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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  • Amy March

    Wedding bands don’t have powers. You don’t need to do anything special to convert your engagement ring. Wear it on your right hand before the ceremony, switch it to your left during the ceremony, and enjoy. The transition from engaged to married is important because of what you’re actually doing not the jewelry you wear.

    But, is your family right? Are you actually shortchanging yourself over cost? Is that a thing you know you do? Would you consider just wearing the rings on different fingers?

  • Ashlah

    I think your two options are, after wearing it for photos, place it on your right hand and switch it during the ceremony, or removing it and treating it just like you would a wedding band for the ceremony. As soon as you’re done with your photos, give your ring to the officiant or person of honor keep until it’s time to exchange rings. Most of your guests won’t be able to see your ring, and won’t have a clue that you’re doing anything out of the ordinary.

  • NolaJael

    Just use your engagement ring as your wedding ring! You love it, it’s meaningful, hooray! Problem solved. If you want something to make it “special” you can do a smudging or warming or blessing or some other “re-dedication” aspect to transition it formally to its new status. Congrats on the engagement and finding a great ring. :)

  • H

    I think you’re wayyyy overthinking this! I mean that lovingly, as an overthinker myself. Just wear your beautiful engagement ring and make it your wedding ring, easy peasy! Take it off before you go down the aisle and give it to the best man or ring bearer or whoever is in charge of your rings until you exchange them with your new husband. Ignore people who give you shit for it – most people will find it sweet and romantic that you love your engagement ring so much, as is!

    • emilyg25

      And seriously, once you move past this immediate wedding period, no one will even notice or comment. I feel like a lot of things in wedding planning take on a false urgency, when in the grand scheme of things, they’re really not a big. At least that’s how it was for me.

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    • lamarsh

      Agreed! My best friend did this with her engagement ring. She didn’t like how it looked with other bands (at least not enough to spend the money on one) so she took it off before the ceremony, gave it to the best man, and then her husband placed it on her finger during the ring exchange. I honestly don’t think I would have even noticed if I hadn’t been in the bridal party where we discussed the logistics of it. And now, two years later, it’s definitely a non-issue.

    • Lorri Lewis

      I’ve known lots of women who only wore what was technically their engagement ring – these are rings that stand alone. Two rings rubbing up against each other do wear faster, so there’s that. I’ve never heard anyone ask them about it. You get very few comments on wedding rings after the wedding.

    • Alysssa

      Ditto this. I did the same thing, and no one has given me shit for it! Occasionally strangers will see the ring and ask if I’m engaged, and I simply reply “Actually I’m married!” but even that happens WAY less than I feared it might.

      As for what to do during the wedding, wear the ring for the photos you’re taking before the ceremony, and then slip it off and hand it to whoever you need to right before the ceremony starts. Do a ring warming ceremony if you want, but I guarantee there will be enough other special moments and bits of symbolism in your wedding that you will DEFINITELY still feel married even if you don’t add another ring lol.

      H is right that you are overthinking this – but it’s so easy to overthink anything and everything while you are wedding planning, so I understand. And I did the same thing when I was engaged! But now nearly two years later, I am so happy I chose to stick with the one ring that I love, and I almost completely forgot this was ever something I worried about until I read your post. So I’m here from the future to tell you to go with your gut, and it will all turn out fine. Enjoy your wedding! :)

  • Julia Schnell

    My engagement ring was a repurposed ring that my grandmother had made out of heirloom jewelry when I was still a kid. However, it breaks our rabbi’s rules of an unadorned band for the ceremony. I got myself a band that was thin enough that I could wear them both on the same finger, if I wanted, without the whole situation getting ridiculous. (And as a bonus, it was small enough to also be relatively inexpensive!)

    • The second ring could also be a good option for travel or other occasions when a less “adorned” ring could be of benefit…

  • ART

    This isn’t exactly an answer, but I also didn’t want another ring on the same finger as my engagement ring (it’s filigree and not supposed to have another ring rubbing it, plus it looks best on its own), and it doesn’t fit on my right ring finger (and I didn’t want to resize it), so I bought my wedding band to fit my right hand and I wear it there. Literally no one has ever given me grief about it or really even asked.

    One solution would be to take your engagement ring off and hand it to your maid of honor/ring bearer before you process. My husband and I didn’t have either, so we carried each other’s band in our own pockets. My husband, three years later, is still wearing his placeholder silver band from Amazon because we were having a hard time deciding on a “real” one in time for the wedding, and he has no intention of “upgrading.” You may find that the whole process around it doesn’t matter after the fact as much as you might expect!

    • Vanessa

      I have a friend who does the same thing – she wears her wedding band on her right hand, along with a band she & her husband bought for their anniversary a couple years after getting married. It’s not an issue.

  • Eenie

    I got a wedding band and wear that more than my engagement ring. We both got QALO rings and my husband wears that one every day and wears his metal one on fancy occasions (I do the same with my engagement ring). I like having a wedding band (whether metal or silicone) to wear that I don’t need to worry as much about breaking or losing. I wore both on my wedding day. You can always change up the language a bit for your partner during the ring ceremony “With this ring that I gave you a year ago, I’m reaffirming the desire to commit myself to you…”

    I’m on team don’t get a ring if you don’t want a ring. But there are lots out there that are less than $100 (wood, Sterling silver, silicone).

