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Bridal Set vs Engagement Ring [What Is The Difference?]

If you are engaged or thinking about getting engaged, it is likely that you will be thinking about choosing the perfect ring. The engagement ring, an age-old tradition, is typically given first, followed by the exchange of wedding rings on the wedding day during the ceremony. It is normal for a married woman to wear two rings: the bridal set as these are known. You may be wondering what the difference is between an engagement ring and a bridal set.

So, what is the difference between a bridal set vs. an engagement ring? The difference is that a Bridal Set is typically sold as two rings that coordinate or match somehow, and an engagement ring is sold as one separate ring. The rings in a bridal set are usually an engagement ring and a wedding ring that has been specifically designed to wear together and will often have matching designs or shapes to aid this cohesion.

If you’re anything like me, understanding the difference between a bridal set and an engagement ring before committing to the purchase is key.

Perhaps you are planning a surprise proposal and selecting the perfect ring with your partner in mind. Or maybe you are planning on choosing the bridal rings together; either way, knowing your options is arguably the best place to begin this process.

What Is The Difference Between Bridal Sets And Engagement Rings?

The main difference between a bridal set and an engagement ring is that the bridal set is designed and sold as a set: the engagement ring and the wedding band, whereas an engagement ring is sold as a single, separate ring.

There will be one price for a bridal set that includes both rings.

These will typically be rings that match together perfectly as a set – it could be that the engagement ring has a unique design and shape and the wedding band fits perfectly with it – or it could just be that they look good together!

Bridal sets are the perfect choice for couples who want their wedding jewelry – the engagement ring and the wedding band – to match perfectly.

Another benefit of purchasing a bridal set is that you have already sorted the brides wedding jewelry for the wedding day, essentially crossing two things off the wedding to-do- list in one swoop!

Purchasing a bridal set means that the proposal can be made with either one or two rings. The bridal set is likely to come in one box, with both rings inside.

So, couples can choose whether to propose with just the engagement ring or for the full wow-factor, propose with the wedding band too so the bride can get an idea of what their rings will look like after the wedding.

There are many benefits of purchasing a bridal set, but the same can be said for purchasing the engagement ring as a stand-alone ring.

Just buying an engagement ring can allow for the bride to be surprised with their engagement ring and then have the experience of selecting a wedding band with her partner.

Many engagement rings will have wedding bands that compliment them perfectly in terms of size, shape, materials, and diamond setting (if that’s the look you’re going for – I Know I certainly am!).

So, that can allow for couples to choose a complementary set of rings without needing to purchase the bridal set straight away.

Purchasing an engagement ring from a brand or jeweler can also be a good option if you are unsure if your partner will want a bridal set or an engagement ring alone, as it is likely that if they are selling engagement rings, they will also sell wedding bands!

Giving your partner the choice of a matching band or something a little different!

Friends of ours opted to go for a bridal set owing to the unique setting of the diamond in her engagement ring, on the advice of their jeweler.

I know that there was an element of relief that the wedding band was included in the purchase and that it would fit perfectly in with her beautiful ring.

When my fiancé proposed to me, it was with the most beautiful engagement ring.

A few months later, we went back to the jewelers he bought it from to choose our wedding bands together, and it was the loveliest experience.

My ring is a pear-shaped diamond with a halo. The setting is quite high, so most wedding bands would fit underneath and sit beautifully next to the band of the engagement ring.

I had so much fun trying on different ring styles – there were so many options of how I could make my own wedding ring and engagement ring unique to me.

In the end, I opted for the matching wedding band to the style of my engagement ring – same designer, same metal, same diamond setting.

My fiancé could have bought the bridal set as that is essentially what I have gone for, but having the option to choose and personalize my rings was really nice.

If you do opt for a bridal set, knowing the difference between the two rings is key.

Which Ring Is The Engagement Ring In A Bridal Set?

In a bridal set, usually, the ring that has the larger diamond set into it or is more heavily embellished is the engagement ring, and the other ring is the wedding band. Traditionally, these rings are worn on the ring finger (fourth finger) of the left hand. The engagement ring will sit on top of the wedding ring.

If you purchase a bridal set, knowing the difference between the two rings is vital when it comes to proposing.

Tradition states that when proposing, the engagement ring out of the bridal set is given, and then on the wedding day, as part of the ceremony, the wedding band will be exchanged.

On the wedding day, the bride should enter the ceremony either not wearing her engagement ring or wearing it on the other hand.

This is to ensure that the wedding ring is able to be placed on the bride’s finger by the groom.

After the ceremony, the bride will put her engagement ring back on, on top of the wedding band.

As part of a bridal set, these rings will nestle together perfectly on the bride’s finger.

Do You Propose With A Bridal Set?

It is traditional to propose with an engagement ring only. The wedding band is to be given during the wedding ceremony. So, whilst the purchase of a bridal set will include two rings, these are not meant to be given simultaneously.

That being said, tradition is simply a guideline; if you want to propose with the full bridal set so your partner can see it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

They can wear the engagement ring and keep the wedding band for the wedding day.

It is key to note that when you get engaged, the bride should not wear both rings, just the engagement ring until the marriage happens and the wedding band is given as part of the wedding ceremony.


2 rings versus 1.

That’s essentially the main difference between a bridal set and an engagement ring.

Clues in the title really with that word set.

Both are great, and neither is right nor wrong.

Just be sure to work in your budget and opt for what you think will mean more to your future wife!