The History and Culture of Wedding Bands
A Brief History
For decades, couples have been sharing wedding bands as a symbol of their lasting love and an unbreakable bond. But you may be surprised at the origins of this custom.
Historically, wedding bands (or other valuables) were exchanged in front of the bride’s and groom’s families as a symbol of good fortune and financial security for the newlyweds.
As late as the 1920s, most wedding bands were presented only by husbands to their wives. However, by the late 1940s, 80 percent of brides and grooms were exchanging rings to each other.
Wedding Bands vs. Engagement Rings
While the act of presenting an engagement ring is one of the most exciting parts of a decision to get married – one that neither partner will ever forget – the exchange of wedding rings on the Big Day is what seals the bond.
Traditionally, an engagement ring is simply intended to show that a woman is spoken for, or that the couple has agreed to marry. Wedding bands, however, are exchanged in front of friends and family, typically during the wedding ceremony, as part of pledge of devotion and fidelity.
Both types of rings have their unique importance, which is why most women continue to wear both after marriage (usually with the wedding band worn beneath the engagement ring, so that it’s closer to the heart).
Styles of Wedding Bands
When it comes to choosing wedding bands, you have many options. And while engagement rings are typically chosen only by the man, the selection of wedding bands is often a mutual decision made by both partners.
Ultimately, the style is completely up to you. Classic, contemporary, casual, romantically detailed or ultra-sleek – there are so many beautiful styles to choose from. Chances are you probably already have a preferred style of ring (or styles that you know you don’t like). Use that as a starting point to narrowing your options.
Some wedding bands are designed to coordinate perfectly with the engagement ring, so they can sit side-by-side. Thus, it’s common to choose a band made from the same metal as the engagement ring. Many women also like the symmetry of two matching rings with diamonds of the same size and shape.
Select Cultural Preferences & Customs
Wearing both the engagement ring and wedding band on the same finger is common in North America and in some European countries.
In Greece and Turkey, some women wear “puzzle rings,” which consist of 3 to 6 interlocking rings that are arranged to form a single ring.
In Russia, women’s wedding bands often have three interlocking bands of rose, white and yellow gold.
In France and other French-speaking countries, many women wear wedding rings designed with three interwoven rings, which symbolize the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love.
Celtic Knot Wedding Bands Celtic-style wedding bands (which are now quite popular in the U.S. and Canada) are used to symbolize oneness and continuity. Often a Claddagh design is also used to symbolize fidelity.
TIP: Make sure your wedding band looks perfect on your finger. Women with narrow or petite hands should generally choose a smaller-scale or delicate-looking ring. Women who have larger or wider hands can wear larger bands with large stones.
Decorative Elements on Wedding Bands
Diamonds are classic decorative elements that add beauty and value to wedding bands. Some women prefer to have a single diamond incorporated into their wedding rings; some prefer several diamonds; and some prefer to have no diamond at all.
If you aren’t able to “splurge” on a diamond wedding ring now, you can always consider one in the future as an anniversary band. When you work with a custom ring designer like Vanessa Nicole Jewels, you can customize the ring however you choose so you know it will be perfect.
Gemstones are another popular decorative option, often used to represent a birthstone or a special color between the couple. Sapphires or rubies are an excellent choice since they are hard enough to withstand everyday wear throughout the years.
Engraved and carved rings give a nod to the antique era. Their intricate details make a wedding band more unique and truly extraordinary.
Keep in mind your ring doesn’t have to incorporate any decorative elements. A “plain” wedding band, made of gold, platinum or other metals, is still the most popular option worldwide, as it has a clean, seamless look that will never go out of style.
Wedding Bands for Grooms
Many men prefer the look of a traditional wedding band made of gold or platinum – but it’s really a matter of individual preference. Diamonds and other decorative elements can be added to create a stunning ring that still maintains a “masculine” look.
Beautiful, Custom-Made Wedding Bands – Designed Just For You
Vanessa Nicole Jewels custom-makes beautiful wedding bands and engagement rings for clients all over the world. All of our rings are finely crafted using the highest-quality materials, following industry standards of using 95% pure platinum, solid 14k gold and solid 18k gold.
Unlike pre-made, mass-produced wedding bands, ours are created one at a time to ensure they are one-of-a-kind and truly perfect for each and every client. Contact Vanessa Nicole today to get started on your custom wedding rings!
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