While engagement rings involve an air of mystery and surprise, wedding rings are commonly picked out by an engaged couple as an important part of the wedding planning process. Choosing the perfect rings to wear 24/7 until death do you part may seem like a daunting task, but with some expert guidance, you’ll be able to say, “I do,” with confidence and style.
Engaging with the Engagement Ring
Many women, and even some men, adore flaunting their engagement ring long after they walk the aisle, which means the first question of wedding ring shopping is how should the wedding rings play off the style of the engagement ring? According to Alexa Suess of Common Ground, voted Dan’s Best of the Best jewelry store on the North Fork, “Wedding rings should complement but never overshadow the engagement ring.” However, she adds that there is no “right answer” and it’s more a question of an individual’s taste and lifestyle.
In Eileen Baumeister McIntyre’s experience as owner of Dan’s Best of the Best Hamptons jewelry store Garden of Silver, her clients don’t like the run-of-the-mill sets and prefer something more bespoke. “Our aesthetic is handmade and one-of-a-kind, allowing for us to create beautiful rings that look fabulous together without necessarily looking like a perfectly matching set.”
Following the Trends
While simple gold wedding bands are indeed timeless, many spouses-to-be may want something a little more current and trendy, and there are certainly a few designs that are gaining traction in the market. Suess and Baumeister McIntyre report that colored stones are very popular right now, like the unique salt and pepper diamond. At Common Ground in Greenport, “more playful and more geometric cuts” such as hexagonal and kite cuts, are really taking off. Over at Garden of Silver in Westhampton Beach, yellow gold is back in the spotlight, and the personalization of rings using custom designs and recycled family heirlooms never left center stage.
Mining for Hidden Gems
Whether for wedding or engagement rings, diamonds are everyone’s best friend, but there exists an entire world of gemstones beyond the basic. Suess is a proponent of “underrated stones” tourmaline, topaz and spinel for engagement rings, which can be used to create “exceptionally unique” rings. Baumeister McIntyre suggests blue sapphire and emerald and adds that “mixing in white diamonds as accent stones elevates the engagement ring design beautifully.”
Finding Individuality in a Pair
Those who feel their wedding ring should match their partner’s needn’t settle for ordering the exact same ring in two different sizes. There are plenty of ways to play around with the design to ensure that people recognize your other half, as well as your individuality. Baumeister McIntyre emphasizes shared elements: “Maybe the same stones or metal color and type, then the design can be tailored to fit the specific taste of each individual.”
Suess recommends going beyond the desired designs and really thinking about the practicality of each. “We have to consider not only how to make them cohesive and beautiful together but also how to make them practical for everyday wear,” she says. “A contractor may need a different ring design than a graphic designer.”
Searching for Perfection
So you’ve either picked out your wedding rings at a jewelry store or commissioned a custom pair, how do you know you’ve found the perfect rings? In the case of high-end custom jewelry designers like Baumeister McIntyre, you should already know during the design process. “We work so closely throughout the entire design process of the wedding rings that the couple already knows that they will get EXACTLY what they want,” she says. “Every design element is able to be adjusted, from the initial sketches and design renderings all the way through the stone setting and final personal engravings, our clients are involved in this exciting process.”
Suess, also a custom jewelry designer, adds that there are still several questions to ask yourself once you put on that seemingly perfect ring. “How does it feel when you put it on? Does it feel natural and comfortable? Does it remind you of your partner?” she inquires. “Just like a beautiful relationship, your wedding ring should feel like home.”