    • Lisa

      I love my Qalo band! We have matching ones for when we go hiking. I also started wearing the Qalo band a bit last summer because for some reason my ring is obnoxiously too big when it gets hot outside. Super cheap and a great alternative for people who work with their hands or want something easy.

      • Eenie

        Have you seen their new designs?! I really want one to get another one…

        • Lisa

          Are you talking about the stackable bands? I’ve never seen them before, but they’re really cute!

          • Eenie

            Yeah! I don’t think I personally want to stack them, but I want one with a little more pizazz​ than my Navy blue plain one.

          • Lisa

            I don’t think I’d stack them either, but I like the swirl designs. I have the aqua one from Amazon, and it glows in the dark. :)

      • Cassy

        I adore the QALO bands because they have special designs for police and firefighters. My soon-to-be fiance is a firefighter and he’s so excited to have a ring that he can wear even on call!

  • LadyMe

    You can wear one or both on a necklace chain. I wore a wedding band on my finger and my heirloom engagement band on a chain. Of course, I’ve lost both of them now, so I sort of like the idea of not wearing one of them and keeping it locked away for safety. A wedding band might suddenly mean a lot if you’ve lost your engagement ring.

  • Nell

    Is there a ring in either of your families that could be passed down for the purpose of the ceremony – but that you wouldn’t necessarily wear regularly going forward? You’ve already found the ring you want to wear every day – this is now a question of just having a symbol to exchange on the day of the wedding.

    • Nell

      Also unless it’s religiously dictated – you actually don’t HAVE to do a ring exchange! Exchange bites of ice cream, or whatever you want!

  • theteenygirl

    I’m getting a super thin wedding band off Etsy for like $70, because I love my engagement ring so much I don’t want anything that competes against it. You may find that there will be times when you would like to not wear your engagement ring, for example, when travelling. So getting a cheap band for the ceremony and then only wearing it when you don’t want to wear your engagement ring is an option. Otherwise, I agree with what’s already been said.

    We are doing a ring warming ceremony because we’re only having 27 guests and it’s meaningful to us, but like all ceremonies.. you don’t have to do it unless it’s meaningful to you too.

  • Rose

    I do wear two rings, but I think that wearing just one makes a lot of sense if it’s what you want. Maybe, if you wanted to have just a little bit of ceremony to it, after the first look photos you could do something where you give it to your soon-to-be husband (possibly with a few words, or in a nice box, or something that makes it feel like an important moment), so that he can give it to you again during the ceremony? That might feel more like a traditional exchange of rings and a new committment than just wearing it all morning or giving it to the ring bearer/best man/whoever yourself. Keeping it a little more private would also keep from bringing it to everyone’s attention that it’s not a new ring, which sounds like something you might rather not do.

  • ZLMT

    My engagement ring became my wedding ring — I don’t wear rings otherwise, and wasn’t interested in a traditional engagement ring. I actually don’t even remember what I did during the ceremony, but I’m guessing I either took it off right before I came down the aisle and gave it to my maid of honor, or I just put it on my other hand. Seems like there are lots of workable solutions!

  • Emily

    I also have a vintage engagement ring that due to it’s shape can not be worn with another band. We purchased Brent&Jess wedding bands; I wore my engagement ring on my right hand at the ceremony. Now I wear one or the other, but usually just my wedding band as my engagement ring has a tendency to get stuck on things.

  • Both my husband & I used our engagement rings as our wedding rings… I don’t remember if we had them on for our first look pix, but we took them off before our ceremony.

    We did a hippie-tastic cleansing (we dumped salt on them, more picturesque than it sounds like ;)), passed them around for a ring warming at the beginning of our ceremony, then exchanged them at the end. I actually liked the symbolism of them being the same — We’d been together 6 years, owned an apartment together etc. so for me getting married wasn’t “starting a new life” but more deeply to committing to what we had. Having the same rings after getting good vibes from our community felt like a nice microcosm of how I felt about getting married.

    In terms of imbuing your engagement ring with wedding band I honestly think wearing it all the time does that on it’s own. Like, as mentioned we did things in our ceremony to “re-dedicate” the rings, but I don’t think it would have ultimately made any difference to me if we hadn’t :)

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    I bought a wedding band that I never wear! I’m too in love with my engagement ring and I’m a jewelry minimalist. I do occasionally get comments wondering where my band is and I think my husband gets some pushback from his family about getting me a “proper” ring to wear with it. But overall, it’s not even remotely a big deal.

    Part of why I bought the original wedding band to begin with was because I was also worried about the ceremony and it being “weird” to use my engagement ring, but at the end of the day, it was honestly the smallest blip on the smallest part of the radar and now I have a $1500 ring collecting dust. Know thyself.

  • Eh

    I have had friends that only had one ring and it was taken off just before the ceremony and given to the MOH (or other trusted person) and then put back on during the ring exchange. No one knew during the ceremony at all that she didn’t have two rings.

    I actually found having both rings to be a pain in the butt during my ceremony, since the wedding ring is supposed to be closest to your hand and the engagement ring second. I know there are other ways to handle it, but the way our officiant suggested is that I not wear my engagement ring when I walked down the aisle, and then have my husband put both rings on during the ceremony. I don’t remember exactly when I took my engagement ring off but there were pictures of my engagement ring with our wedding bands so I took it off some point as I got ready. We had a ring dish (the rings were tied onto a ribbon that was secured to the dish) and my step-mom brought the rings down the aisle. Then when we exchanged rings, there was a line indicating my husband put on my wedding band and another line for him to put on my engagement ring.

