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Wedding: Wedding Band Shopping

by Meghann on July 6, 2012

I’m not going to lie, wedding band shopping was definitely up there as one of my top 5 I Can. Not. Wait. wedding planning related activities. I mean, who doesn’t love shopping for jewelry?!

Even Derek was excited about one. He’s been researching different options online for months now and was looking forward to finally trying some styles on.

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Yesterday was our first round of wedding band shopping. Neither of us went in assuming we’d walk out with our wedding bands that day, it was more to get a feel of what was out there and to get the ball rolling on what we thought. It’s one thing to browse options online, it’s another to see them in person and actually try them on.

Derek was fairly easy. Actually, men’s rings in general are fairly easy. He already knew what he didn’t want (no yellow gold, no “bling,” no funky designs, etc.) and had an idea of what he semi-wanted (something durable, something flat and smooth, something lighter in color, etc.). Really, his goal yesterday was to get a feel for the contemporary metals out there (that’s what he was leaning towards) and what width would work best for his finger.

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It should be noted that the first ring Derek tried on, he slipped on his right hand. I informed him it’s supposed to go on his left and he told me, “shows how much I know about all of this.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

After talking to 3 separate jewelers, Derek walked out with pretty much the same ideas he went in with, but now he feels more educated about it. We both really liked the contemporary metals because A) they look cooler, B) they’re the best bang for your buck, and C) these rings are built to last.

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Personally, I was leaning towards the lighter cobalt ring, but Derek said he preferred the tungsten. Tungsten rings are extremely heavy and hard, they’re scratch resistant and there’s no need to worry about bending or warping over time. They’re a little on the darker side and have a nice shine to them (aka they look pretty badass).

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(source)

Tungsten is not recommended for people who work a lot with their hands (since they can not be cut off and can be dangerous if the finger accidentally gets caught in something and swells), but since Derek works at a desk all day, he isn’t worried – just as long as he takes his ring off before he does anything crazy. He also needs to watch the ring in case he gains weight over the years. I know my dad has had THREE wedding bands cut off over the years, which is something that Derek wouldn’t have the option to do with the tungsten.

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I’m actually thinking about getting a smaller version of whatever ring Derek gets to wear when on occasions I’m not comfortable wearing my wedding rings (such as on vacation or during races). This was an idea Sabrina gave me years ago (she did the same thing with her rings) and I think it’s a good one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now that Derek knows what he wants, his plan is to do a little research on pricing and see what’s out there. Luckily we still have time (6 months!) so there isn’t a huge rush and he has time to figure it all out.

While Derek’s was pretty easy, mine turned out to be a bit of a challenge. It wasn’t just picking out a band that I liked, BUT also selecting one that went with my engagement ring since, you know, they’re going to become pretty close friends over the next so many years.

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Here’s the problem. As gorgeous as my ring is, it’s a fairly simple setting (which is actually what I love about it since I’m a fairly simple person). Because of that, I was initially all set to go the plain band route, but then I started trying on friends’ “blinged-out” wedding bands and realized that I wanted something a little “blingy.” The problem is finding something with “bling” that works with my ring.

Here’s the plain band for reference’s sake.

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Obviously I would prefer a flatter band over the rounded one, but you can see how nice they look together.

And here’s a few of the “bling” options I tried on.

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Those are just a few, I’m pretty sure I tried on every ring in every store. It might have felt a bit excessive at the time, but it actually helped narrow down what I did or didn’t like and gave me a clearer idea of what I want and what works. For example, I now know I’d prefer a 2mm ring with 6 stones in a prong setting. Anything that expanded beyond 6 stones looked off.

However, even with that knowledge, something was still missing. Sapphires.

I had tried on my grandmother’s sapphire and diamond anniversary band (which my mom now wears on her pinky finger) at the beach house last week and LOVED the way it looked with my ring. After that, none of the more traditional rings I tried on seemed to work. The idea of having sapphires in my band was stuck.

