With so many options out there, we’ve no doubt that your wedding rings Pinterest board is filled with gorgeous designs. It can all be a little overwhelming, right? This ring will be with you everyday for the rest of your life; so you want to ensure you’re getting the best quality and design for your budget. We spoke to Recommended Supplier, Nikki Stark Jewellery, for her top tips on choosing your perfect wedding ring, and everything to consider before you buy. While not everyone will use an independent designer for their wedding rings as there are many places they can be purchased, Nikki's advice on materials, sizing and maintenance remains the same.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING YOUR WEDDING RINGS
First things first: make sure you leave yourself plenty of time before your wedding date. Jewellers will have different lead times; “if you are dealing with a small independent business then they will have limited capacity. So might not be able to fit you in during busy times. Larger brands might be more likely to produce pieces abroad, so that could take time also,” says Nikki.
It’s also important to take into account how much maintenance you’re willing to carry out on your wedding ring. “White gold rings in the UK are normally sold plated in rhodium, which needs replating regularly if you want to maintain the colour. Ideally pick the carat you prefer without the plating if you don’t think you will maintain it,” says Nikki.
She continues, “styles with lots of tiny diamonds all over the place are also very much in fashion. These will eventually lose small stones that will need replacing. Matte finishes often don’t stay matt for long. There isn’t necessarily much that can be done about this as gold really likes to shine.”
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR RING STYLE
As we always say, it’s your day, your way. And Nikki couldn’t agree more. “In terms of style, as long as something is comfortable to wear you should feel free to have whatever you like. (I met someone once who had stopped wearing a particularly unique wedding ring, because it was so chunky it was damaging his fingers).”
If you’re considering having precious stones in your wedding ring, Nikki advises to think about how often you plan to wear it; “softer stones might need a more protective setting to be suitable for long term wear.” Diamonds and Sapphires are pretty tough, however soft stones like Opal are a growing popular choice. It’s all in the aftercare.
But what about heirlooms and vintage finds, can these be adjusted? “There are lots of gorgeous vintage rings, but the older they are the less likely they were really designed for everyday wear. The idea of wearing an engagement ring every day for life is a relatively new one, when older rings were made they often would only have been worn for special occasions, or a year or two before being passed down.”
When it comes to customising your wedding ring to fit alongside an engagement ring, make sure to check your designer can do this, as that will also depend on the style.
WHAT TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR JEWELLER
Not all wedding ring jewellers will be able to meet your specifications. This all depends on their range of designs and expertise, as well as their workload and lead times. “Obviously you shouldn’t be asking anyone to copy anyone else’s design if it’s unique,” Nikki adds.
“In general, most companies who offer a bespoke service will have options for you to pick from, combining different settings, bands, metals and stones to come up with something unique. Personally I make every piece to order, so I can tweak designs and offer any size. But I have a very traditional workshop without laser welders and microscopes, so there are things I can’t technically do.”
NIKKI'S TOP TIPS FOR BUYING YOUR WEDDING RINGS
Take some time with your ring sizing. I regularly meet people who have had their engagement rings resized twice, or even more. Everyone’s fingers have a certain amount of flex in them with temperature, etc. So get a plastic sizer to have at home for a couple of weeks, or make sure that whatever you order can be tweaked if it’s not quite right. Don’t go anywhere near a tape measure, you’ll be lucky if you are only 4 sizes out.
Do some research before you set a budget as precious metal prices aren’t particularly flexible. If you decide you want 18ct gold, or platinum etc., it will be difficult to go below a certain price.
Start early. Rings don’t always take as long as other elements of a wedding. But they can be stored for any length of time, so there's no reason to leave them to the last minute. You might find that the jeweller you wanted can’t fit you in if you’ve waited too late.
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We’re so thankful to Nikki for sharing her expertise with us. Nikki is based in South West London and has over 12 years of jewellery making experience. She specialises in ethical, bespoke jewellery and offers a wide range of wedding ring designs, all handmade to order.
Now you have everything you need to know before buying your wedding rings, don’t forget to include them in your wedding budget! You’d be surprised at how many couples miss this off their list. While you’re in planning mode, check out our extensive range of wedding planning articles. You'll find advice on everything from honeymoons to speeches - and lots more.