Proper Etiquette for Wedding Rings
The road to engagement and marriage can set off all kinds of emotions – from pure joy, to excitement, to frequent stress. You’ll have lots of decisions to make, and will learn a lot along the way, such as the proper etiquette for wedding rings. Let’s start with some engagement and wedding ring basics.
Social Media Etiquette
Showing off your engagement ring in a social media post has become a very popular way to announce your recent engagement – once you tell your family and friends the good news. The most gracious way to share the exciting news is to post a picture of yourself with your groom, and your left hand, with your shiny new ring gracing your ring finger. Proper etiquette advises against posting simply a close-up of your engagement ring, as this can be viewed as bragging and encourages carat comparisons.
How to Wear Your Rings
An engagement ring symbolizes the promise of eternal love and devotion, and is worn on the ring finger of your left hand (right next to your little finger.) While your engagement ring represents a promise, your wedding ring is meant to solidify that promise, with both rings worn on the ring finger of your left hand once you’re married.
On your wedding day, your engagement ring should be worn on the third finger of your right hand. Then, once you’ve said your I-do’s, your engagement ring should be placed back on the third finger of your left hand, on top of your wedding band.
Selecting and Purchasing Your Rings
Engagement rings are purchased based on what are known as “The 4 C’s” (cut, color, clarity, and carat). Traditionally, the groom-to-be purchases the bride’s engagement ring. While he can certainly do this on his own, many brides-to-be prefer to assist with ring selection by either showing the groom pictures of ones they like, telling close friends what they want, or by going ring shopping together. While this will limit the surprise factor, the groom can be assured that he bought the exact ring she wanted. After all, she is the one wearing it, and eternal love lasts a long time!
While the groom typically pays for the bride’s engagement and wedding rings, the bride typically pays for the groom’s wedding ring. Many couples simply include the cost of wedding rings in their budget, and share the expense.
Insuring Your Rings
One thing you’ll want to ensure is that your engagement and wedding rings are insured, as jewelry with this kind of value is not typically covered under your renter’s or homeowner’s policy.
While none of us likes to think about it, you should know what to do if your wedding is cancelled prior to your wedding day. Proper etiquette says if the bride calls off the wedding, she should return the engagement ring. However, if the groom-to-be calls it off, the bride can decide to either keep or return it. Beyond etiquette, you should know that your state’s laws may determine the necessary action. If the ring has been passed down through the bride’s or groom’s family, it should be returned to the family. Legal experts on the matter advise that if the engagement ring is a family heirloom, a prenuptial agreement listing who the engagement ring should go to in the event of a breakup might be necessary.
Chances are, you won’t be in this position. However, it’s best to be prepared with a little knowledge and information!
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