Engagement Ring vs Wedding Ring vs Wedding Band – Differences Explained
If you’re newly engaged, or perhaps considering taking the next step in your relationship, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the prospect of proposing – but more likely it’s finding the right ring to pop the question with. While we’ve already discussed some related topics, like How To Choose The Right Size Jenna Clifford Ring for Any Occasion and the Jenna Clifford Wedding Ring Range for Men, we want to outline the major differences between the most important ring types: the engagement ring, typically given during the proposal, the wedding ring which is added to the engagement ring on the day of the wedding and the wedding band – which is the alternative to the wedding ring and performs the same function.
Engagement Rings: Why Do We Give Them?
The engagement ring, as we mentioned above, is the ring typically used during a proposal. This is the “fancy” ring, the one with the diamond(s), in your favourite setting – basically the ring that wows you and leads to approximately one-thousand pictures showcasing a beautifully manicured hand sporting a sentimental and beautiful ring. But, why do we give rings during a proposal?
The tradition of proposing with an engagement ring dates back to ancient Egyptian times, but did not become popular until the custom reached ancient Rome. The engagement ring not only symbolized a partner’s commitment to the eternity of the relationship, it also served as a statement to suitors of the bearer of the engagement ring to quietly back away, as she was soon to be made “an honest woman.”
Wedding Ring vs Wedding Band
Wedding rings are exchanged during the wedding ceremony; this is traditionally the first time the man will wear a ring to symbolise his relationship (considering men usually don’t wear engagement rings.)
A wedding ring and a wedding band are essentially the same piece of jewellery, serving the same purpose, named differently due to their levels of intricacy of design. A wedding ring may contain custom designs, perhaps adding more sparkle and dazzle to your engagement ring, while a wedding band is simply a more demure, plain version of the wedding ring. The easiest way to spot the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding ring or band is the centre-stone; an engagement ring will normally have a centre tone, while the wedding ring or band has a distinct lack thereof.
Both partners receive a wedding band during the wedding ceremony, wearing them on the third fingers of their left hands. Because the wedding band is placed on the same finger as the engagement ring, many brides choose to move their engagement rings to their right hands for the ceremony and then move them back to the left hand afterwards, so that their two rings are stacked.
Why Do We Add a Wedding Ring or Wedding Band During the Ceremony or Marriage?
While it is not official in any form, this explanation does seem to make the most sense. The engagement ring is handed over when proposing and is worn on the left hand for the duration of the engagement. This symbolises that the wearer of the ring is spoken for. However, the exchange of wedding rings and wedding bands which occurs during the wedding ceremony symbolises the bonding of two individuals into marriage – and an extra ring should symbolise this. The wedding band or ring is normally plain; the round shape of the ring symbolising eternity – or the eternal commitment of one partner to another. This is the same for both husband and wife, as their bands will be exchanged at the wedding ceremony and may even look similar.
Engagement Ring and Wedding Band: Must I Wear Both?
Because the engagement ring is traditionally the more opulent or extravagant ring of the two, most women will wear their wedding bands stacked underneath the engagement ring as well, while some women choose to only wear one ring to represent both. Many jewellers sell engagement rings and wedding rings as a set so that they match one another. This is entirely optional, it is absolutely not a requirement and you and your partner can choose to buy wedding bands at your own leisure if you wish to have them at all!
Get in touch with a Jenna Clifford consultant today to help you find, imagine or design your ultimate engagement ring or wedding band.