In a world where couples are increasingly finding their way to marriage on their own terms, the wedding ring is one of the few pieces of jewelry that can stand for a shared symbol of commitment. It’s also an item of clothing that will likely be worn every day, so it’s important to pick options that you genuinely love—and which reflect your style and values. Luckily, with so many styles and metals to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities for wedding rings that are unique, special, and timeless.
Regardless of the specific design you select, it’s essential to find a jeweler who you can trust. “A good jeweler will know you and your ring, and be able to provide the guidance you need without being pushy,” Staudt says. It’s also a smart idea to shop around before making your final decision, as prices vary and different stores have unique selections.
The first step to choosing the right wedding ring is to get your finger measured. This can be done easily by wrapping a piece of string or paper around your ring finger (usually the third finger), marking where it overlaps, and then measuring that distance with a ruler. Be sure to take into account that your ring might swell slightly in warmer weather, so it’s best to go with a size that is a bit larger than what you think you might need.
Once you have your ring size, the next step is to decide on a style. “While traditional wedding bands are made from white gold or platinum, these days they can be found in a wide variety of colors and designs,” Neal notes. “You can even find rings with unique accents like brushed or hammered finishes that add texture and style.”
It’s also worth noting that if you plan to wear your ring while doing manual labor, you might want to consider a more durable metal such as titanium. Likewise, if you work with chemicals, your wedding ring should be tough enough to handle that kind of exposure, too.
In addition to considering the style and durability of your ring, you’ll also want to consider how it was created. “As a couple, do you want to incorporate heirloom materials from family members?” Neal says. “This can add a deeper meaning and a connection to your past, while also helping to ensure your ring has a future.”
Once you’ve decided on the style, materials, and design of your ring, it’s time to consider how you will care for it. Both Neal and Murthy note that it’s important to regularly clean your ring, particularly the back of the setting and stone, with a mild dish soap and water. It’s also a good idea to have your ring professionally cleaned once a year to check for loose stones and other damage. Keeping your ring in excellent condition will help it last longer, and will keep it looking beautiful for years to come.