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Your all-inclusive guide to choosing the perfect wedding ring

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Your wedding ring is the symbol of your union that you will wear forever. So, choose it with care and you will love wearing it in the years to come.

Rings or wedding bands are available in every design, pattern and color. While having so many options allows you to find a unique choice, it can also become very difficult for you to choose. This article will guide you through all the options available to you, so you can narrow down your choices to what you love the most and buy your ring based on it.

Type of metal

Rings can be made from different metals, and the metal you choose will not only determine the look, but will also affect the durability and usability of your ring. So, this is a good place to start. The most commonly preferred metals for wedding bands include the following.

White gold: Gold is alloyed with other metals like nickel or platinum to create a white or silver colored finish. These rings are usually coated with an outer layer of rhodium for added shine and this makes the ring whiter. Although this layer may wear off with continuous use over time, it can be reapplied to regain the original look. White gold resembles platinum, but is more economical. The purity of gold in wedding bands can be18ct or less, depending on the amount of gold in the ring.

white gold

Yellow gold: The traditional choice for wedding bands, yellow gold is an alloy of gold with other metals that look yellow in color. Similar to white gold, it is available in 18ct, 14ct and 9ct. It is also available as 22 ct or even 24 ct. However, as the amount of gold increases, the band becomes very soft and hence isn’t suitable for daily wear. A ring of 18ct or less would be ideal.

gold ring

Rose Gold: A shimmery pink colored alloy of gold, these rings contain copper alloyed with gold in a specific ratio to have a pinkish color. The presence of other metals like zinc can alter the color to a reddish yellow or dark yellow, but it has a distinct pink overtone.

Platinum: One of the most expensive options, platinum is a metal that is greatly preferred by couples today. Platinum rings have a white color, similar to that of white gold. The difference however, is that it tolerates wear and tear very well, and is the ideal choice if you want a ring that will stay unmarked even after years of use.

Silver: One of the most budget-friendly choices in metals, silver an rings are usually white, but can also take on oxidized, satin or polished finish. Silver rings look similar to white gold initially, but they are most prone to wear and tear in comparison with other metals. Being a soft metal, every small scratch and mark will show up and cause it to look aged. You may also like to look at palladium sterling silver, which contains palladium in the alloy. The benefit of this choice is that it has better durability and you can still enjoy the original charm of a traditional silver band on your finger.

silver ring

Titanium: This light weight gray metal is the ideal choice for people who are allergic to metals. Titanium is slightly darker than traditional white gold or platinum, but is a good choice for its durability and hypo-allergenic properties. It also feels very light on the finger.

Now, let us look at the different ring finishes that you can choose from.

Wedding ring finishes

Mirror or glossy: Here the ring is polished to be reflective, and this makes it shine and look brand new till wear and tear sets in.

Matte: The best way to describe a matte surface is to call it misty. The texture of the ring is such that it will be coarse to the touch, and look marked or rugged. You can choose between fine matte and coarse matte, depending on whether you want it to look slightly textured or uneven and visibly marked.

Stardust: Here, the surface of the metal is subjected to both high polishing and texturing, so it selectively sparkles. As the name suggests, the effect is similar to that of stardust with a distinct shine, and it has a sophisticated look.

Hammered: Here the ring surface is softly hammered to create dents that reflect light and give it a rugged appearance. The entire surface will be textured in multiple directions due to the uneven hammering effect, and this makes the ring brighter than it actually is.

Sandblasted: The ring is subjected to high pressure and the surface is blasted with sand grains to create a definitive textured finish.

Next, let us take a look at the different ring profiles, as this can greatly impact the way the ring shows on your finger.

Wedding band profiles

Court: This is the traditional style, where the edges are rounded and both the inner and outer faces are curved. The outer surface is gently curved, so it doesn’t look too bulky. When choosing the rings together, many couples usually choose the same design with the groom chooses a wider width for their ring than their bride does.

D-shape: The inside of this ring is flat, while the outer area is rounded. This makes it sit closely on the finger, while the rounded outer surface makes it comfortable as well.

