cover_ The Right Way To Wear A WR

How To Wear A Wedding Ring: The Must-Read Guide

In the world of how to wear wedding rings and engagement rings, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Even the most “universal” traditions, as you’ll soon see, are subject to variations. It all depends on the ring wearer’s particular culture and style.

So what should YOU do? Read on to find out.

The Right Way To Wear A Wedding Ring

“What’s the right way to wear my wedding ring?”

With all the traditions and rituals involved in marriage, it’s easy to get lost in the whirlpool of wedding “should”s. And there are a lot of them. But as far as how to wear a wedding ring, where to wear a wedding ring, and what your wedding ring should look like – there is quite a bit of room to express yourself! On the whole, the world of wedding rings is less rigid than that of engagement rings. 

Wedding Ring Pros: you have lots of flexibility in your style choice.

Wedding Ring Cons: you still have to navigate numerous, and possibly conflicting, traditions. 

That’s why we’re here to answer your questions about how to wear a wedding ring.

How to wear a wedding ring - pave lotus wedding ring

#1: What’s the difference between a wedding ring and an engagement ring? 

Though there are a few key design differences, the main thing that sets these two types of rings apart is when they’re given. An engagement ring is typically given during the proposal (from the proposer to the proposee), while wedding rings are exchanged during the marriage ceremony between both partners. And while an engagement ring typically features a prominent center stone, wedding rings don’t have one focal point per se. They feature either rows of smaller stones or simply a clean solitaire band. In this, they’re more like the super-talented backup singer whose role is to gracefully point the attention to the star: your engagement ring.

Yellow Gold Solitaire
Engagement Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - yellow gold solitaire engagement ring

Yellow Gold Tapered
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - tapered channel-set wedding ring

In contrast to engagement rings, there are relatively few restrictions on how wedding rings should be worn and how they should look. Even so, navigating the myriad of loose cultural traditions and style possibilities can often be overwhelming. So let’s answer all your most pressing wedding ring questions, one-by-one!

#2: How should my wedding ring look?

Again, the answer is: anyway you’d like! There are very few customs concerning the actual design of a wedding ring. Here is a rundown of the most popular options.

Eternity ring or open ring?

ETERNITY RINGS

In some cultures, it’s a custom to wear circular eternity rings. In this case, the continuity of an eternity ring is considered to represent a couple’s endless love and their everlasting unity.

Prong-Set Diamond
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - prong-set wedding ring

Channel-Set Diamond
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - yellow gold channel-set wedding ring

However, an eternity ring isn’t for everyone – non-circular rings are also a lovely option. This is particularly the case for anyone whose center stone is elongated – like a marquise, oval, or pear – and prevents the engagement ring from sitting flush with a round wedding ring. Two excellent alternatives are custom-curved rings, or open rings.

CURVED WEDDING RINGS

If your engagement ring has a distinct shape, your wedding ring can curve to accommodate your center stone. This gives your wedding set a unique interlocking quality. As an added bonus, the curved wedding rings’ complementary shapes reduce friction on your skin by preventing unnecessary slippage.

Pear Tiara
Engagement Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - pear tiara engagement ring

Curved Tiara
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - curved tiara wedding ring

Flower Halo
Engagement Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - flower halo engagement ring

Curved Solitaire
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - curved solitaire wedding ring

OPEN WEDDING RINGS

Or, you can choose to wear an open ring. Though less common, open wedding rings are gaining popularity. These unique pieces complement many wearers’ unique styles, and they go beautifully with an elongated center stone.

Open Bezel
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - open bezel-set wedding ring

Open Marquise
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - open marquise diamond wedding ring

Stones or classic?

In Judaism, the wedding ring is traditionally an unadorned, simple band that’s free of engravings or precious stones. In other cultures, there are no specific customs regarding wedding ring decoration. Diamonds? Yes. Gemstones? Yes. Classic? Yes.

GEMSTONES

The beauty of gemstone wedding rings is the huge selection! Sapphires, rubies, pearls, emeralds…it’s a positive smorgasbord of sparkle. You can always choose a particular stone simply for its beauty, but you can also embrace certain stones’ meanings. For instance, you may inlay your wedding rings with your respective birthstones, zodiac signs, or stones that are particularly lucky for you.

