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Knowing who should pay for the engagement ring is an easy to deduce tradition in most couples, usually, the one who feels the desire to propose is the one who pays for that particular ring, but... What happens when the relationship is already well on its way to the wedding preparations? Who buys the wedding bands?
Let's talk about the traditional ways of doing it and the trends that modern couples are opting for so you can choose the option that best suits your style.
Although finger decorations (rings) have been around for thousands of years, the use of wedding bands were exclusive to women during the Middle Ages.
Between 1300-1400 the use of wedding rings, different from engagement rings, began to become popular during religious ceremonies that were often paid for by the bride's family.
Later, the different churches perfected the use of wedding rings as a symbol of love in the eyes of men and as an elegant way to promote fidelity in a couple, although this tradition did not deepen in the West until after 1940.
Since then, men began to use wedding rings as well as women almost for the most part (with a marketing push), as a way to remember their wives in the distance. A gesture they copied from soldiers during World War II.
Traditionally speaking, it is the bride (and her family) who buys the groom's wedding ring, while the bride's wedding ring is bought by the groom (and his family).
Although this was the traditional way of doing it 20 or 30 years ago, the reality is that modern couples have a wide range of possible scenarios at hand and traditions have adapted to the new view of marriage.
Nowadays, many couples decide to assume together the cost of wedding rings as it represents a symbol that will identify them both. In another scenario, the bride allows herself to afford both wedding rings, to balance the cost of the engagement ring which usually costs much more.
In addition, it is not uncommon for the groomsmen or a very close relative of the couple to decide to assume the cost of the wedding rings as a wedding gift, so the rules are not really written.
With all the investment that goes into a big wedding, the origin of the wedding ring is implausible compared to its significance.
As explained above, tradition dictates that each member of the couple buys their partner's wedding band. But this really is usually (and should be) a joint decision, a product of communication with the couple and not an imposition of any kind.
However traditional a marriage may be, the current landscape allows the couple to decide the rules of the game. However, keep in mind that the selection of a good wedding ring for men is just as important as for women and deserves the same budget and planning.
In the planning phase, it never hurts to have a couple of extra tips to guide you during the purchase of a good wedding band that will make the couple happy and suit their tastes well without breaking the bank. After all, this jewelry is expected to accompany the couple forever.
Take the following tips into consideration:
With all the things that need to be perfect for the wedding day, time is not something that is in abundance, which is why wedding ring shopping is often left until the very end.
This is not a healthy practice.
Wedding bands will be jewelry forever, no matter how simple they are. It is important to get the right pair as far in advance as possible as there are many unforeseen events that can arise at the last minute. The last thing we want is to walk down the aisle without a ring.
Take it slow to choose a piece that really lives up to expectations.
One of the best ways to demystify the wedding ring issue is to have a direct and healthy channel of communication with your partner (which is also important for the future marriage). Whatever your perspective on the matter, an honest discussion where both of you can actively participate in the selection and your individual tastes can settle the matter.
In addition, staying in communication on the subject ensures that you both feel comfortable and on the same page, with no hard feelings or reproaches down the road.
In the past, there wasn't much to choose from for a wedding band other than just the metal. Today, designs have been refined to suit all the subtleties of human taste, so there are as many choices as there are couples.
Some couples choose designs that are identical or have common features. For others, the choice of the man's wedding band is based solely on his personal taste, while the woman's wedding band must respond to other factors such as whether it matches well with her engagement ring, a rare piece of jewelry for guys.
No matter what you choose, make sure that the design of your wedding band responds solely to your tastes.
An easy way to approach this if you've decided to share wedding and wedding band expenses is to set a budget based on each of your incomes. This way, you will have a limit that makes you both feel comfortable and involved as far as your finances allow.
Remember that there are no impositions that exceed each person's circumstances.
If as a couple you have not yet blended your finances, you may want to consider who is taking on the most expenses and factor that into the wedding ring budget.
Also, as a couple, other major investments are surely on the way, such as the family's first home and so on, so a budget should be made with the future in mind as well.
Since we've already touched on the topic of responsibility in buying the wedding band why not some extra tips when it comes to buying the wedding band?
Whether you have decided to do it on your own or together, keep the following in mind when making your choice:
An appropriate wedding band takes into account the lifestyle of its future wearer, after all, he will wear it almost all the time and the last thing you want is to make its design too uncomfortable to wear due to his occupations.
This is the main reason why most wedding bands maximize metal quality and durability over inlays. If you use your hands a lot in the work area, choose a low-profile piece.
Although there are a myriad of alloys in the jewelry world, most wedding bands range from gold (white, yellow and rose) to platinum, which is more durable and less irritating to many sensitive skins.
As with engagement rings, a priority element is to identify the right size, in this case consult our guide. Also, if you have ended up making a last minute purchase, choose a model whose size can be easily modified, rather than one with an intricate design.
A very common detail in wedding rings is the engraving on the inside of the ring, an element that gives this type of jewelry a special and unique personalized symbolism.
A beautiful engraving is the best way to immortalize a message that identifies your love. If you need some inspiration to find the right one we have a guide with some ideas.