Getting Married Without A Wedding Band

Getting Married Without A Wedding Band: No Band, Remaking Engagement Ring

We’re slow… been together 19 years, been engaged for 12 of them. In many states, we’d actually be common-law married by now.

Engagement ring was a plain, 2 mm, white gold Tiffany setting with a small-ish but good quality stone (3/4K). Location made up for the lack of bling factor – I asked on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

My fiancee basically never wears jewelry except a watch and her ring, which she usually takes off the minute she gets home and puts in the box in the drawer.

We went ring shopping a couple of days ago and she decided on a plain, 2 mm platinum band. We were going to get her engagement setting remade in platinum as well so that it matched. They were actually going to custom make it for her because none of their platinum settings had a “head” for a stone that size (they all seemed to be made for the 2K+ stones).

She’s now having second thoughts (about the rings) and wants to go a little “blingier” by putting micro-pave stones on the engagement ring, but NOT getting a band at ALL. She basically doesn’t want two rings and wants to get married with her engagement ring (and have/wear just the one).

I think it is really odd and think she really should have a band. Not having much luck convincing her to be more traditional.

Am I just crazy for thinking it is really strange to not want a band at all? Is it totally bizarre to get married with the engagement ring (which really would look like an engagement ring with a single stone and then micro-pave stones along the top edges of the ring)?

Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy, International Protocol and Corporate & Social Etiquette

There is no reason to panic here. You can both have your cake and eat it, too. Yes, there should be a wedding band. This is not a ring that serves multiple purposes. This is the wedding ring, clearly named. Remaking the engagement ring is also totally fine. There is no reason to wear both rings together once the ceremony is concluded. But one ring is not to be confused with or substituted for the other. Many women wear a thin band only. If you cannot afford to complete both of these projects at one time, the wedding band takes first priority, remodelling of engagement ring second. I hope this helps. Congratulations and best wishes!

Donna, Wedding Queen

I’m not a jewelery expert by any stretch of the imagination, however, my husband (now deceased) had a special jacket (that may not be the correct name of the jewelry so I have attached an example image) for my engagement ring that wraps around the ring and looks like part of the engagement ring rather than a traditional wedding band.

engagement ring jacket.jpg

Maybe this will be an option pleasing to your bride.

I didn’t think they had common law marriage in any states anymore. hmmmm

Glad you waited to be sure. 🙂

Reader Response

Sorry to hear about your husband.

That ring and the bands are beautiful. I don’t think that would be for my fiancée, though. Too big and wide, which is one of her complaints about having the two rings.

In her mind, the new ring is a new ring. She’s making a wedding ring and simply taking the engagement ring stone and putting it in it. In her mind, the engagement ring basically doesn’t exist… or is the empty setting that will sit in the drawer. And she doesn’t see any problem with a wedding ring looking like an engagement ring instead of a wedding band.

We actually went back to the jeweler today at lunch (they close at 5:00). I had to drive over to her work (near the jeweler) and pick her up. We looked at a few rings and she picked a platinum ring with channel-fit round pave stones along the top half of the band and a cathedral type of layout near the head (it extends up at an angle, rather than just being cylindrical with the head mounted on top). There’s a “bridge” across the head on both sides with micro-pave stones so you see diamonds from the side of the ring, too. And it is a bit wider than her existing 2 mm setting. They’re actually going to have to make it for her because the one we saw was white gold instead of platinum and she also wanted a slightly shorter “head” that didn’t sit up as far. Actually, I think it is gorgeous.

As an engagement ring.

I’d still like to see a band, and I think a narrow, pave band would look great with it as well as not being too wide. But she’s got her mind set on IT being the one and only wedding ring. I think it is beyond logic at this point and on to a “dig in your heels” sort of thing. What’s a guy to do…. One thing that comes with being together for 19 years is knowing “yes, dear” very well. 🙂

BTW, according to Wikipedia, 10 states including the District of Columbia currently support common law marriages. (California – where we live – is not one of them.

Donna, Wedding Queen

Well, for what it’s worth, the two rings have two separate meanings for most people. The engagement ring is a symbol of the promise to be married (even 12 years later!). The wedding band is the new ring given when the wedding vows are exchanged. But the ring given when vows are exchanged is her preference and can be whatever type of ring she likes. There are no rules for that — it’s a matter of opinion and preference.

Sounds like you are more than ready to be married, given you’ve got the “yes, dear” reply down pat. 😉