Diamond and Sapphire
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - sapphire and diamond wedding ring

Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - rainbow gemstone wedding ring

CLASSIC

Classic wedding rings complement absolutely any engagement ring. The simplicity of a classic metal band directs all the attention to your engagement ring. So if you’re struggling to find a matching wedding ring, or you simply want to highlight your engagement ring, then a classic wedding ring could be the style for you.

White Gold Solitaire
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - white gold classic wedding ring

Yellow Gold Solitaire
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - yellow gold classic wedding ring

#3: Which hand should I wear my engagement and wedding ring on? 

Which hand, and which finger, on which rings are worn changes radically around the world. Even in Europe, in which rings are almost always worn on the fourth finger – the ring finger – there are at least 3 common ways to wear a wedding set.

On The Right Hand

Catholic and eastern European tradition dictates that the wedding and engagement ring both be worn on the right hand. The engagement ring is removed before the wedding ceremony, and after the wedding ring is slipped on during the ceremony, the engagement ring is replaced on top of it. The custom of wearing the wedding set on the right hand comes from an ancient Roman belief that the left hand was untrustworthy. In fact, the Latin word for “left hand” shares the same root as the modern-day word “sinister.”

On The Left Hand

On the other hand – *chuckle* – the Anglican church started doing things a bit differently following their separation from the Catholic church. By wearing both rings on the left hand, they rang in a new era of reformation by eschewing old “sinister” traditions. And this custom continues in Protestant cultures today, where the wedding ring is placed on the left hand during the wedding ceremony, and then the engagement ring is slipped on after it. Many people enjoy the symbolism of wearing their wedding ring closest to their heart, since it highlights the importance of marriage. 

Since the engagement ring is worn on the left hand after the proposal, many brides make this work by temporarily changing the hand on which they wear their engagement ring; during the wedding, they slip it onto their right hand before returning it to their left, over their new wedding ring.

On Different Hands

However, the engagement ring and wedding ring don’t have to be worn on the same hand. If it’s more your style, you can wear them on opposite hands. Spread the glitter around, as it were. In Spain, for instance, the engagement ring usually goes on the left hand, while the wedding ring usually goes on the right. 

So – there’s no dominating tradition regarding where to wear your wedding ring. It all depends on local tradition, religion, and personal style; not all of your personal traditions may line up. It’s possible that religiously, you prefer to wear your wedding ring on your right hand, but local custom dictates that you wear it on your left. 

In the end, it’s all up to you. However you prefer to wear your wedding ring is the right way to wear it.

#4: How do I match my wedding ring to my engagement ring?

The answer: however you’d like. This is where you have utter freedom to express yourself – there are very few, or no, customs regarding how to match your wedding set. So what’s this mean for you? You have 3 main elements to mix and match: metal, stones, and style

We’ve taken one of our most popular engagement rings, the Petite Pavé, to show you all the ways you can choose a matching wedding ring. 

The Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - petite pave engagement ring

Match by Metals

All ring metals look great together! White gold + white gold = pretty. White gold + yellow gold/rose gold = pretty. It all works. You can’t go wrong.

Rose Gold Classic
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - rose gold classic wedding ring

Yellow Gold Classic
Wedding Ring 

How to wear a wedding ring - yellow gold classic wedding ring

Match By Stones 

Diamonds are definitely marriage material, but so are gemstones. Don’t be shy to choose a wedding ring with the right stones to make you smile. 

Diamond And Sapphire Arrows
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - sapphire wedding ring

Double-Row Pavé
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - double row pave wedding ring

Match By Setting Style 

Your pavé engagement ring will look beautiful with either a pavé wedding ring or, say, a channel-set wedding ring.

Half-Pavé Diamond
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - half pave diamond wedding ring

Channel-Set Diamond
Wedding Ring

How to wear a wedding ring - channel-set diamond wedding ring

If you’re wondering how to match you and your partner’s wedding rings, click here to get all our James Allen tips and tricks.

#5 What should I do if I can’t wear my wedding ring the “traditional” way?

Remember that tradition is a suggestion.

