You’ve got the venue. You’ve got the photographer. You even have the dress of your dreams. You have everything a bride or groom needs to make these nuptials happen… except for the rings!
On top of that, your engagement ring was super unique and no existing ring will do. How do you go about getting a ring to match? Ask an actual jeweler of course! (Pssst, that’s me.)
Why Would I Need a Custom Wedding Band?
© Charlotte Furneaux – Custom rings are great when you can’t stand a gap between your engagement ring and wedding band.
There are a ton of reasons to get your wedding band custom made. Perhaps you have your grandmother’s ring, but don’t like the style. A jeweler could take that ring and recycle the gold and diamonds to create something beautifully unique to you.
Maybe your fiancé proposed with a stunning vintage ring – but you can’t seem to find anything to match. It could also be possible you’ve always dreamt of a ring covered in unicorns and donuts (or maybe that’s just me). If you can dream it, chances are a jeweler can make it.
What are the Benefits of Dealing with a Jeweler?
One of the best parts of having a custom made band is knowing you are going to get exactly what you want. Jewelers are able to help guide your decisions based on your style, existing ring (if there is one), and design practicality.
On top of that, adding a layer of accountability with a jeweler can really take away some of the stress. If something goes wrong, it’s their responsibility to make it work. That’s why you want to make sure you feel comfortable with the jeweler you choose.
How Long Before my Wedding Should I Start Looking For my Wedding Band?
© Charlotte Furneaux
Regardless of whether you are getting a custom or ready-made ring, the best time to go ring shopping is 3 to 6 months before the wedding. This is important for a few reasons. First, getting a custom ring can take from 4 to 8 weeks from the original consultation.
Second, the stress of planning a wedding can mean changing ring sizes (chocolate eases my wedding planning blues). Finally, it’s rare, but sometimes things go wrong during the ring making process – the casting doesn’t work or a gemstone you need isn’t in stock. You want to make sure you leave enough time for mistakes to happen.
How Does the Custom Ring Process Work?
Step 1: The Consultation
© Charlotte Furneaux
When you first start talking to a designer or jeweler about your custom ring, they will want to know some basics. Is the band fitting with an existing ring? Are you trying to be respectful of a budget? What material is your engagement ring made of? Ideally, your wedding band metal should match your engagement ring.
Once those are out of the way, you can talk about what your goals are for a design. Showing reference photos to a designer will help them get a feel for what the final product should look like. The jeweler will likely create some sketches to give you an idea of how it will look.
Step 2: Design and Approval
© Charlotte Furneaux
Next comes the design phase. Most jewelry designers use CAD (computer-aided design) technology. It’s the most precise method of jewelry creation and is becoming standard practice in the industry. It allows you to get some really realistic images of how the final product will look.
Some smaller jewelers still use manual drawings, but remember, if you are not certain about how something will look, ask questions. Once you feel comfortable with the design, the jeweler will likely ask for a deposit and proceed with making the ring.
Step 3: Creation
© Charlotte Furneaux – A first draft CAD, final computer render, and a printed wax model to try with the ring.
Jewelers use a ton of cool techniques to make your ring. If they use CAD software, a wax is printed using a 3D printer. That wax can be tried on with the engagement ring to ensure a perfect fit, and eventually, be cast into metal using lost wax casting. A goldsmith will polish the ring and set the gems or diamonds as needed to finish it off. This process can take up to 6 weeks, so remember to plan early!
Step 4: Delivery of Ring
This is the best step! You finally get to see your gorgeous ring in person. Depending on the jeweler you pick, this is usually where you pay off the balance of the ring. This is a great time to make sure the ring fits, and then it gets to live in its box until the wedding day.
Having a custom-made wedding ring is a really fun process, and something I highly suggest you try. It adds another layer of meaning to arguably one of the most important pieces of jewelry you will wear.