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The Three Rings of Marriage

It’s not until you begin wedding ring shopping that you realize just how many different types of rings there are, and we’re not just talking cut and color.

Did you know there are three traditional rings of marriage, and they all have different meanings and are given at different times? If you’re looking at engagement ringswedding bands and eternity rings with a mixture of fear and confusion, wondering which one you need and why, take a breath and keep reading.

Engagement Rings: The Beginning

Thankfully, engagement rings are fairly self-explanatory. These rings are for the proposal, the heart-pounding, get-down-on-one-knee, pop-the-question moment.

Woman's left hand wearing The Alexandria on ring finger

Featured: The Alexandria

Engagement rings are the ones that are generally flashier and feature at least one centerpiece stone and possibly some other decorations and details. Typically, women are the only ones who receive and wear engagement rings. Men’s rings come in with the next section.

Shop Affordable Engagement Rings

Wedding Bands: The I Do

This is where people sometimes get confused. Many think that the only ring you buy is the engagement ring, but if you’re following tradition, you’ll also want to get a matching wedding band. The band is simple, usually plain metal with no stones or set with very small stones and possibly a heartfelt engraving on the inside.

Woman's left hand wearing The One and Only and The Giselle on ring finger

Featured: The Giselle and The One and Only

Wedding bands are the ones you exchange during the wedding ceremony. Both bands can match, or they can reflect the couple’s individual styles. It’s completely up to you! There really is no right or wrong way to do rings. If you want both an engagement ring and a wedding band, or one or the other, there’s no reason not to do what you feel is right.

Shop Stackable Wedding Bands for Women

If you’re sticking with tradition, the wedding band is typically worn first, with the engagement ring on top (so that the wedding band is closest to your heart).

Eternity Rings: The Never-Ending

The final addition to the ring list can be given any time between the first wedding anniversary and the rest of your lives. If the wedding band is the “I do,” the eternity ring is the “I do, forever.” It’s a bit like a tangible vow renewal and recommitment to your marriage and spouse.

Woman's left hand wearing The Amore set and The Sadie on ring finger

Featured: The Amore set and The Sadie

Eternity rings are traditionally given on a significant anniversary, such as the 10th. This isn't a rule that's set in stone, however. You can choose any anniversary you want, earlier or further down the road. Every marriage is unique!

There aren’t really any strong guidelines about the eternity ring. You can use a simple band for it that goes along with the engagement ring. We’ve seen some really neat ones with center gemstones if you’re going for something bold that can stand on its own. Really, this one is the most up to you of all of them. 

Can Men Wear Eternity Rings?

Just like engagement rings, there are some men who wear them and some who don’t. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about guys and eternity rings, so it’s completely up to the wearer. The way the trends are moving with guys and engagement rings, it doesn’t seem impossible that some dudes will hop on board with eternity rings. However, it still tends to be more popular among women, especially if you’re using a band meant to be worn with another ring. 

So, Which Ones Do You Need?

Well, technically, you don’t need any of them. For most couples, the first two rings encompass everything you need. Some men opt to use the first ring as both an engagement ring and a wedding band. Of course, there are plenty of guys who don’t wear engagement rings (though the number of them who do is a growing trend). 

If we recommend anything, it’s to at least get an engagement ring. If you shop affordable options, you can get all three of these rings for less than it’d cost you going somewhere else. Just something to keep in mind. That’s especially true if you opt for a wedding ring set, making the two of those rings even more affordable than they would be separately.

If you want to show off your new ring and its fancy inlays on social media, well, you’ll need to at least get that first ring. Beyond that though, it’s up to you.

See, It’s Not So Complicated When You Break It Down!

Each ring is given at a different time, for a different reason, but there really are no rules. There is only what is right for each individual couple.

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