Wedding Rings - Euorpean Style

Dec 9th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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Wedding Rings - Euorpean Style

My fiance and I will be shopping for our wedding rings soon. We're looking for the simplest and more classic style, without any stone or diamond. He told me that in Europe in general, wedding rings are in gold instead of white gold which is for 25 anniversary of marriage. My engagement ring is in white gold with a diamond, however.

Do people in Europe really buy gold wedding rings? And do European women put wedding ring together with engagement ring on the same finger?

I understand that perhaps there are different practices among Europeans but would like to know what the general rule is. Thanks.

maxi is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 06:49 PM
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I have to think that you will get better answers at or any of several wedding forum websites.

But from what my daughter tells me, the answer for every question is - - it's your wedding, your life - - do it however you prefer.

Whatever your take on this, congratulations on your new life in marriage... and...

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 12:34 AM
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Generally speaking, most wedding bands are plain - without any stones or diamonds. Traditionally they were mostly yellow gold. Now, however, platinum and white gold are becoming more common.

My engagement ring is platinum with three diamonds, and I will be getting a plain platinum band for my wedding ring.

The wedding ring is worn with the engagement ring on the left hand.

BTW I'm speaking from an Irish point of view, so it may be different in continental Europe.
cailin is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 01:50 AM
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In England, the engagement ring is worn with the wedding ring.
As in Ireland, the tradition is to have a plain yellow gold band.
I have never seen a wedding ring with stones but I have seen a couple with a plain band but made up of three kinds of gold.
miss_prism is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:14 AM
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Certainly in the UK, the trend has been to favour platinum or white gold over yellow gold for a few years now (at least amongst my friends), although really either is fine - it's down to personal taste.

You're right in that a generally plain wedding band is worn on the same finger as the engagement ring. I have a few friends who have small subtle diamonds inset into their wedding bands - but again, it's up to you!

Of course, I'm speaking from a British perspective, I haven't a clue what the practice is in Bulgaria.
Kate is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:45 AM
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You will find white gold bands no problem. They seem to be getting more popular along with platinum. Some countries wear the band on the right hand. I think Scandanavia does...maybe Elina can shed some light. I think the Finns had them on the right when I was there. Things are really not that different, maybe the styles will vary. The only difference I notice is that you do not see the HUGE Rocks that I remember all the women had in NY when I was living there. Maybe it was a bit of a status symbol but I find it a bit OTT for my taste.
SiobhanP is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 03:29 AM
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Wedding bands are simple bands. It depends on which part of europe you come from but in some countries, engagement rings are worn on the left, wedding rings on the right and some others, it's vice versa. For some it's engagement ring over wedding and for other's it's the other way.

But ultimately, it's all up to you how you want to wear it. Whatever you're comfortable with.

We got our engagement and wedding rings in Zurich (where we live) and we got them specially made by a swiss jeweller. Our rings aren't traditional though. I have a sapphire with a small diamond engagement ring in an off circle around the finger and when we made the wedding ring to go with it, we made it with the same sized diamond and a ruby. So I do have the australian/british/french colours on my finger.

But it's all done the way we designed and so we like it. It was a very very good jeweller with a good quality stones.

Oh, and husband has a sapphire for his wedding ring. In spite of how that sounds, it doesn't look gay.

Anyway, we just went against the norm.

I've heard of a place/market in the UK where you can actually make your own bands. So the jeweller gives you directions, but you make it. I think that adds to the extra meaning of everything. If you're interested, let me know off-list [email protected] and I'll check for this market for you. A friend of mine made hers there.

Good luck!
nanda_zrh is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 03:39 AM
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Maxi, you don't say where you live but I assume the US ? Interested - you seem to imply that in the US, all wedding rings (& engagement rings) are white gold - is that the case ? Where do you wear them ?

My engagement ring is a yellow gold band with an emerald flanked by two diamonds. My wedding ring is a band of rose Welsh gold, carved with a Celtic design, with a plain yellow band either side. My husband is Welsh so we went to Cardiff to buy Welsh gold wedding rings.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 04:06 AM
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IMHO, your metals should match, so if you have a white gold engagement ring, you should get a white gold wedding band. I think two different color golds would look peculiar, but it is your wedding band. BTW, both of my rings are platinum, and my wedding band does have diamonds in it, but it is tasteful (it is a channel cut band), and not very ostentatious. A plain band did not look good with the setting of my engagement ring. So, don't dismiss diamonds in your band because you think the ring will no longer be simple. Also, your band does not have to match your hubby-to-be's . . . my hubby would never wear a ring with diamonds in it! He has a plain platinum band.

Congrats on your upcoming marriage!
ilovelabs2003 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 04:18 AM
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I think it's different in each European country.

In Italy, plain gold wedding rings are the norm. Engagement rings for women are also generally just a band with some small ornamentation. Stones and solitaires are few and far between.

Once married, the engagement ring is moved to the right hand while the wedding ring is worn on the left hand.

If you are going to wear your engagement ring on a different hand than your wedding ring, "matching" doesn't matter quite as much. It all depends on your taste and style.

nnolen is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 05:47 AM
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>...your metals should match, ...<

ira is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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Aren't there "designed" rings which have both white and yellow gold elements in the same ring? Seems like a designed "set" could have proportions of white and yellow gold that were not necessarily the same in the engagement ring and wedding band.

