When you find that special someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with, the first keepsake is the engagement ring which marks a lasting promise to love each other. The wedding proposal is a heartfelt and touching moment ‘frozen in time’, which is only equaled by the exchange of wedding bands. The engagement ring and wedding bands are two purchases that will be with you and your loved one forever.
This is why it is essential to select what you absolutely love and take your time choosing the designs. Too many brides have come to me in tears. Why? Because they don’t like their wedding bands and they have no idea how to change the band without hurting the groom’s feelings. I never want to see a teary-eyed bride come in my office again crying. I want to see them smiling, happy and satisfied with this big purchase.
That being said, how do we avoid brides hating their wedding bands? Here’s some vital advice I offer at the time of the engagement ring purchase:
Do not buy your wedding bands at the same time you purchase your engagement ring.
This statement is usually sparks reactions ranging from astonishment to confusion. The most common replies are:
- “I love the quality, design and value of this engagement ring. Why don’t you want to sell us our wedding bands?”
- “I trust you. I want to buy from you. Why are we waiting?”
- “I am so in love, and found who I want to share the rest of my life with. We’re ready to move ahead with all the planning and details. There’s so much to do. Can we just get this checked off our check list?”
Waiting is entirely in their best interest. What is the best time to purchase your wedding bands?
The best time to buy your wedding bands is between three and four months before your wedding. In the case of a shorter engagement period, the mid-point between engagement and wedding is best; as long as it is six to eight weeks before the wedding.
The primary reason to wait before purchasing is the same exact reason why many retailers selling the engagement ring are pushing for your immediate purchase. The chances of the bride knowing the desired wedding band design is very small at the time of engagement.
Many times, brides change their mind on the wedding band designs. This is because many women have never wore a diamond ring of this significant magnitude on a daily basis before in her life. Both the bride and groom have to love the design.
The bride will need time to wear her beautiful diamond engagement ring for a few weeks to a few months before she can decide on the wedding band design. It may surprise you how often the design needs and wants shift over time. This is why both partners need to have sufficient time to be able to provide educated input on each others’ rings and feel confident about their input.
By now, you’re probably starting to realize why many retailers offer such wonderful ‘discounts’ when purchasing the matching wedding bands with the engagement ring. Retailers are well aware of the very high probability that your fiancee will ultimately decide against a matching band and that their ‘discount’ in the long run will provide you no savings at all. Retailers doing this profit off your change of heart and take advantage of your situation. The discounted price is actually a high retail price that can be beat by 50% or more at a true wholesaler. Various couples are mistakenly advised on the timing of their wedding band purchase- even by bridal magazines. These publications feature articles that completely miss the point by suggesting the best times to buy wedding bands are Christmas, Valentines Day and the end of the month when stores are trying to make their sales quotas.
In reality, Christmas and Valentines Day are the times when prices are the highest, making them the worst times to make a purchase. The advertised ‘holiday sales’ are a ruse where prices are first marked up, then a percentage discount is offered. Oftentimes, The actual purchase price is higher than off season regular prices. The end of month suggestion exhibits a ‘retail mentality’. A smart shopper with time can find a true jewelry wholesaler or distributor in their town, where prices are only a fraction of retail prices.
Why is it best to purchase at least three to four months in advance of your wedding day? There are many answers to this question but two equally significant primary factors are:
- There are so many unpredictable variables that will come up the last few weeks before the wedding. Giving yourself a suitable amount of time, knowing that the bands are chosen, purchased and in your possession will relieve unnecessary stress as the wedding day approaches.
- Certain wedding bands need to be custom designed so that process can take many weeks. At the end of the design process, the couple must be available for pickup to check sizing and ensure that the workmanship is perfect. Your time is precious as you approach the wedding day, given your hectic schedules with planning and taking care of the other details. Having been in the high end jewelry business for two and a half decades, there is an endless stream of advice that I would be pleased to pass on regarding wedding bands, but I will just touch on two more here.
- First Tip: The first is in response to advice published in Martha Stewart’s Bride 101 guide. She offered this advice to brides in reference to the engagement period, “a natural place to start delegating is with your groom, as tradition dictates he has the task of purchasing the wedding bands.” My goodness, this is such misplaced advice. The decisions made about your matrimonial jewelry will stay with you for a lifetime. The engagement ring purchase involves the romantic element of surprise (hopefully he has picked up on your cues or asked your best friend for advice!). However, the wedding band decision is for the couple, together.
- Second Tip: The second tip is for the groom. So many men come to me and say they are not ‘jewelry people’, and are not really inclined to wear a wedding band. I have and will always strongly advise them to reconsider. Every newly-wed and forever-wed woman loves a man who wears a wedding band with all her heart. It’s something they will always notice right away. Women feel it’s a very special sign and recognition of a man’s commitment to her, and her to him.
Your wedding bands represent your promise to each other. They are a keepsake of your eternal love. Over the years, you will celebrate many joys as you share your love. Every time you see and wear your beautiful rings, you’ll go in flashback mode about when you started your love story together. Your love is forever for your significant other and your love for both your diamond engagement ring and wedding band should be, too.