There’s nothing quite like the sweaty, exhilarating feeling of getting down on one knee to pop the question. Whether you chose to do it in public, in private, or in time to an iconic pop song, the wait for the answer is terrifying.
However, if you’re reading this blog you’ve likely already done the hard part. You asked. They accepted. Wedding prep is in full swing.
Now’s the time to capitalize and make the all-important purchase of the wedding ring. In celebration of your Irish roots, we’ve pulled together this quick guide to choosing an Irish wedding ring.
How to choose an Irish wedding ring
While much planning goes into engagement rings, the biggest choice with wedding rings is the type of metal you’ll get for the band. Silver is a classic choice, while white gold makes for a great compliment to a platinum engagement ring.
Platinum is an increasingly modern choice too as it’s tough and wears well in day-to-day life. But there’s more to choosing a wedding ring than picking a type of metal, so read on for six big considerations!
6 tips for wedding ring shopping
1. Set a budget
The rule of thumb for wedding ring shopping is to spend 3-5% of your wedding budget on the wedding rings. Naturally, this varies from couple to couple, though you’ll find plenty of choice whatever your budget.
For the couple who want to put a twist on the traditional, this 14k gold Claddagh ring combines the Celtic signs of unity, the Trinity Knot, and the Claddagh for a beautiful trifecta.
2. Know your Celtic symbols
Celtic jewelry has a distinctive flair, but each of the classic symbols means something a little different.
- Trinity knot: In Celtic mythology, knots symbolize the sacred geometry of the universe and the interconnectedness of all life.
- Tree of life: This represents the interconnection of life and heaven and earth – which is a beautiful symbol for a wedding band!
- Claddagh ring: Combining three symbols, the hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown loyalty.
Pop over here for a complete guide to the meaning of Celtic jewelry.
3. Mix and match
The tradition of wearing an engagement/wedding ring on the fourth finger on the left hand goes back to ancient Rome when civilization believed that the ring finger had a vein that ran directly to the heart. This was the Vena Amoris – or the Vein of Love, which sounds an awful lot like a 1990s power ballad!
While modern medicine has disproved the theory, it’s still a popular way to wear the ring with many couples choosing to pair their engagement and wedding rings on the ring finger of the left hand.
If you’re planning on wearing both rings, remember that the stronger metal will wear away the weaker metal – so keep that in mind! If you’ve gone for a platinum engagement ring, palladium is a good option as it’s just as strong as platinum but is roughly half the cost.
However, when choosing a wedding band for each of you, you needn’t worry about them matching.
You can mix it up or go for complimentary styles, or even go for a braided band that pulls two metals or styles together. For example, this wedding ring combines a Sheelin design from the Book of Kells with a contemporary band for a classic twist.
For wildly different rings, why not consider a mutual engraving like a phrase, saying, or vow that’s important to you both? That way it’ll still feel like a pair.
4. Size it right
Once the wedding band goes on, most couples rarely take them off. Your wedding band will come on an adventure through life with you.
While it might not seem like it, our fingers swell and contract through our lifetime – and the last thing you want is an ill-fitting wedding band.
We suggest you get your finger sized when you’re at a stable weight and in good health. The time of day matters too: schedule your sizing in mid-afternoon when your weight has stabilized for the day and you’ve done your daily exercise.
If you or your partner work with your hands a lot and you’re worried about damaging your ring, why not invest in a chain or necklace you can hang it from?
5. Check for quality
If you’re on the market for a wedding band and find a diamond ring that seems far too cheap, chances are it’ll turn your finger green.
Whether you’re on the hunt for an extravagant diamond or something on the more affordable scale, you should look out for markers that mean a wedding band is quality-assured like the manufacturer’s trademark or a quality mark for the types of metal in the ring.
6. Keep maintenance in mind
If you’re thinking of opting for a more extravagant wedding ring with stones or diamonds, you’ll need to occasionally wash it in warm water and give it a very gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush.
A metal band or non-embellished ring is much easier to maintain: every now and again wipe it down with a lint-free cloth or give it a gentle, soapy wash.
Your ring should suit your lifestyle so keep these tips in mind!
Celtic wedding rings inspiration
Not 100% sure what style you’d like? We’ve picked our top three Irish wedding ring choices for him, her, and a couple on a budget!
Most of all, your wedding ring should match your personality. Let it say something about you – whether that means going for a traditional wedding band or something a little different!
Looking for authentic Celtic wedding rings?
Check out our full collection of Irish engagement and wedding rings. Quality assured and crafted in Ireland, you’ll find the perfect Irish wedding band for you or your partner.