Chossing a Ring

Shopping for wedding rings is one of those wedding checklist items you can hold off on until closer to your date—but that doesn’t make it any less important than booking a florist or photographer. You’ll want to start looking for wedding bands about four months out (allow even more time if you’re getting any custom wedding band engravings or alterations.)

So where to even begin finding this meaningful symbol of your love? Some might argue women have it a little easier: They can look to their engagement ring metal, size, and style to find a complementary wedding ring. When it comes to men’s wedding rings, it can be tougher for grooms to settle on a ring style, simply because they’re not sure what’s out there or what they like. But don’t make it harder than it needs to be—here’s how to find the best men’s wedding band to suit your individual style. Know Your Options

The good news? There are no rules when it comes to wedding rings: You and your fiancé don’t need matching rings (unless you want them!), your ring doesn’t have to be understated, and you don’t need to choose traditional gold or silver. Some of the most common men’s wedding ring materials include platinum (the toughest, but most expensive metal), tungsten carbide (technically a ceramic with a crazy-high melting point), palladium, titanium, gold, silver, zirconium, cobalt-chrome, silicone, and wood.

When looking for a wedding ring, think about the ring color, band width, and design you’ll want to see on your hand every day. Are you most interested in your ring’s appearance, durability, or functionality? If you’re an avid rock climber or Crossfit fan, try a sporty, streamlined silicone ring. Obsessed with sleek black wedding rings? Look for bands made of tungsten carbide, zirconium, or titanium. Do you gravitate toward the finer things? Consider making a statement with a diamond-encrusted ring. Mind Your Budget

As with all wedding expenses (and let’s be real, all expenses in general), consult your budget. There’s no use splurging on a swanky platinum wedding ring with diamonds if it’ll put you in debt, right? A helpful ballpark: Prepare to spend 2 to 3 percent of your wedding budget on wedding bands (you might not even spend close to that much, but you’ll be so happy you planned ahead in case).

Typically, and unsurprisingly, the simpler your wedding ring, the more affordable it’ll be. Buying an ornately designed platinum band or wedding ring with diamonds could cost anywhere from $600 to several thousand dollars. On the other hand, a simple tungsten carbide wedding band could cost around $200, depending on the jeweler and ring quality. Getting your bands engraved? This sentimental addition will up your bill.

As for who pays for the rings, couples tend take one of three routes: each partner buys their own, each partner pays for the other’s, or the groom picks up the tab for both. Do what works for you two and your wallets. When you’re ready to find a wedding ring, check out these unique men's wedding bands you’ll actually want to wear every day.