What’s the Difference between a Wedding Band and a Wedding Ring
So what is the difference between a wedding band and a wedding ring? Although this sounds like a very easy question, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion surrounding this entire subject matter.
It Must be Special to You
The first thing that you should know about this subject, is the fact that you can buy and wear any type of engagement ring, wedding ring, wedding band etc., that you want. It is your wedding after all, and you are the one wearing it for the rest of your life. Buy and wear something that you will enjoy, or something that has special meaning. You don’t even have to buy an engagement ring with any diamonds in it at all, if you don’t want to. However it should be something that is made to last, since you will be wearing for a very long time. The point really just boils down to the fact that you are the boss of your own wedding choices, and you can make the decisions that will make you happy.
We are not going to claim in this article that we have all the correct answers to this question because quite frankly, much of it simply has to do with opinion and personal preference. However we have quite a bit of experience in this field, and have spoken to numerous customers about it over the past several years. We are confident that we can at least shed some light on the subject for you, and hopefully provide you with some helpful answers.
Wedding Band vs Wedding Ring Questions and Answers
What’s the difference between a Wedding Band and a Wedding Ring?
Answer: Nothing. They are referring to the same thing, it just depends on where you are in the world and what you’re used to saying. For example. In our site you’ll see us refer to it as a “matching wedding band”, or simply wedding band. If we’re talking about the band alone without an engagement ring we’ll sometimes reference it as a wedding ring. We just put up a section called vintage wedding rings. If you’re getting married you’ll often hear the minister / priest / judge say “Do you have the rings?”. Which is referring to the groom’s wedding band and the usually the matching wedding band of the bride’s engagement ring. The terms work interchangeably, so feel free to reference it any way you feel comfortable.
Do I have to wear a matching wedding band for my engagement ring?
Answer: If you are concerned about being “traditional”, then probably yes. Traditionally speaking, the engagement ring is given when asking a woman to marry you. Then at the wedding ceremony, the groom places a matching wedding band on the engagement ring finger of the bride. Please note that this is not required, but it is the traditional way of doing it.
Other Points: If you are not absolutely concerned with being “traditional”, then you may want to know that many brides do skip the “matching wedding ring”. In fact, some of today’s hottest unique engagement ring styles don’t even have a matching wedding ring available. The reason, the design is too unique to allow for one to be made to fit properly. Also, some engagement rings are just too thick to add a matching wedding ring to, at least on the same finger. And that brings up another point. Some brides wear the matching wedding ring on a different finger, after the ceremony. Or on the same finger, but the on the right hand instead of the left. Other brides want to stay somewhat traditional and wear a wedding band along with their engagement ring, but prefer one that is not a “matching” one. The last point on this subject is that some brides skip the matching wedding ring because of cost, knowing that they can always buy it later.
Can I wear an engagement ring with semi-precious gemstones, instead of diamonds?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. Many brides choose to wear engagement rings with Rubies, Topaz, Aquamarine, Citrine, etc., instead of diamonds. Semi-precious gemstones can also be used to accent the diamonds of an engagement ring, and look very nice doing so. Or the other way around. Have you seen Princess Kate’s engagement ring? (Formerly Princess Diana’s) The center is an 18 carat Oval Sapphire surrounded by accenting diamonds, and it’s gorgeous!
Does a man wear a wedding ring, or a wedding band?
Answer: Call it either. Some people refer to them as wedding rings, while others call them wedding bands. However with that said, a wedding ring is probably going to have diamonds in it, and a wedding band will not. (Some will say it’s the other way around) Most men choose to wear plain wedding bands without any diamonds, for whatever reason. Today, men’s wedding bands are made from many different types of metal such as gold, platinum, palladium, titanium, stainless steel, cobalt, tungsten, and many more. Durability seems to be a major factor that men want in their wedding bands. You can learn more about mens rings and what each finger represents here.
Can I buy and wear, just a wedding ring or wedding band, instead of an engagement ring?
Answer: If that is what you want to do, then absolutely! In fact, wearing just a wedding ring without a “main center stone”, is very popular among many women. And the reasons for doing so are numerous. Firstly, it’s a great way to keep the overall cost down. Diamonds are expensive, especially large diamonds. Wearing a plain gold or platinum band is almost certainly going to be less expensive.
Second, many women are very active and don’t want to worry about an expensive diamond engagement ring getting lost, stolen, damaged, caught on something, etc.. Third, some women’s professions make it difficult to wear an engagement ring with a center diamond that sits up high. (We hear this a lot from women that are in a medical profession, because of the need to wear sterile gloves while treating patients) Fourth, some women just like the look of a sleek wedding band better. Those are just a few examples of the many reasons that we hear about, as to why some women prefer a wedding band or wedding ring, versus an engagement ring.
Should We Buy Matching “His and Hers” Wedding Bands or Wedding Rings?
Answer: Again we are just talking about personal preferences. Personally, I like the idea. However the larger percentage of customers that we have dealt with, choose not to do this. From our companies’ own personal experience, the most important thing seems to be that the bride gets an engagement ring / wedding ring / wedding band, that she loves. In this case, there may not be a perfect matching band for the groom. However quite a few couples do prefer rings that look somewhat similar, whenever possible. (At least the same color) Most couples won’t choose a yellow gold men’s ring, and a white gold women’s ring. However I have seen couples that choose 2-tone wedding rings and reverse the colors, on each others rings.
