Matching Wedding Rings

Written by Serena Berger
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It surprises many people to learn that the so-called tradition of exchanging wedding rings isn't as much of a tradition as, well, the word tradition implies. Actually, the tradition does date back several millennia to ancient Egypt, when couples used to twist reed plants into rings to exchange when they wed. Through most of the history of our nation, however, wedding rings were not exchanged. Even if a man gave a woman a ring, he typically did not wear ring himself. Some couples still exchanged rings during their wedding ceremonies, but that's not the same thing as wearing matching wedding bands.

This state of affairs can be traced back to the Puritans, who decided that wedding rings were above all else, jewelry, and thus verboten. Women still tended to want a ring, so to get around the dictum that all must be sober and practical, they often had their groom give them a thimble. After the wedding, they would cut the bottom off the thimble, thus making a ring.

Over in Europe, women were wearing more exquisite rings than ever, and often their male counterparts were doing so as well. From ornate Victorian garlands to delicate masterworks of Edwardian filigree, sentimental French and Italian poesy rings to romantic Celtic Claddaghs, there were styles emerging and traditions being cemented throughout the years in which Americans were not exchanging wedding bands. The Art Deco period brought about a resurgence of interest in wedding bands in the U.S. WWII followed shortly thereafter, and was the catalyst for the decision of many men to wear wedding bands.

The Myriad of Options in Matching Wedding Bands

Nowadays, it is quite common for couples to exchange matching wedding bands. If the gentleman has particularly conservative taste, you can get simple matching bands in any metal--titanium, platinum, white or yellow gold, or silver. If the bride has the desire for something more elaborate, presumably she can express her taste and style with the engagement ring because a simple wedding band will be versatile in its potential pairings. If, however, you both want to wear a unique wedding ring, the options for matching bands increase to include contrasting metals, inlaid gemstones, engravings, textures, and rings from any cultural tradition throughout history.


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