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Tradition of the Wedding Ring….I Was So Wrong

I lived 37 years without knowing this. I think I am officially kicked out of the girl’s club

My mom was married. I have had girlfriends over the years that got married and showed off their engagement rings. I have watched several TV commercial s over the years convincing people “to say it with diamonds”.  But somehow I got this ring thing all wrong.

Looking back I guess I did wonder what the wedding ring would look like if the engagement rings I was seeing were so humongous and sparkly. I thought they must have hooked up with one rich fella.

Yesterday, while researching engagement rings it got hazy. Then it got clear. See, I always thought the engagement ring was a starter, smaller ring to hold you over until you got the actual wedding ring. As it turns out, I had it backwards. The funny part is that I had to immediately talk to my married friend to confirm this NEWS because I was so dumbfounded. Ha, ha.

How could I have not picked up on this over the years?

Anyway, it turns out that the engagement ring is the biggie. Traditionally, you get a big, fancy engagement ring then you get a smaller, simpler wedding band to exchange during the ceremony. Come to think of it, I have heard the term “my wedding band” before but was not paying attention enough to put two and two together.

I have read that most women get these two rings at the same time to make sure that the wedding band will fit nicely and can be worn with the engagement ring. I have also read that some women will wear only the wedding band when the engagement ring is cumbersome or you are worried about messing it up, like at your fire fighting or water quality job or when you are ice climbing (Ha! Some day maybe).

I also know things aren’t what they used to be. Women are very much departing from tradition on some things, if not entirely, when it comes to getting married. I understand that no hard, fast rules apply and that many women do in fact get separate rings – a smaller one for the engagement and then the fancy one of the marriage as I had originally assumed.

So this new knowledge is great but where does it leave me? Well, confused.

For various reasons I might go into later, Shawn didn’t give me an engagement ring when I said yes. That means that I have to decide how I want to handle the engagement and wedding rings. Do I want to go with a simple ring now and a fancy, bigger one later? Do I want to wait until we have picked out a set to get the traditional engagement ring and wedding band? Do I want to save the money and forgo an engagement ring all together and just get a wedding ring for when we get married?

I have lots of thoughts about this. A detail that complicates the issue is that I am likely going to try to incorporate my mom’s ring into the wedding ring which will very likely take custom design and have to wait a while.

What do you think? What did you do?

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7 responses to “Tradition of the Wedding Ring….I Was So Wrong

  1. Wait, get what feels right. I drew my “dream ring” on a napkin and Kevin kept that napkin (or exact memory of the design) and had my ring made. Although he gave it to me when he “popped the question” I would have been just as happy knowing I was going to spend the rest of my life with someone I loved.

  2. I would definitely get an engagement ring. It’s a ring that is going to signify and become a symbol of a very special time in your life. This time will NEVER happen again. I narrowed the ring selection down to a jewelry designer that I really liked and he picked the perfect ring. My ring just happens to have a wedding band that matches perfectly. It depends on how you want to where them. Some people do stack them on their left finger, but some people switch their engagement ring to their right hand and just wear their wedding band on their left. It’s all up to you. Find a ring you love. You can always have something custom made to match (it’s not as expensive as you would think). 😀

  3. I will get an engagement ring, the question is just when. Making a ring out my mom’s rings will take a while though. The question is what to do in the meantime. Get a cheapie “symbol” ring to hold me over or just wait for the real thing?

  4. My husband didn’t know anything about traditions, etc. He chose my engagement ring thinking that was it – wedding/engagement all in one ring. I LOVE my ring – it’s a simple set purple sapphire. He chose the stone, the setting, all on his own.

    I asked for a second thin band to be made to fit right along the edge of the band of the engagement ring to make the “set”. It’s a very simple ring, but it’s unique and beautiful. I wore it without the second band until we got married and then I had them fused together.

  5. Tammy…I also am thinking I want to go with a colored stone. I would probably like to off-set it with a few smaller diamonds though.

    I guess you have a point, that you can choose the engagement ring you want and worry about the band later. It’s my understanding that it isn’t an outragous cost to custom make a wedding band.

  6. It does need to feel right to you. The decision of how long you two decide to wait til the big day will play a roll for sure in the ring decision. The longer your engagement the more likely you might wait til it is designed. You could do an official engagement party and have that be the presentation of the ring so you make it something a little special about having waited for the ring to get designed and created. However it just depends on how ‘weird’ you feel about saying I am engaged and having no ring. I personnal think getting the ring how you want it to be, knowing your down to earth nature, will be enough and very important in the end. He asked you and you know this is what you want, that is really all you need. Congratulations girl.

    • That’s a great idea Tara…to have some sort of engagement celbration when the rign we design finally comes. We love us a good barbecue anyway 🙂 I am going to think about that.

      It IS more important to me to have a ring I want rather that worry about speed of getting that ring.

      Thanks for reading my blog and commenting 🙂

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