What Is The Best Metal For Engagement Rings, Wedding Bands and Wedding Rings?
Answer: This is a question that may have several different answers. Much of it will depend upon lifestyle, budget, the type of ring, men’s vs women’s, and other factors. However a few basic points can be made. Let’s begin with Platinum. If you are shopping for an engagement ring, most jewelers would agree that Platinum Engagement Rings are a great choice. However it is potentially the most expensive choice as well. Platinum is also a very dense metal, which makes it relatively heavy. Some couples may prefer the “heaviness” of platinum, while others do not. One conclusion can be made about Platinum though, regardless of the potential drawbacks, and that is Platinum is an excellent choice for engagement rings.
As far as Men’s wedding rings and Men’s wedding bands are concerned, Platinum is probably not the most common. (This is especially true considering the abundance of cheap, super strong alternative metals available today) Although it is very dense and long-lasting, it can be scratched and dented with relative ease. Considering the cost and the fact that men tend to prefer rings that are dent-resistant and scratch-resistant, more men are not choosing platinum for their wedding rings or wedding bands.
Do All Engagement Rings Have “Matching Wedding Bands”?
Answer: Not all engagement rings have matching wedding bands, however most of them do. With some of today’s very unique engagement ring styles, matching wedding bands are not possible because of the shape. Another factor is the width of the engagement ring. Some engagement rings have very wide bands and if you wore a matching wedding band with the same width, it would simply be too wide to fit on the finger and be comfortable. This can be especially true if you have short fingers. In this instance, we have heard of some ladies choosing to wear the wedding band on another finger or opposite hand. Some women also choose to wear just one or the other, such as wearing the wedding band for everyday wear, and the engagement ring on special occasions or anniversaries.
What Is The Most Popular Wedding Band & Wedding Ring Metal?
Answer: As far as engagement rings, women’s wedding rings and women’s wedding bands, the choices are often limited to Palladium, Platinum, White Gold (14 karat & 18 karat) and Yellow Gold (14 karat & 18 karat) by some manufacturers. Men’s wedding rings and wedding bands are also available in all of those metals as well.
However our own experience shows that many men prefer extremely durable, less expensive metals such as “Ceramic & Tungsten”, White Tungsten, Black Tungsten, Stainless Steel, Black Ion-plated, 10 karat gold, Diamond Cut Steel, Sterling Silver, Titanium, Enamel, Diamond accent, Cobalt, Sterling Silver & Platinum Plate, and many more “less traditional” metals. (Please note that women’s wedding rings and bands are also offered in many of the same “less traditional” metals as well. However engagement rings and matching wedding bands are often only available in 14k, 18k, Yellow Gold, White Gold, Platinum & Palladium, by many manufacturers)
What Is A Claddagh Ring?
The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring given as a token of friendship, love, as an engagement ring and as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the city of Galway. The ring as we know it was first produced in the 17th century.
The Claddagh’s distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). A “Fenian” Claddagh ring, without a crown, is a slightly different take on the design. Claddagh rings, with or without the crown (most commonly with a crown), have come to denote pride in Irish heritage, while continuing to be symbols of love or marriage.
Claddagh rings are often used as friendship rings, but are most commonly used as engagement/wedding rings. In Ireland, America and other places, the Claddagh is handed down mother-to-daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter. The way a Claddagh ring was worn on the hand was usually intended to convey the wearer’s relationship status, according to Irish author Colin Murphy:
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is single and may be looking for love. (This is most commonly the case when a young woman has first received the ring from a relative, unless she is already engaged).
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is in a relationship (suggesting their heart has been “captured”).
- On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is engaged.
- On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is married.
There are other localized variations in the traditions involving the hand and the finger upon which the Claddagh is worn. Folklore about the ring is relatively recent, not ancient, with “very little native Irish writing about the ring”. Hence the difficulty today in finding any source that describes or explains the traditional ways of wearing the ring.
What Types Of Claddagh Rings Are There?
Answer: Just like engagement rings and wedding rings, Claddagh rings are available in many forms and worn for many different occasions. The types of Claddagh Rings available include Silver Rings, Gold Rings, Birthstone Rings, Friendship Rings, Claddagh Wedding Rings and Claddagh Engagement Rings. This type of ring has become so popular within some circles that there are even complete Claddagh wedding and engagement sets available. Another popular choice for Claddagh Rings is “His and Hers” matching Claddagh wedding ring sets.
Just like engagement rings and wedding rings, Claddagh rings are available in many forms and worn for many different occasions. The types of Claddagh Rings available include Silver Rings, Gold Rings, Birthstone Rings, Friendship Rings, Claddagh Wedding Rings and Claddagh Engagement Rings. This type of ring has become so popular within some circles that there are even complete Claddagh wedding and engagement sets available. Another popular choice for Claddagh Rings is “His and Hers” matching Claddagh wedding ring sets.