She said yes – congratulations! You can now look forward to your life being consumed by wedding planning, booking a venue, finding a photographer, inviting guests and praying the weather is nice on your big day.
Among all the wonderful chaos of planning the best day of your life, you might be surprised by the complexity involved in choosing the perfect wedding ring.
To help you out, here’s a guide to choosing a wedding ring for men. Before you dive in, grab a notepad and jot down your favourite ring features.
It’s easy to get carried away and look at the latest celebrity or royal wedding ring trends with envy – you might decide early on that you want a fortune on a ring to show off to your loved ones.
A recent survey found the average man in the UK spends a more modest £1,471. What’s more, UK couples now spend 20% less on engagement rings than they did five to ten years ago.
Clearly, more careful consideration goes into paying for a wedding ring these days. That’s why you need to consider your budget in relation to the overall wedding planning. Of all the things you will keep from the wedding, only your photographs and rings will survive forever, so consider this when budgeting.
In terms of ring styles, men tend to have thicker rings (5-7 mm is the average) so expect to pay slightly more than on your partner’s ring, and once you’ve got a budget… stick to it.
Do a bit of profiling
All rings are round, right? Not quite. There are four main profiles you can choose from that add a little style and comfort to the ring. Here’s a quick run through:
Classic court: Also known as ‘traditional court rings’, these are the most popular and comfortable of all profiles. Their defining feature is that the ring’s interior matches the rounded edge of the exterior.
D-Shaped ring: For all intents and purposes, the D-shaped ring looks identical to the classic court, except that the inner edge is flat instead of rounded. The small comfort sacrifice means it’s fitted much closer to your finger, giving you a more streamlined ring. This feature comes in handy if you’re active with your hands in either your job or your hobbies!
Flat ring: The flat ring is the opposite of the classic court, offering a flat surface on both the interior and exterior. Beware, though – the flat exterior can catch on all sorts of things, from clothing to everyday items. It’s down to personal preference of course, but you’ve been warned.
Flat court: The flat court design is the opposite of the D-shaped ring. It features a smooth exterior and a rounded interior, meaning it’s both comfortable and trendy.
Once you’ve identified the level of comfort you want from your ring profile, it’s time to consider the design…
Designed for life
We’ve covered the cost and shape of your wedding ring, now for the fun bit: the style.
There are quite a few styles to choose from; you could have a plain ring, a diamond set ring, a shaped ring, a two-metal ring, a Celtic ring, a wooden ring, a decorative ring or a signet ring.
There’s probably been another shape invented since we wrote that list, so don’t consider it final.
Don’t worry if you can’t choose from all these options just yet. Once you’re face-to-face with a jeweller, you’ll see how each feels on your finger, if they match your ‘look’ and – perhaps most importantly – if your partner likes it.
If you decide you’ll be wearing the ring every day, consider that scratching is inevitable. Although, there are six types of finish that offer more or less protection from scratches: polished, satin, brushed, hammered, wire brushed and sandblasted.
Make sure you’ve researched each and come armed with knowledge to the jewellers. Here’s a great guide into finishes by weddingrings-direct.com.
Material to last
It’s custom to get the same material wedding ring as your partner, which means you need to consider the material used on the engagement ring.
Some materials such as gold are quite soft and cannot be combined with a hard material such as platinum, as the gold wouldn’t stand a chance of keeping its shine, or even shape! Here’s a rundown on wedding ring materials...
Platinum: This is the rarest and therefore the most expensive ring material. Fun fact: all the platinum ever mined across the globe throughout history could comfortably fit in a small living room! So why bother with the expense? Well, platinum rings are the strongest, whitest and most durable. They’re also hypoallergenic, so there’s no need to worry about skin reaction.
Palladium: This is a close relative of platinum which shares its long-lasting shine, hypoallergenic properties and classy looks. However, it comes at a fraction of the price as it’s a less dense metal (half as dense and half as heavy!). Both palladium and platinum also develop a ‘patina’, which is a matte look after years of minor scratching. Instead of chipping, the metals merely get moved during a scratch and can, therefore, be polished back to their original state.
Yellow gold: Yellow gold is the most traditional of all wedding band materials, and the Ancient Egyptians were the first to produce rings with this metal. It is very soft in its purest form (18-carat and above), while a 9-carat gold ring will have been mixed with white metals to give it strength.
White gold: This is an alloy of yellow gold mixed with white metal and plated with rhodium to give it a shine equal to platinum. The trouble is that it requires re-plating every few years to maintain its shine. However, the benefit of white gold is that it’s much more affordable than platinum!
Rose gold: The trend in the last century has certainly been toward rose gold as it is both beautiful and affordable. It is made by mixing gold with copper, 9-carat rings will have more copper than 18-carat rings, and therefore look a lot pinker.
Silver: Silver wedding rings are the cheapest since the metal is the most common. It’s typically used as a substitute when the groom still hasn’t chosen a ring by the time he’s at the alter getting married. Of course, the choice is fundamentally yours to make, if you like silver go with it!
If you’ve written down your favourite wedding ring profile, shape, texture, material and price bracket, then it’s time to find your ring. The best place to start is your local jeweller; if all else fails, you could always get it made, which would make the whole marital occasion even more unique. Good luck!
Once you have your ring and are confronted with a lifetime of caring for your precious piece of metal, be sure to check out our ring insurance as well as our engagement ring insurance for that added safety.