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Your Guide to Bridal Ring Sets

by Willyou.net * Aug 17, 2021
cushion cut diamond ring, wedding ring in ring box - Your Guide to Bridal Ring Sets

It’s pretty common for any would-be groom to get so wrapped up in the process of finding and buying an engagement ring that he doesn’t look ahead to what comes after the proposal. And, while this is perfectly understandable, some grooms prefer to plan ahead, make use of their time with the jeweler, and choose or create a bridal ring set for their soon-to-be fiancée.

As the name suggests, bridal ring sets are sets of two (or possibly more) rings specifically created to fit alongside one another perfectly, both in terms of design and shape.

While it may be some time between the proposal and the ‘I Do’, a bridal set ensures that, when the wedding date finally arrives, there won’t be any ‘wrangling’ to get the two rings to sit comfortably side by side. For this reason alone, bridal ring sets have proven very popular – particularly in recent years.

What Does a Bridal Set Consist of?

In most cases, a bridal set will include an engagement ring alongside a coordinating wedding band. It may also feature an eternity ring, which will be added to the finger at a later date.

It’s important not to get a bridal set confused with a wedding set, which typically features an engagement ring, and two corresponding wedding bands – one for the groom, and one for the bride. Bridal ring sets are just for the bride.

Why Have a Bridal Ring Set?

The main reason behind the popularity of bridal ring sets is style – one is designed to look good when worn alongside the other, which takes the guesswork out of picking a wedding band at a later date.

Another reason why bridal ring sets are a popular choice is the face that they are typically much more comfortable to wear side-by-side. The traditional design of an engagement ring – featuring either a diamond solitaire (on its own) or a one set within a ‘halo’ of smaller gemstones – can make it a little difficult to find a wedding band that won’t be overshadowed.

Consider the fact that, in general, it is preferable for the bride to choose a wedding band featuring the same width as the band of the engagement ring. This would be simple enough, but add a diamond into the mix and its clear which ring will dominate her finger.

In bridal ring sets, the wedding band is specifically designed to ‘take up its own space’ on the finger, and to stand out regardless of the size of the engagement ring. It may feature an elegant curve, intended to ‘hug’ the diamond, or simply feature a corresponding pave deliberately proportioned to sit comfortably beneath the edge of the diamond.

What’s more, it takes another step out of the wedding planning process – something any bride or groom will agree to finding incredibly helpful. While you will still need to pick out or design your own wedding band closer to the time, although you might prefer to return to the same jeweler and have them design a similar style to fit your hand, too.

How do I Pick a Bridal Set?

In much the same way that you would pick an engagement ring on its own: do your research, work out the kinds of things you think will appeal to your partner, then book a consultation with your jeweler to talk your options through – and, of course, hold them in your hand.

You can work with your jeweler to design something bespoke, or you can take a browse through our substantial engagement ring search engine before paying a visit to a local jewelry store that stocks them.

It’s important to remember that you’re giving yourself twice as much to think about as someone who is only purchasing an engagement ring – but that, provided you can give it some extra time and thought, choosing a bridal set will certainly pay off.

The engagement ring is the first thing she will so, so we’d advise any groom-to-be to start by focusing on finding the perfect diamond ring, then working with their jeweler to create a bespoke wedding band that accommodates the finer details and contours of the engagement ring perfectly. 

Do Wedding Rings and Engagement Rings Have to Match?

No, not at all – it’s all down to personal choice. While coordinating the two rings together is pretty traditional, there are no rules stating that it’s the only way to wear both rings side by side.

One area you will want to keep consistent is the types of metals used to create both rings. From a purely practical standpoint, choosing the same metals – or the same gold karat – will ensure that one doesn’t show signs of wear or age faster than the other. The stronger the ring, the better it will hold up, which means consistency is key here.

That’s not to say that you have to limit yourself to one metal. If you’re opting for a mixed metal band on your engagement ring, you can just talk to your jeweler about incorporating that same combination of metals into the rest of the bridal ring set.

Bridal ring sets are popular for plenty of reasons, but none of those reasons has anything to do with so-called ‘rules’ or binding tradition. 

cushion cut engagement ring and wedding ring on fingrer - Your Guide to Bridal Ring Sets

Are Bridal Sets More Expensive?

In general, no. Buying a bridal set can work out to be more cost-effective, as it may well be easier to negotiate a reasonable price with your jeweler.

 Keep in mind that, as with engagement rings sold on their own, adding your own customizations – or working with your jeweler to design something entirely unique from scratch – can incur a premium cost.

Suppose you are working with a reputable jeweler. In that case, this additional cost is absolutely worthwhile – it grants you access to the many years they have spent honing their craft and creativity, and leaves you with a set of rings totally unique to you and your bride-to-be.

Still, you need to start by gathering ideas. At willyou.net, we are passionate about preparing you for that initial consultation with your jeweler, and can help you to browse their current styles – and, most importantly, get your head around what’s out there, and what you like – before you start working on the final details together.

Do You Propose with a Bridal Set?

No, the proposal is all about the engagement ring. The wedding band can be kept to one side until the wedding day itself, when it will be placed on the bride’s finger alongside her engagement ring.

When you decide to tell your bride-to-be about the wedding band is, of course, entirely up to you. What’s important to remember is that there’s no rush – just because the engagement ring was purchased alongside another piece, doesn’t mean it needs to be treated as part of a set when you pop the question to your bride-to-be.

See it this way: one is a promise, and one represents the fulfillment of that promise. One always comes before the other.

Are Bridal Ring Sets Attached?

Not initially, since the engagement ring and wedding band are given to the bride at different times. Some women do, however, choose to have them soldered (joined) together after the wedding.

You may also decide to return to the same jeweler together in the future, in order to have an eternity ring – another piece usually given on a significant anniversary or, in more recent years, after the arrival of a couple’s first child – created in a similar design. This may also be soldered onto both rings to complete the set, or simply worn loose on the finger.

Does the Wedding Band Go on Top of the Engagement Ring?

It is customary for the wedding band to replace the engagement ring at the base of the finger, closer to the heart, and for the engagement ring to be worn on top.

This is one tradition that really has stood the test of time. On the morning of the wedding, a bride will usually move her engagement ring onto her right hand, in order to ‘clear the way’ for her wedding band.

Following the ceremony, she will then replace her engagement ring on her left hand, too. As we mentioned above, she might then choose to have them soldered together.

How Snug Should an Engagement Ring be?

It should go on easily, without pinching, but put up a little resistance when tugged in the opposite direction. It should be snug enough to remain upright on the finger (no spinning), without pinching the skin. 

Ideally, the wedding ring should be the same size. If one is slightly too large, it could spin and, over time, wear down any finer details on the other.

Of course, the engagement ring tends to be heavier than the wedding band, and may still move around. It is for this reason that some brides will have the two soldered together, for her comfort, although you don’t want to do this until after the wedding.

Whether or not you choose to opt for a bridal ring set is a pretty personal choice. There’s advantages to both options, and, of course, it all depends on what you think your future bride would prefer.