Flat court: These rings are comfortable, as it has a rounded fit on the inner surface. The outer surface, on the other hand, is flat and reflective, making it slim and shiny.

Concave: Distinct from the other types of rings, concave wedding rings have an inward curving outer surface. This gives it a textured look. Although it is an attractive looking profile, the drawback is that this profile isn’t easy to re-size, so you may have to consider this factor when you choose to go with it.

We have looked at the technical details pertaining to wedding rings. Next, let us move on to the more interesting aspect—Style! The wedding ring you choose should be a reflection of your personal style, as it will be part of your daily attire. We suggest you devote some time to decide which style will still appeal to you, years after you’ve been married. Let us look at the options available.

Wedding ring styles

Plain band: As the name suggests, the plain wedding band has a simple structure with no fancy designing or details. It is the traditional favorite. The plain band can take on any of the profiles and finishes mentioned above, and it is easier to modify or re-size later, should the need arise. If you have a beautiful engagement ring which you will continue to wear along with your wedding band, the plain ring is one of the best options that will sit well with it.

Shaped ring: One of the important factors to consider, when you choose to wear two rings side-by-side is how well they sit together. If your engagement ring is slightly bigger in diameter, or has a distinct style, it is important to choose your wedding band in a shape that will go well with it. Shaped wedding rings are contoured to suit the size of your finger, and they come in a variety of shapes. The most common shapes are curved, wishbone or cut out. They form an attractive alternative to the traditional plain wedding band.

shaped ring

Stone or gem-set: gem set ring You may have a solitaire or precious stone of significant size on your engagement ring, but it won’t hurt to add a little sparkle to your wedding band as well. Diamond set wedding rings are fashionable, with brides either choosing to add a single small gem inlay or having gemstones all over the curved surface of the ring. The stone is usually round or square-cut. However, it is not unusual to find stones of unique shapes, such as a pear-shape or marquise-cut. Gemstones other than diamonds, such as tanzanite, sapphires, aquamarine, ruby and topaz are common choices. It is a good idea to have gems set in both wedding bands, as this allows the groom to also wear a sparkling gem that reminds him of his beautiful bride. Gem set wedding bands are usually done in plain or shaped ring designs.

Inlay: Whether you want something unique, or are unable to decide which metal is best, wedding bands with inlays are your best choice. Duo-tone bands with one metal sandwiched between strips of another metal allow you to mix your favorite metal colors. The other option is to add a wooden or ceramic band in between two metal layers or adding a hammered or textured inlay. By varying the thickness of the inlay, you can find a design that is unique. Mixing of white gold or platinum with yellow gold is a popular choice, as it is durable and has a timeless elegance.

metal inlay ring

Engraved: engraved ring A beautiful and romantic addition to any wedding ring, engraved wedding bands have always been very popular. Most couples engrave a line of text on the inside or outside of the ring. However, you can choose to have anything engraved on your ring. The common choice that most couples go with is to engrave their initials and their wedding date. You can also choose a simple expression or quote like “All my love.” We also found some more interesting ideas for wedding band engravings on the Brilliant Earth website, such as

  • Foreign sayings, if you love the way a phrase sounds in another language
  • Religious verses, if both of you are religious
  • Connected sayings, where a quote is split into two, with the first half being placed on your band and the rest of it on your partner’s.
  • Personal sayings that the two of you use between yourselves
  • The name of a place you love, where you first met or the name of the place where you first lived together
  • Customized rings with your fingerprint engraved on the inside.
  • Symbols or signs that mean something special to both of you.

When you choose to have your wedding band engraved remember that the customization will take time, and you will have to place your order early, so it is ready on time. Also remember to double check your spellings before you place the order, as it cannot be redone if there is a mistake. Keep in mind that there is a limit to the number of characters that can be engraved, depending on how small the ring is. So, plan accordingly.

Now, here are some general tips to remember when you go wedding band shopping.

