Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Ring

What’s the Difference?


Proposing and getting married? Not quite sure what the deal with the rings is?




   Arguably, one of the most important aspects of the marriage proposal is of course the engagement ring. Traditionally a beautiful gemstone set on a slender band has become a symbol of today’s wedding culture. More times than not, this ring gets confused with the wedding ring, and the two terms now seem to have become interchangeable in our daily vocabulary. But, there is a difference!


What really is the difference? Do you need to have both rings?  


We will answer these questions and more to help shed some light on this often confusing subject.


What is an engagement ring?

   An engagement ring is a ring indicating to everyone that the person wearing it is off the market and is now engaged to be married. Given to that special someone at the time of a marriage proposal. Traditionally, men would present this one to the women and if greeted with a “YES!” is then expected to wear it starting from the time of the proposal.



   Engagement rings can vary enormously in terms of price and extravagance. The most common type of engagement ring is a diamond (or gemstone) set atop a slender band, typically gold (white or yellow depends on her preferences to jewellery) (Platinum is very popular too!)


    Where is this ring worn? Common western culture has it on the third finger on the left hand (the finger next to the little finger).


Ok… So what is a wedding ring then?


    A wedding ring or wedding band is a ring symbolizing that the wearer is legally married now and is usually made from gold or another precious metal.

   Wedding rings are exchanged during the wedding ceremony between the partners. It is typically a simple band in comparison to the often extravagant engagement ring.

   Wedding rings/bands don’t normally boast any stones or diamonds etc. Think of this style of ring as “Unisex”, meaning of course, it suits typically both men and women. (The man’s ring however, is generally thicker than that of his brides)


   Both partners will receive a wedding band during the ceremony itself. The wedding ring/band is worn on the third finger of their left hands. (Yep, same finger as the engagement ring) Because of this, many brides choose to relocate their engagement rings to their opposite hands for the ceremony and after the wedding is done, move them back to the left hand so that their two rings can sit stacked together on the same finger.




Should I wear both an engagement and wedding ring?


   This is all up to you. There is no right or wrong answer here. The engagement ring, by tradition, is the flashy (bling bling) and more extravagant ring of the two.


   Many women wear their wedding bands stacked underneath (behind) the engagement ring as well, whist other women choose only to wear one ring in representation of them both. Most all jewellers sell engagement rings and wedding rings as a set, so they sit and match one another along with looking stylish when worn together.  


   Remember, this is not a requirement, you and yours can choose to buy wedding bands at your own leisure if you wish to have them at all. Not to mention that some men these days go shopping now with their partner to pick out the engagement ring instead of presenting one they picked themselves.


There are good sides and bad to this, but that is another story!



   Men will generally get given their wedding bands on the day of the wedding ceremony. The groom’s wedding bands are usually thicker in width than the brides and are again, made of precious metal, such as gold, silver or platinum.

   Some bands may contain small series of diamonds or jewels but the design and style of the band is up to their personal preference and most commonly, a flat plain design.


How much do engagement and wedding rings cost?




   Wedding rings and engagement rings will vary in price depending on the setting and stone, along with the bands material. The majority of engagement rings include at least one diamond whilst most wedding bands do not have any gemstones, making of course the engagement ring the more expensive of the two.     


   The general rule of thumb used by many people is to spend around two to three months’ salary on an engagement ring. Again, not a written law and how much you choose to spend on any of your wedding jewellery is dependent on your circumstances, personal taste and your preference.



   Both your engagement ring and wedding ring represent a unity and a bond that you’ve committed life to each other. Regardless of if you choose to go with an extravagant diamond or an understated band, this piece of jewellery is your undying commitment, indicating to the world and to yourselves that you’re married and devoted to another soul.


   The cost of the ring doesn’t represent the future of the bond; love for each other itself will take care of that!


   Remember, there are countless types and styles of both engagement rings and wedding rings, with this in mind, know that you and your special someone will surely be able to find the perfect rings for you.