However you want to wear your wedding and engagement rings, it’s totally up to you. But it doesn’t hurt to know about the “proper” way of stacking them on your finger especially if you decide to wear both of them at once or if you’re thinking of having these two symbolic rings soldered together.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the traditional way of wearing a wedding and engagement ring set, along with some contemporary ways to keep you in style.
Engagement ring etiquette
The engagement ring is the most important piece of jewelry you’ll ever own. Therefore, you want to do everything right when it comes to engagement ring etiquette.
But before we dig deeper into it, let’s be clear on what makes it different from your wedding ring.
Obviously, the engagement ring is given during the proposal and the wedding ring, during your wedding ceremony. However, it’s not the only difference.
Generally, this piece of jewelry is more intricate and expensive. Engagement ring designs are as diverse as the brides-to-be and usually feature a diamond center stone. The most popular styles of engagement rings are brilliant round, solitaire, halo, oval-shaped, and emerald-cut.
When shopping for engagement rings, here are some etiquette practices to observe:
- You can help your partner choose the ring. Don’t think it’s just the “guy thing”. Stop prolonging his agony by taking part in the selection. In fact, most couples these days prefer shopping for engagement rings together.
- It doesn’t always have to be diamond. While diamond rings are ideal for engagement rings, no one says you can’t choose any other stone. You can choose to have a unique gemstone or combine it with a diamond. The most important thing is it should make you feel comfortable.
- Men can wear engagement rings too. Who says only women get to wear the ring? We’ve seen celebrities like Ed Sheeran, Michael Buble, and Johnny Depp wore engagement rings too.
- Tradition (which dates back to ancient Romans) dictates that you wear your engagement ring on the “ring finger” of your left hand.
Should your wedding band match your engagement ring?
Needless to say, engagement rings are far more expensive than wedding rings. Wedding bands are way simpler. They may or may not have diamond sparkles.
Many couples take into big consideration the metal and style of their engagement rings when buying wedding bands. Others prefer to choose a completely unique band.
While matching your jewelry is essential to look fashionable, there’s no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to pairing engagement rings with wedding rings. As long as it fits your style and it makes you happy, go for it!
4 ways to wear a wedding and engagement ring set
There are a number of ways to stack your wedding and engagement rings on your finger. Here are the most popular ring placements:
Wedding ring first, an engagement ring on top
Initially, during the wedding, the bride wears the engagement ring on her right hand’s ring finger. After the ceremony, she slides it back to her left hand, on top of her wedding band.
Therefore, this placement is considered more appropriate and is the most popular way of wearing engagement and wedding rings together. Most newlyweds follow this order.
This option, however, may not work with all ring styles. For example, if you have a really big diamond engagement ring, you won’t be able to properly stack it with a wedding band that has intricate details. Thus, you want a thinner band in this case.
Engagement ring first, wedding ring on top
In some cultures, women wear their wedding rings on top of their engagement rings. There are several reasons for it.
One is that the engagement ring comes first. Logically, you want to wear things in the order that you received them.
Two, this placement symbolizes the importance of a couple’s promise to love one another. The wedding band strengthens such promise, for “better or for worse.”
Engagement ring on one ring finger and wedding band on the other
If you don’t feel like wearing both of these rings on one finger, you can actually wear them separately. This option is very popular in countries like Germany and Netherlands.
It’s an unconventional approach but works well for people who have a very active lifestyle (stacking two rings together can be uncomfortable sometimes, making it hard for your fingers to move).
This placement is also great for people with short fingers or those who don’t like wearing too many rings on one finger.
Lastly, wearing the rings separately is a great option if both your engagement and wedding rings have elaborate or conflicting designs. If your wedding band has a different band metal or color, or if it features intricate details that the ring looks great on its own, give it all the space and attention it needs by wearing your engagement ring on your other hand’s ring finger.
If you’re choosing this placement style, wear your wedding band on your left hand’s ring finger and the engagement ring on your right hand’s ring finger.
Alternate between rings
While it may be tempting to wear those rings at all times, some people find it uncomfortable in some situations.
Engagement rings have more detailed designs, which make them less suitable for daily wear, especially when you’re going to the gym or participating in strenuous physical activities. Also, diamond rings are prone to scratches and damage so most people only wear these precious jewelry pieces during special occasions.
Since wedding bands have simpler designs, it’s perfectly fine to wear them all the time. Day-to-day activities are less likely to harm your wedding ring, so go ahead and flaunt your bauble. Of course, you should take it off if it will be exposed to harsh chemicals, like when you’re cleaning.
Other people choose to wear one ring at a time simply because they aren’t used to wearing too many rings.
Should you solder your wedding and engagement rings?
If you like wearing both your relationship rings at the same time, all the time, soldering these two pieces together is a good idea.
Soldering eliminates spinning and turning, which can be annoying. If your engagement ring has quite a heavy top or stone (such as the halo style), it’s more likely to turn.
Lastly, if your wedding band doesn’t look good on its own, soldering the rings together might be a good option.
There are different ways to wear a wedding and engagement ring set. Again, the traditional approach is to wear your engagement ring on top of your wedding band, like the way it’s supposed to after your wedding ceremony.
You can also have it worn otherwise (the wedding ring is on top of your engagement ring) which highlights the order of these unforgettable events in your life.
If stacking both rings in one finger doesn’t suit you, go ahead and wear them on both your hands. Or, you can choose to alternate between rings, depending on the occasion.
You can follow the norm or become a trendsetter and choose to wear these rings your way.
After all, at the end of the day, it’s your personal style that matters most. As long as you’re comfortable and you feel great about it, then it’s the best possible way you could wear your rings.
Breanna Howell is the public relations specialist at Claremont Diamonds living her dream of promoting positive public awareness of the company. As a freelance blogger and mom of two millennials, she’s also passionate about providing inspiration and support to everyone on their journey to a fantastic marriage.