How far in advance should couples buy or commission their wedding rings?
Olivia Norman, head of jewellery from Vashi, advises: “This depends on the individual. Purchasing a ready-to-wear ring can be done down to the wire (we ship our ready-to-wear rings via next-day delivery). But if you decide to create your wedding band, try to leave ample time – about three weeks – to fully enjoy the creation process.”
Rachel Boston, designer and owner of Rachel Boston, says: “We normally require six to eight weeks to recreate an existing design from our wedding band collection. More bespoke pieces take slightly longer – we recommend allowing around three months from initial consultation to finished piece, depending on the complexity of the design.”
Richard Warrender, founder and director of W&W Jewellery, explains: “Wedding rings often become part of the conversation when we are designing and creating the engagement ring. A few months ahead of the wedding date gives us plenty of time to meet, discuss, and create. With wedding dates now changing frequently, we’ve also found couples are keen to have their wedding rings made as soon as possible.”
What’s the most important thing to consider when it comes to choosing a wedding band?
“This is a ring to be worn every day for a lifetime,” says Richard. “So, it should be well-made and timeless. Plain wedding bands will always last well, but so do diamond or stone-set bands, so there’s no need to limit your options. Thinking about how the ring will combine with your engagement ring is important, too. Alternatively, it could be an opportunity to use a different precious metal, gold or rose gold, and bring colour and layering into the look.”
“Brides should always think about the future,” advises Olivia. “For example, how a wedding ring will work with an eternity ring. As much as we think about the look of our wedding ring, you have to consider how durable the metals are for daily wear, too.” Rachel adds: “Think about how often you plan to wear your wedding band by itself. It’s should complement your engagement ring, but it’s important to love the band as a standalone piece.”
What are the different options?
“We carry a variety of styles,” Rachel explains. “Our designs range from classic, plain metal bands, like our Thin Knife-Edge Band, to intricate diamond designs like our Mixed Diamond Wedding Band.” Olivia adds: “We can custom-make wedding bands to follow the contours of your engagement ring, and we also offer a bespoke service where you can create something completely individual.”
Which shapes are most popular?
“For gentlemen, a D shape is perhaps the most classic option. Flat courts, however, are becoming more popular thanks to their clean, modern profile. For women, wedding bands are generally more bespoke and tie in with the engagement ring,” says Olivia. “At the moment, we’re seeing a lot of enthusiasm for variations on a classic eternity band,” explains Rachel. “Our Baguette and Round Diamond Wedding Band is a bestseller, as are our Baguette Diamond Bands (both the ‘Deco’ and more classic styles) and our Princess Trio Cut Band. They’re timeless, but with a contemporary twist.”
And what about metals?
“Platinum is always a popular choice, regardless of gender. And while rose gold has seen a resurgence in the last couple of years, yellow gold remains popular, too,” says Olivia. Rachel adds: “We make most of our bands out of 18ct yellow gold, but we also frequently make bands in other 18ct gold colours and platinum.” In fact, it’s a clear choice between platinum and 18ct gold at the moment, says Richard. “After all, they are the premium jewellery metals. Rose gold is a more particular choice and the demand for alternative metals seems to be falling away.”
Should engagement rings and wedding rings always match?
“Some clients want perfectly matching rings, others want their jewellery to be individual pieces,” says Richard. “Making sure the rings work together and are designed with each other in mind is more important. We have certainly designed statement wedding rings where the engagement rings follow a simpler aesthetic and vice versa.” Rachel agrees: “We are firm believers in mixing-and-matching, rather than rings looking too much like a matching set. We have quite a free approach to this, and always encourage clients to try bands they are drawn to, even if they don’t think they’ll match their engagement ring – the results are often surprisingly stylish. A bit of playful contrast between the two is great, and usually looks much more modern.”
What sort of budget should you set for wedding rings?
“Fine jewellery should be accessible to everyone and this includes working around individual budgets. Our ready-to-wear wedding rings start at £330 for a plain 2mm band, but we can ensure custom pieces remain within a given budget,” explains Olivia. Rachel says: “Our prices range from £595 for a simple and elegant knife-edge band, up to around £1,750 for pavé diamond nesting bands.” Richard adds: “Classic bands will cost from around £450 up to £1,000, but the shape and weight of any ring will determine its value. Diamond bands usually start from £1,000, depending on the quantity and size of the stones used. There are options to hand-make or machine-make each piece, which can affect the price, too. Wedding rings are incredibly important, which is why we make so many early on in an engagement, so the budget isn’t too limited.”
Is it possible to incorporate a piece of heirloom jewellery into a wedding band?
“An heirloom or handed-down piece may not be to your exact taste, but might still hold strong sentiment for you. Our craftspeople are able to work closely with you to redesign any jewellery to better match your personal style and preference,” says Olivia. “We love the idea of breathing new life into heirloom jewellery,” agrees Rachel. “We can incorporate diamonds or reuse gold from heirloom pieces to create wedding bands and would encourage anyone interested in this process to schedule a consultation.” Richard adds: “Whether it’s incorporating inherited stones, recycling sentimental gold, or repurposing a vintage piece, jewellery is all about meaning. What better way to make something truly special than by including something already treasured?”