Wedding ring shopping tips

#1 Start Early

As with everything wedding-related, start shopping for your wedding band early. We think that two to three months before the wedding should give you sufficient time to browse through options, narrow down choices, try on rings and zero-in on the one you love. If you choose to have your ring engraved or custom-made, it can take anywhere from one to two months. So, keep this in mind when you go shopping.

#2 Choose a ring that is suited to your lifestyle

Your wedding band will be a regular on your finger throughout your lifespan. So, make sure that you choose a metal that will tolerate the strain it will have to endure. If you actively work with your hands and use sharp instruments or apply a lot of strength and force, choose metals like platinum that can endure it. Also avoid gemstones that can come loose or engravings that quickly trap dirt and age the ring quickly.

#3 Think long-term

Before you finalize a ring that is flashy and very trendy, think of how your choices may change over the years. The wedding band is meant for eternity, so it should be a choice that you will continue to love over the years. Think of how you see yourself ten years from now, and consider whether you will still love this choice then. Classic and timeless designs are better that way.

You should now have all the information you need to start shopping. Have a great time trying on rings and hope you find one that you will always love.

Continue visiting us on Best for Bride for more wedding related tips and advice, and also to shop for all your wedding needs.

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How about a flower crown for your summer wedding?

Are you a bride who will be married next summer? It is time you started thinking of your wedding dress and accessories to create the perfect bridal look on your big day. One of our favorite accessories for a summer wedding is a flower crown. It is refreshing, beautiful, fragrant and just right for the warm weather.

Flower crowns may be the latest bridal hit now, but it is an accessory that has been around forever. Here is the history behind it.

Flower crowns in the past

In ancient Greece, men and women often wore flower and leaf crowns. The flower crown was actually a wedding symbol in Ukraine, where the couple exchanged periwinkle and myrtle wreaths to symbolize their marriage vows. The Indian bridal hairdo is characterized by elaborate floral decorations that often start on the head and cover the entire length of the hair.

The Chinese flower crown inspired Queen Victoria to wear a similar orange one at her wedding, and just like she’s the inspiration behind the white wedding dress and the tiered wedding cake, the flower crown fashion is also attributed to her.

Now that we know the origins of the flower crown, let us look at how you can include rock this look as your bridal hairdo.

Match the flowers to your makeup

If there is one bright color in your makeup, like a berry purple or bright red, add flowers in a similar color to your floral crown. This will enhance the stark white of the rest of your attire, while allowing the bright colors to stand out.

Weave the flowers into your braid

flowers

Many summer brides prefer a loose bun or updo, with braids adding a casual air to their look. If you will be adopting this style, consider weaving small flowers or your flower crown into your braids for a spectacular effect. Choose smaller flowers like daisies, and expertly braid them in, so it looks like their positioning was well thought out.

Choose only few large blooms for a casual, dreamy look

If you have a small visage, you should either choose small flowers in your hairdo, or limit the bigger blooms to just a few. Choose a flower crown which places these flowers together, and keep the rest of the circumference simple, with green. You can either place the crown in the center, or towards one side, and let a few locks fly around for a dreamy bridal look.

Fabric flower crowns are just as good as the original

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If you will be outdoors for quite some time, you should consider how well your flower crown will hold. Most flowers wilt, and you do not want them to look tired after a while. If the temperatures in your area are high, you can either have two crowns made, or choose a fabric crown instead. Apart from staying fresh through the day, the added bonus of a fabric crown is that it is ready well in advance, and you will be able to and try it on and perfect your look for the day.

For more interesting wedding tips and advice to help you plan your wedding day, visit us at Best for Bride, the one stop destination for all your wedding needs.

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How to Choose Wedding Rings

Flickr
Flickr

Gold? Silver? Modern or vintage? With or without diamonds? The multitude of choices that a bride and groom face when choosing their wedding rings can get overwhelming. Here are some quick tips for how to choose wedding rings without losing your mind first.

