In this post I’ll talk about the wedding rings vs engagement rings difference. I’ll also cover when you wear what and why.
I’ll throw in a little historical perspective too. Just a heads up, goats will be mentioned. To keep it interesting I’ll sprinkle in questions I found when Google-ing “Stupid Wedding Ring Questions!”
Wedding Rings vs Engagement Rings
Stupid Question # 1
Question: I know this is a dumb question, but if a girl is engaged, does it always mean that her fiancee will have bought her a ring at time of proposal? and if so, does it mean she will always wear it even if the wedding is 3 years down the road?
Answer: I’m wondering if this question has more to do with whether this guy can hit on this girl on not.
But let’s answer it anyway. When a girl/woman accepts her fiance’s proposal of marriage she wears the engagement ring he gives her to tell the world that she is “taken.” Long engagements can happen for a number of reasons. She is a monogamous girl/woman from that moment forward until she says her vows. Hmm, that sounds like once she gets married she goes nuts. Not what I meant to say.
A Bit of Historical Perspective on Engagement Rings
Historically, the gift of an engagement ring to the bride-to-be was a financial commitment to her family. It was like the guy was financially marrying her whole family. He “bought” her with a valuable ring. The earlier you go in time, the more you see financial gifts to her family.
The young lady then wore the ring to symbolize that she would consider no other offer for her hand. The engagement ring could also be considered a status symbol for the family, showing that a wealthy man was to marry their daughter.
The wedding band is the symbol that a woman or a man are already married. The wedding band is of simpler design and should not eclipse the engagement ring which is always the star.
Stupid Question #2
Question: How does it work ? Do you get an engagement ring then a wedding ring? Or is the engagement ring the wedding ring ? Or is everyone different – I know this sounds stupid, but I’m clueless.
Answer: From a practical standpoint if you don’t know if she’ll say yes, just buy the engagement ring. But if you’ve discussed marriage and she didn’t run screaming from the room, it makes sense to get the wedding ring or wedding band that goes with the engagement ring at the same time. This way you know they fit together well. This is the same if you’re having your engagement ring custom made.
Let’s take a second to define wedding ring and wedding band. A band ring is the same width all the way around from a looks perspective. A wedding band can have designs on it or be plain. It can have gemstones too. What makes it a band is the same width of it all the way around.
A wedding band isn’t given to her when you propose. You give her the engagement ring when you propose and you give her the wedding ring or band at your marriage ceremony.
A wedding ring is a ring that may be tapered or otherwise designed so it is not the same thickness all the way around. It traditionally has diamonds or gemstones on it. It is smaller and less fancy than the engagement ring.
From: Community Babycenter.com
More Wedding Ring History
Oh yes, I promised goats. Historically, at the marriage ceremony the groom would give the goats, horses or cows to the father of the bride.
She gets the little wedding band and papa gets livestock. I’m thinking the father of the bride was the happiest guy there.
In other pre-marital negotiation history, some girls and women had to come to the marriage with a dowry of animals or gold. Clearly in the old days the parents had many opportunities for bettering themselves through the marriage of their children.
Stupid Question #3
Question: When the guy asks the girl if she’ll marry him and gives her a ring, does the guy get an engagement ring too or just a wedding ring?
Answer: When the guy proposes to his girl, he gives her the engagement ring which she wears from that moment on.
The guy doesn’t traditionally get an engagement ring, but lately some guys have turned that historical tradition on its head with the “mangagement ring.”
Traditionally the guy gets his wedding ring/band at the marriage ceremony.
Stupid Question #4
Question: Is the engagement ring a totally separate ring from the wedding ring? Or is the wedding ring a touched-up engagement ring?
Answer: The engagement ring is a stand-alone ring.
The wedding ring is a separate ring and is given at the marriage ceremony to be worn with the engagement ring.
Stupid question #5
Question: I have this old plain band ring from my grandmother. It’s too thin for me. It’s a size four because my previous fiancé wore it for three years. Can it be sized to a seven for my new girlfriend and can it be polished up to look like new? Will the new gold bit show? Can the engraving inside it for my old fiancé be scraped out?
Answer: There’s something underhanded sounding about this whole question.
Since marriage is based on trust and mutual respect, I’d discuss whether she would be comfortable wearing this inherited band that was worn by your previous fiancé.
If she’s OK with it then yes it can be sized. The area of added gold should not show up as different unless the older gold is a slightly different color. In which case there would be a subtle difference in color, but not a big deal.
The old engraving can be removed, but this would make that ring a bit shallower. Possibly weaker at that point depending on how the band is to begin with.
Traditionally a plain gold band is not used as the engagement ring. An engagement ring traditionally has one main larger diamond or other gemstone with other flanking diamonds. The gold band would be used as the wedding band at the ceremony.
Have you Got a Question or a Story?
I hope I have answered your marital ring questions about the difference between wedding rings vs engagement rings and amused you along the way, with a little help from the internet! And full disclosure, I’ve asked many a stupid question in my day and I welcome all questions. I used the “stupid question” thing for fun, not to be judgmental. I’d love to hear if you’ve got a question in this area or an amusing story to share.
Wedding Rings Jeweler,