Engagement Ring and Wedding Band Rules You Need to Know

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Tradition dictates that if you propose marriage and then marry soon after, you do so with the symbolic engagement and wedding rings. While these are not legal requirements, they come with the events as a matter of tradition. After all, engagement and wedding rings have long been symbols of commitment.

To help you get things right when selecting, buying, giving, and wearing engagement rings and wedding bands, we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the “rules of the regalia.” Choosing the best rings and bands may sound simple, but the nitty gritty can be a bit hazy and intimidating for some couples. A 101 may be necessary, but don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the ‘rules’ part. Because at the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal choice.

You don’t have to be bound by these engagement ring and wedding band rules and feel guilty about deviating a little if doing so actually suits your preferences as a couple. You can even start a new ring tradition if you’re the unconventional type.

Nevertheless, these wedding and engagement ring rules and customs are still widely practiced, and whether you’re keen on following the rules to the T or tweaking them a bit to suit your style, here are some useful information that you need to know.

oval ring with wedding band

Difference Between an Engagement Ring and a Wedding Band

An engagement ring is given during a marriage proposal. The man (or even a woman) on a bent knee, pops the question and puts the ring on their partner’s finger after getting that much-coveted “YES!”

Diamond engagement rings are the most common, although other precious stones may also be used. A traditional engagement ring features a diamond as the center stone, set on a metal, which is usually gold, silver, or platinum. Some of the most common diamond cuts in engagement rings are round, oval, marquise, cushion, emerald, and radiant.

On the other hand, wedding bands are given during the wedding ceremony as the couple exchanges vows. Compared to engagement rings, wedding bands are usually less intricate and, thus, less expensive. A traditional wedding band is a simple ring made of either gold, silver, platinum, or a combination of these metals. It doesn’t have a center stone, either. It may be plain metal or may be encrusted with stones in a pave design.

If you want to show off your uniqueness and let your rings tell your love story, you may put your own spin on your rings’ design. You may choose a unique diamond shape and design for your engagement ring, like a cutesy heart or an art deco theme. You may also break the rule and have diamond bands that feature a center stone. You may also further bend the rule by having just one ring and use it for both occasions. The choice is yours!

Addison Ring – GIA 0.85 Carat Princess Diamond Ring with Side Diamonds


Aria Ring – 1.50 Carat Princess Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring


Juliette Ring – 0.91 Carat Princess Diamond Engagement Ring


Pippa Ring – 4.34 Carat Princess Diamond Engagement Ring with Pave and Hidden Halo


The Traditional Engagement Ring and Wedding Band Rules and How to Work Around Them

Sentimentality aside, some engagement ring and wedding band rules and etiquette can be outdated and stuffy. While some people still follow them, many are creating their own experiences and choosing practicality over decorum.

Rule 1: An Engagement Ring Is Meant to Be Top Secret

Traditionally, the woman cannot have a part in deciding about the ring because the proposal is meant to be a surprise. She cannot tell the man the type of ring design she wants, much less pick the ring herself, because that would be anti-climactic.

This rule may have romantic origins, but the reality is that women want to be able to have an engagement ring they like, and the man would want to please his partner.

Without blowing the surprise element, a woman may communicate her ring type during casual conversations or when they pass by a jewelry showcase, so the man would have a good idea of what engagement ring design and stone the woman wants.

Rule 2: The Man Pays for the Rings

Engagement rings and wedding bands are premium purchases that come with heavy price tags. Depending on location, diamond engagement rings may cost around $5,000 or more. Bespoke rings with custom details are priced even higher.

The rule that it’s only the proposing party who must shoulder the cost has become impractical for couples, especially if they are both financially invested in their wedding preparations.

Putting in each other’s share to cover the cost of these rings makes sense, especially when the couple has already been planning for a wedding. It doesn’t make a man less chivalrous if the couple both agree on the financial aspects of the wedding, including the purchase of the engagement ring and the wedding band.

Rule 3: Buying the Wedding Bands Comes After The Proposal

The engagement ring is presented before the wedding as a way of formalizing the engagement and so is bought ahead of the wedding bands. However, you may decide to buy both the engagement ring and wedding bands at the same time. This, of course, comes with the confident assurance that the proposal will be accepted.

This is a good option if you want your wedding bands to complement the engagement ring with custom details. You can enjoy a unified stacked ring look with a special design from the same jewel crafter .

Rule 4: The Rings Must Be Pricey to Be Milestone-Worthy

Don’t get too caught up in those headline-making gigantic rocks flexed by engaged celebrities. While you would naturally want the best ring you could provide for your partner, you must not go beyond your means.

The strength and value of your relationship is not measured by how much you spend on your rings and rituals. While the price of diamond engagement rings and wedding bands may be on the expensive side, choosing less costly options is fine.

To save on cost, you may choose rings with a minimalist design and lighter carat weight. For the engagement ring, it’s smart to choose an elongated diamond cut that may look as large as a round diamond but actually weighs and costs less. 

Rule 5: It’s the Woman Who Wears an Engagement Ring

Typically, the man proposes to the woman, so it’s the woman who receives the engagement ring. In the case of same-sex relationships, both parties may propose to each other and give each other engagement rings.

Same sex couples may opt for traditional diamond engagement rings or something more unconventional, like carved rings or non-metal rings.

Your Ring, Your Rules

Your engagement and wedding should be more about you as a couple than conforming to society’s norms. You may choose to embrace tradition, but doing what makes you happy and what works best for you should be your number one rule.

Let Othergems, a trusted diamond jewelry maker walk you through the experience of freely choosing your engagement ring and wedding bands! With a wide range of choices, you can definitely find the engagement rings and wedding bands that perfectly suit you. We specialize in custom designs, helping you craft and immortalize your own unique engagement and wedding experience. Pick the right rings for you whether you want to go by the rules or differ and dazzle in your own unique way as a couple.

Adi Ring – 1.50 Carat Oval Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring


Alexandra Ring – 3.25 Carat Oval Diamond Engagement Ring with Pave and Hidden Halo


Amelia Ring – 2.01 Carat Oval Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring


Avery Ring – 2.01 Carat Oval Engagement Diamond Solitaire Ring


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Diamond Color Chart

Color is one of the four important factors that determine the value and quality of a diamond (carat, color, clarity and cut grade). The colors range from D which is colorless, all the way through Z which is a light yellow or brown. The more colorless a diamond is, the more it is rare and expensive.

D, E, F


G, H


I, J










Diamond Clarity Chart

Clarity is one of the four important factors that determine the value and quality of a diamond (carat, color, clarity and cut grade). Almost every diamond has inclusions in it, and that’s what makes it unique. The shape, placement and amount of inclusions determine the clarity of a diamond. The highest level of clarity is FL and the lowest is I3.








VS1, VS2


SI1 & SI2,SI3


I1,I2& I3


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Still unsure? Check out our Ring Size Guide

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