The wedding ring is a time-honored tradition, with roots dating back to the Roman Empire. Originally, the wedding band symbolized “ownership”, or “belonging to another” and indicated a contract had been made with another person to spend their lives together as husband and wife. Over time the meaning and symbolism has changed. Today, the roundness of the wedding band is said to indicate the eternal nature of marriage, and the never-ending love and bond that a couple share through marriage.
It was during the Victorian period that the wedding band came to be recognized as a symbol of love over an indication of a contract. Not surprisingly, it was during this time that arranged marriages became less popular and women and men had more freedom to choose their partners for love and friendship rather than for financial security or social prosperity. However, it was not until more recent times, that of about World War I, that the exchange of wedding rings between man and woman took on the meaning and symbolism that the rings carry today.
Wedding Ring Trends
Over time, along with the change in symbolism, came a change in attitude about what rings should look like as well. While today, the most popular rings are still made of gold, silver, or platinum, there are also new metals and styles available to suite every lifestyle and fashion sense.
Because most brides receive an engagement ring, the wedding bands often compliment the engagement ring style and also match each other to some degree. While this, is not a hard and fast rule, generally, a man’s and woman’s rings which they exchange are similar in look and metal, too.
What is still the most popular band – one that could be described as a “plain” or “simple” gold band, actually has its roots in Jewish tradition. According to Jewish custom, a wedding ring must be a plain gold band in order to properly represent the purity of the union between man and woman. (For Christians, a similar wedding band was adopted by order of the Pope in 860AD, which required the groom to contribute a gift to the bride.)
There are also numerous other options available, including bands created from durable or interesting metals (such as tungsten carbide wedding bands, or titanium wedding bands) or bands that are designed incorporating diamonds, birthstones, or other precious gems.
For those wishing to exchange wedding rings in the latest styles, the most recent wedding band trends include:
- Rings that appear to be stacked on top of each other, in order to look like multiple rings are being worn
- Bands with detailed engraving or vintage-inspired etching
- Eternity-style bands, or bands that incorporate multiple diamonds
- Bands that used mixed metals or finishes (for example, yellow gold and platinum)
- Custom-designed wedding bands to reflect the couples style and personalities
It is still very popular to have an engraved message placed in a band as well. While many opt for their impending anniversary date, many also choose to engrave a small quote, a name, or a simple “I do” on the inside of their bands.
One final note to consider when choosing your wedding band, is to allow for enough time before your wedding to ensure that sizing of the bands, and any customization can been done before the big day arrives. A good suggestion is to purchase your bands at least six weeks before your wedding day, although even more time may be needed for very unique or intricate custom work.
At IMG Jewelers, we pride ourselves on being able to provide wedding bands and styles that our brides and grooms will cherish for a lifetime. We carry many different options in gold, silver, platinum, and other metals to match all engagement rings, the latest fashion trends, or your personal preference. Because we are the largest importer of loose diamonds in Northeast Ohio, you can be sure that we’ll have the diamond engagement ring styles you are looking for as well.