Do I Have to Have a Wedding Band during the Ceremony?

I just want one ring. Can I do that?


Q: My fiancé and I went wedding band shopping and found some we love. They’re not even as expensive as I’d feared—but the thing is, I’m not sure I need to spend anything else at all.

He unexpectedly presented me with a gorgeous vintage Art Deco ring when he proposed, and my gut is telling me there’s a sadness in switching it to the other hand (which otherwise seemed like a totally practical solution). I just don’t like any bands next to it. Even the simplest one competes or blings the whole thing up far above my comfort zone, (though it would look lovely on someone else). It’s a wide style, so I feel like it has the weight of an engagement ring and a band. So now, after looking at wedding bands, I’m tempted to just have my now beloved engagement ring work as both.

I gather that this is something that makes historical sense. If there even were an engagement ring, it often would only be worn for special occasions (hence, vintage rings lasting well enough to be resold now). The wedding band was worn daily (hence, the difficulty in finding vintage bands that have held up well enough to be worth reselling now). So wearing two rings seems to be a fairly modern idea. It’s just that before it seems like the engagement ring was swapped out for a wedding band, whereas I’m trying to just keep the one I have.

I know I’ll get pushback on this from family that thinks I’m skimping based on expense. Of course, the money bothers me (even our carefully prioritized wedding is dang expensive. Anything over a hundred dollars scares the bejeezus out of me on a regular basis, even without wedding planning in the mix), but it’s not the only reason. My fiancé took the time and care to choose something that fit both of us. The ring is a beautiful reminder of conversations we’ve had and the proposal itself, and it’s been with us through our year of engagement. I’m also looking forward to receiving my loha, a Bengali iron wedding bangle. My grandmother has commissioned a replica of the one my mom wears with iron for strength, gold for wealth, and copper for communication, closed with elephants for luck and wisdom. Since I’ve seen my mom wear it every day for my whole life, I can’t think of something that’s more meaningful to symbolize a transition to marriage. But that’s something from my family, not from my husband.

My question is: How does using the engagement ring as the wedding band work during the ceremony? I want to wear it during the first look photos and getting ready, so when do I take off the ring? How do we make the transition from engagement to marriage feel like something important with the same ring? I’ve heard of ring warming ceremonies, which sound like a good start. What have other APW couples done? I’m going to be presenting him with a wedding band. I guess what I’m really asking is, how do we imbue my engagement ring with wedding band powers?

do you wear two rings (engagement and wedding), or just one? if only one, how did you handle the ring ceremony during your wedding?

 If you want the APW community’s two cents, send it to QUESTIONS AT APRACTICALWEDDING DOT COM, and we’ll do our best to crowd source you some answers!

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