    • Violet

      Yes, the priest told me it made the most sense to wear my engagement ring on my right hand for the ceremony. After the receiving line, I popped it back on over next to the wedding band.

      • Eh

        I know other people wear it on their left hand and then put their wedding band on and switch them sometime after the ceremony. lol Any of those “solutions” seem like too much work to me

        • ART

          I’m envious of all you people whose right hands aren’t at least 1/2 ring size bigger than their left…I guess I am REALLY right-dominant! ha! My engagement ring doesn’t fit past my second knuckle on my right hand. And my (1/2 size larger) wedding band slips right off my left hand!

          • Eh

            Me too! My wedding band is also 1/2 larger than my engagement ring (because I never had it sized, and it works since my engagement ring holds it on) and it doesn’t fit on my right hand past my second knuckle.

          • Rose

            Oh, yeah, my wife put her engagement ring on her right hand for our ceremony, and then had some trouble getting it off. Something to consider!

          • lamarsh

            Whoa, just tried this and my engagement ring is wayyyy tighter on my right hand ring finger. May need to reconsider my plan of placing it there during the ceremony.

          • nutbrownrose

            I’m so LEFT dominant I would worry about it falling off my right. I thought I would use my right as my wedding hand when I was younger because I’m sooo left handed, but then FH got me a ring like 4 years before we got engaged that I wore on my right ring finger (funny story: it was (vehemently) not a promise ring, and he did not plan on me wearing it literally every day for the next 4 years (he bought it to roll up a letter in), so it never really fit but I wore it anyway. Tried to use it as my stand-in engagement ring (I got to pick! He proposed with a handmade, 3D Settlers board. Be jealous.) and it wouldn’t go on my left hand) and so I am just being a left handed person with a very secure ring (like, my priorities picking were 1-sparkly, 2-impossible to break with walls/counters/general clumsiness).

          • Mjh

            “handmade, 3D Settlers board” <3

      • Ashlah

        Yep, this is what I did too.

    • savannnah

      Jewish tradition negates this issue by placing the wedding band on the index finger during the ceremony because of the belief that an arterial lifeline ran from the index finger directly through the heart. (not a doc so no idea if this is true) After the ceremony the ring moves from the index finger to the ring finger.

      • Lisa

        Feels like a silly question, but do you then size the wedding band for the index finger or the ring finger? My index fingers are larger than my ring by about 1/2 size so I’m imagining another bride with fingers like mine either having a ring that doesn’t go all the way on her index finger or that’s too big for the ring finger.

        • savannnah

          Not a silly question- the placement on the index finger is really symbolic so its literally just for the ceremony and then it gets switched to the ring finger, so its sized for the ring finger.

          • Lisa

            Thanks! I’d always wondered about that when I saw movies/TV footage of Jewish ceremonies. (Ring going on the index finger but never seeing someone wear a ring like that in real life.) Between yesterday and today, I’m learning about all sorts of Jewish traditions. :)

      • flashphase

        Or you can get married in a simple band (like a family ring) and then wear what you want after (put it on during yichud)

        • savannnah

          yes- getting married in a simple band was my fathers only request which I found very specific and very easy to accommodate.

  • Violet

    My friend did this- didn’t find a wedding band she really loved enough to justify spending any money on. She wore her engagement ring on her right hand during the ceremony, and they used a ring her fiance had bought her years ago (before they were even dating; it had a lot of sentimental value) as the left-hand “wedding band” ring for the ceremony. Now she wears her engagement ring alone on her left hand. Easy!

  • flashphase

    My husband and I were both married in family rings. Perhaps that’s an alternative for the ceremony and then you can wear your engagement ring as a wedding ring afterwards.

  • Liz

    So I also have a gorgeous vintage Art Deco engagement ring! I love it hugely and it makes me happy every day.

    I chose to get a “regular” wedding band, and to switch the engagement ring to my right hand, for two reasons:

    1) Tradition. There are rules around Jewish wedding bands that essentially require a plain band (can’t be twisted, pierced, etc.)
    2) Symbolism. While I would not have anticipated this ahead of time, the simplicity and workaday look of the band has come to have great meaning to me. The engagement ring is intricate, glamorous, eye-catching, shiny. It symbolizes a course-shifting moment in time – when my fiance and I decided to spend our lives together – and the champagne-pop rush of that moment. My wedding band, on the other hand, is slim, plain gold, and already kind of scuffed up. It symbolizes the everyday, humdrum, errands-and-dishes kind of love that is married life.

    All that to say that you should wear whatever you want and the hell with anyone who gives you grief. But IME, the two rings had very difference significance, and wearing both has turned out to be a very meaningful decision. YMMV! But I hope this perspective may be helpful.

    • jem

      What a beautifully written comment!

    • LazyMountain

      “Errands-and-dishes kind of love”- this is wonderful!

    • Arie

      This is wonderful, and is exactly how I feel about my rings! I love my engagement ring, but have grown to really appreciate my simple gold band wedding ring, which is lighter and better for activities. I love being able to wear it everyday and then choose random days to add the engagement ring – usually when I want to feel a little bit more sparkly. I would say – no pressure! If you think you only want the engagement ring, go with that – you can always get a band later if you want to diversify. I was surprised how little attention anyone besides me paid to rings during the entire wedding process.

