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Why do we exchange wedding bands and how can we pick “the one”?

Why do we exchange wedding bands and how can we pick “the one”?

The tradition of exchanging rings as a symbol of love and commitment has a rich history that spans over 3000 years. From the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks and Romans, the significance of the wedding ring has evolved, but its essence remains the same - a token of eternal love and devotion. 

When the Greeks, under the leadership of Alexander the Great, conquered Egypt, they embraced the custom of exchanging love rings. These rings, often crafted from ivory, bone, iron, or copper, were adorned with symbols of their gods of love, such as Eros, Aphrodite, or Cupid. The Romans further solidified the tradition of exchanging rings as a gesture of betrothal. For them, the wedding ring symbolized ownership and commitment. The groom would present his bride with an iron ring, signifying the beginning of their union. This practice paved the way for the use of precious metals in wedding bands today, with durable metals like gold and platinum symbolizing the enduring strength of the couple's bond.

 Engraving also became popular during Roman times, with couples inscribing their rings with meaningful messages, poems, or names. This tradition continues to be cherished today, as couples personalize their wedding bands with sentimental engravings.


As you embark on the journey of choosing the perfect wedding ring, here are some tips to help you find the one that best suits your style and preferences:


Set a Budget: Determine how much you're willing to spend on your wedding rings. This will narrow down your options and help you focus on rings within your price range. Keep in mind that unlike some wedding staples such as The Dress, flowers and a cake, you will use your bands more than once, like every day for the rest of your life. So, while the upfront cost may seem steep due to the price of gold and platinum, this is 100% an item you should plan for and invest in.


Shop Early: While some stores might have your perfect ring in stock, most jewelers have sample bands, which can then be ordered to meet your needs and size. Ordering your band could take up to two months depending on who is making it. Don’t wait until two weeks before the wedding to go band shopping! Shopping early also allows you to inquire about times when bands go on sale and save up until you are ready to purchase.  


Consider Your Lifestyle: Choose a ring that complements your lifestyle. If you have an active lifestyle or work with your hands frequently, opt for a thicker band or one without tiny diamonds, which can be loosened and lost over time.  


Think About Metal Preference: Consider the metal that best reflects your style and personality. Whether you prefer the classic elegance of yellow gold, the modern allure of white gold, or the contemporary look of rose gold, there's a metal that's perfect for you. There are also a range of contemporary metals such as titanium, tungsten, and steel to consider.


Explore Different Styles: Wedding rings come in a variety of styles, from simple bands to intricate designs with gemstone accents. Try on several bands to see what looks good with your engagement ring and on your finger. You might be surprised that what you liked the look of online doesn’t do it for you in person.


Think Long(ish)-Term: Decide which is the more important to you- style and the overall sentiment or the longevity of one ring which you hope to never have to replace. Gold, platinum, and Damascus Steel bands can last a lifetime and longer. If the design is simple with no stones, they can withstand a lot of wear and tear. The more delicate you get and the more stones you add, the likelihood that you’ll have to do a little repair work on your band at some point increases. These rings are sizable by almost every jeweler or by the company that manufactured them.


However, if you want something that is more stylish or delicate, recognize that you might need to replace your band completely at some point. Popular materials and styles such as wood, bone, silicon, and barely-there single shared prong set diamond bands will not last long term, and that is ok as long as you are prepared for it. Trends also change with the times, so what is really hot on Instagram right now, might not be the band you want in ten years. Think ahead about how you will feel about replacing it. If you can’t stand the thought of wearing any band other than the one you received at your wedding ceremony, ask your jeweler for something that is durable and a time-tested classic design.


Compromise: You love your partner and can’t wait to marry them, but that doesn’t mean you have the same tastes. If matching bands are a priority for you, discuss this with your partner and try to compromise with them on a style. Keep in mind that you both will be wearing these rings every day, and you wouldn’t want to wear something you weren’t a huge fan of. I can assure you that shopping for bands is much easier when each partner gets to choose what they like for themselves.


Personalize with Engraving: Consider adding a personal touch to your wedding ring with custom engraving. Whether it's your initials, wedding date, or a meaningful phrase, engraving adds sentimentality to your ring. Some couples even add secret messages to each other on the inside of their bands. This can be a great way to add your personal touch to your partners band while respecting their style choices.


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Key Takeaways

By following these tips and considering the loving history and symbolism of wedding rings, you'll be sure to find the perfect symbol of your eternal love and commitment. 

And remember, at Ilah Jewelry, we’re here to help you find that perfect piece – made with fierce love in Worcester. Because in the end, it’s not just the thought that counts; it’s the thoughtfulness behind it.


Looking for a Worcester jewelry store that carries a huge selection of lab-grown diamonds and other sustainable gemstones? We specialize in unique, colorful, responsibly sourced jewelry, gay jewelry, lesbian jewelry, and other queer-friendly jewelry as Worcester, MA's top independent jewelry store.

Radically Personal. Unapologetically Human. Made with fierce love.

-Ilah ♥ / IG: @ilahjewelry



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