Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands: What’s the Difference?
The process of finding the perfect engagement ring and planning the perfect proposal is one that we’ve all seen in movies.  What about the ring that the man wears, though?  Wedding bands are just as important as engagement rings and quite romantic symbolically.
Engagement Rings
An engagement ring is typically purchased before the proposal and facilitates asking that big question. Traditionally, they are received by women, and if or when she says yes to a marriage proposal, she is expected to start wearing the ring at that moment and for the rest of her life.
Historically speaking, the engagement ring was not really a token of love or affection, but a financial commitment to the bride-to-be’s family.  In a sense, the man was buying the female with the ring.  She would then wear it to symbolize to other men that she was no longer an available commodity.
As time went on, the engagement ring gained new meaning as a status symbol of sorts.  Rings became more and more extravagant in style, size, etc. to represent a man’s level of wealth.
While the archaic notion of “buying” a woman has been lost in the symbolism of engagement rings, they can still be representative of wealth and still symbolize that a woman is “off the market.”
Wedding Bands
Unlike engagement rings, wedding rings are worn by both partners.  They usually are not worn by either person until the actual wedding ceremony, where both partners exchange bands with each other.
While engagement rings tend to have a diamond or some other prominent gemstone atop a band, wedding rings are much simpler.  They can include some gemstones, but there is no prominent center, as it would be difficult to wear both at once and would distract from the beauty of the engagement ring.
Symbolically, the circular shape of the wedding band represents the idea of eternity.  The hole through the center is a metaphor for the doorway leading to the future of the couple, indicating a promise of immortal love.
The Cost
Prices for engagement rings and wedding bands vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors—the metal used, carat size, number of gemstones, etc.  As a general rule of thumb for engagement ring prices, most people spend two to three months’ worth of salary to buy one.  However, how much you end up spending is totally dependent upon your preference and the style of the ring.
As wedding bands tend to be simpler in style, they are usually much less expensive.  They can even be purchased in a set with the engagement ring to ensure that they match in terms of style.  However, it may not be the best idea to purchase the set if you aren’t completely sure that your partner is going to say yes.
Do I Have to Wear Both?
Typically, wedding bands and engagement rings are worn together.  Because rings are exchanged during the ceremony, some women prefer to forego wearing the engagement ring so that it’s easier to exchange bands.
Some women refrain from wearing an engagement ring during the wedding ceremony, making it easier to exchange wedding bands.
The wedding band should be worn underneath the engagement ring.  As we said, it is the ultimate metaphor for eternal love, so symbolically, it’s more significant that it’s closer to the wearer’s heart.Whether or not you get both a band and an engagement ring is up to personal preference, though.  Some women don’t wear a band at all!
Are you ready to pop the big question?  Do you need to find your partner’s wedding band?  Come to Reiner’s Fine Jewelry in Houston.
Reiner’s specializes in custom and handmade jewelry, so we’re certain we’ll be able to help you find the perfect engagement or wedding ring for you or your partner.