      • Liz

        OK, I just about jumped out of my seat when I saw this – my husband’s name is Arie! Small world. :)

    • AmandaBee

      I love this sentiment! I never thought of it that way, but I also feel surprisingly attached to my plain old wedding band.

      To throw some boring old practicality out there – there may be days and moments where you prefer not to wear your engagement ring. I wore mine all the time when I first got it but now it’s nice to pop it off and just wear my band around when I’m working with my hands, playing with my baby niece, or just don’t feel like dealing with it that day. Not that you couldn’t just go ring-less in those moments, but something to consider.

      Edited to add: My ring is from Amazon, and a thin platinum band cost under $200. You could easy get a thin gold one under $100. So if it’s really a cost issue, you can easily get a plain band pretty inexpensively and they can be nice to have if you, like me, prefer to have something on those no-engagement-ring days.

    • idkmybffjill

      I got a plain band for my preggo fingers (literally a $9.99 sterling silver ring from Amazon)… I LOVE IT SO MUCH. My engagement and wedding ring aren’t the flashiest things of all time, but I feel VERY mature in just my plain ring. I think if I’d realized, I would’ve gotten a totally plain wedding band instead of the pave set one I have.

      It is really fun though to pull out my wedding set for special occasions (aka when my fingers return to their normal state), I wish someone had advised of how great this was beforehand. So – great advice!!!

      • Ashlah

        I have a plain rose gold wedding band and a solitaire engagement ring, and on the rare occasions I wear my wedding band alone, I LOVE it. There’s just something so understated and simple about it that looks and feels so great, even though I love (and continue to normally wear) my engagement ring. So I totally get what you’re saying!

    • Mjh

      Count me in the simple band worn alone club. My wedding ring is a low profile, thin (1.5mm) plain platinum band and I wear it (nearly) all the time. I really like the look of a slim, simple band on its own, and I wanted it to be something unobtrusive that I could wear while doing all kinds of stuff and not really worry about it. I like that my ring goes with ​me all over the place; I wear it hiking, horseback riding, in the bathtub or wherever and it still looks on point worn to fancy events.

      I love my engagement ring, but I only wear it a couple times a year, and when I do, it’s on my right hand. It’s more like a beloved piece of jewelry I’ll put on once in a while, while my wedding ring is an every day thing.

    • Greta

      Yup – My engagement ring and wedding band are a matching set that actually belonged to my deceased MIL. Neither are really my style, both on the blingy side, but they are an important family symbol and I’m so happy to wear something from the MIL I never got to meet. Shortly after the wedding I wore both together, but I now only wear the band. The engagement ring is just so bling-tastic and is raised up that I only wear it on special occasions. I only wear the one wedding band, which also has diamonds and could easily be considered an engagement ring, and no one ever asks me anything about it. You’re definitely overthinking, where whatever you feel like. My mom has only ever worn her engagement ring and that works for her – she has no wedding band either and doesn’t feel like she ever needed it.

  • Jess

    I know lots of people who have just re-exchanged their engagement ring. I would have done that… but R already purchased the matching band when he bought the ring.

    For our ceremony, my band had already been resized and welded, so I just didn’t wear a ring until we did the exchange (I didn’t wear my ring for basically the week prior once it had been welded, to keep it clean).

    Literally nobody noticed. Other people I know just wore their ring on their right hand and their spouse pulled it off before the exchange.

    (ETA: I do have a simple wire knot ring that I bought to wear when I travel for work – I can’t wear hand jewelry and I don’t like taking off my nice ring. I could have also used that during the ceremony)

  • Orangie

    I only have one ring, and it has been a topic of conversation exactly never post-wedding. I took it off before I got ready and gave it to the ring bearer’s parents so that they could hand it to the ring bearer at the correct time, but you could easily make the switch just before walking down the aisle. I don’t feel less married with only one ring, and I sincerely doubt you will, either. I think this is a case of assuming since most people in magazine advertisements do one thing, that is the only way to do it, but this is really a you-do-you situation. It won’t be a big deal to anyone else either way. IF people comment on your wedding day, it’s only because they’ve never thought about the subject before and are mildly surprised, imho.

  • Sarah

    We had a spur of the moment engagement (ie drunk shopping in St Martin), so I got a really cool tanzenite stone ring with two long baguettes. wouldn’t work with any bands cause neither of us was thinking that at the time. ended up with a vintage two ring set with a small like .25 carat stone for every day use. then I recently inherited a four stone ring with family rings (great grandparents and grandparents, with two very old hand cut (mine cut) diamonds. Honestly, I will rotate among all of these rings on my left hand based on mood, outfit, that day’s activities, etc. the ring pictured is a bit gaudy per my husband’s tastes and it also scratches my baby so don’t wear it as much as I’d like. tend to not wear rings on my right hand.

    • BSM

      Well that is super cool.

      • Sarah

        Thanks. I love that it has family history. Guess my point was that overtime jewelry tastes and needs change.

  • GotMarried!

    I wear a single ring and its not an issue. I took it off the morning of the wedding and he put it back on during the ceremony. I do sometimes wish I had a band with it, but as of yet, shopping for one that I don’t hate beside my asymmetrical ring has proved futile.

    • CMT

      Your nails look spectacular. And so does your ring.

      • GotMarried!


