don’t have to be concerned about two bands completely matching; it might be difficult to locate a wedding band that matches your engagement ring if they aren’t bought as a set.
The money that would normally be spent on both an engagement ring and a wedding band may now be put in a single, eye-catching ring.

What’s the bottom line?

When it comes to selecting, creating, and wearing engagement and wedding rings, there are no right or wrong answers. You may wear none, one, two, three, or even more rings—just make sure the band (or rings) you chose to represent your love and marriage has lasting importance for you for many years to come.

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