While many of us are happy to spend hours gazing at engagement rings and learning everything about cut and style, let’s face it: Guys usually don’t get as excited. For many, a wedding band could be the only piece of jewelry they wear, so it needs to fit their style and daily life. But where should you start your search? Below are a few tips to consider when looking for the perfect ring. But first! Let’s talk about the basics of mens wedding bands:
How Much Should Mens Wedding Bands Cost?
Just like with any piece of jewelry, how much you’ll pay depends on the quality (and in some cases, the brand). For instance, a tungsten ring from Manly Bands will cost you around $300. A platinum wedding band from Tiffany’s, on the other hand, costs around $1,100. The material is the main differentiator since tungsten is know to be extremely affordable, but that little blue box factors into the price point as well. If you choose to add high quality gemstones like diamonds that price will obviously increase, too.
Want to see how much different types of metals will cost you? You can see a handy cost breakdown in our guide to mens wedding rings.
Who Buys the Mens Wedding Band?
Tradition says that the groom and/or his family buys the bride’s wedding rings, and the bride and/or her family does the same for him (even though the groom usually chooses his own ring). However like most wedding traditions, it’s completely up to you as a couple!
Where Should You Look?
There are so many more online options than there were just a few years ago, and you can find a variety of styles for every budget. Most of them also come with great return policies that allow you to try each one on for size and return it if it doesn’t work. A few of our favorite retailers include:
Manly Bands (classic and unique mens wedding bands)
Anna Sheffield (for a great selection of gender neutral bands)
Bario Neal (custom ethical jewelry designs)
Blue Nile (handcrafted rings and diamond price-matching)
What to Look for When Choosing Mens Wedding Bands
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you can start to figure out what you or your partner really wants.
1. Consider Your Personality
The first thing you have to take into consideration when purchasing mens wedding bands is personal style. Is the groom more laid back? Or is he going to want something classic or a little bolder? The two of you should brainstorm some ideas so you can find what suits his individual style best. Questions to ask yourself include:
-Do I want something nobody else has? Or am I more comfortable with the classics? (IE: A palladium ring with textured edges or a classic gold band like your dad wore?)
-Do I want the ring to stand out or blend in with whatever I’m wearing? (IE: a neutral black band or one with gemstones)
2. Consider Your Lifestyle
You’re not going to want to buy a ring that won’t fit your lifestyle. If you work with your hands a lot, you’ll want to look into something durable, something that you won’t have to constantly remove every time you go to work. Also, think about your hobbies. Are you into playing tennis or lifting weights? If you play a lot of sports that might potentially damage your ring, there are two things you’ll want to consider:
The width of the band: The most common men’s wedding band width is 6 mm, however if you’re not used to wearing a ring you might opt to go more narrow.
The material: For grooms with an active lifestyle, a carbon ring material (which is extra durable) could be a great option. Or, you could choose to have a second silicone ring for when you workout. But more on those, below!
3. Narrow Down Your Choices
There are so many great rings out there that it can be confusing trying to figure out which one is right for you. Pro tip: Choosing the metal first, as we talk about above, is a good place to start. The most popular metals are gold, titanium, platinum, tungsten, and silver. However you can also choose from a ton of other options, such as rose gold, meteorite, antler, and wood inlays. Mens black wedding bands have also become a thing, but it’s nothing new. Ancient greeks and romans used to wear rings made of black onyx. However, it now feels like a modern choice for those looking for a unique look that is also low-key.
Once you’ve decided on your metal, it becomes easier to choose a style. Do you want something matte or polished? Do you want a ring that’s wide or narrow? Are you going to want to include any embellishments? These are all important questions to ask.
4. To Match or Not to Match
Since your wedding bands represent your commitment to each other, you might consider matching your bands with a similar engraving or matching metals. You could even buy your wedding bands at the same place to ensure their resemblance. While not a requirement, matching wedding bands is a fun way to show your promise to each other.
5. Set a Budget
Budgeting is key for everything having to do with a wedding, including the rings. Shop with the
assumption that you’ll spend about 3% of your wedding budget on both of your rings. Consider how much more engravings or other embellishments will add to the cost of the metal. And once you’ve set a budget, stick to it.
6. Shop Together
Whether you helped your man pick out your engagement ring or he surprised you, it’s always fun to shop for wedding bands together. You’re going to (hopefully) be wearing these wedding bands for a long time, so look for something that compliments both your personalities and your relationship.
7. Check Out Different Vendors
Just like buying a car, it helps to try out a few rings at different places. Engraving costs might skew higher or lower depending on where you go and different vendors could have special prices for certain metals. Don’t settle for a mediocre ring that costs a ton when just around the corner, there could be the perfect ring for you at a much lower price.
8. Consider Maintenance
To keep a wedding band with embellishments clean you’ll need to wash and soak it in warm water, gently brush it with a soft toothbrush, rinse it and then pat it dry with a lint-free cloth. Sound too high maintenance? Then you might want to opt for something that you can simply polish with a soft cloth when the need arises.
9. How to Find Your Size
If you’re buying online, you can easily figure out your ring size using a tape measurer or even a piece of paper. We even walk you through how to measure your ring size at home. However, if you need to you can (and should) get it professionally sized from a jeweler, regardless of if you’re buying it from a brick and mortar store or online. A jeweler can easily make your ring larger or smaller for a perfect fit. Just keep in mind that making it bigger can be tricky, and most jewelers can only go up about a half size. So you’ll want to make sure the ring size you buy isn’t too far off.
10. Think Long Term
Finally, make sure you’re choosing something that will last. Don’t pick a ring just because it’s the latest fashion or you saw someone wear it online. Choose a ring that you can picture wearing for the rest of your life, because that’s the idea!
And remember, don’t forget to get both of your wedding bands insured! (And of course your engagement ring).