    • Not Sarah

      I love your ring! I specifically wanted to be able to wear a flat band with my engagement ring, so we kept that in mind when we were looking at engagement rings. I think yours looks really great alone though!!

      • GotMarried!

        Thanks. There may yet be a custom band in my future … but then … can I wear it alone? probably not.

        • Not Sarah

          I admit that I have three rings. When we got married, I got a 2 mm plain white gold band and it was really great. You can find them pretty easily and inexpensively if you want a band that you can wear alone :) I do wear that alone sometimes and will when hiking and possibly when traveling. I also have an engagement/wedding band matching set. They’re flat rather than curved like yours and I can wear either of them alone too, though I mostly don’t wear the engagement ring alone anymore since I got the matching band. In short: you do you!

        • That’s hanging over me at the moment – I ideally want a wedding ring that both fits around my engagement ring and stands alone, and I think that might be an imaginary ring. I’ve been wondering about maybe having the same curve mirrored 180 degrees around the band, so it’s a sort of wave style rather than a round band with a bump in it.

  • sofar

    I have a wedding band and an engagement ring, and sometimes I’ll wear both/neither. My hobbies aren’t ring-friendly, so I actually have a few Enso (silicone) bands that I wear on my left ring finger 90 percent of the time.

    As a newlywed, people comment on my rings all the time. They comment on the fact that my engagement ring and wedding band don’t “match” (different metals). They comment on my silicone ring and ask why I’m not wearing my “real” ring. When I wear my wedding band alone, people ask where my engagement ring is and point out that THEY wear both of theirs and will sometimes say it’s such a waste to wear an engagement ring “only” for a year.

    People are nosy bastards, basically, so just practice some comebacks for these situations and live your life.

    And that applies to the ceremony as well. As others have said, hand the ring off to the best man or whoever right before the ceremony. And if anyone asks “why” you’re doing what you’re doing, say “Hmmm that’s a very interesting question…” and move on.

    • Ashlah

      Wow, I don’t think I ever got a single comment on my rings! No one seemed very interested in them at all.

      • Lisa

        Yeah, other than “Oh, that’s so beautiful!” or “Where did you find a silicone ring?” I’ve never heard anything. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it all.

      • sofar

        Yeah, I thought all the judge-y curiosity would be over with the wedding. But nope. Husband’s family is VERY status-driven, so “Show me the ring!” continued well into Year 1 of marriage. For my side, marriage is a HUGE deal, so it’s very common for, say, an aunt to gaze lovingly at your hand, knowing you too are wearing a ring and, “OMG what is that, a PLASTIC RING?”

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Speaking of one ring/two rings, has anybody here have both an engagement and a wedding ring, and have them fused for wearing purposes?

    • Lisa

      I don’t, but my mother and sister both do. I’ve always liked the look and the practicality of it. My wedding band has a T-lock that connects to the engagement ring so I can’t really wear them separately either. If they had been totally separate, I might have had mine fused.

    • Shawna

      I thought about it, but I like being able to wear just the wedding band sometimes. It’s really low profile and subtle. But I know lots of people who fused theirs to make taking them on and off easy (people who need to remove their rings for their jobs or regular activities) and because the rings are heavy and would turn too much if not connected all together. My admittedly lay and second hand understanding is any jeweler you would trust to purchase or repair an heirloom can fuse them together.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I am a little on the fence about whether I should do it. I do like the idea of just wearing my plain band sometimes, because the stone gets stuck on stuff, but I’ve worn it daily this long, and haven’t had many reasons to take it off where I couldn’t just take them both off. And I’ve been planning on getting a knock-off if we ever travel somewhere I don’t feel safe wearing it, so maybe that one will do anytime the stone is a problem?

        • penguin

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but you could always just wear them non-fused for a while if you wanted, and get them fused later if you wanted to right? I feel like it would be a bigger deal (or impossible, idk) to get them un-fused later on. But waiting to fuse them wouldn’t hurt.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Oh, absolutely.

      • Lisa

        Yes, I definitely had issues with my engagement ring twisting around when I wore it alone. Once the wedding band with its lock was added, I only encounter this problem in the summer when my rings are too big on my finger. I sometimes wish I could wear the band alone, but it acts as a good stabilizer for the larger ring so I’m not too upset.

        • Lisa, your fingers are smaller in the summer than in the winter? Mine are the opposite. And now I’m unsure what size ring I need for a ring I’ll be buying because I’d like it to fit a particular finger on my smaller hand in the winter (and a different finger on the other hand in the summer). But I think the finger might actually be between quarter sizes, so it might be difficult anyways (without thinking about seasonal changes).

          • Lisa

            Yes, my hands are the opposite of what is normal; another APW commetor posited that my fingers might actually be super stable, and it’s the natural expansion/contraction of the metal that is causing my issues. I have my ring fitted for somewhere in the middle (6.25), and it works most of the year. When I can’t wear it in the dead of winter or heat of summer, I either go without my wedding set or wear my silicone ring. (The silicone ring is awesome for this reason.)

            If you’re concerned with too much fluctuation in sizes, getting a second band in a stretchy material might be a good compromise. As another option, my mother has some kind of adjuster in her ring. The ring is sized to the larger size, and there is an adapter that can flex as her fingers change size. (Kind of like in the below video, but I’ve never noticed any hooks around the outside of her band.)