Metals "matching" seems like one of the jillions of "rules" that are made to be broken, if that's what you really want.
rex is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 06:34 AM
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For Caroline_edinburgh.

>>>>>>you seem to imply that in the US, all wedding rings (& engagement rings) are white gold - is that the case ?<<<<<<

No. I've been married for over 30 years, and I don't follow this issue. However, when I stop and think about my friends' and colleagues' wedding and engagement rings, I think the majority still are yellow gold.

There is variety, however, and some rings are a silvery colour, so must be platinum or white gold. Also, as has been noted by others, some rings combine two or three colours of gold.

This is the case in Canada, but I travel to the U.S. quite regularly, and have lived in the U.S. as well, and have found the same to be true there.

>>>>>>Where do you wear them ?<<<<<<

The convention in North America is for both the engagement and wedding rings to be worn on the third finger of the left hand.

Although she emigrated from her country of origin, my Hungarian grandmother retained her wedding ring on her right hand for the rest of her life. When I visited Hungary in September 2004, I noticed my cousins wore their wedding rings on their right hands as well. For the life of me I cannot now remember the positions of their engagement rings.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Thanks Judy. So it sounds like Canada, the US & the UK are pretty much the same.

I was once in Brazil when a couple got engaged & when I went to admire the ring, discovered it was on her right hand. But I didn't notice what married people did.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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Generally, in countries where Roman Catholic, Orthodox or Anglican church has been predominant, the custom is to wear the wedding ring on the left hand (as prescribed in the wedding rite of those churches, even if people opt for a civil marriage). Where Lutheranism has been traditionally strong, like Northern Germany and Scandinavia, it's customary to wear it on the right hand, though some Scandinavians wear it on the left.
Alec is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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Ok, hereīs another German - and to be sure I started a quick survey on a German bridal forum:
Yes, most wedding bands are still classic/simple and in gold. These days the combination of white and yellow gold is rather popular (mine is that way, too). And the womanīs wedding band is often the same as his but with one or several diamonds on it.

The wedding ring is on your right hand while the engagement ring in general is worn on the left.

Note, there are many women who never have an engagement ring (especially the BIG diamant thing is uncommon).
Some women keep wearing the engagement ring on the left hand in addition to the wedding band on the other hand.

And some now also wear the engagement ring in addition to the wedding band on the right ringfinger.
But thatīs a newer fashion. So to speak.
Kascha912 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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The implication that Americans always wear "white" wedding rings is not accurate at all. The "white" thing is a style decision, as some designers feel that a "white" metal band sets off a diamond better; there are more white rings on the market at the moment b/c they are the current fashion. Of course, if you don't have a diamond, how best to set it off wouldn't be an issue at all.

All US jewelers will still carry a large selection of yellow gold bands as well. The proper way to decide isn't fashion, but colouring; choose what will look best with your complexion.

BTW, I'm a first-generation American, and my rings are yellow gold; the single stone in my custom-made engagement ring is an emerald-cut green tourmaline. Our wedding bands are yellow gold; cut flat; mine is 3 mm, my husband's is 5 mm.

My mother, who was Irish, had a yellow-gold wedding band, as did her mother and all her married sisters. Only one them, the one married to an American, had an engagement ring. My Irish father had no wedding ring at all, which was typical of a working-class man of his generation, on either side of the Atlantic.
Ryn2691 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Alec, one example of a place where your rule doesn't hold true is Poland which is very Roman Catholic but a wedding ring (typically a plain yellow gold band) is worn on the right hand. A widow or a widower wears the wedding ring on the left hand. The majority of women in Poland do not have engagement rings, but those who do tend to wear them on their left hands.
Iza is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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I've been married 25 1/2 years. When we got wed, it was still pretty rare for men to wear rings, but I was pleased my husband was an exception.

My engagement ring was/is yello gold with a single sapphire surrounded by 8 tiny diamonds. It cost £48 and we were both students, so that was one hell of a lot of money.

We both have plain yellow gold wedding rings worn on the third finger of our left hands, as is traditional.

My mother died some years ago, and I inherited her engagement ring. It is from the early 1950s and is yelloe gold with 5 nice diamons in a row along the top of it. I wear it like an eternity ring with the other two.
sheila is offline  
Dec 12th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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Platinum, not white gold, seems to be the metal of choice lately in the USA, especially among women in their 20's who are getting married. All of my girlfriends who have got married recently have platinum bands, as do I. Platinum is a sturdier metal than gold, and accents the diamond(s) so well. White gold is pretty, but I chose platinum b/c when white gold ages it tends to get a light yellowish tinge to it which I do not care for. I have a friend who has a platinum engagement ring and chose a white gold wedding band to save money b/c she figured they looked the same at the time, but now, three years later, they are aging differently and she is not happy.

As to the matching metals, I was not talking about the rings in which the metals are mixed IN BOTH RINGS. I just think a white gold engagement ring would look peculiar with a yellow gold band.

Good luck finding a band!
ilovelabs2003 is offline  

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