What Is The Difference Between Engagement Rings And Wedding Rings?

People wear rings with meaning for many different reasons and two of the most talked about are the engagement ring and wedding ring. When searching for these rings, they are often categorised together and we are frequently asked what the real difference is between these rings. If this is something you’re curious about please continue to read and we will explain all. 

What is the sentimental difference?

As many people are aware, your engagement and your wedding are two different events that happen in life. Your engagement comes before your wedding and there are two different rings associated with these processes. Traditionally these rings have different meanings and therefore different sentimental values to the wearer. 

An engagement ring is gifted by your partner and then worn after a successful proposal. This particular ring symbolises a pledge of love and traditionally it informs others that this person is no longer ‘available’. The wedding ring is worn by both people in the couple after exchanging vows during the marriage ceremony. This informs people that you are now married and committed to one another. 

What is the physical difference?

Over time, both engagement rings and wedding rings have gained a stereotypical look and they couldn’t be more different in appearance. Traditional engagement rings are much more elaborate than wedding rings. They tend to have a big dominant stone which either stands alone or is surrounded by additional smaller stones. Whereas, a wedding ring is usually a plain metal band or a band with diamonds all around. 

Of course, this difference in design also means that there is a difference in price. Even if a wedding ring has stones, their total carat weight is usually less than an engagement ring making it significantly less expensive. There is a lot of controversy regarding how much you should spend on an engagement ring, however, the cost of a wedding ring is very rarely discussed or commented on.

What is the correct way to wear these rings?

The most traditional way to wear both of these rings is on the third finger on your left hand. This custom originated in Egypt, where people believed the vein in this finger led directly to your heart. On your wedding day, you should move your engagement ring to the same finger on the other hand to make room for your wedding ring. Once you’re married, tradition dictates that you move your engagement ring back to the left hand and it is placed on top of your wedding ring, ensuring that your wedding ring remains closest to your heart. However, some women choose to leave the rings on separate hands or even stop wearing their engagement ring altogether.

Do you really need both rings? 

Due to the number of people that decide to no longer wear their engagement ring once they’re married, the question of whether you really need both rings has arisen. If you want the traditional look then you should wear both, but ultimately, this is a personal preference. 

Many people choose to just have the one ring because of their financial situation, however others opt for this because it is one less ring to worry about losing. If you prefer a simplistic look then a single ring may be a good option, as it is less fussy than a stacked combination. 

Depending on the style of your engagement ring it can also sometimes be tricky to find a wedding ring that matches and lines up perfectly. You can, however, purchase these rings together as a set and then you are guaranteed that they will work perfectly together. 


Ultimately, these two rings are different and if you’re a traditionalist then you will require two extra special rings. With so many different rings available, no matter whether you’re looking for an elaborately designed ring or a   ring, you will be spoilt for choice. 

If you require assistance trying to find the perfect engagement ring or a wedding ring for your big day then please visit our experts at Bonds of Brentwood and we will gladly assist you. We understand the importance of the perfect ring and can provide you with the advice and rings guide you require to find the best rings for you. 

by Bonds

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