Custom Wedding Rings: The Design Guide 2023
Designing a custom wedding band can be as rewarding as designing an engagement ring. But the way to think about a wedding ring is a little bit different.
And we get it. It can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. This article will make designing your custom wedding ring a whole lot easier!
TDLR / Summary
Wedding rings should be inspired by you and your partner, complement your engagement ring and match your skin undertone.
Many of our clients wear their wedding band everyday, but not their engagement ring. If this sounds like you, ensure to design a wedding band that looks great on its own, and with the engagement ring.
At Four Words we are experts in creating your dream ring. It starts off with an initial design consultation. We then send your sketches and designs for your feedback before creating your ring. Reach out if you are interested in designing your own custom wedding ring!
Your wedding ring should be inspired by you and your partner
Designing a wedding ring is an opportunity for both you and your partner to consider what is meaningful to both of you and incorporate it into your designs. It doesn’t need to be poetic — it can be as simple as both of you vibing with a design that you saw online, or having elements of the engagement ring in the wedding bands.
For example, one of our favourite designs used emerald stones and lab grown diamonds in asymmetrical ways to create a his and hers bridal set.
Your design should complement your engagement ring
One of the biggest mistakes we see some of our clients make (and we talk them out of) is thinking that they need to start the design process from scratch, especially if they have already got an engagement ring.
The best way to think about your wedding ring is to ensure that it at least complements your engagement ring. The worst thing that you can do is have your engagement ring clash with your wedding ring in terms of colour and design.
When creating a custom designed wedding ring, think about how it can fit with your engagement ring.
For example, if you have a large 1.5 carat diamond round solitaire engagement ring, then you could consider a diamond scallop set wedding band.
If you are lucky enough to design your wedding ring at the same time as your custom engagement ring, we highly recommend that you do so. This will ensure that your jeweller can design each ring so that they sit flush against each other. For example, we designed this 1.5 oval engagement ring and wedding band together.
But even if you don’t, and you have already got your engagement ring, make sure to show your jeweller so they can provide you some guidance on what you should and shouldn’t do in terms of design and colour. Craftsmanship will be key here and you won’t just be looking for your perfect ring, but a perfect ring set.
At Four Words, if you have already received your engagement ring and you are designing a wedding ring with us, we can take a 3D scan of your ring. We will then 3D print our CAD to ensure that your wedding band will set flush.
At Four Words we also recommend the following:
- Match your wedding ring colour with your engagement ring colour — unless you’re using diamonds on the band.
- If you have a large centre-stone engagement ring, either follow the shape (tiara) or go flush. Don’t try and get cute with interesting angles that make either of your rings jut out or seem out of place.
- If you have a smaller sized centre-stone engagement ring, consider a dainty or thin wedding band. It will be odd for your wedding band to be chunky compared to your engagement ring.
Your wedding band metal colour should match your skin undertone
If you are designing your custom engagement ring and wedding band at the same time, we highly recommend you choose your band colour based on your skin undertone.
You can tell your undertone by looking at your veins. If you have blue or purple coloured veins, then you have a cool undertone. If you have green or olive coloured veins, then you have a warm undertone. And if you have blue-green coloured veins, then you have a neutral undertone.
Warmer undertones tend to suit gold or rose gold coloured bands. Cooler undertones tend to suit silver coloured bands. Neutral undertones suit both gold and silver coloured bands.
In the image below, you can see me with a warm undertone wearing a gold and silver ring. The gold ring suits my undertone better than the silver.
The metal that you choose should be strong and durable
You want to choose a precious metal that is strong and doesn’t easily scratch. It is for this reason we recommend the following:
- For a yellow gold colour, we recommend 14K-18K gold. All our gold at Four Words is hypoallergenic which means that it won’t irritate your skin. We don’t recommend anything higher because the gold can be too soft which makes it easy to scratch.
- For rose gold, we recommend 14K gold. This will ensure you get the right colour and strength for your ring.
- For a silver colour, we recommend platinum or rhodium.
- We don’t recommend silver on its own because it can oxidise and it is too soft of a metal.
- We also typically don’t recommend white gold. This is because white gold is less durable because it is a softer metal alloy. It is more likely to tarnish and scratch and fade in colour. Typically you will also need to get your white gold re-plated every three or so years to keep its colour and finish.
Rhodium and Platinum are incredibly strong metals and it is really important to get your ring size right the first time. Resizing can be difficult especially if you have a migraine finish, or diamonds running down the band. In either of these cases, you may need to get your ring re-made.