          • That video is interesting and is good to know about for the future. I solved the problem for now by finding a vintage Art Deco trio of stacking rings in the three sizes that could cover my finger at all points of the year! I may not be able to wear them at the same time, but at least one should fit at any given point, if all goes well. (I ordered them off Etsy, so I guess I’ll see when they arrive.) My boyfriend and I are gifting each other rings for our anniversary. He’s found one at Bario Neal that he likes.

          • I also like the idea of silicone rings for the summer, and I’ve stored that one away for future reference.

    • theteenygirl

      I didn’t even know this was a thing. Huh.

      I’m concerned that a band will look silly because of my oval centre stone. I have a good jeweller, I never even though about going to her to get something fused/made so it works with the ring and not against it.

      • Lisa

        Getting bands made to go with differently shaped or antique jewelry is very common! Most jewelers would be able to help you put something together is you want a wedding band to go with your ring.

      • Shirley Schmidt

        Agree with Lisa that this is super common! I have an emerald cut emerald and it needs a custom fit wedding band to look good and stop the claws getting rubbed off, so the jeweller who made it is making me one like the one in the picture to sit with it.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        My rings are/will be a matched set. They’re both pretty plain, and were made by the same artist to be worn together. It’s definitely not an option for everyone/’s jewelry.

  • Shawna

    *waves* I asked this question. It’s funny to me because I clearly was overthinking it and also we got married almost exactly a year ago (later this month).

    I ended up finding a band I loved (also from Brilliant Earth, though they’ve since discontinued it you can still see it and request it as a custom design It doesn’t fit next to the Art Deco ring perfectly, but I love it and can wear it on its own when I dance as a much smaller and subtler ring that won’t attack others if we collide accidentally.

    As I recall I gave my engagement ring to my fiancé after the first look photos and he carried it in his suit pocket until after we got married and I put it back on asap. I could be wrong, though. Maybe I entrusted my dad with it? Anyway, someone I love who had pockets that buttoned wore it close to their chest during the ceremony and gave it back to me soon afterward (I have it on in the family photos after the ceremony).

    I hope this question and the wonderful comment thread help others who are stuck in the weeds like I was!

    • Jane

      Glad you got something that worked out! There’s a lot of great bands at Brilliant Earth!

      Your end question about the logistics also made me realize that I hadn’t thought about how I wanted my ring bearer to carry the rings down the aisle. So now my fiancé and I are coming up with fun plans like having her wear them on a necklace that she gets to keep, hollowing out a copy of one of our favorite books, etc. So that’s been a fun distraction.

      • Shawna

        I’d encourage you not to let yourself be too distracted by it because people really are right – the revealing of the rings and putting them on isn’t as interesting to look at or memorable as I would have anticipated. If you can use that moment to bring in something you wanted to do already (ex. books are important to you and there wasn’t a place for them in the ceremony before or you wanted to get your ringbearer a present and having her keep the necklace would be a sweet twofer) go for it, but don’t feel like you HAVE to embellish it. I spent SO much time looking for pretty ring boxes and we basically never take our rings off. Or if we do, we put them on a little elephant ring holder I already owned. My husband’s brother carried our wedding bands in his pocket and produced them at the ceremony. Nothing fancy, but it worked.

        • Jane

          Oh yeah – not a distraction in a bad way. Like a light-hearted thing because I am working on something super depressing at work itself right now. I’m excited about having my niece be a ring bearer, because she’s awesome and it’s still pretty rare to have girls do it instead of boys. She also may decide, at the last minute, that she doesn’t want to do it. So I won’t get my heart set on anything.

          You also got both things perfectly on point for why the two ideas I suggested would be cool. There’s a novel we took turns reading out loud to each other early in our relationship but neither of us felt like it would be good for wedding readings – so, this could be a cute thing to do. The truth is, you can turn every single wedding thing into a huge project if you want. But we won’t!

  • Wren

    I got a band in addition to my engagement ring and almost never wear with my engagement ring. I use it when I travel or do something else where I’m worried something might happen to my engagement ring. I have gotten exactly one comment.

    I wore the engagement ring all day (I definitely remember taking it to be cleaned that morning, which I really recommend) and then for the ceremony put the wedding band on second and flipped them later. A friend of mine did not do a band at all and just handed the ring over to a relative after pictures and before she walked down the aisle. In fact of the three weddings I’ve been to in the last two years, none have had a wedding band.

  • Mer

    Related question: does anyone just…not wear a ring? I’m engaged and I don’t wear an engagement ring. The more I’ve thought about wedding bands the more I’m like…meh, I might pass on that, at least pass on committing to wear it every day. I recently got a qalo ring that I’m sort of okay with wearing. Sometimes. Maybe. Fiance said it’s a gasket, not a ring and doesn’t count :(

    Fiance has a different perspective and was pretty upset when I brought up that I might not wear a wedding ring that much. Since it means a lot to him, I’ll give it a go. But I’m wondering how many married people don’t wear rings at all.

    • Nichole

      Personally I wear a ring (much of the time), but I work in an environment where I can’t wear jewelry of any kind during certain activities and my main hobby is rock climbing, which basically means my ring gets taken off a lot and so does everyone else’s that I hang out with. That’s the norm for us, because the ring is a safety risk, and it can be normal to forget to put it back on at the end of the day, or go do something without it on.

