Shopping for wedding rings involves slightly more than picking out a strand of beads. I’ve made it easy and narrowed down the steps to choosing rings you love.

1) Choose Your Style

What’s Your Function

Since this is a ring you’ll wear every day, it must match your lifestyle. Super active? Work with your hands? Opt for a simple metal ring with rounded edges, appropriately named a “comfort fit,” instead of a wide detailed band or one with stones. If you have skin allergies to metal alloys (found in gold bands), you’ll need to invest in platinum, a pure, hypoallergenic metal.

Mix it Up

Freaking out because he likes yellow gold and you like platinum? Relax, there’s no rule that your bands have to match. What matters is that both of you have a ring you’ll enjoy wearing.

Test of Time

Wedding rings are not the accessory for paying homage to the fad gods. Make sure to select a classic style that won’t look dated decades down the road.

2) Examine Your Budget

Since metal selection is so closely tied to cost; you’ll need to examine your budget before you get too carried away with your preferences. These tips on how to save on wedding rings can help you keep costs down if you’re on a budget. Here is what you can typically expect to pay:

For a plain gold band – prices range from about $100-$200

For a simple platinum band – prices run between $400-$1000

For a band with diamonds – prices vary widely depending on the metal and quality of stones you choose, but the cost of an average diamond wedding band is about $1000.

Engraving can cost from $1 to $8 per character. Actual cost depends on the font and whether it’s engraved by hand or machine.

3) Start Browsing

Start your wedding ring search at least two months before your wedding day – and even earlier if you want a custom piece or engraving (which can take up to 1 month). Just like any other big ticket purchase, avoid the urge to buy the first thing you see; browsing is a vital part of the ring selection process. You can search hundreds of wedding rings and bands in our interactive photo gallery.

Source by Cori Russell