Once your engagement ring is sitting pretty on your finger, your journey to the aisle begins. And though there will be an array of tasks to get done before you say "I do"—like choosing a gown, venue, and stationery (among other things)—one checklist item that should be a priority is finding a wedding band that perfectly commemorates this beautiful life chapter.
While some engagement ring jewelers offer matching wedding bands, many do not, so shopping for this accessory isn't always an easy feat. It can oftentimes be difficult to find a band that suits the style of your existing ring—especially if your sparkler features an unusual center stone, a unique cut, or a bold metal—but even so, time and effort should be placed into this search in order to obtain a perfect pairing you can be proud to wear forever.
That said, since there’s a lot to consider, we spoke with jeweler Colleen Montague, owner of Moissy Fine Jewellery, to break down the most important things to know when searching for a wedding band that flawlessly pairs with your engagement ring. Keep reading below for more details, including our favorite ring pairings.
Selecting a Metal
Many people assume that wedding bands and engagement rings have to be made of the same metal, but this isn't true. “Be creative! Don’t be afraid to mix metals and shapes,” Montague says. “Mixed metals can really give a wedding set a modern look.” However, if you do want to match your platinum ring with a platinum band, go for it! There are no rules when it comes to metal pairings, and your final decision should ultimately be a personal choice.
For those considering mixed metals, though, Montague provides a bit of inspiration to get you thinking. “The most common mix is a white and yellow gold set, but don’t be limited in what you love,” she shares. “Mixing white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold has proven to be really stunning.” She also explains that adding yellow gold to a white gold engagement ring can make your set pop and look more unique.
Types of Wedding Bands
After selecting a ring metal, you'll want to then decide on a style of wedding band you love. To do this, consider whether you want a band that sits flush against your engagement ring, or if you're okay with a small gap between the two. Generally, this will depend on your engagement ring setting, as high-set rings typically result in no gap when paired with a band, while low-set rings feature a center stone that sits closer to the finger and, therefore, may produce a gap depending on your style of band.
For those who don't mind whether or not their wedding band sits flush against their engagement ring, your shopping experience will likely be easy as you can choose from any style of band available. However, if you're on the hunt for a paring that seamlessly fits together, your next course of action is to figure out which wedding band design works best for you.
Classic Wedding Bands
If you don't want a gap between your two rings, opt for a classic wedding band style. There are plenty of options within this category, like a simple, plain metal band; an eternity wedding band, which features pavé diamonds all around; and a channel-set band for a different way to mount diamonds. What's more, infinity-style designs, like those that feature the infinity symbol throughout, are also popular, but may not rest completely flushed given their structural layout.
Contoured Wedding Bands
If you have a low-set engagement ring and want your band to sit flush against your sparkler, contoured styles are the way to go. Contoured wedding bands are designed to match the curvature of your engagement ring and are oftentimes custom-made to suit your exact preferences. This is achieved by shaping the front of the band to follow the contours of your ring to create an elegant pairing that looks completely natural.
Notched Wedding Bands
Another option for a flush look is a notched wedding band. If a contoured band looks like it was created specifically for your ring (which it very well may have been!), a notched wedding band looks like a puzzle piece. It’s completely straight until the front, where there’s then a notch so that the stone can fit in place.
Now that you understand the fundamentals, here are a few engagement ring and wedding band pairings that may leave you feeling inspired.
Round center stones are a popular choice for engagement rings. What's more, they’re also extremely versatile and any type of band will match them. “The options are endless with round-cut stones,” Montague says. “They complement all other shapes of stones, and can easily be paired with any other band stone shape.”
Montague suggests looking for a band that features small round diamonds, like a pavé eternity band. “We really like to use round-cut stones with princess-cut diamonds,” she says. “Princess cuts have a different brilliance because of the cut pattern, and adding round-cut stones really ups the sparkle.”
While opposites attract in terms of princess and round cut, Montague says that cushion-cut center stones look great with other cushion cuts. “Cushion cuts have a great sparkle, so a simple cushion French set band looks great,” she explains.
An emerald cut is a statement piece, and the band should emphasize the stone even more. Montague recommends a band with round-cut stones, saying, “Emeralds are a step-cut pattern that is not as reflective and brilliant as a traditional round cut. Adding a simple round-cut band adds the pop you need to top off this classic cut.”
If your marquise stone does not sit in a high setting, it can be difficult to find a band that sits flush with the ring. So, Montague thinks a contoured band is the best fit, saying it can “gracefully move around the elongated stone.” She adds, “Using a combination of round and pear cuts can create a really pleasing contoured or V-style band for this cut.”
For maximum sparkle, Montague recommends pairing an oval-cut diamond ring with a band that features oval stones as well. “Consider a single prong oval band, set in an East-West style design,” she suggests. The result is a beautiful matching band that makes the whole set more interesting.
Radiant-cut diamond rings look good with pavé bands if you want to mix up the diamond cuts, but they also look great with other radiant cuts. “Small cut radiant stones are really unique and sparkly,” Montague explains. “We love using these in a full eternity style to match your design.”
If there was ever a time to use a contoured band, it would be with a pear-cut diamond ring. “Pear-cut rings pair nicely with contoured bands,” Montague says. “Choosing a contoured band means your band will be exposed all around the stone, and have its time to shine too!” Pear-cut rings also look beautiful with embellished bands with a crown.
An Asscher-cut diamond ring is unique and attention-grabbing. To help it stand out, Montague says, “We really enjoy pairing this cut with milgrain accented bands and step-cut stone bands like emerald cuts.”
Another unique cut, baguette diamond rings look right at home with a mix of two different cuts. “For this style, we always recommend a baguette and round combination band,” Montague notes. “Using a round stone in between each baguette and setting this East-West is a really attractive look.”
A trillion cut stands out so much on its own that Montague suggests really keeping it simple with the band. “We definitely love to showcase this stone,” she says. She recommends pairing this style with a plain gold band, adding, “Feel free to add etching or milgrain to it for an extra touch.”