Wedding Rings vs Engagement Rings – What’s the Difference? 5 Stupid Questions


two ring wedding set with 1 ct. diamond and halo of diamonds and diamond band set in 14kt white gold. Calla Gold Jewelry. Wedding rings vs engagement rings

Halo Style Engagement Ring and Diamond Wedding Band

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?

wedding bands vs engagement rings

This Black Rhodium and White Gold Thorn Wedding Set Uses a Light Green Tourmaline with Diamonds Engagement Ring with a Plain Band

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

Side view of a halo engagement ring

This Side View of an Engagement Ring Sweeps up Nicely

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.

Wedding Band with flush set diamonds and drawing

This Wedding Band has Flush Set Different Shaped Diamonds in it.

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.

The Contoured Diamond Wedding Ring is Given at the 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

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?

A man proposing to a woman

Guys When You Surprise Her With a Piece of Jewelry She Loves it’ll Remind Her of Very Happy Times with You

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.

From: YahooAnswers

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?


The Engagement Ring Has the Big Center Diamond and the Wedding Band is Simpler 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?

Bent cheap wedding band

Bent up Band Ring

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.

yellow gold wedding set on the hand

Diamond Engagement Ring and Shiny Gold Wedding Band

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?

A Wedding Band with 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,
Calla Gold

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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10 years ago

Hi Calla,
These are just great questions. I love the two questions from guys that are kinda out there. Number one does seem like he wants to know if she’s legitly engaged.
And number five just needs to pony up some dough if he loves his new girl.
Do you get questions like this from real guys?
What’s the weirdest request or question you ever got as a jeweler about wedding rings?

10 years ago

Cute post! Some males are adorably clueless. I think it’s also worth saying that nowadays, there is no right or wrong way to handle wedding and/or engagement rings. The traditional route- and engagement ring with a matching wedding ring next to it- is still the most common, but not everyone goes that route. And that’s okay! Some people don’t get a matching wedding ring and instead use a single gemstone ring as both an engagement ring and a wedding ring. Other people (like my fiance and me!) choose two very different rings that stand alone to serve as two interchangeable… Read more »

8 years ago

Does the engagement ring and the wedding band have to be identical or can it be completely diffent like the engagment ring being a camo design and the wedding band being like plan gold or something or does it have to be a set that matches

8 years ago

Hi me and my girl friend have been dating 2years now.. We had talks about marriage we both are on the same page about that. She’s a women of simplicity.. I want to know how can I get her a good simple engagement ring for when I want to propose? Do I buy the rings separately or what? Please help

8 years ago

My man got me engagement ring. Then he broke it off… Then he gave it back to me…Can you tell me what it means..?
I know it can’t be good…
My ring meant more to me when he proposed to me than it does now. Help.

8 years ago

Hi Calla,
A bit of a confusing situation here:
I was engaged and had chosen my ring and band according to my taste.
Unfortunately, that engagement broke off and he kept the ring.
I’m now seeing someone new and was wondering if choosing a similar (if not the same) style of ring would be okay? I do love a specific type of ring and can’t really picture getting something different, but I love him more, so I wouldn’t want to tramp on any toes over a ring.
Thanks for your input.

8 years ago

odd question 🙂

My relationship with my man has lasted 10 years, and we are finally talking about the logistics of marriage. We went to look at rings yesterday and found some GORGEOUS ones. However, I love the bling but I don’t really feel at all comfortable with actual jewelry as I break everything and I am a real tomboy.

Eventually we will be getting tattoos but until then we will most likely be getting real rings.

Any thoughts to make wearing a blingy thing all the time more palatable?


8 years ago

Hey, I just got engaged to the father of my child we been in a off on relationship for about 3years he finally decided he ready to settle down so he proposed on Christmas gave me a beautiful ring and I was just wondering if I’m wearing my engagement ring how will I wear my wedding ring too

8 years ago

I know that most women probably have a specific type of ring that they like and may want to pick them out themselves, so here is my stupid question: Before proposing:
a) Does the couple go ring shopping together?
b) Does the guy choose a ring that he thinks she’d like and hope she does?
c) Does the guy use an inexpensive “prop” ring to propose then get the real rings together after?
d) Something I’m not thinking of

7 years ago

I am still a bit confused as to what to wear. I get the difference between a wedding band and a wedding ring. But when do you were the wedding ring and when do you wear the wedding band?
Do you wear the ring during the entire engagement then take it off for the ceremony? Which ring(s) does the husband traditionally put on the wife during the wedding? Do you wear both while your married? Is a wedding band necessary? Sorry for all the questions!