Before considering different types of wedding rings, think about your lifestyle. Are you active? Are you likely to get your ring snagged on something or dented? In addition to these lifestyle questions that might require a more durable ring, are there other considerations that could impact your ring selection? Do you tend to be drawn to trendy fashions which eventually fade?

Perhaps the easiest decision to make when buying a wedding ring is the metal. Making this first decision can help the bride and groom narrow their choices and make the decision easier. Silver is the least expensive, but it’s not as durable as some of the others. Gold is the most popular choice. Women often chose either white gold or yellow gold to match their engagement rings. In the past, many men picked a wedding ring that was the same metal as their bride’s. However, more and more men are selecting rings based on what they can see themselves wearing regardless of their bride’s selection.

When choosing a style, think about what you will love to wear now and thirty years from now. Maybe you would like something elaborate now, but would feel uncomfortable with it while playing sports or at the office. Take your time trying on different styles of wedding rings. It may be helpful to discuss the things you like about wedding rings that you have seen at other stores or online and get suggestions.

If you like the idea of having an antique or vintage wedding ring, consider checking antique dealers and estate sales. Due to a limited selection of available rings, you might want to opt for a new ring that is designed to look like an antique ring. Many jewelers can craft a ring that is inspired by antiques. You can print photographs of antique rings that you love, and show them to the jeweler. Some couples purchase antique rings that may not be exactly what the couple wants. However, the jeweler may be able to use the materials to adapt the antique rings or create new rings that will be everything the couple wants.

Many engaged couples are turning to the internet to buy wedding rings. Some are reluctant to trust online retailers for a wedding ring purchase. It can be difficult to get a real sense of the quality of a ring online. That’s why it’s extremely important to read the online jeweler’s return policy. The couple may feel more comfortable dealing with a trusted online jeweler rather than an individual through an online auction or Craigslist listing. With proper precautions and dealing with only reputable online retailers, couples can save a significant amount of money by purchasing a ring online.

For more tips about saving money while planning the perfect wedding, visit the Best for Bride blog. There you will find many helpful articles that can show you how to plan a wedding on a budget.

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Finding a fun ‘Something Blue’ option

One of the most common wedding traditions is wearing ‘something blue’ on your big day. Most people believe this is good luck and there is much thought put into finding the perfect item to wear to fulfill this portion of the wedding traditions. Below you will find some fantastic options for your ‘something blue’ that are fun and exciting.

Blue nail polish

This is a fun option to choose for any bride and can easily be a small touch of blue to add to your wedding attire. One great idea is to wear open toed shoes that you can use to paint your toenails blue. This will give you a fun and whimsical way to wear something blue without letting it overwhelm your entire outfit.

Shoes

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A bride’s shoes are also another fun way to add some blue to your outfit. This is a common practice because it will not clash with the rest of the wedding design and you will still be able to have your ‘something blue’. This is a fun decision to make because you will find that there are many different shoe options to choose from that will be perfect for your big day.

Jewelry

Jewelry is another fun addition that can take care of the something blue portion for your wedding. You can easily add a special bracelet or necklace to your wedding dress in order to fulfill this requirement. In some cases, you may even find that you are able to borrow something from a special person in order to kill two birds with one stone.

Flowers

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Many brides decide to add blue to their wedding in a special way and select it as a color that will be added to their wedding bouquet. One of the best things about the color blue is that there are many flowers that come in this fantastic color. You can also find many options to choose from that come in a variety of shades of blue as well. Whether you choose to have an entire bouquet devoted to blue, a few individual flowers in your bouquet or add a few to your hair, there are many blue flowers that can be added to your wedding day fun.

Conclusion

Adding something blue to your wedding can be fun and exciting. There are many different items that you can choose from when selecting something for this important tradition. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and be creative when you are looking for your ‘something blue’ for your big day.

Finding the perfect item for this tradition can be exciting and memorable. Regardless of how much you wish to add of the color to your wedding, there are certain to be options that will fit with your design and personality.

Don’t forget to stop by Best for Bride for all of your wedding day supplies. They will be able to help you find the perfect wedding dress to go along with your special ‘something blue’.