Your wedding ring design should be able to stand on its own
Whatever gemstone you have decided to use in your engagement ring, bespoke or not, you want to ensure that your wedding ring can be worn every day.
Many of our clients at Four Words have come back years later to tell us that they wear the engagement ring when going out, and only wear their wedding band every day. We put this down to a few reasons:
- They want to keep their engagement ring safe.
- They are in jobs that could damage their engagement ring.
- Their engagement ring centre-stone sits high and often gets caught on clothing or other material.
Engagement rings should be an opportunity for you to get exactly what you want. When buying a wedding ring, we still believe you should get exactly what you want, but we recommend thinking about how your wedding ring will fit into your daily lifestyle.
This is why we recommend our clients to design a ring with a relatively lower profile (any gemstones are held closer to the ring itself) and is easy clean. For example, the wedding band in this set has bezels all around the diamonds. They are also small enough to not jut out and take away from the brilliance of the engagement ring.
We also tell our clients at Four Words to ensure that their wedding band is beautiful on its own — just in case they do decide to wear just their wedding band.
Another example is of this dainty diamond engagement ring and complementing wedding ring set. The wedding ring looks beautiful on its own, and with the engagement ring.
Wedding bands and diamonds: Yes or no?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on a lot of things like:
- The size and cut of your engagement ring centre-stone.
- The design of your engagement ring.
- If you are likely to wear your wedding ring on its own or not.
- If you are considering an eternity band.
If you are considering an eternity band, many couples decide on buying a wedding band that will suit all of their rings.
For example, we worked with a client that had a clear idea of what she wanted from all her rings. Her engagement ring was a blue emerald engagement ring with diamonds running half way down the engagement ring. The wedding ring is pointed and also has diamonds running down half way down the band. The eternity band (at the top) is a half scallop set.
At Four Words, we are seeing a lot more couples deciding on incorporating diamonds into their wedding band. But the designs are subtle and not too bling-y. For example, we are seeing a lot of designs that are scallop set like those below.
Channel settings are also becoming increasingly popular.
Wedding bands and coloured gemstones
We typically don’t see too many couples opt for coloured gemstones when it comes to their wedding bands, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t.
We have had couples that have used each other’s birthstones on the inside of their wedding bands. We think this is a great touch and can be a secret — or an amazing talking point.
Wedding bands and your budget
If you are thinking about buying a wedding ring, you are probably also thinking about planning your wedding and the expenses that come with that.
Wedding rings are typically much more cheaper than engagement rings. And the final price comes down to just a few things:
- The designer’s time (this is why we recommend getting it done while planning your engagement ring because you only pay once).
- The precious metal that you decide on.
- The price of any gemstones that you would like to use.
- The cost to set any gemstones
Wedding bands at Four Words typically start from $500 and they can go up to $3000.
Working with Four Words to create your wedding ring
You don’t need to have a clear idea of exactly what you want when working with Four Words. All the rings that we make are bespoke and we go through a tailored design process with you.
We try and get an understanding of the ring styles that you love and provide practical recommendations to get exactly what you want. We are also based in Auckland, New Zealand and you can make an appointment to visit us in our studio.
There are some things that you can do to make things easier for yourself:
- Save and send us photos of ring styles that you like. If you can explain why, that’s even better!
- Be honest about what you like and don’t like. This will definitely speed up the process and will make the job of our design consultant a lot easier.
- Check out our Instagram and TikTok for inspiration.
- Check out Pinterest. We can use a design that you love, remix it, or go through a design process from scratch.
Whatever stage that you are at, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter (at the bottom of this page) or to contact us and make an appointment.
What is the average price of a custom wedding ring?
At Four Words, couples typically spend between $1000 to $1800 on a custom wedding ring. Ultimately, the price will depend on the amount of precious metal, any gemstones and the complexity of making the ring.
What is the best place to get a custom wedding band in New Zealand?
There are a few places you should consider when getting a custom wedding band. Naveya & Sloane, Village Goldsmith and Four Words.
We recommend you consider asking about the following:
- Karat of gold that they use (Ideally 14K gold that is hypoallergenic)
- How much it costs to do a design
Can you get a wedding ring resized?
In most instances you can get a wedding ring resized. It becomes difficult when you have milgraine, diamonds running along the band or a two-toned material design.
How long does it take to make a custom wedding ring?
This depends on the jeweller that you use. At Four Words, the fastest we can get a ring to you is two weeks. Typically however, it takes between 4 - 6 weeks.
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