Guide To Women’s Wedding Bands

For many women, getting married is one of the most special days of their life that they look forward to from a young age. Though the specifics and traditions of every wedding can be personal and different, one thing that tends to be similar across the board no matter where you are in the world is that you need to choose a wedding band.

Your wedding ring is something that you are very likely going to wear on your finger for the rest of your life. For this reason alone, it deserves more dedicated thinking time than any other piece of jewelry that you have ever owned other than your engagement ring.

If your partner was traditional in their proposal plans, then you might not have had a say in the design of your engagement ring because the first time you saw it would have been when they were down on one knee with the box in hand! If they knew your preferences and went to a good jeweler, then there is no need to have been worried, but there is no doubt that when it comes to women’s wedding rings, the bride can have much more say in the ring design to find the perfect ring.

The tough part of the process is the fact that there are far more wedding band styles than you might have originally thought, and this can turn the hunt into something of a confusing chore rather than a pleasure.

So what you need is this handy guide of everything you need to know to find the perfect wedding band for yourself. From different ring styles to ring sizes, gemstones and precious metal types, and more, here is all the info you need to find your perfect ring before the wedding date arrives.

Choosing a Metal For a Wedding Band

One of the first things that you should consider when shopping for your wedding ring is which type of precious metal you want for your ring!

Generally, most brides pick a metal band that matches the metal of their engagement ring. Matching bands always look better on the ring finger than clashing bands, so keep this in mind when considering your options. If you like the idea of a mix of metals, you might like a wedding band made of braids of different colored golds.

The most popular choice in previous generations has been classic yellow gold, but if you prefer something like rose gold, white gold, platinum, or palladium, then all of those metals are suitable.

Modern jewelry is not limited to precious metals. Tungsten, for example, has grown in popularity, especially for men’s wedding rings. You might also consider titanium or sterling silver.

Gold - the more pure the karat of gold, the softer it is, so 24k gold is less suitable for a wedding ring than lower karats that have been mixed with other metals to improve their hardness. 14-18k is recommended for a wedding band.

14K White Gold Straight Wedding Band

Platinum - the most expensive choice because of its scarcity, it’s also the hardest wearing and its shine does not diminish over time.

Palladium - with its white hue and mirror-like finish, palladium is a cheaper alternative to platinum.

Titanium - growing in popularity (more for men’s wedding bands), titanium is strong, lightweight, and extremely scratch resistant. Resizing a titanium ring, however, is not as easy as with other metals.

Sterling Silver - a less common choice and a lot cheaper than other metals but still beautiful, silver requires more upkeep than other precious metals as it scratches easily and is subject to tarnishing.

Tungsten - attractive because it is the most durable and most scratch-resistant of all choices as well as having an attractive price tag. Again, resizing can be difficult.

We’ve focused on metals as the material for a wedding band, but modern jewelry extends far beyond and for the bridge/groom who wants something different there are alternatives. These include:

  • Damascus steel
  • Silicon
  • Rhodium
  • Carbon fiber
  • Wood
  • Hard stones like agate and jade
  • Ceramic

When choosing the material for your wedding band consider the durability, look, and longevity.

Gemstones or Not?

In decades past, gemstones were usually restricted to a cut diamond set in a yellow gold engagement ring. In today’s bridal jewelry landscape, however, more women are choosing to include stones in their wedding bands to make a sparkling statement alongside a diamond engagement ring.

If you’re going to have a bridal set where the wedding band contains stones, remember that a lot of women wear three rings on their ring finger - engagement ring, wedding ring, and eternity ring. Eternity bands are always set with stones so it could limit the choice or make for a very cluttered look if you have a wedding band set with gemstones too.

To retain the traditional look, there are essentially two styles of setting for incorporating gemstones into wedding bands. These are pave and channel settings. Any other setting would make the band more akin to an engagement ring. Also, the larger the stones and carats on each ring, the less stackable they will be alongside one another on your finger.

Pave is a setting in which small (sometimes very small) gemstones are set along the shank of a ring.

Wedding Bands
14K White Straight Pave Diamond Band

A channel setting is where gemstones are placed within a groove (channel) in the ring shank.

Wedding Bands
14K White Gold Channel Set Diamond Band

In both these settings, the gemstones may be all around the band or just a portion of it. Both pave setting and channel set wedding bands work very well with engagement rings that have a solitaire stone or something like a halo setting (a center stone surrounded by smaller stones.)

You can of course look at other wedding ring styles with gemstones set in prongs or bezels but how these types of designs will work with your engagement ring needs to be considered.

Wedding Bands
14k White Gold Diamond Straight Wedding Band

You also are not restricted to diamond wedding bands. Wedding bands can contain any type of gemstone.

Plain or Patterned?

If you don’t want a plain wedding band but also aren’t much enamored with the idea of your ring having gemstones, you can add interest with etching, engraving, or a textured surface.

Wedding Bands
14k White Gold Diamond Wavy Wedding Band

There is a varied range of bands with all sorts of patterns and engravings. You’ll find designs inspired by past periods like Art Deco and Art Nouveau as well as modern, geometric, and abstract.

Engravings might also be letters or numbers or a message, although these do tend to be used more on the inside of a ring rather than on the outer band. You might also be inspired by your design that you pay an engraver to put onto a plain band.

Note that rings with etching or engraving are more likely to trap dirt, making them harder to clean.

Type of Finish

Traditionally, wedding rings are finished with a very high polish that provides that signature memorable shine on the ring finger, but that isn’t the only option.

Jewelers can offer several different finishes including matte, stone, brush, sandblast, hammered, or satin. Not all finishes are suitable for every precious metal, so your jeweler can advise.

The Fit of the Ring

For something that is worn 24/7, 365, a wedding ring must be comfortable. It should sit snugly without being too tight and it should also sit well with the engagement ring.

Ring size - always buy the right sized ring. If you buy at a jewelry store, they will use a ring gauge. If you are going to buy online, there are a few ways to learn your size. Check if your chosen jeweler offers a resizing service.

Ring profile - this refers to the shape of the ring. Jewelers may offer a choice of court, flat court, and D shape. Others may also offer their bespoke profiles. Essentially, they’ll be described as comfort fit and non-comfort fit. It is a personal preference as to how a ring looks and feels as to which is the best profile for you.

Ring width - wedding band widths can range from 1mm to up to 8mm, which is very slim to very wide! On the whole, it is a good idea to match the width of your wedding ring to the width of your engagement ring to achieve a harmonious look on your ring finger.

Matching Rings?

There are two considerations under the heading of matching rings.

The first is if you want a true bridal set which is a matching engagement ring and wedding ring.

The second is if you are your partner are going to have matching wedding bands. This will need to be a joint decision so you can choose wedding bands suitable for both of you.

You may find that it’s not easy to find matching rings you both love - that’s perfectly fine. The important thing is you both end up with something you love as a symbol of your partnership and commitment and that you are happy to wear every day.

Hopefully, this ultimate guide above will help you find the perfect wedding band that seals the deal on the big day.


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