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(source)

They had a few sapphire band options at the stores we visited, but still not exactly what I wanted. Either the sapphire’s coloring was too light, the setting was off, or the band was too wide. Each store we spoke with said the same thing – in order to get what I want, I’d have to customize it… which is exactly what I now plan on doing.

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(source: bluenile.com Still not 100% what I want, but a good idea of it)

Honestly, since Derek had to have my engagement ring custom built, it only makes sense that I would need to do the same thing for my wedding band. It’s something I’m excited about it. I now have a clear idea of what I want and I can’t wait to work with a jeweler to make that vision come to life!

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life July 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I love that our e-ring and wedding band will be unique to YOU and that they’ll coordinate but not be too matchy-matchy ๐Ÿ™‚ Good choices.

My hubs has purchased a new band since our wedding (he thought his original one was too heavy) as well, I don’t think guys ‘care’ quite as much about the whole thing, besides, y’know, having the ring. ๐Ÿ™‚
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2 Nanci July 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Your engagement ring is beautiful. My aunt has saphhires in her wedding ring and I’ve always thought it was so pretty!
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3 Katie D. July 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

My husband has a tunsten carbide band and he actually got it because he does work with his hands and instead of pinching his finger under extreme pressure, it will shatter. He actually did have it shatter (after being slammed into bricks) and it was replaced free of charge.

4 Kelly July 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Guys wedding bands are so much more difficult than you’d think! When we went, Spencer tried on a bunch, and luckily we knew beforehand that he is allergic to nickel so that rules out some metal options including white gold. (which is what my rings are) His ring actually ended up being more expensive than my band and mine has diamonds and his is just plain metal!
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5 Becka @ simplybecka July 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

My husband and I both have Tungsten wedding bands and love them, even more than the platinum ones we originally had. Best wishes on finding the right band, what fun. I agree lots of choices but it’s fun. ^_^ Have a great weekend.
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6 Lara July 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I really like the top right one with your engagement ring! I’m wondering why you want to get an extra ring and don’t feel comfortable wearing yours at times? I know some people do that, but it seems silly to me. I’ve never heard of someone having their ring stolen off their hand or damaged by something, but I’ve heard of many people losing their rings (my moms was stolen from her bedroom by someone pretending to be fixing the AC!). To me, it seems like the absolute safest place for it is on my hand! I never take mine off!

7 lynne @lgsmash July 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I’m in Meghann’s boat – if I’m going out to run or yoga, I prefer to leave my ring at home just to be safe and for comfort. I don’t have a huge ring by any means but it’s passed down from my fiance’s family and I’d rather not scuff it up if I fall or have it catch on my clothing somehow. I also have started leaving my ring at home when I go camping/backpacking for the same reasons. I like Meghann’s idea about a small, simple band that matches the man to wear when you’d prefer to leave the very special jewelry at home.
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8 Amy July 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I have a uniquely shaped E-ring, so in order to find something that sits flush we had my ring custom made.

Pic from my old blog: http://amysquesttoskinny.blogspot.ca/2007/11/picture-saturday.html

It’s been 5 years, and I still gaze at it with lust in my eyes. I just love it.
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9 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

haha what girl doesn’t love picking out jewelry! Glad you both enjoyed it, and I love your custom ring idea
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10 Erin July 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Love the idea of getting sapphires in your wedding band!

I had to get my wedding band custom made, too, since I wanted something with colored stones in it as well. Amazingly, it wasn’t that much more expensive than just getting one right off the shelf.
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11 Aditi July 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Have you thought about having the person who designed your engagement ring, design your wedding band as well? My (now) husband had my engagement ring custom designed and he had the same woman design both our wedding bands as well because she still had the setting of my engagement ring, and could make the band to fit beautifully with the engagement ring. Just a thought!

12 Meghann July 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Yes, I have and I am looking into them as an option.