      • Mer

        Yeah this is part of it. I work in a clean room and though flat bands are allowed, you’d be wearing it under nitrile gloves. Add in to that I do a lot of gymnastics and weight lifting and I’d rarely be wearing this wedding band anyway.

    • Jess

      My aunt never wears a ring. I have friends that don’t wear a ring. I myself forget a lot, and the first time, R was like, “What, no ring?” and I shrugged and said, “Forgot. NBD.” Now we both forget sometimes.

      If you aren’t into wearing jewelry all that much, just don’t wear it except special occasions.

      Broadcasting marital status doesn’t make you more or less committed.

    • Anna

      I’ve been married for approximately a year, and I very rarely wear a ring. I inherited a fabulous Art Deco ring that we used for an engagement ring, and I do wear that when I’m going somewhere extra special. However, it just really bothers me to have anything on my hands (and wrists… and neck), so I take it off as soon as I’m home and often “forget” to put it back on. Wearing jewelry has bothered me since forever, so I opted not to spend money on a separate wedding band, which would have been even more likely to gather dust in a jewelry box.

    • jem

      My aunt doesn’t wear a ring and I NEVER NOTICED until she pointed it out last year when we were talking about engagement rings. She’s been married for more than 20 years…

    • Colleen

      I go through long phases where I don’t wear mine. It’s awkward for certain activities, sometimes I want to wear other rings that only fit on my left ring finger, and sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Nobody has ever said anything about it.

    • Not Sarah

      My husband was very very adamant that he didn’t want to wear a ring, but that he wanted to exchange rings during the ceremony. He isn’t a fan of jewellery and his dad has never really worn a ring for as long as he can remember even though his parents have been married 35 years. He got a 6 mm plain white gold band and I got a 2 mm one and we exchanged them during the ceremony. Afterwards, he kind of just kept wearing it and now he only takes it off for dishes and putting hand cream on. I actually found that I never noticed the 2 mm plain ring and I really wanted a ring that I did notice, so we got a different set for me after some thought.

      So – I would say it’s okay to not wear a ring but if you want to try wearing a ring, I would try with one that feels unobtrusive and see how that feels.

  • Kara E

    I think you can do whatever you you’d like. I certainly know a lot of people who either don’t have a wedding band or don’t have an engagement ring. I think Ashlah makes a good point in terms of logistics.

    I will say that I rarely wear my (stunning, heavy, expensive) engagement ring for every day. I wear my simple band because it’s more practical and functional. I also love what Liz said below and love to see my semi-beat up simple band on my finger at the end of a long day.

  • Kara

    I have just one ring and it has never bothered me nor has anyone ever mentioned it to me as being “cheap” to not have two. Although I love rings generally, so lately I’ve been on the lookout for an excuse to buy another, the wedding band has come up in my mind, but bands specifically are not the kinds of rings I like.

    As for the ceremony, my husband does not have a ring, so we skipped the ring part all together. But if you took off your ring before the ceremony to use it during the ceremony, I’m sure no one would notice.

  • Chelsea

    My husband and I both wanted very simple bands (thin and brushed gold), but also wanted something meaningful. We asked both our sets of parents if they had any gold family jewellery they were okay with parting with (broken rings, a grandparent’s ring that had been sitting in a box for decades, etc.). They each gave us a few items and we had the gold melted down and our rings made out of it. All of a sudden our simple gold bands contained the history of both of our families, and I absolutely love my wedding band! My engagement ring doesn’t work well with another band, so I wear it on my right hand now.

  • Janna

    I did this- my vintage style ring is curved, and so would not look good with a band (and has intricate raised roses on the side, so why cover those up?). I took pictures with my ring before, then we gave both rings to our wedding coordinator, who attached them by ribbon to the ring bearers’ pillows. The ring bearers were 2 and 4, but I thought they could be entrusted to make it down the aisle with them. (Side note, the 2 year old thought my ring was HERS and did not want to give it back.) The logistics all worked out fine. Also- no one cared that I chose to wear my engagement ring as a wedding ring- I couldn’t stand the thought of spending money on a ring in light of everything else, when I had a perfectly good ring on my finger already.

    As a side note- I have been wearing my engagement ring as my wedding band for 8 years. I love my ring, but I do wish I had just a plain band sometimes. My husband really loves my engagement ring and was really proud to have picked it out (and it’s gorgeous). But I am kind of ready for something more simple to wear regularly. I found an $18 very thin gold (probably not very much gold) band, and I wear that on my right hand every day, so that’s kind of my compromise right now.

  • Beth

    My engagement ring became my wedding ring! I was in the same boat where I didn’t want a band to go with it. Too clunky, and it didn’t feel like me. The ring was so pretty (and expensive) that I didn’t want anything else, though I’m thinking of getting a band at an anniversary down the road. I never got any comments or opinions from anyone, mostly because I didn’t feel the need to involve anyone besides my now-husband :) I handed the ring to the best man before our first look and got it back during the ceremony. It still felt very special.

  • Penny7b

    I am in exactly your situation. My now husband picked a great engagement ring that I love and wanted to wear every day, but I’m really not a two rings kind of person. So we just used the great engagement ring as my wedding band. I stopped wearing it about a month before the wedding (and got it cleaned and polished) so it would feel special again on the wedding day.

