The Truth About Male Engagement Rings

When a couple gets engaged, most of our focus is on the bride. After all, she looks stunning when she wears her lab grown diamond ring and her lucky fiance looks charming but simple in comparison.

We know how most women wear their baubles and how typical brides look before the big day. We know what traditional and trendy wedding etiquette says about family, friends, dresses, parties and rings. But can we talk about the groom for a minute?

What does the gentleman do between the proposal and the wedding? Can a man wear an engagement ring? Which hand do men wear their rings? Who buys the engagement ring for the man?

Get ready to tackle all the questions you have relating to men’s rings, but were too embarrassed to ask. We’ve been disrupting the diamond industry for years, and saying no to mined diamonds and unnecessary traditions, so we are happy to share what we learned along the way for both men and women when it comes to engagement ring etiquette.

Mens Wedding Band

What does the fiance do between the proposal and the wedding? Do men wear engagement rings?

While most men do not wear engagement rings, this trend is growing. Millennial couples are shifting their priorities to equality, love and commitment while emphasizing more communication and less rigidity to traditions and gender roles. You can see this shift in jewelry, too.

One estimate reports a 56 percent increase in men searching for male engagement rings since 2007. Another study shows that 67 percent of men are open to wearing an engagement ring, too. Even in pop culture, there are more and more celebrities who sport an engagement ring: Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, etc.

What does the fiance do between the proposal and the wedding? Do men wear engagement rings?

Other than bucking tradition, grooms have several reasons for wanting to wear a ring before the wedding.

  • The couple would like to stage a “second” proposal or “re-proposal” where the role is reversed and the bride pops the question. This is a life-changing moment that the bride will cherish and remember for the rest of her life. It’s very sweet and considerate to create this kind of experience for the groom as well.

  • Modern relationships are transforming how we think about rings. They used to be a bit old-fashioned, but more and more they are becoming symbols of equality. Gone are the days where rings previously signified ownership wherein the groom “claims” the bride-to-be. If you really want to own the terms you use to define your relationship, it makes sense that the ring now symbolizes your love and commitment to each other—and if that’s true, then you both need your own bling!

  • Of course, telling the universe that your significant other is “off the market” is an added bonus. Why should this be a one-sided message? The woman gets to gush about her proposal and wedding plans while the man continues to live his bachelor’s life until the big day? That hardly seems fair.

Mens Wedding Band

Who buys the engagement ring for the man? What about the wedding band? And what happens to the engagement ring after the wedding day?

Other than bucking tradition, grooms have several reasons for wanting to wear a ring before the wedding.

This is entirely up to you. Many couples will decide who spends money on the engagement ring or wedding band after discussing it first. Maybe it sounds best for the man to purchase the woman’s ring while the woman purchases the man’s ring. Perhaps the total cost is split down the middle for all expenses. Maybe the higher-earning individual contributes more.

There is no wrong way to decide this, but you will want to plan out your wedding ring details to build a clearer picture of your total expenses. Jumping from two rings to four rings shouldn’t be a surprise.

Traditionally, a woman wears an engagement ring on her right hand and then begins wearing a wedding band on her left hand during the ceremony and forever after. Now, some brides transfer the engagement ring from their right hand to their left hand. Some brides stow away the engagement ring for the next generation and sport the wedding ring for the rest of their life. Other brides combine the rings and wear both the engagement ring and the wedding band/wedding ring.

Of course, this logic would also apply to the groom. Discuss the options and figure out what feels best to you, what works best during the ceremony and how each decision fits in your budget.

Is this a new thing? Do men wear jewelry?

The idea that men can wear jewelry is not a new thing, but there are more choices for regular consumers than ever before. This is largely in part due to the historic strides LGBT communities have made since the 1990s. Equal marriage victories have created new opportunities to market to men, women and non-gendered couples who are ready to celebrate the commitments they are making to their significant other. What used to be niche jewelry (high end rings for men) is now more common and more fluid—leading to more overall choices, styles and custom designs for all consumers.

Mens Wedding Band

What are my choices? What kinds of rings do men like to wear?

Here are all the terms you should learn when researching men’s engagement ring styles. It’s best to experiment with your ring style combinations and try a few rings on while you shop. Remember, this is a process, not an impulse buy.

  • Material choices: Cobalt, Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, White Gold, Meteorite, Palladium, Platinum, Silicone, Sterling Silver, Tantalum, Titanium, Tungsten and Wood.

  • Types of bands: Classic, Carved, Diamond (single diamond or multiple diamonds).

  • Sizing: You can usually work with a brick-and-mortar jeweler to figure out your ring size, but there are ring size charts available on the internet. Experts say you should measure yourself when you are neither cold nor warm—as comfortable and natural as possible. Also, remember that 12FIFTEEN Diamonds provides one free resizing for each ring within the first year after your purchase.

  • Fit: Standard (flat surface under the ring/between the ring and your finger), Comfort (rounded surface under the ring/between the ring and your finger).

  • Edges: Curved, Domed, Beveled and Flat.

  • Width: A man’s ring is typically wider than a woman’s ring. Common sizes include 4 mm, 6 mm and 8 mm.

At 12FIFTEEN Diamonds, we are dedicated to quality and will only craft settings from hand and will only use the finest, non-mined materials. Our settings can be made in 18K yellow gold, 18K white gold, 14K rose gold or platinum. If you need help deciding which option is right for you, reach out to a 12FIFTEEN Consultant today!

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