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Do Wedding Bands Have To Match? [And Other Considerations]

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now, it’s time to start planning the wedding of your dreams. While a wedding is indeed a glorious celebration of love and commitment, wedding planning is a daunting task filled with anxiety and confusion for many. There are so many wedding traditions that one doesn’t know when they first get into wedding planning. Wedding bands are just one such example. Do they need to match or can they be entirely different? I spent some time researching to find out.

So, do wedding bands have to match? Wedding bands do traditionally match. Although, this does not work for everyone and a bride and groom can have different rings – if they prefer. Designs, materials or engravings are all different aspects of the bands that can be matched, which does help to pair them together even if they are fundamentally different.

Choosing your wedding bands is a significant task and undertaking. Besides, they are not cheap and they’ll be on your finger for the rest of your lives.

And then there are age-old traditions to consider, which are constantly changing and evolve with the times too. This is one of the reasons why it is good to understand what others have done before going through your options.

So whether you decide to follow tradition or do something completely different with your partner, below is some useful information that can help you decide what’s best for you. 

Do engagement rings have to match? Should couples go ring shopping together? Who pays for the wedding bands? These are all reasonable questions to ask.

We’ll be addressing each and every one of them so be sure to keep reading to get all the information you need. And know exactly how to approach it all.

Can A Bride And A Groom Have Different Rings?

A bride and a groom can have different rings, if they wish and both agree upon it. While it is certainly a tradition to match your rings, this is not considered mandatory. Its ultimately up to you.

Wedding bands are symbols of love that represent your commitment to each other, they symbolize your union in marriage.

How they look, and what they are like, is therefore open to interpretation and personal preference.

At the same time, it is somewhat understandable that historically, wedding bands were made as pairs. This was to help them fit together and they have been sold over the years in matching sets.

They are often beautiful, intricate designs that when placed next to one another, you will see that they are made for each other. 

In the United States, men didn’t start wearing matching bands until World War II, when soldiers wore wedding bands to remind them of their commitments at home.

Nowadays, exchanging wedding bands is one of the most important traditions that you see at most weddings, which makes buying wedding bands that much more daunting.

It’s a beautiful sentiment to match your wedding ring with your partner’s, but it doesn’t always work for everyone.

For example, if the bride or groom has a separate engagement ring, she or he may want to pick out a wedding band that complements the engagement ring when they are worn together.

On the other hand, a person who’s not used to wearing jewelry may prefer a different design that is comfortable for them.

Each person may have a different taste in jewelry, so what makes one person happy may not work for the other.

There are a lot of other reasons why couples may not want to wear matching wedding rings.

Wedding traditions and fashion evolve all the time, so you should consider this as a guideline, not as rules that you must follow.

Everyone has a different fashion sense and a different type of ring that works for them, so if you want, each of you can get a different wedding ring that matches your personality.

If you want the rings with different designs, perhaps you can match the material of the ring, or have engravings inside the rings.

A wedding ring will be on your hand for the rest of your life, so both the bride and the groom should decide what looks good and is comfortable for you.

It’s up to both of you to decide how your wedding rings should look and how they symbolize your love.

Do Engagement Rings And Wedding Bands Have To Match?

Depending on your style, it’s a matter of personal preference whether you decide to match your wedding ring to your engagement ring.

While it can be somewhat preferable to tie the two rings together, it does not always work or is it feasible for everyone. Besides, you may not even want to do this.

Proposing with an engagement ring is a relatively new tradition, so the rules are murky on what you should do with an engagement ring after you are married.

Some couples don’t buy a separate wedding ring, but instead, use the engagement ring as the wedding ring.

Other people want to match the wedding bands with their engagement rings so they can wear the two rings on the same finger as a complementary set.

Some go the extra mile of buying matching sets of an engagement ring and a wedding band so that they don’t have to compare and find a matching wedding band later on.

If this is not the case and you need to find a separate wedding ring that matches your wedding ring, it may take a lot of work to compare and find the perfect fit.

Keep in mind that they should match in material, color, design and that there is no uncomfortable friction when you wear the rings on the same finger.

Most jewelers can help with finding the right match for your engagement ring, or you can put in a custom order to find the best fit.

Some people wear their wedding band on their left hand’s ring finger while switching their engagement ring to the right hand’s ring finger.

Some only wear one ring instead of a matching set.

