Shopping for wedding rings

I’d enjoy hearing the stories of other Dopers about the process of shopping for wedding rings, since I’m involved in the process myself, these days.

Did you enjoy the process? Did you start out with an idea first, or with a budget? What was most important to you in a ring? If you’re male, did you wear a ring during the engagement process? Did the two of you have matching rings? How much did your family and friends influence your decision-making?

Tell all!

I’m in the ring market, too. The Druidess and I are looking at

Blue Nile while we talk about ring related stuff–the cut for the diamond, the setting, the metal, the quality of stone, and our budget for same.

There’s a “build your ring” feature that lets you try out different options on a virtual ring.

Note: I have no commercial interest in Blue Nile, and don’t care if anybody ever shops there. I have not bought anything from them yet, and may not. Mentioned just as a resource for information.

My boyfriend and I are about six months away from a civil union. Since we’re both dudes, we don’t need a big flashy diamond. We want something fairly inexpensive, and have decided on carbide–it’s not traditional, and is fairly cheap.

This is what I’m voting for:

The SO wants something that’s a bit smoother.

These are the two I’ve settled on, I think. It’ll be one or the other.

We got the cheapest ones they had; $110 for the pair, class act, all the way. :cool:

Now I want a wood one!


You’ve complicated the process…

I like the first.

Our wedding bands are just plain white gold. My engagement ring is a single sapphire inset into a similar white gold band. We picked them out together; it was important to us that there not be any diamonds involved.

Rather like this one, but with only the one stone.

I knew what I wanted. My sweet baboo was happy that I would wear a ring, so when we went shopping, I showed him what I wanted and he paid for it.

Get something strong. I move boxes for a living and needed platnuim so my ring wouldn’t bend. I know ladies with gold rings they can’t wear because they flatened their ring so badly. Think about what you will be doing with your hands before buying.

My ring has what was called an “illusion” stone. Its 4 small stones set together. Nice flash and it was $600 3 years ago.

BTW. Don’t go to Kay Jewellers. Their prices are good and they have lots of pretty stuff. My sweet baboo wanted me to have my ring for my December birthday and paid for it in November. All that was needed was resizing. It didn’t arrive in time for my birthday. It didn’t arrive in time for Christmas. It didn’t arrive for Valentines Day. The excuses were that its hard to resize a platnium ring and they needed manager approval and the diamonds would pop out if it was resized.

When it finally did get fixed, the manager called us to tell us that we finally got our ring…then locked it in his desk and went home for the day.

I was in college, and hating the fact that I lived in Missouri. My boyfriend was in the Air Force, stationed in Spain. He took about a week’s leave, flew to Missouri (properly pronounced as Misery), and proposed when I met him at the airport. There was a three day waiting period, and so we didn’t have a lot of time for ring shopping, nor did he have a lot of money. So, after getting our blood tests (and he very nearly passed out), we went to various pawn shops, but it was nearly as cheap to get a new ring. So we got me a wedding ring, without an engagement ring. I’m still wearing it, nearly 34 years later. He’s offered to buy me a belated engagement ring several times, but my mother and grandmother have given me more than enough jewelry, including rings with gemstones in them. I really don’t wear that much jewelry, anyway. I usually wear the wedding band, a watch, and a necklace.

Both mrAru and I are mechanics - he was a navy auxilliaryman, and I was trained as an inside/outside mechanic and neither of us likes wearing rings. We borrowed a ring for the ceremony and sort of swapped it between us for the ring part, and gave it back after the ceremony. We had been joking about hitting all the gum machines in the area until we got a pair of rings =)

We do not miss nor regret the choice for no rings, it simply isn’t important to us.

Both my parents and Middlebro had the plain gold bands with the names and wedding date engraved inside; shopping for them was just a matter of making sure they had the right size.
I’ve told before the story of “how Middlebro met SiL,” or at least parts of it. It was during a week-long Easter celebration in our parish; she was from a bigger town 1h away. They were both in 12th grade; SiL, being a control freak (she’s gotten mellower with age and maternity, hallellujah praise the Kidlets), had the next ten years of her life all planned out and no room in them for a boyfriend. Him, being a romantic, knew he wanted to marry her within half an hour of meeting her… but he also knew that if he came in too strongly, she’d run away as fast as her long legs could carry her - which was quite fast, she was in the track team.
For the next few months, he and his BFF would go to her city as often as they could and “somehow” manage to run into her and her friends; her friends were calling him “your boyfriend” by the second trip, she kept denying he was such a thing. After about 10 weeks of this, she accepted that ok, well, maybe he was her boyfriend.
Him and his BFF obtained ring “samples” from their mothers and sisters; one day while they were at the swimming pool (and therefore she’d taken her rings off), her BFF got into SiL’s bag and compared the ring SiL usually wore on her ring finger with the samples.
Bro used the proper sample to pick a pair of plain silver bands and gave her one on their “four month anniversary”. On their wedding, they traded them for the golden ones.

I have a small round cut diamond in a full bevel yellow gold setting, with a tiny diamond on each shoulder, on a platinum band, with a plain platinum wedding band. Irishfella has a plain platinum band. The diamonds are Canadian, and small but very good quality stones. The settings and materials mean that my ring is very sturdy, so no flattening, bending or chance of losing a stone.

I got bored looking at samey solitaires, and went hunting for something different, seeing it finally in the window of an artisan jeweller in Dublin. So, I got to meet the man who made it, and he later made our wedding bands to measure for us too. I took irishfella along and he approved the ring and the price!

