It’s a great feeling to be absolutely head-over-heels for your engagement ring. In fact, some people love their engagement rings so much, they might think: Do I have to wear (or even buy) the wedding band? What about going with no wedding band and only an engagement ring?
Spoiler alert: While it’s a somewhat unorthodox choice, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing only your engagement ring! Up ahead, we’ll talk about the two types of rings and why you might choose to rock an engagement ring by itself.
Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands
Let’s start by reviewing the big differences between wedding and engagement rings, and how most people wear theirs:
- The engagement ring is the ring symbolizing the beginning of a new chapter in your lives together. Typically, it’s the one that the proposing partner uses to pop the question. Engagement rings can have a huge range of designs — from the simple elegance of single-stone oval engagement rings to luxurious halo engagement rings dripping with brilliance. What most have in common is that they have more stones and more complex designs than wedding bands.
- The wedding band is one of two rings that you exchange with your partner during the wedding ceremony, symbolizing the eternal, day-in-day-out commitment of marriage. Most people wear theirs every day, which is why wedding bands often don’t have stones and generally use a much simpler design, like a plain band. A wedding band is often a simple solid-color metal band, although options like inlay rings or eternity rings are also super-popular in today’s wedding scene. Some couples opt for matching wedding bands as well.
Can I Wear My Engagement Ring by Itself?
The only person who should tell you how to wear your wedding and engagement rings is you (although you’ll probably want to consider your partner’s feelings, too). So, when anyone comes to us to ask whether this or that way to wear their wedding ring is “normal” or “right,” the only real question is: Do you want to wear it that way? After all, it’s your marriage, your ring and your choice!
Why might you choose to wear an engagement ring by itself — or perhaps even forgo the wedding bands entirely?
- You love your engagement ring and feel comfortable wearing it as a solo piece. An engagement ring can have a huge visual appeal all by itself, so don’t hesitate to experiment with different ways to style it!
- Your engagement ring and wedding ring have shapes that make them hard to stack together. For example, if you’ve got a big stone on your engagement ring, it may not sit cleanly on top of your wedding ring, and you might choose to wear it alone instead. (Check out our cohesive wedding ring sets if you want to make sure you get a set that stacks perfectly together!)
- You’d prefer to skip the wedding bands and spend more on the engagement ring (or on other wedding stuff). This is a totally legit preference, but remember that there are some great affordable wedding bands out there that won’t break the bank! You can also add eternity bands or other wedding bands later on, so you can always change your mind.
- You plan to wear the engagement ring on one hand and the wedding band on the other. This is a common “happy medium” option for those who don’t want to do the traditional stack, but still want to wear both rings at once. Other alternatives include wearing your wedding band on a necklace chain, Lord of the Rings-style.
Things to Think About When Wearing Only an Engagement Ring
If you’re thinking about going without a wedding ring, we’re all about it — but do make sure you’ve thought about a few considerations first:
- Engagement rings tend to have more parts (such as their prongs and setting) that can get snagged on clothes, cords and countless other things. If you’re in an environment with machinery or other hazards, this can actually be dangerous, but it can also be inconvenient even for people in less hazardous environments. Picking up a silicone ring that’s designed for safety and flexibility can be a good move.
- Many engagement rings are highly valuable (whether that value is monetary, sentimental or both). If the worst happens and your jewelry is lost or stolen, many people would rather replace their wedding band than their engagement ring.
- Those who don’t plan to buy wedding bands at all might want to come up with another symbolic commitment gesture to replace it. Your options are basically infinite: Use other jewelry, get a tattoo, plant a tree, exchange flower crowns — basically, whatever symbolizes forever commitment to you!
Why Would You Want to Only Wear an Engagement Ring?
Well, there’s a few reasons. Granted, there are probably tons of reasons if you get really into the weeds of it, but there are a handful of prominent ones.
One, you don’t want that much jewelry on your left hand at once. That’s perfectly fair. You could, of course, wear your engagement ring on your right hand and your wedding band on your left ring finger if you like. Really, it’s just a personal preference thing at that point.
Two, you only want to wear both for special occasions. Granted, people who do that usually have their wedding band on every day and reserve the engagement ring for special occasions. Consider something like a classic and simple yellow gold wedding band that stands alone just fine or paired with an ornate engagement ring as part of a bridal set if that sounds like something you’d want. While most women save the big beautiful center stone for occasional use, there’s no reason you can’t wear it solo every day.
Third, you just want to show off the bling. If you’ve got some gemstones or a stunning center stone, maybe you don’t want anything else taking up focus. Fair enough. Beautiful rings ought to stand out and we can’t argue with you there.
Fourth, and most obviously, you’re still in the camp of brides-to-be. Yeah, this one is sort of cheating. You wear your engagement ring by itself because you don’t have a wedding band yet. Ya know, because the wedding day hasn’t technically happened yet. The big day is on its way and we’re excited for you! Still, we’re counting it because we make the rules.
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