Almost every single engagement in the United States comes with an engagement ring and it’s a traditional physical sign of commitment to present each other with wedding rings during a ceremony. Three-quarters of American brides have a gold and diamond engagement ring (and often a wedding ring to match), though recently wedding jewelry trends have been shifting away from the traditional (especially as more and more millennials eschew the expense of diamonds). Indeed, over half of brides say that they would wear a colored stone for their engagement ring (as celebrities Halle Berry and Jessica Simpson have done). Custom wedding jewelry is also becoming more popular, as a unique way to signify a union. Custom wedding rings can add a special touch to the occasion or hold deep personal meaning for the engaged couple.
The Engagement Ring
The engagement ring is the public statement that a couple is making a commitment, though usually only the woman receives a physical token. We have Maximilian of Austria to thank for this tradition, dating back to 1477. He gave his fiancée Mary of Burgundy a beautifully crafted ring as a promise of their impending marriage.
Over 60% of men will consult with their partners on the engagement ring before the proposal, especially as it’s become a very personal thing and there are other things to consider as well — whether personalized engagement rings or custom wedding jewelry is the way the couple wants to go, whether they want it responsibly sourced, etc. (Interestingly, 80% of millennials think it’s important to buy jewelry that’s responsibly sourced; the national average is below 70%.)
Usually, if the engagement ring is customized, the wedding ring also follows suit. Whether it’s a unique design, engraved with the couple’s wedding date or initials, or has unusual stones, custom wedding rings are certainly becoming more of a popular option.
How to Go About Custom Wedding Jewelry
In almost every case with custom wedding jewelry, it’s important to consult with one’s partner before going ahead. The point of custom jewelry after all, is that people have input, and it’s not a more generic piece. And likely, if you’re doing custom wedding rings, it’s because you want to attribute a specific meaning or significance to the rings.
There can still be an element of surprise — the person purchasing the rings might not be proposing right away after all, but at least both parties know what the rings will eventually look like, and the other person will have given his or her stamp of approval. (It also reduces the stress about whether the person being proposed to will say yes or no.) It’s also possible that a couple might look at custom wedding jewelry after the proposal as well.
Once you’ve decided on what you’re looking for, speaking with a jeweler is important, usually a custom jewelry designer, who can help your vision for the jewelry come to life.
Where to Find Custom Wedding Jewelry Vendors
Depending on how custom you want to go, you might be able to reach out to bigger jewelry stores and see what can be done with existing rings in their stores. However, if you want something really unique, talking to a local jeweler or custom jewelry designer is likely the best way to go.
You might also be able to commission rings online — there are plenty of artisans who have services available and can hop on a phone call or video call to coordinate. Once you have the style you want, it’s just communicating that to the designer. Most couples will bring pictures or ideas that they want to incorporate into the design, or will even do a preliminary sketch themselves.
Popular wedding sites might also have recommendations on where to find custom wedding jewelry done right, to help with the search.
Add a special touch to your engagement and wedding rings when you opt for customized jewelry. It will add a great layer and story to the jewelry and you’ll be reminded of this whenever you glance at your hand.