    We gave our rings to our ring bearer just before the ceremony while we were getting some pre-ceremony portraits done. We also did a ring warming, our ring bearer passed our ring box around our guests (small-ish wedding of 50 guests, so this was achievable) during the ceremony. It was touching and lovely and sweet and really gave our rings that special “magic ring” feeling that you talk about.

    My grandmother is literally the only person who even asked about or noticed that we used the engagement ring as my wedding ring, because she cares about stuff like that. But even she thought it was a good idea. She suggested that my husband might like to get me a special occasion ring on our 10 year wedding anniversary or when we have children.

  • Colleen I don’t care for wedding sets or the look of a band next to an engagement ring. I don’t have a great photo of mine together but when worn together, they look like one ring, with a larger stone in the center and two smaller ones on each side. Separated, they look a bit odd and I did get a lot of annoying remarks when I was wearing just the engagement ring half (the one with two of the three stones).

  • Ilora

    I have two rings, I originally purchased them with the idea that sometimes I’d wear just the wedding band but the two just look so perfect together that I don’t like to separate them, so it’s always both or neither for me. Before our wedding i sent my engagement ring to be re-plated and didn’t want it to get all worn off again before the wedding so I didn’t wear it all summer. I sent it away in July to make sure it would be back for our August wedding. I’m a jewellery person and hated my finger feeling ‘naked’ so I bought a $10 sterling silver band online and that’s what I wear if I want to go simple. I work in daycare so sunscreening12 kids, 3 times a day, and washing hands in between usually means I wear the Sterling Silver Ring for the majority of the summer.

    During the ceremony i wore my engagement ring on my right hand. I really liked the idea of a ring warming but we got married next to a large pond so I didn’t want to take any risks. We got lucky that our hands “coordinated” so well, I wore my now-husbands wedding band on my thumb and he wore mine on his pinky, so we “warmed” them for each other.

    • Mjh

      High five on wearing each other’s rings until exchanging them :)

      We put them on before walking down the aisle (mine on his pinky, his on my thumb) and wore them through the ceremony.

  • CommaChick

    I did this. No one has ever given me any trouble about it. The only people who even noticed were the family members who asked to see my wedding band right after the ceremony. I just explained I used my engagement ring for both, and that was that. I took it off before sometime before walking down the aisle.

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  • alicet23

    I got married a month ago, and we decided not to exchange rings. I also had a wide band engagement ring that I love, and I always wear a large ring on my other hand, so swapping it over didn’t seem like an option. All the rings that did work with my existing band were so thin (2mm or less) that they didn’t really feel worth it to me! My husband plays guitar (and is also super absent-minded, e.g. lost his watch when taking it off to play a few years ago!), and didn’t like the way they looked on his hands. So you know what? We just skipped it entirely in the ceremony. We had a great celebrant, a few readings, we still had the kiss and the signing of the register – and seriously, very few people noticed! We felt content with our decision and definitely still felt “married” afterwards. I have other friends who also didn’t do bands, or had just one person have one. So do what you think is right for you – people will be swept up in the ceremony, not ticking what is expected off a list!

  • My husband and I both had engagement rings, and didn’t see the point of getting new rings. We had beautiful (but not very expensive) bracelets made by a jeweler using the same stones as the center stone in my ring and exchanged those during the ceremony. At first we used to wear the bracelets all the time but now they just come out on special occasions and family photos. I wear my engagement ring as my wedding ring and its never been an issue or caused a lot of questions. You can do anything you want!

    • Mjh

      The exchanged bracelets sound wonderful; that’s such a good idea.

      My husband and I had engagement rings, too. We both wore ours regularly up until the wedding day, then switched to our wedding rings. His engagement ring is titanium and he wears it at times he would worry about damaging or losing his wedding ring (wedding ring is a white gold Brent and Jess with my fingerprint on the inside, so not easily replaceable). My engagement ring gets worn a couple times per year on my right hand, for special occasions or if I just feel like it.

  • Maggie

    What about wearing your wedding band on your right hand, and keeping your engagement ring where it is? Your engagement ring gets to be perfect alone on your left hand and you get a wedding band that doesn’t compete. Your engagement ring could absolutely be your wedding band, too, and probably no one else will notice/care, but if you want a plain band that might give you the best of both worlds.

  • Viv

    Short answer: No. You don’t need a wedding band. My engagement ring is also my wedding band. I thought adding a band would take away from the design itself. Besides, I love this ring so much, I rather wear this than a wedding band. That being said, I do have a simple gold ring that I wear if I’m hiking/camping/roughing it. That gold ring I got from Catbird NYC for under $100.

  • yvanehtnioj

    I never had an engagement ring and just wear my wedding band; I can’t think of any reason you can’t just do the reverse. If you’re worried about the ceremony itself you can go in bare-handed and have him put the engagement ring on your hand when the time comes … et voila! now it is a wedding ring.

    For anyone who isn’t present at your wedding, they’ll just see the ring on your finger and assume wedding ring anyway, right?

  • Lauren

    Having a ring warming was one of my favorite parts of my wedding day, and all of our guests loved it, too! I definitely think this would be a good way to help make your engagement-ring-turned-wedding-ring more significant in a way.

  • Kate Stein

    This is what I did, and I still think it was/is an excellent choice. We took off our bands immediately before the ceremony (my husband was wearing his ring during our engagement, too), and handed them to the best man. I got a couple of almost-comments about it, mostly from my mom, but I was and am happy with the choice, so there really wasn’t much anyone could say about it.