13 Sheri July 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Meghann- I rarely comment, but I read everyday! Thought I’d chime in regarding the band- I think that the sapphire/diamond combo is so pretty! And I also like that top right ring with the 6 stones. Would you consider doing it with all emerald cuts? That would be really pretty with your emerald center stone.

14 Meghann July 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I didn’t know that was an option! If emerald cut is a possibility, then I would love to go that route!

15 Sheri July 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

My rings were both made by the same jeweler and we basically just told him what we wanted and he created it. It was much more affordable than buying the name brand that I had looked at originally- and I got exactly what I wanted! Whatever you choose will be beautiful!
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16 Tara July 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

my wedding ring and band are from bluenile, they were a great company. I’m sure you could customize with them by calling them. Also, the appraised value of my diamond was much higher than we paid so we were happy with that news (not that I’d ever be selling it, but made us feel good about the purchase).

17 Rachel F July 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm

What about wearing your engagement ring on your right hand? That’s what my mother does, and it allows both rings to shine separately.

18 Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride July 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I love the idea of customizing your band! Including the sapphire is gorgeous.

When my fiance and I went to look at wedding bands for him he had similar ideas as Derek. Only I said NO to tungsten since he is a police officer and it’s too much of a risk that he can’t get it cut off if something were to happen. Actually a lot of his fellow officer’s have tattoos in place of rings!
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19 Erin July 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

You should consider ordering Derek’s ring online if you want to go with Tungsten. My fiance and I looked at jewelry stores and realized that the price at the stores is so much more expensive for the same product. We ended up going with this one, and it looks great (like the one he wanted at the store) and it saved us about $200 dollars. At $20 dollars it is worth the risk…just a suggestion.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071DWT12/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00
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20 Lindsey July 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

If you are thinking of using blue nile I recommend them for sure. We ordered my engagement ring from them – we being my husband ๐Ÿ˜‰ My husband has a tungsten carbide ring, they are nice and modern looking. For my band I ordered something cheaper since I wanted to wear it on holidays etc and not worry about loosing it though I’d be upset it would not be $1000 gone, only $500 ish!
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21 Maddie July 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm

My husband has a tungsten band and he LOVES it. He was really excited by the idea that drill bits are made out of the same material, but he was more excited when he realized that it’s so hard he can open bottles with it! He’s got a built-in bottle opener/party trick! ๐Ÿ™‚
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22 Liz July 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

My engagement ring was custom designed by my husband too, and I definitely recommend having the same jeweler design the wedding band. That’s what I did and they designed the band with a gentle curve so that it would fit perfectly around the diamond and I could still have the 2 rings fused together, which is really nice so that you aren’t having to deal with 2 separate rings.

Also, I did just what you are thinking about and got a plain band that I wear for things like camping, backpacking, scuba diving and travelling to areas of questionable safety. It definitely gives me peace of mind knowing that I can lock the bling up in a safe at home and not worry about it getting damaged or lost.

23 CampingGirl July 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm

My engagement ring and wedding band were also custom because I wanted a vintage feel that I couldn’t find. I also wanted a band to travel with instead of my rings so I just bought stacked rings from Stella and Dot and wear those when I am away.
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24 Jackie July 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I wear a plain silver band for nursing school and all kinds of outdoor activities. Best money spent! I never worry that my nice ring is going to be damaged.

25 Jess July 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Tungsten CAN be removed using the vice grip method in any emergency room, should the need arise. I recommend Tungsten over any of the other metals because of how well it stands up to wear and tear.

26 Meghan July 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I usually leave my rings off if I am doing any working out, thats a great idea to invest in a band. As for my wedding band I had it custom made to fit with my ring. My setting was not straight and normal bands looked funny. I went to a local jeweler and he created a simple yet stunning band to match, and then I had them welded together. I love the sapphire idea for your wedding band.
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27 anna July 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

My husband went with the dark tungsten band as well. I love the way it looks, his is a dark grey metal. We bought his a little big in case he ever does gain weight in his finger but he always takes it off while sleeping, during the shower, and during projects where he might get his hands dirty or hurt.

