Congratulations! You’re engaged! Someone said YES and now a wedding is in the works.

Prepare for a bustle of activity for the next several months as you pick out the dress, the venue, the flowers, and all the other trimmings required for a wedding.

You’ll invest time and emotions selecting the very best for your big day. Don’t forget the wedding ring!

If you haven’t planned for the wedding ring, don’t worry.

The wedding ring shouldn’t be a source of stress. Instead, it’s like the icing on the top of the cake. We’ve put together a few special tips on choosing the perfect wedding ring.

Strike a Balance

The balance we’re talking about is the one between the cost of the ring of a woman’s dreams and the reality of your budget.

Girls start dreaming about their weddings during childhood. Many collect bridal magazines and make wedding scrapbooks way before they know who they’ll marry.

If you’ve already invested in an engagement ring, you’ve shown you’re invested in the future together. In the excitement of purchasing the engagement ring, it’s easy to forget the wedding ring.

At a minimum, plan on budgeting $1,000 for wedding rings. With this amount, you can buy simple but attractive bands.

If you can spend more, do it. You’ll wear your wedding rings every day for the rest of your married life and you’ll want rings that match not only your budget but your lifestyle.

Keep in mind wedding ring costs vary and you can spend anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000 depending on quality, style, and the metal you choose

Choose Your Metal

Choosing an engagement ring means thinking about the cut and size of gemstones. Wedding rings are a bit different. Instead of talking about carats, you’ll talk about karats.

Determining the right metal when you pick a wedding band depends on several factors. First, do you have a preference? Some people only wear gold and have their heart set on a gold wedding band.

Wedding rings come in a variety of metals including:

  • Yellow Gold
  • White Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten
  • Zirconium
  • Steel

Second, when you pick a wedding band, consider your lifestyle. If you work with your hands or know your ring will experience a good amount of wear and tear, choose a metal less susceptible to scratching.

Many couples engrave their wedding rings with their names or initials and the wedding date. If you plan on engraving, consider choosing platinum for your rings. Platinum is one of the best metals for engraving, although gold and silver work well too.

Plain metal bands are always popular but if you’ve always dreamed of a more colorful wedding ring, continue reading.

A Splash of Color

Classic bands will never go out of style, but colored wedding rings are growing in popularity. If you’re considering the bold idea of moving away from the more traditional wedding ring, make a statement by adding colored gemstones to the band.

For those who adore diamonds but want something unique look at pink, blue, and black diamonds. Take bold one step further and choose a rough diamond. Rough diamonds come in natural gray, brown, and dark gray-black.

Sapphire wedding bands are another classic choice. Sapphires look especially striking in a white gold or platinum setting.

If you want to turn heads, go with a ruby wedding ring. You can find rubies in a range of hues from hot pink to fire engine red. Imagine the edginess of rubies set in a white metal band!

Go glam and choose green. Emeralds are one of the oldest stones used in fine jewelry. They look beautiful set in yellow or rose gold.

Choosing a wedding band with colored stones requires planning. These rings work best with colored engagement rings. For the most put together look, select a wedding band that uses the same type and color of stones set in the engagement ring.

Mix or Match

Tradition says the bride and groom wear matching wedding rings as a symbol of unity. While many couples still follow traditions, don’t feel bound to something simply because it’s been done for years.

Choose a ring that fits your individual styles. Maybe you love yellow gold and your partner prefers titanium. It’s not uncommon for each partner to choose a totally different metal and style for their wedding ring.

You could meet in the middle and design a ring that blends your two favorite metals together.

That said, mixing and matching when it comes to the engagement and wedding ring isn’t such a great idea. The rings should look like they go together. If you choose rose gold for one and yellow or white gold for the other, it won’t create a cohesive look.

If you do choose a different metal type for your wedding ring, consider wearing the engagement ring on your right hand and your wedding ring on the left. Then you can wear both rings and not worry about whether they match.

Check for the Stamp

Remember, when you invest in wedding rings, you’re making an investment that should last a lifetime. That means you should pay attention to quality.

Look inside the band and watch for two marks. One is the trademark of the manufacturer. The other is the quality mark.

The trademark may be the full name of the manufacturer. The manufacturer may also use a symbol or initials.

When we talk about quality marks we refer to metal quality.

For example, if you choose a platinum ring, you should see the letters PLAT inside the band. For gold rings, look 14K, 18K, or 24K. The K is the karat quality mark tells you how much pure gold is in the ring.

Hint: If you don’t see a trademark and a karat mark, don’t buy it!.

Size Matters

This piece of wisdom pertains more to getting the right size ring than it does to choose the perfect wedding ring.

When you try a ring on for size make sure you do it at the optimum time of day. If that sounds funny, think about it this way.

Have you ever noticed swelling in your fingers? Many people have swollen fingers first thing in the morning because they retain water from the previous night. Sometimes people have swollen fingers after exercising.

Body temperature even affects ring size. If you’re extremely hot, your hands may expand. When your body temperature is cold, your fingers contract.

Once you put your wedding ring on your finger, if you’re like most people, you’ll rarely take it off. That means you’ll wear it in all seasons, during exercise, when you’re pregnant, and when you lose and gain weight.

While your finger size may change over time, make sure you get that initial size right by going for your final fitting when your fingers are at their most normal size.

Ready to Buy the Perfect Wedding Ring?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, buying your wedding ring needn’t stress you out. Once you set a budget and decide on the best metal, the rest is part adventure, part detective work.

Most important is that you enjoy the process of choosing the perfect wedding ring.

We wish you the best as you plan for your wedding. For more inspiration check out our articles on accessories for the big day!