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Which Comes First: The Engagement Ring or Wedding Band?

Which Comes First: The Engagement Ring or Wedding Band?

Most people dream of someday receiving a jaw-dropping engagement ring from their significant other. Some have been picturing their perfect ring, down to the tiniest detail. Some couples design their dream engagement ring together and others prefer to surprise their partner. Either way, there are plenty of options when browsing carat sizes and stone shapes.

Once the official engagement happens and wedding planning is underway, couples begin wedding band shopping! One of the most common questions we get asked is “How do I wear both rings?” 

What Tradition Says

There is significant importance to wearing any jewelry but few pieces are more sentimental than your wedding set. So which ring do you put on first- the engagement ring or the wedding band? 

Traditionally, in the US, the wedding band goes on first and is followed by your engagement ring. 

What Is the Best Way to Wear Your Engagement Ring and Wedding Band?

If you’re looking for the best way or the “right way” to wear your engagement ring and wedding bands, you’re in for a shocker!

There isn’t a right or wrong way. 

Yes, tradition does say the wedding band goes first, followed by the engagement ring. But even this differs from culture to culture or location. Whichever comes first is up to you and your preferences. After all, it is your wedding set and you decide how to wear it. 

Other factors can influence how to wear both wedding bands and engagement rings. Style, design, and budget are some factors that could influence this decision, but ultimately, it is all down to personal taste. There are no rules when it comes to creating your wedding set. 

Before the Wedding 

Wedding bands are a significant part of any marriage, regardless of culture. They physically represent a couple’s eternal love and commitment to one another.

However, the engagement ring comes first on the day your partner pops the question. It usually slides onto the fourth finger of the left hand—the ring finger, and is worn by itself. Up until the wedding day, the engagement remains by itself. When it’s time to exchange vows and wedding bands, what do you do with your engagement ring?

Many brides continue to wear their engagement ring on their left hand when they walk down the aisle. When it comes time to exchange wedding bands, their partner slides the wedding band on top of the engagement ring. The wedding set is worn this way throughout the day of the ceremony, with the engagement ring at the base of the finger with the wedding band worn on top.  

The Ring After the Ceremony

While you can decide to leave things as they were during the ceremony, the engagement ring is typically worn on top of the wedding band after the wedding. Since the wedding band is the symbol of commitment, it is worn closest to the heart. 

After the wedding, it’s up to you to choose whether you wear your entire wedding set every day. Some people wear both the wedding ring and engagement ring regardless of the occasion and others choose to only wear their wedding band. While it’s your choice at the end of the day, we always recommend taking off your rings when you’re lifting heavy items, working out, or going for a shower or swim. 

Doing It Your Way

Now, more than ever, couples are making their own ring traditions, each having its own personal and heart-melting meaning. Some customize their engagement ring or wedding bands in ways that display harmony between the rings. Check out our ring enhancers that are worn to accentuate your engagement ring. Some choose to wear their rings on a chain around their necks, especially if they work with their hands often. 

How about alternating between rings depending on the occasion? Some wear their wedding bands every day or while running errands and then choose to wear their engagement rings on special occasions. 

If you want the most amount of sparkle, ring stacking is a popular option that offers many ways to give your rings the spotlight they deserve.

What matters most is the message you send to each other. Symbolize your vows today with the finest engagement rings and wedding bands at Happy Jewelers.