Let’s be honest here gents, when it comes to picking out anything remotely shiny or sparkly, more often than not it’s the fairer sex who firmly boast the upper hand and confidently lead the way through that revolving door to the baffling world beyond. The chances are picking out that all-important engagement ring or choosing a wedding ring will be your first foray into the cut-throat world of marital metal, and to be frank it can be a completely mind-boggling affair. So we’ve compiled a few essential tips to get you on your way.
Bespoke vs off the shelf?
The first stop in a long line of decisions, gents – do you opt for an off the shelf sparkler, or pour all manner of blood, sweat and tears (yours) and that distinct flair for creative genius (hers) into your own unique wedding rings?
Off the shelf
Essentially it’s all down to personal preference….. and, if we’re honest, more than likely a not-so-subtle nudge from your bride-to-be. Searching the interweb and high street stores will turn up a massive selection not only in terms of style, but also price-range, so if you haven’t got a handle on exactly what you’re looking for, they’ll have every taste and budget covered. And if the perfect rock happens to leap off the shelf at your partner but falls off her finger because it isn’t her size, no problem, they’ll order to store and usually within a very short timeframe. A number of online stores also offer the option to customise existing stock to design your own ring.
If you’ve decided you want the personal touch, or already have a specific design in mind, then heading down the bespoke route is a superb option. Not only can you incorporate existing jewellery (family heirloom perhaps?) into a design but creating your wedding rings from scratch offers the opportunity to match their shape and style to any jewellery either of you might already wear. Take note though – while bespoke services are a top notch choice for the personal touch, they can be a substantially lengthier and pricier option. Preparation is vital!
If you’re already feeling somewhat less than your usual testosterone-filled chest beating self, fear not intrepid groom…. Next up? Melting, sawing and soldering (also filing, polishing and buffing, but that’s best left unmentioned). If you’re a truly hands-on pair ready to roll up your sleeves and get completely involved in the creation of your wedding rings, the wedding ring workshopoffers up the chance to work with a master jeweller and have a go at every stage of the manufacture process yourselves, from melting and joining right through to the polishing and buffing we’re not going to mention. And you’ll get a celebratory beer or champagne for afters. Beautiful!
To engrave or not to engrave?
Machine, laser and hand engraving open up a world of opportunities for that one-of-a-kind addition to your wedding bands. From initials and dates (a handy reminder, chaps), to quotes and even fingerprints, the world’s your lyrical lobster. If you do plan to add a few words, it’s worth bearing in mind when choosing a wedding ring that wider bands lend themselves better to a clearer finish. Engagement rings, although not impossible to engrave, are likely to be suitable for shorter inscriptions only and will generally require hand engraving (due to the first class sparkler you expertly chose), which will affect the cost.
www.weddingrings-direct.com offers some pretty nifty insider info on the what, where and how to’s of adding a few words to your marital metal.
Whether you’re heading out on the engagement and wedding ring mission together, or you’ve been let loose on a solo adventure, it pays to have all the relevant info to hand before you begin.
A few useful online resources;
- Printable ring sizer
- Printable ring size comparison chart
- International conversion chart for ring sizes
With recent surveys unashamedly blurting out to all and sundry that after going through all the trials and tribulations of choosing the right engagement ring, 72% of grooms-to-be then fail to get it insured before their moment on bended knee, GoGroom’s top tip, gents….. Get the ring(s) covered!
You’ve got three main options;
- Jewellers’ own insurance – but be aware this option might not cover certain eventualities (loss of the rings, for example).
- Independent jewellery cover
- Home contents policy – jewellery above £1500 will generally need to be added as a separate item.
Keep hold of all receipts and paperwork, and it’s always a good idea to get the rings valued in case of claims.