I have never seen anyone with an engagement ring like mine, and I get compliments on it still (especially from jewellers- they always ask where I got it).

Irishfella gave me a budget for the rings he was buying, and I bought his wedding band with prize money from a medical school prize I won about 6 monhs before the wedding.

We looked online, found Titanium rings we liked for about $100 each*, (in similar, but not matching designs) and bought them.

My friends and family had 0% input in our decision.

I wear an engagement ring. I had it custom designed. Yes that means it wasn’t a surprise. gasp!. I actually had a bit of an anxiety dream before the wedding where my husband surprised me with a ring – that was very, very ugly. It had cavorting dolphins and a diamond (not my thing) that was huge and cheap looking. LOL.

*“They’re cheap and durable, like our love.”

SO wanted/wants to make it “official”, so last time I visited him, while we were at the mall, he took me to a jewelery store he had already seen. He asked to see the “alianzas”, and when the choices appeared, both of us went straight for the same design, only I first looked at the white gold version. I got convinced to use the simple gold design, and we both got fitted. These are rings that could double as wedding bands, and worn on the right during the engagement.

We liked it and ask for price, but didn’t have money then to get them. Still, it was nice that we both agreed on a choice, and, shall the money appear, buy them for us. Due to long distance, HE will wear the ring for longer than I will wear mine, but he’s OK with it. He, after all, is the one that wants it the most (the ring).

Although in my case it will likely double as wedding band, he says he doesn’t want that. Reason? He wants a big honking thick wedding band, and our design comes as a relatively thin style.

Also, after looking and choosing a style, he admitted that he had previously gone to other stores and looked at other designs, but that the style he originally wanted was out of his budget.

Oh, and it’s a simple yellow gold ring with a “striped”? design.

I knew that I wanted the engagement ring to be simple and straightforward… a single diamond on a narrow gold band. We went into a jewelry story one day (when we’d known each other about six weeks!!!) and I found out that I liked princess cut better than round. Then my husband took it into his own hands… he found a lot of jeweler’s websites that had specific individual diamonds listed, with high-resolution photos so you can examine the flaws, etc. He picked out the stone and decided to have the inside of the ring inscribed too (“There will be time”). One evening when I wasn’t expecting it, as we were cuddling on my back deck, he recited all of Prufrock up to the line “drop a question on your plate”, then said, “so let me drop a question on your plate…” and took it out. sniffle

For the actual WEDDING rings, I took over. We both wanted plain narrow gold bands. I bought them on eBay.

I wanted a plain yellow gold band, but he wanted a white gold band, because he says his father is his example of a good husband and his father wears a white gold band. No, I says, your father wears a yellow gold band. White! he says. Of course I was right. I always notice jewelry. So we both got yellow gold bands. Like Hello Again, we designed our engagement ring together. Every jewelry store we sent to said they did custom work, and every one took a catalog with stock settings out from under the counter. Finally we found one that actually did custom work.

That second one is very similar looking to the one my husband picked for himself. For myself I just took off my engagement ring that morning and gave it to my husband to put back on my finger at the wedding, so now it is my wedding/engagement ring. He wanted something a little different but couldn’t figure out exactly what until we were browsing on and came across a titanium ring made out of old helicopter parts. It was listed as bulletproof. His eyes lit up like Christmas and he said, “I want that one!”

His was easy, he wanted the simplest thing possible and went with a white gold band. No embellishments at all, just a “comfort fit” shape.

Mine was a little bit harder to settle on, because the engagement ring was his mother’s and several decades old, making it hard to find a band that was a good match for it. The original band, which was offered to us, was extremely thin and I didn’t like the feel of it. I also wanted a wedding band I’d be happy to wear alone, without the engagement ring beside it. The engagement ring is a single stone set very high, in a white gold setting with a knife-edge look. Most of the rings I tried on would rub against the diamond setting and fit uncomfortably. After trying on dozens of bands at different places, I settled on a small delicate band with seven tiny diamonds and a milgrain edge.

We did have a budget, and that definitely influenced my decision. I could have gone for something fancier or more intricate, but we couldn’t really afford it. I’m happy with what I have, though. We were never concerned with finding a matching set - we have very different taste and since we’re going to be wearing these every day we each wanted to find something we’d enjoy wearing.

These are our rings.

Love that first ring with the wooden-inlay look, very different! But would you get sick of that in 15 years? See, that’s the hard part… you’re going to have it on your finger for quite a while! Good luck with your shopping and congratulations again on the engagement!

My lady and I did some browsing to find our sense of style. She wanted a traditional precious-metal ring, I wanted the rings to match.

We went to several stores and tried on quite a few. Eventually we tried on a set of yellow gold rings, mill grain edges. We both went “OOOOoooooh!”

The rings arrived last week, and we’ve made sure they fit right. :smiley: (Taking the rings off was difficult, and I don’t mean due to sizing!)

W minus 3 months 12 days.

I’ve been married once before and had a plain white gold comfort fit band that I wore for nearly 11 years. I paid very little attention to my ring from an aesthetics standpoint, honestly. I enjoyed the symbolism. I don’t think I’d get tired of it.

Besides, I’ve already told jsgoddess that any time we ever break or lose a ring, we’ll have to replace it AND renew our vows – I suppose we can add “or get tired of the look of a current ring” to that list. :smiley: