Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Ring

The terms "engagement ring" and "wedding ring" are sometimes used interchangeably but they are, in fact, two completely different rings with separate styles, meanings, and purposes! 

The Difference Between Engagement Rings And Wedding Rings

Style

One of the biggest differences between an engagement ring and a wedding ring is their look. Typically, an engagement ring will be more ornamental, featuring a larger, focal stone and sometimes smaller, accent stones. Wedding rings tend to be simpler; either a plain, metal band or a band embedded with smaller stones.  Wedding rings tend to have fewer carats than engagement rings, therefore the price will reflect that.

Presentation

When one partner gets down on one knee and asks "will you marry me?" is when an engagement ring is presented.  Hence, the descriptor "engagement." A wedding ring, conversely, is presented during the vows at the actual wedding ceremony. While the engagement ring is a symbol of a union and the commitment to be married, the wedding ring is a symbol of promise, loyalty, and love. Historically, men have not worn an engagement ring, only a wedding ring. With the traditions of rings being more subjective to each couple in modern times, partners can choose when and how to present and wear their rings. 

How To Wear Them

Traditionally, the engagement ring and the wedding ring are both worn on the fourth finger of your left hand. The wedding band is meant to be worn underneath the engagement ring, to be closer to the wearer's heart. Engagement rings and wedding rings can be purchased as a set, called a bridal set, so that they match and nest together. They can also be purchased separately to allow for the opinion of both partners. 

There are many factors to look into when purchasing rings. We have specialized in bridal rings and wedding bands for over 36 years and our expert team of jewelers would love to help you with any and all of your jewelry needs. Contact us today.