I have a similar engagement ring but mine is a 3 stone princess cut…all classic diamond. I ended up going with a “blinged out” band that was only covered half in diamonds. I went with a clear princess cut that was the same size as the smallest stone on my engagment ring. It balances the whole set out and I LOVE IT.

Before I got down to the bottom I was going to suggest a sapphire wedding band!!

Just don’t settle. Keep looking till the perfect ones comes along. You never know…you just might be wearing it forever ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

28 Jameil July 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I loved watching my husband try on bands, too! We got titanium. They both have a mirror polish. We didn’t do stones so mine is perfect for running! Love the 2mm. It looks so cute on my hand! His is 6mm. I love it on his hand, too. My SIL & her new husband got titanium. Perfect for them.
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29 Margo July 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Your custom ring idea would be perfect! I think it would look great with your ring too. I loved when we went ring shopping. Though our jeweler was a family friend, so he broke out wine and let me try on whatever diamonds I wanted. What’s not to love about an evening with wine and bling?

30 Carolyn July 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I like the fourth pic in the set of four. Actually made me want another band to put in front of my e-ring… so much so I emailed my jeweler. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m still owed a 30th birthday present anyways and think that is fitting. LOL. Dave will die I’m sure.

We bought my ring from Nina Elle Jewels. She is online and on ebay, which sounds weird at first, but I felt like we got a great deal.
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31 kim July 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I didnt read through all the comments; maybe someone said this already. Our jeweler told us tungsten can’t be resized. So that changed my husband mind. And it worked out since he has never worn rings before he had a hard time getting the sizing right. he had to get his ring resized 3 times before the wedding. might be something to consider.

32 BroccoliHut July 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm

We haven’t gotten around to ring shopping yet–mostly because we’re both still saving up for wedding bands. Good idea to do several rounds so you get an idea of what’s available!
How does Derek feel about wearing a ring? Seth is all nervous about wearing a ring since he has never worn any form of jewelry.
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33 Meghann July 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

He hasn’t really said either way. He has an old high school ring that he wore in high school and an FSU college ring that he puts on every once in a while, so it’s not a total foreign concept to him. Something that I did notice after my brother got married, and again after my sister and Anthony got married, was that both guys were constantly twirling and playing with their rings the day after their weddings. Ben has since gotten used to it and stopped, and I haven’t seen Anthony since his wedding, but I do remember taking note of that.

34 Jenny B July 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm

My husband loves his tunsgten ring. And I wish I had gotten one (I suppose I still can)
Here’s info on the tungsten shattering
http://www.titaniumstyle.com/titanium_tungsten_ring_cut-off.htm

35 Katie D. July 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

My husband has a tungsten carbide ring and slammed his hand into a brick wall and it cleanly split in half! They said that with the right amount of force, that is exactly what should happen and it did.

36 Regina July 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

The great thing about the lifetime warranty for men’s bands (in tungsten) is that you get a brand new band if your finger changes sizes for the LIFE of the ring (though sad in the sense that it wouldn’t be the ring you originally wed with–though the meaning and symbolism still stands).
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37 Wendy July 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Love the matching of the wedding band with the sapphires, it will look great together! We were thinking tungsten too when we first started looking, but didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t cut it off in case of an emergency. We ended up getting custom rings off Etsy that had our fingerprints inlaid inside the band! I wanted something personal but very simple to wear as I work with my hands a lot and don’t wear my engagement ring all the time as a result of that.
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38 Carla Runs The World July 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

I got my husband’s Tungsten ring here: http://www.titaniumkay.com/ It was the cheapest site I found (only $100 INCLUDING engraving — yes, also the only place I found that would engrave Tungsten). Married almost 2 years, and the ring still look great. They also have wonderful customer service (he was in between styles, so we had a couple shipped to us before we decided which one we wanted). HIGHLY recommend them. And so much cheaper than the stores! (His ring is the Kozma, by the way.)
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39 Allie July 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

My husband also has tungsten and it’s great. 4 years later it looks just as shiny and new as the day I put it on my finger, while I’ve had to have my white gold rings re-plated several times because they get so scuffed up. If you can, I’d recommend buying from a jewelry store that will do maintenance like that for free (buy the warranty – it’s totally worth it).

