Selecting the accessory you'll wear for the rest of your life

This story first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Columbus Weddings, published June 2019.

Among wedding-related purchases, some things are meant to last longer than others. After all, the rehearsal dinner menu probably won’t make the family scrapbook, and that boutonniere likely will wilt before the last song is played. Weddings bands, on the other hand, are intended to be as lasting as the vow: till death do us part.

“I always tell people that it’s a lifelong purchase; it’s not like a car that you’re buying [and] in four more years you’re buying a new car,” says Tery Vari, vice president of Diamonds Direct’s Ohio market. “This ring—you’re going to [wear it] for the rest of your life. It’s OK to invest a little bit of money in it.”

But where to begin? Kathryn Givens, sales floor supervisor of Worthington Jewelers, suggests to start sensibly: with a budget. That helps the sales staff—who don’t work on commission—find wallet-friendly pieces.

Researching ring preferences—stone size and shape, metal type and other factors—is also a plus, Vari says. “Pick out something that you like, but have an open mind,” he says. “Some people come in, they know exactly what they want and they get that. And [others] think they know what they want, but end up with something totally different.”

Givens, whose store is home to about 1,300 different rings, also recommends arriving with some clear ideas in mind—not exactly a challenge in this age of Pinterest and Instagram. “Couples all the time will have screenshots on their phones,” she says. “That definitely is a really nice foundation of where we can go to start showing them things.”

At the same time, Givens advises customizing a ring as much as possible. The goal, she says, is to make sure that the final result is unique—“not just the same ring that everybody has on Pinterest.” Worthington Jewelers specializes in custom jewelry design, which can range from creating a ring from scratch to simple, sweet personalization options such as engraving a spouse’s fingerprint inside the band. “Little details that you may not see as the person is wearing the ring, but … that’s special to them,” Givens says.

Currently trending for women are wedding bands that correspond to engagement rings. “We see a lot of classic bridal right now, so a lot of girls do really like to have a matching wedding band,” Givens says. “But the trend to have a non-matching one is still really popular for more of that stacking kind of look.”

Women who opt for non-matching bands should strive for some consistency in the set. “You want to have something common between the multiple rings that bring them together,” Givens says, though the type of commonality can vary. Think: metal type, embedded stones or side details. Some women are adding a third ring to the mix. “Maybe engagement ring, wedding band and another little kind of fancy band that maybe goes in between [and] kind of separates it,” Veri suggests.

In choosing their wedding bands, men should consider whether re-sizability or durability is more important, Givens says. If the former, gold may be your best bet, but if the latter, an alternative metal might be the way to go. Options in contemporary metals include tungsten carbide and cobalt.

Yet, Givens says, many men still follow in the footsteps of their father or grandfather and select a simple band in white or yellow gold. “We are seeing some rose gold as well,” she adds. “You can just do a regular polish. There’s very little maintenance required with it, and it does match their fiancée’s set really well.” ?