Wedding bands are meaningful symbols. Typically they’re rings that both partners wear in a marriage. That’s why, even though engagement ring shopping often grabs the brightest spotlight, the Bario Neal team loves working with couples looking for a way to personalize their wedding bands. To help, we’ve got four tips to start your search — plus plenty of inspiration for finding wedding bands that work for you as individuals and as a duo.
4 Wedding Band Shopping Tips
- Plan Your Wedding Ring Set: If you want to wear more than one ring, start thinking about your wedding bands during your engagement ring appointment. The Bario Neal sales team will talk to you about bands and ring designs that mix well together in ring stacking with two, three or more.
- Wedding Bands Can Go Solo: Keep in mind you or your partner might not wear an engagement ring 24/7, so consider how you like a band by itself. Depending on your job and how much you use your hands, you might wear only your wedding band to work. You might remove a gemstone or diamond engagement ring for traveling or sports.
- Wedding Bands Don’t Have to Match Exactly to Be a Perfect Pair: “I love it when clients say, ‘We really want our wedding bands to have some kind of connection,’” says Sarah Rachel Brown, Bario Neal Sales + Shipping Coordinator. That might mean getting the same band in different widths, complementary designs, the same enamel color or matching gemstones set into different bands, the same type of metal, or engraving. “I love our collection because we have a lot of gender neutral wedding band designs that come in a wide and narrow version, for different styles,” Sarah says. One twinning example: our Crescent Band and Crescent Thin Band.
- We Promise Wedding Bands Aren’t Scary! If you’ve never worn jewelry before, Sarah recommends her fave Bario Neal band, the Reticulated Two Wide Band. “It’s just different enough and has a subtle design,” she says. “It also speaks to our Reticulated One Band and our Reticulated Two Band, which are more narrow, if a couple looking for different widths wants to get wedding bands that go well together.”
Wedding Bands With Gemstones
Bario Neal can set gemstones — choose a diamond, your birthstone, or a gem in your favorite color — flush into many wedding bands, on the exterior or interior. Depending on the size of the stone you want, the band’s thickness will be a factor. There needs to be enough metal to make an all-around secure setting for your gemstone. Sarah says a 3 mm band is good in most cases, and two of her favorites for this personalization are the Milla Square Comfort Wide Band and Milla Square Comfort Narrow Band.
Engraving Wedding Bands
Engraving is a technique used throughout history to decorate and embellish jewelry. At Bario Neal, we approach the art of engraving just as intentionally as you’ll choose a message or symbol to add to the interior or exterior of your wedding bands.
“We work with a really amazing hand engraver. He’s been on Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers’ Row for many years,” Sarah says. “Hand engraving is a dying art form, and a lot is done with lasers now. We’re very fortunate to have an artist who is so talented.”
The wider the band, the more message that can fit, but Sarah says the hand engraver Bario Neal works with can even work on a 2 mm wide band (though your font choices will be limited).
“We love to educate clients about engraving,” Sarah says. “If you engrave some of our more narrow, feminine-looking bands the message or symbol will be tiny. You might not be able to see it that well. Of course, most people still want engraving because it’s more symbolic and just knowing that it’s there is enough.”
A memorable date — like your wedding day or the day you two met — is the most popular engraving choice. Some couples go with little messages or their nicknames for each other. We hear an inside joke can be fun and, more practically, engraving your ring could even be a bit of extra insurance if you happen to misplace it, say, on the beach.
One Bario Neal client had a fingerprint engraved on a band. (“You don’t get much more handmade than that!” Sarah says.)
Sarah recalls a beautiful story of an engraved ring personalization when the couple worked with Bario Neal on a custom trio of bands. One read “I love you” and another “You love me” in Arabic. They also have decorative arabesque engraving in the 18kt yellow gold with a matte finish.
The fact that Bario Neal engraving is done by an experienced artisan by hand doesn’t mean the process isn’t accessibly priced. Engraving in English starts at $20 for one to three characters. Contact Bario Neal for details on messages in other languages.
Textured Wedding Bands
Our smooth Milla Thin Band is a minimal classic that has plenty of fans, but wedding bands with texture — like our Milla Shoulder Hammered Wide Band — have a modern vibe that’s winning the battle of the wedding bands.
“Hammering isn’t too trendy looking if you want something just a little different,” Sarah says. “Hammering jewelry has been around forever, so the look isn’t something that’s going to seem dated five years from now. It’s timeless in a way.”
She points out that for people wearing an engagement ring with a smooth metal, a hammered wedding band separates the two and lets each have their moment in a wedding ring stack.
You can get even more finely detailed with textured metals with our Dais Band, which is appealingly rugged, or the Quill Band with its lines reminiscent of a life well lived. For an antique aura, personalize your band with milgrain (which is actually done with an engraver’s sharp tools). Or you can have it both ways with smooth and textured in our Ray Fringe Edge Band.
Stacking Wedding Bands
“Many of our clients aren’t just buying one wedding band. They’re buying two,” Sarah says. “They want a band with diamonds in it, like a traditional Half Eternity Wide Diamond Band, but they don’t necessarily want that much sparkle all the time. So they’ll get a Milla Shoulder Hammered Narrow Band. The faceting of the hammering gives that illusion of some sparkle, without the diamonds. It’s also a really popular band to stack with an eternity band and a solitaire or cluster engagement ring.”
“I love enameling. I love the fact that it’s an ancient art,” Sarah says. “It’s fused glass to a surface, and it’s a really lovely way to incorporate color into a ring.”
Sarah’s also excited about a new release, the Shield Band with Enamel. “We’re taking a collection ring with beautiful carved texture, the Shield Band, which is a very design-forward ring, and adding enamel into the recessed areas of that band to give it color and bring out the texture even more. It really transforms the look of the band.”
Remember with enamel bands, you are wearing glass on your finger. It’s resilient and sturdy, but if you hit it just right it can crack. Repairs are possible. Broken enamel can be heated and smoothed out. For general care tips, read our “5 Simple Tips for Caring for Your Engagement Ring or Wedding Bands.”
Whatever way you choose to couple your wedding bands, if you shop at Bario Neal, both of you will be able to feel good about what you’re wearing when it comes to sustainability and fair-to-all mining practices. True to our commitment to handcrafting ethical jewelry, we use only recycled metals and Fairmined gold. “I think a lot of people come to us specifically because of our ethics, and because they can get recycled metal here, and feel really good about the materials in their jewelry,” Sarah says.
Whether you’re drawn to textured rings, or you want to engrave your wedding bands with a message or date or add color with enamel or gemstones, contact Bario Neal today to talk about how to personalize your wedding bands.