Have you ever asked yourself: which ring goes on first, the engagement ring or the wedding band? If you have, you’re not alone, as brides have been seeking an answer to this question for decades. And while there’s a standard answer that’s rooted in tradition, ultimately, the decision is a personal choice.
As tradition dictates, a wedding band is usually placed first on the left ring finger, followed by the engagement ring. However, as with most wedding customs, there’s nothing that states you absolutely have to follow this rule. In fact, brides today are choosing to ditch tradition, in favor of opting for a wedding ring set that works best for their personal style and jewelry pieces.
Ahead, we spoke with LA-based jewelry designer and founder of Berlinger Jewelry, Michelle Berlinger, to help shed light on how to wear a wedding ring set that’s right for you. Read on to learn more.
How to Wear a Wedding Ring Set
As noted above, wedding bands are traditionally worn underneath an engagement ring, in order for the wedding band to stay close to the heart. And while most of Berlinger’s customers wear their wedding bands “anchored at the bottom of the hand,” she does advise everyone that ” they can add the band on the top or the bottom,” proving that this is a personal choice for the bride to make.
Additional Ways to Wear a Wedding Ring Set
Given that the intention behind wedding rings has changed over the years, brides have found new ways to sport this symbol of love to adapt to their individual situations (for example, athletes choosing to wear their rings on necklaces since they work with their hands). Many brides also prefer to wear their wedding bands on top since this is the order in which they’ve received their jewelry pieces. What’s more, some even like to alternate their ring set order depending on how they feel on a particular day, while others are choosing to forgo a wedding stack altogether, instead opting to wear their jewelry on separate fingers.
Berlinger also adds that “We’re also seeing a lot of brides now do two bands, one for the top and bottom of the ring, to build a set that looks a little more visually dynamic. Often the third band is ‘gifted’ to the bride by her betrothed, mother-in-law, or another family member on the day of the wedding as a surprise. We like this tradition as it allows for a lot of symbolism.”
When planning out your wedding ring set, always keep your engagement ring top of mind since this is the first ring you received. And while you don’t have to perfectly match your rings, it does look visually appealing when both your engagement ring and wedding band have complementary details, such as matching diamond shapes or the same metal hue.
Additionally, be sure to try on your wedding ring set ahead of your big day to ensure a cohesive look. Lastly, if opting for more than two rings, have a little fun and incorporate a few pieces with colored gemstones for a unique and statement-making touch. Don’t be afraid to try out different wedding ring styles, as well, and play around with the order that feels right for you.