Tips For Buying A Wedding Ring

You’re getting married! Congratulations! Marriage is awesome. I once saw one of those cheesy posters with life advice that you see in Home Goods that said “Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or sadness in life.” And it’s absolutely true!

When you decide to get married there are usually a ton of things to do and whirlwind of activities leading up the big day. Some are fun (food/wine tasting at the venue), some are not (writing the check for the venue).

One of the most unexpectedly fun activities I found was shopping for a wedding ring for myself. My wife’s rings were her grandmother’s, so nothing needed to be done on that front except for some cleaning, tightening the stones, and a simple resize. I had never given much thought to what MY ring would look like, though.

After some online searching I came across a platinum and yellow gold ring with a little milgrain flourish from Tiffany. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was the ring I wanted. To this day, I have never encountered a man’s ring I like more. And that should be your goal, too. Find something you’re excited to wear and that makes you smile. Beyond that, here are some specific things to keep in mind.

Get A Precious Metal – If you can comfortably afford it, get a precious metal like gold, silver, or platinum. I know it’s kind of fashionable to get an odd alternative like silicone or tungsten, but think about how those will look years from now. Don’t chase trends. Also, don’t go for a trendy material because you feel like wearing a gold ring will look “girly”. It won’t. Hopefully you will be wearing this ring every day for the rest of your life so it’s best to go classic.

I know, I know… you probably have a friend of a friend whose hand was totally saved when a piano fell on him and bounced off his manly tungsten ring, so you TOTALLY need a tungsten ring because you lead a super rugged life and your fingers are always at risk of traumatic amputation. Trust me, you don’t need it. A ring in a precious metal will age beautifully, always look good, and will withstand anything you throw at it. Your grandfather or father did just fine handling all his manly business while wearing his gold ring.

Size Down – This is a big one. When you go shopping for a ring you are going to try on a lot of them. The feeling of wearing a ring can be a bit strange for anyone who isn’t used to wearing a ring on a regular basis. I know it did for me. This is normal. I felt the same way when I started wearing proper hats, since I didn’t really have any frame of reference. “How is this supposed to fit? Is it too tight? Too loose?”

My advice to you when it comes to rings is SIZE DOWN! Get a smaller size than you think you need. I know that might hurt your ego to get a smaller ring than you thought but you don’t want to end up like my brother-in-law whose ring is sitting at the bottom of the ocean.

When I was trying on rings, I settled on a size and then the sales person advised me to go down a ½ size from there. While initially skeptical, I found that she was absolutely right. Not only does it help ensure your ring won’t slide off your finger when you take your gloves off in cold weather, but a tight, secure ring is FAR more comfortable for everyday wear than a loose ring. And don’t get too worried about weight fluctuation, either. Since I have been married my weight has bounced all over between about 179 lbs and 210 lbs. Yes, my ring was a little more difficult to get off when I was at my heaviest, but it was not a big deal. And when I dropped some weight, my ring was not at risk of falling off.

I once worked with a guy whose wedding ring had to be at least three sizes too big. When he put his hand on a table or gripped anything, there was about a half inch of daylight between his ring and his finger. He would futz with it all the time because it was constantly sliding off. Don’t be like him. Make sure your ring is tight enough that you forget you are wearing it. It will feel a little constricting at first but you will acclimate quickly.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Something Fancy – We men are a strong lot sometimes. We often try to project an image of confidence, but at the same time are deathly afraid of seeming “unmanly”. But you know what? You’re a grown man and have no time for that silliness. So don’t be afraid to spoil yourself and get something fancy if that’s really what you want. Think about it… If someone said you could only wear one suit every day for the rest of your life wouldn’t you want it to be the best, most luxurious you could afford? Yellow gold with diamonds and filigree? Do it! This is something you’ll wear every day so make sure you really like it. Scratch whatever itch you want. Don’t get something you are just lukewarm about. I know you’ll love it regardless because of the emotional connection buuut…. You’ll love it more if it’s truly the ring you want.

Don’t Worry About Matching It To Anything –  I’ve written before about rules to keep and rules to discard and in that article I talked about not worrying about matching your metals. When you’re buying a wedding ring, don’t worry if it doesn’t really “match” what you currently wear. You can wear a gold ring when you wear predominantly silver colored metals.

Furthermore, you can wear a fancy ring if you are a primarily casual dresser. If your daily uniform is a flannel shirt and jeans you don’t have to get a $5 steel ring because it jives better with your overall look and image. Your blinged out ring will look fine. Since we wear our rings all the time they eventually blend in and become almost invisible to others, like a pair of eyeglasses.

So that’s pretty much it! Buy what you really want. I recommend going classic. Don’t be afraid to spoil yourself. And make sure it’s a little snug. Here’s to many years of happy marriage in a totally killer wedding ring!

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