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A Well-Organized Approach to Wedding Rings

Are you ready to shop for your wedding rings, also known as bridal jewelry? You'll soon discover that your choices can be overwhelming. Walk into any jewelry store in a mall or downtown, and you'll likely find display case after display case of rings. After awhile they may all look alike or you might become so overpowered by the vast selection that you can't make any selections at all.

In order to find your wedding rings in no time, you have to do some homework beforehand. I recently spoke with Bruce Pucciarello, owner of Novell Design Studio, one of the country's premier jewelry manufacturers, about what you should keep in mind before, during, and after you shop for wedding rings. Here are some of his suggestions:

  • Understand off the bat that you and your future spouse do not necessarily need to find matching rings (see Figure 3.6). "Typically what leads couples that were meant to be together to find one another is their different, yet complementary, qualities," says Pucciarello. You should apply the same thinking to your ring selection. Find a ring that you each like, not one that is identical to your mate's selection. "I find that the couple that gets matching rings means that one member has acquiesced, and that's not a good beginning to a marriage."

  • Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 There's no rule that says that the bride and groom have to choose matching rings.

  • Think about your everyday jewelry choices and use them when choosing rings. Are you a fan of sterling silver and other white jewelry? Do you like to wear overstated earrings, necklaces, and rings? You should find a wedding band that matches your personality. What about your fiancé? Does he prefer simple jewelry or does he fancy more ornate items? Suggest he keep his established tastes and preferences in mind as you go shopping together.

  • Decide ahead of time whether you want to look at white or yellow jewelry. That way, when you walk into the jewelry store, you'll know that if you're only interested in platinum rings, you don't even need to look at the display cases with yellow jewelry in them. That decision alone will probably cut out half of the rings on display, which will help make the process less overwhelming.

  • Try to stay away from anything trendy, such as fancy gemstones or colored metals. They may go out of fashion before your first anniversary. Instead, look for more traditional rings that you believe you'll love and still feel comfortable wearing every day for the next 40 or 50 years.

  • Go to a store that has treated others you know well. Pucciarello prefers independent jewelry stores where you're likely dealing with the store's owner or the jewelry designer (as opposed to some part-time employee), who is going to be more knowledgeable not only about rings but also in dealing with customers. "Some stores would much rather sell you a $20,000 piece than the $600 ring you've fallen in love with," he says. "If you don't like how someone is treating you in the store, leave. People shouldn't take a beating from the person who is making money from you."

  • Don't put off buying your rings. With all of the decision-making you face as your wedding edges nearer, you're understandably going to be feeling a lot of pressure. It's better for you to make a decision about something that's lifelong, like your wedding ring, before the stress of the wedding gets too intense. Also, you should budget about two months' time for your ring—it might not take you that long to find, order, and receive one but it allows for some wiggle room.

Want to get a quick leg up on whether you prefer a platinum or yellow gold wedding band? Use your computer to zip through the websites of trade associations that represent each of these precious metals, and check out ring examples on each.

Here are the two websites I recommend:

  • http://www.preciousplatinum.com. This is the website of the Platinum Guild International, which is an organization of platinum manufacturers devoted to educating consumers on platinum jewelry.

  • http://www.gold.org. The World Gold Council's website is chock full of information on gold manufacturing around the world. Go directly to the "jewelry" section to learn more about yellow and white gold rings.

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