  • If you can’t wear your wedding ring on the “right” finger, wear it on another one!
  • If you can’t wear it on your hand, slip it onto a chain and wear it as a pendant necklace.
  • If your wedding ring doesn’t fit with your engagement ring, wear them on separate fingers.
  • If you don’t like rings, bracelets can be excellent substitutes.

The bottom line is – it’s your wedding, your marriage, and your ring. You can choose to wear it in whatever way suits you!

Wedding ring styles: our team’s picks! 

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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The Royal Wedding: Matching Rings Made in Heaven

With the royal wedding almost upon us, we’ve taken the liberty of picking out matching wedding rings for Markle’s sparkle.

royal wedding matching wedding rings

The big news out of Kensington Palace last year was Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle. Oh, and that ring. You probably don’t need reminding that he popped the question with a classic three-stone sparkler, complete with a cushion cut center diamond. Or that the two round cut side stones came from Princess Di’s personal collection. But just in case you do, here’s a more affordable James Allen lookalike ring to jog your memory:

royal wedding classic three-stone diamond engagement ring

Feeling nostalgic? Get Inspired by Meghan Markle’s Engagement Ring all over again!

In honor of the upcoming royal nuptials, we’ve rounded up some Insta-worthy wedding rings that would look perfect alongside Ms. Markle’s stunner. Think of them as the stylish yin to her sparkling yang.

BROWSE WEDDING RINGS

The Royal Wedding: Ringin’ in the Reign

The future royal has described her style as “classic with a modern twist”. This is evident in Harry’s choice of engagement ring, which features an intricate floral-like motif. She would do well to pair it with an understated wedding ring that doesn’t draw attention away from that magnificent diamond trio.

royal wedding classic bezel set diamond eternity wedding ring
Bezel Set Diamond Wedding Ring

This eternity ring has that classic style, but the surrounding diamonds give it an added je ne sais quoi.

royal wedding classic channel set baguette diamond wedding ring
Baguette Diamond Wedding Ring

Classic meets contemporary in this sleek and sophisticated design.

The Royal Wedding: Your Other Other Half

One of the nice things about three-stone engagement rings is how truly versatile they are. They can be paired with most wedding ring styles and metal types, so you’re bound to find something that suits your taste and “royal” wedding budget!

Double or Nothing

Pavé bands are the obvious choice if you want to accentuate your diamonds, as they essentially double the amount of sparkle.

royal wedding overlapping single row pavé wedding ring
Overlapping Single Row Pavé Wedding Ring

royal wedding pavé diamond wedding ring
Pavé Diamond Wedding Ring

A Shine of the Times

royal wedding vintage round baguette milgrain diamond wedding ring
Round and Baguette Milgrain Diamond Wedding Ring

Ever feel like you were born into the wrong era? Then you’ll dig the vintage stylings of this art deco charmer. Seriously, rings this regal should be illegal!

royal wedding sapphire diamond rope style wedding ring
Sapphire and Diamond Rope Style Wedding Ring

If you have a penchant for a more modern aesthetic, you may appreciate the smooth contours of this rope-style wedding ring. Its pavé diamonds are interwoven with blue sapphires, delivering a refreshing pop of color.

Mix or Match

Matching metals bring harmony to the wearer’s hand, while mixed metals lend a decidedly eclectic look. Demand for these sexy stackables is piling up!

royal wedding french cut pavé set diamond eternity wedding ring white gold
French Cut Diamond Eternity Wedding Ring

royal wedding french cut pavé set diamond eternity wedding ring rose gold
French Cut Diamond Eternity Wedding Ring

The Royal Wedding: Princess Charming

For more classy combos, read up on How to Match Your Wedding Ring and Engagement Ring. Tell us which crowning jewel gets your royal seal of approval on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

Pin this image to save your royal wedding ring inspo:

royal wedding pinterest pin

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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How to Match Your Wedding Ring and Engagement Ring

You’ve found the love of your life – now it’s time to find your second-most important match: the wedding ring and engagement ring duo.

how to match your engagement ring and wedding band: flower halo matching wedding rings

Your engagement ring represents all the history of your relationship, and the way it’s paired with your wedding ring can symbolize how beautifully your past fits with your future. Thinking about how to match your engagement ring and wedding band? Read on for pairing suggestions and helpful considerations.

