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Choosing your engagement ring

Long gone are the days of simple gold wedding bands and being pigeonholed to a band that “goes” with your engagement ring. Today’s bride wants a ring that reflects who she is and her personal style. In fact, many brides (including myself) are opting for options rather than just an expected e-ring and coordinating band combination.

Your engagement ring was most likely chosen by your partner (with or without a little input from you). But you have the freedom to hand select exactly what you want in a wedding band or stack.

Think outside the diamond box. Many brides-to-be are considering gemstones such as sapphires, morganites, emeralds and more. Nowadays, a lot of engagement rings come with a “recommended” wedding band that matches it – but don’t feel like you are married to that one style.

sparkly wedding shoes by badgley mischka

For me personally, I knew I wanted options. I almost studied gemology and have a deep passion and knowledge of stones (Zach did not have it easy). So what we decided on was four different rings that I could mix and match for the most options that could match my mood and style for any given day. Some people may say that’s crazy, but that’s just us.

Choosing your engagement ring

Zach did an incredible job on my Diamonds by Lauren engagement ring (read: fiance of the year award). It is a one-of-a-kind ring (he actually had the design trademarked so no one else can have my exact ring design). My ring features an asscher diamond center with 185 accent diamonds. The halo is pink diamonds set in rose gold and the rest of the setting is platinum. Our whole relationship has had a Gatsby theme to it (including our wedding), so he designed my ring with a “Brenna twist” – aww!

Since my ring has a large basket, no wedding band would sit flush against my ring. We toyed with the idea of making a ring custom that would, but at the end of the day, the cost wasn’t worth it to us. So rather than invest heavily in one band, we opted for three more.

My “true” wedding band is an asscher eternity band that is glamorous and vintage-inspired, my favorite combination. For Christmas, Zach surprised me with a rose gold and morganite band that can stack with my asscher band, stacked with just my engagement ring or just worn solo. I love it. This is a perfect example that your band doesn’t have to match per se, just go. The halo in my ring is actually pink diamonds – a completely different stone – but is looks very similar and works.

gold large statement engagement ring

Now, I do wear a lot of yellow gold fashion jewelry and we travel a lot. I personally didn’t feel comfortable traveling with my wedding set because of the value (both monetary and sentimental). So, we decided on consulting VIP Gemstones (on Etsy) to set a stone we had bought together, a six carat, champagne-colored Prasiolite. It cost only a fraction of what my engagement ring did but I love it so much!

choosing your bling by brenna lyden

So, for those of you who are in the process of picking out your wedding band, here are some tips and things to consider:

  1. Think long term. Are you going to want to stack an anniversary band or a gemstone ring of a child’s birthstone down the line? Think of what your wedding stack will look like as a whole, not just individual pieces.
  2. Think of how you will wear it. Can it be worn on it’s own for those days you want to be low-key? Do you want a statement-making wedding band that will be worn on your right hand rather than stacked on your left alongside your engagement ring? This is becoming more and more of a trend. Bethany Frankel from Real Housewives of New York did this when saying I do.
  3. Think about metals. Mixed metal engagement rings are rising in popularity (ahem, like my ring is!) so think about which metal you would want to accent. Also, reference point number one and think of down the line if you would want to add another metal into the mix (i.e. having a white gold wedding and engagement ring but stacking a yellow gold eternity band in between them at some point).
  4. Get the same metals. Mainly what I am talking about here is the difference between white gold and platinum. I have known so many friends who have a platinum engagement ring, but as the wedding expenses added up, they decided to go with (less expensive) white gold. Good choice? Not really. Over time the two metals wear very differently.
  5. Don’t pick a band that steals the show. By this, I’m talking about a band that overpowers your engagement ring. For example, even though my asscher eternity band is glitzy, the stones are less than a fourth of the size of engagement ring’s center stone.
  6. Choose a band with design similarities. The devil is really in the details with this one. Look for a band that has the same cut (especially if your ring features baguette, emerald, asscher, princess or brilliant cut stones), pave, milgrain or metal details.
  7. Don’t worry about matching your husbands. You guys already will be sharing enough, a ring style does not have to be one of them. If you feel the desire to coordinate, a touch of the same metal is always a nice detail. Zach’s tungsten band has a rose gold strip in the middle to tie our rings together. But then again, we do everything together.
  8. To eternity or not, that is the question. I’m not questioning your relationship, but debating on whether to commit to an eternity band (i.e. diamonds all around the band) is a call you are going to have to make. Pros: it is pretty, when your ring spins around, it will always look the same and there is more bling (heck yes!). Cons: these can’t be resized. If you were to gain weight, have a baby or want to pass down the ring to a family member, this is something to consider.
  9. Soldering your rings together? You should pass. This cuts down on all of your options. If you want to wear them separately or on different hands, this will make it impossible. Soldering is a bit 1985 and like most things, I think it should stay in that decade.

What are your thoughts? What did you decide on for your wedding band, we’d love to hear!

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