According to tradition, three rings are exchanged during a marriage – the engagement ring for the woman and a wedding ring for the man and the woman. But what does each ring symbolize? And do you really need all three rings?

Read this to find out the differences between wedding and engagement rings.


The Rings Are Given at Different Times

Engagement rings are given at the time of the proposal (or shortly after). Wedding rings are exchanged between both partners at the alter during the wedding ceremony. If you are opting for a low-key marriage without a ceremony, they can be exchanged at the time of the marriage with your officiant.

Traditionally the Two Rings Have Different Designs

A typical engagement ring has a center stone. It can sometimes be surrounded by smaller stones or it may have a simple band. Wedding rings, on the other hand, are much simpler. They are either a plain band or a band with small stones, depending on your preference. Use this guide from GIA for some wedding band design inspiration.

You Can Buy Them Together or Separately

You do not have to buy a wedding band when you purchase an engagement ring. This is especially true if you are unsure about what your partner will like. If you choose to purchase them separately, it is important you work with a jeweler you trust. They will make sure you are able to choose a wedding band that matches the engagement ring.

They are Meant to be Worn Together

Historically, a woman will wear an engagement ring and the wedding band together on the same finger. In the United States, it is worn on the fourth finger on the hand, appropriately called the ‘ring finger.’ Keep in mind – there is no requirement to do this. It really depends on your preference.

Tradition Says Which Order They Go

If tradition is important to you, it should be noted that the wedding ring is worn closest to the hand and the engagement ring is stacked on second.

Sometimes People will Wear them on Separate Fingers

This is especially true if your engagement ring and wedding band do not match or they do not stack well. If you want to wear your wedding ring on a different finger, there is nothing stopping you!

Men Have Flexibility (Despite What History Has Said)

Men have not traditionally received engagement rings, but that is quickly changing. ‘Mangagement rings’ are trending these days! You can also use a men’s engagement ring as a wedding band if you would like.

It’s Really Up to You!

The most important thing to remember is that you choose what is best for you and your partner. Pick rings that have meaning to you and something you would be content wearing for the rest of your life. What really matters is the love you and your partner share.

For more information and wedding rings and engagement rings, schedule a private appointment with the Diamond Room of Dallas.

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