Tip before we start:

To pair easily, scroll to the bottom of the page of your James Allen ring page for perfect engagement ring and wedding ring combo ideas! So without further ado, let’s take a look at…

Wedding Ring and Engagement Ring Combos!

Completely Classic or Classic with a Twist?

Let’s start with the basics. Do you want to rock a timeless style, or would you prefer a new take on the original combo (potentially featuring a literal twist)? Here’s how to match your engagement ring and wedding band both ways.

Completely Classic

engagement ring and wedding band: completely classic matching wedding rings

Knife Edge
Wedding Ring

knife edge matching wedding rings

Solitaire
Engagement Ring

knife edge engagement ring matching wedding rings

Classic with a Twist

engagement ring and wedding band: classic with a twist matching wedding rings

Twisted Pavé
Wedding Ring

rope twist pave matching wedding rings

Rope Solitaire
Engagement Ring

rope twist engagement ring matching wedding rings

Bling all around or understated with shine?

On one hand, two pavé rings means double the sparkle. On the other hand, you also know that the simple strength of one can sometimes highlight the shine of the other. Which’ll it be?

Bling All Around

engagement ring and wedding band: bling all around matching wedding rings

Eternity Pavé
Wedding Ring

contoured pave matching wedding rings

Pavé Contoured
Engagement Ring

pave contour engagement ring matching wedding rings

Understated with Shine

engagement ring and wedding band: understated with shine matching wedding rings

Slightly Curved
Wedding Ring

curved traditional matching wedding rings

Twisted Pavé
Engagement Ring

twisted pave engagement ring matching wedding rings

Mixed or matching metals?

Are you an opposites-attract or a match-made-in-heaven kind of couple? Both types of metal combinations look fantastic – it’s a matter of how your tones balance each other.

Mixed Metals

engagement ring and wedding band: mixed metals matching wedding rings

French-Cut Eternity
Wedding Ring

pave eternity rose gold matching wedding rings

Pavé Pear Diamond
Engagement Ring

pear halo engagement ring matching wedding rings

Super modern or art-deco vintage?

Are you the couple who’s constantly posting new pictures or the couple who’s always posting #tbt? Did you meet while working at a tech startup or in a history seminar? Do you feel like your love is the stuff of futuristic novels or of The Great Gatsby? Match your wedding ring and engagement ring to your #couplestyle.

Super Modern

engagement ring and wedding band: super modern matching wedding rings

Open Twist Pavé
Wedding Ring

open twist pave matching wedding rings

Spiral Tension
Engagement Ring

spiral tension engagement ring matching wedding rings

Art-Deco Vintage

engagement ring and wedding band: art deco vintage matching wedding rings

Round and Arrow
Wedding Ring

engagement ring and wedding band: arrow art deco matching wedding rings

Art-Deco Floral
Engagement Ring

engagement ring and wedding band: flower art deco engagement ring matching wedding rings

Gem or diamond side stones?

Of course, diamonds have their classic charm. But maybe you want a bit more color to complement the glitter of your engagement ring and wedding band. From diamonds to gems including emerald, ruby, and sapphire, what will you choose to highlight your center diamond?

Gem Side-Stones

engagement ring and wedding band: gemstone sapphire matching wedding rings

Sapphire + Diamond
Wedding Ring

engagement ring and wedding band: sapphire matching wedding ring

Three Stone Sapphire
Engagement Ring

sapphire side stone engagement ring matching wedding rings: engagement ring and wedding band

Diamond Side-Stones

engagement ring and wedding band: diamond side stone matching wedding rings

Channel-Set Diamond
Wedding Ring

engagement ring and wedding band: channel-set matching wedding rings

Three Stone Diamond
Engagement Ring

engagement ring and wedding band: three-stone princess diamond engagement ring

Love the wedding ring and engagement ring pairings on this page and ready to create your own? Design your own wedding ring and engagement ring duo on JamesAllen.com!

Further reading

Plus, share your favorite matches from this post in the comments below, or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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