40 Em July 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

I was nervous about my husband having a ring he couldn’t have cut off. My dad had to have his cut off when he was chasing my cousin at the pool and got it caught on the lifeguard stand. His finger swelled up quickly and the ring was cut off… so what I’m saying is that it isn’t just work related things or weight gain that could cause a ring to need to be removed. We went with white gold because it matched my rings (that were his mom’s rings).

41 Heather July 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love the sapphire band!

42 sara July 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm

We got my engagement ring on bluenile.com. It was a great experience. If the size is wrong when you get it you can send it back for a size ajustment. Great customer service! So many beautiful options. And they have men’s wedding bands too.

43 Katie July 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I ended up going the Etsy route for my husband’s wedding band – we used fabuluster: http://www.etsy.com/shop/fabuluster – I got an imprint kit in the mail that outlined the instructions to make an imprint of your fingerprint, and they put it on the inside of the band! I liked it a lot because I couldn’t really think of something to inscribe inside, but a fingerprint looks cool and even though it’s cheesy I like the idea that “my hand is always on his,” so to say. They work with a lot of different metals as well, so I liked that we could go for different price points depending on our budget.

As for you – I would definitely recommend getting a “plain” ring to wear when you don’t want to have your engagement ring and wedding band on. I don’t wear my rings very often – only when I’m out in public – they’re never on at home or if I work out, etc…but I hate the feeling of not having something on my hand if I’m traveling and such! I picked out the Tiffany Somerset ring…it’s not a traditional wedding band, but I thought it was fun and comfortable!
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44 KatieTX July 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm

If you are looking for a good deal on a men’s tungsten wedding band, go to amazon.com. My husband’s wedding ring was $20 from there. No problems for the past 8 months. It’s about what the ring means, not how much it costs….

45 LizP July 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm

“It’s about what the ring means, not how much it costs.” AMEN!!!

Sometimes I think people (not necessarily Meghan, but people in general) get so caught up with impressing or outdoing other people that they forget the big picture.

Same with wedding planning…yeah throwing a gorgeous, unique, handmade, expensive party is all well and good, but at the end of the day the goal is to get married…..or it should be.

46 Kashi @ Cape Island Runners July 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Looks great! I knew I was not going to be wearing my engaement ring too often after we married (it’s a family heirloom and makes me nervous! Plus i work outside with my hands and hate the idea of getting it wrecked!) so I knoew I wanted something really simple. I was fine with my hubby getting whatever he wanted, but he thought it would be nice to get matching rings ๐Ÿ™‚ So we ordered very cheap ones from etsy from titanium knights and are super pleased with them! Since they are not $$ I don’t worry about banging mine up and I love looking at his hand and seeing a matching one ๐Ÿ™‚
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47 Mariel July 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

My husband also has a tungsten wedding band, but we wanted to make sure that if anything happens, the ring would be able to get cut off. Luckily, we asked our local hospital if they had the necessary tools to cut tungsten rings from a finger, and they said that all hospitals do. There’s no need to worry about the ring if you can’t get it off the finger due to weight changes. A great place to get the truth about all tungsten ring facts is at http://www.tungstenworld.com/. They have many great articles to read up on, and they even compare tungsten carbide to other metals.

48 Emily July 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I saw these and thought of you…conflict free diamond AND sapphire rings: http://www.brilliantearth.com/rings/blue-sapphire/womens-sapphire-rings/

49 Alane Jewel October 2, 2012 at 12:02 am

Emily, wow -I love that you mentioned brilliant earth too, I designed my ring with them because I was drawn to their conflict free diamonds and fact they use recycled gold and platinum, very eco. http://www.brilliantearth.com/

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