If you want to go the extra mile, matching your engagement ring with your matching band will create a timeless look, but if not, you can always play around with different styles for each ring. 

Do Wedding Bands Have To Be Gold?

Gold is the most traditional material that you often see in wedding bands, but this does not mean you have to choose this material.

Although many people prefer gold wedding bands, it’s a matter of personal preference when it comes to choosing the right material for the perfect wedding ring.

Gold often comes in a yellow-red color, but this color may not work for everyone; especially those with different skin tones.

If you want gold, you can also pick out white or rose gold for your wedding band.

Nowadays, there are also other options of material for wedding bands, including silver or platinum, which are similarly durable.

Depending on your budget, the bride may even want diamonds or gemstones on her wedding ring.

Whatever the case, you should make sure that the material is strong and the design is timeless so that you can cherish them for the rest of your married life.

Do Couples Pick Out Wedding Bands Together?

Traditionally, people who plan on proposing usually pick out an engagement ring to surprise their future fiancé. However, when it comes to wedding bands, people are often confused about what to do.

Some couples prefer to take separate trips in order to surprise each other, which is definitely more romantic.

However, there are a lot of considerations that you need to take into account while buying a wedding ring for your partner.

As mentioned above, some people may want to match their engagement ring with their wedding ring, so that they complement each other.

Couples may also want to match their wedding bands through design, material, or customized engravings. Then, there’s the matter with ring sizes.

Women may know their ring sizes, but men who are not used to wearing rings may need to be present to try on the ring to make sure they fit without having to resize.

So, to make everyone’s life easier, most couples do go ring shopping together.

This step will allow both the bride and groom to select the rings that work best for their personal style, as well as add any customization to commemorate their love.

Going ring shopping with your future spouse will allow you to try things on together, share ideas for what you want your rings to look like and how you want them to match so that you both will be able to pick the ring that you love.

Wedding ring shopping is also one of the most fun activities when you plan a wedding, so why not spend a day or two going ring shopping together and enjoy this time as an engaged couple?

Who Should Pay For Wedding Bands?

Wedding finance is another tricky topic when it comes to wedding planning, and who pays for the wedding bands is a question that you need to discuss with your partner before going shopping.

Every couple has a different financial situation and financial arrangement.

Some couples have a shared pool that they use to plan the wedding, which they also use to pay for the wedding rings.

Other couples split the cost evenly when making the purchase.

Some people may want to pay for their spouse’s wedding ring so that it’s more romantic, while still sharing the financial responsibility.

Sometimes, when one person has already invested a significant amount into the engagement ring, the other can pay for both wedding bands as an appreciative gesture.

Regardless of how you want to approach this task, buying wedding rings is a big financial burden that can affect your shared financial status, especially since you are going to be married soon.

Before you buy your wedding bands, you should have an open conversation about your finances, your budget for the wedding, and how you want your wedding bands to look.

Having this conversation will allow you to approach this task with clear goals and allow you to share an understanding of your financial situation, so going ring shopping will be much less stressful and much more enjoyable.

Some couples don’t want to invest too much into their wedding rings, and instead want to save for the future – perhaps to go on a romantic honeymoon, buy their first house, or start a family.

Knowing your shared goals and how you want to spend your money will also allow you to set an appropriate budget for your wedding bands.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money on your wedding bands right away. Some couples only invest in a reasonably priced set of wedding bands when they first get married and upgrade to more extravagant options when they renew their vows in a decade or two, as their financial status improves.

So whatever wedding band you choose now, know that you can always make adjustments in the future as you grow old with your spouse – you’ll have plenty of time to do so. 


I hope that this article has been informative in helping you decide what to do when purchasing your wedding bands.

As mentioned above, cultures evolve and wedding traditions will evolve along with them, so you shouldn’t confine yourself to rigid rules and follow them strictly.

Instead, use this information as a guideline to help you decide what works best for you, your life, your style, and your financial situation.

Whatever you decide, the wedding bands are still symbols of love, which will reinforce your commitment to your spouse as you enter your married life.

Related Questions

Can I Wear Just A Wedding Band?

It is possible to wear only a wedding band; it is ultimately down to preference. Some women even decide to wear just their engagement ring only. Others options include moving the engagement ring to another finger to allow the wedding band to take its place as the only ring on the ring finger.