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As anyone planning a wedding knows, it’s an exciting and hopeful time full of romance and fun but the major snag is getting caught up in every little detail along the way to wedded bliss. One big ticket and big stress item to knock off your list? Finding the perfect wedding ring to complete your bridal set. Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this tricky pair of rings, when to wear them, how to wear them, and how to pick the perfect wedding ring match for your engagement ring.

What is a Bridal Set?

(The Jane bridal set with engagement ring on top and wedding ring on bottom.)

If the term is new to you, a bridal set is the technical term for your engagement and wedding rings when worn together, in a set, as they will be after your wedding day. Sometimes this is referred to as a “wedding set” but this can alternatively mean your engagement ring and both you and your partner’s wedding bands, so make sure you’re speaking the same language as your jeweler when using these oft-interchangeable phrases.

What is the Difference Between an Engagement Ring, Wedding Ring, and Bridal set?

The engagement ring is the sparkler, typically (but not always) including a large diamond or gemstone center stone. A wedding ring, also known as a wedding band, is worn by both members of the couple and tend to be simpler and more streamlined in design than the engagement ring. The bridal set is the combination of the engagement ring and wedding ring worn together.

When Do You Wear Your Wedding Ring and Engagement Ring?

An engagement ring is made to be worn from the time of the proposal until the day of your wedding and beyond. It is the first piece of tangible evidence to show the world that you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. It serves as a promise of commitment. The wedding ring is added at the ceremony and represents the official bond of marriage (woo!), and is also worn for the rest of your life. Lots of people wear the two rings together as a bridal set starting at the ceremony, however everyone is unique. Some brides like the simplicity of wearing just the wedding band for post-ceremony everyday life, and some brides even opt for wearing just an engagement ring and never added a wedding band. It’s really up to you.

(The Janrace bridal set with kunzite engagement ring on top and ruby wedding ring on bottom.)

Do You Wear Your Engagement Ring on Your Wedding Day?

Assuming that your engagement ring is a showstopper and holds incredible sentimental value, there is a good chance you will want to it to be a part of your wedding day. And good news! You can absolutely do so (it is YOUR day after all). Generally, if you decide to wear your engagement ring during the ceremony, it’s worn on the ring finger of your right hand to make room on for your wedding band on your left hand, wedding ring finger.

Do You Wear Your Wedding Band on Top or Bottom?

After the wedding ceremony, most people wear the wedding ring closest in to the hand, and the engagement ring on top. This is said to be because the wedding ring is then closest to your heart. Some people wear the wedding ring on top at the ceremony because they’ve left their engagement ring on.

(The Valerie double band ruby engagement ring.)

To wrap it up: the most traditional meaning of a bridal set is a women’s engagement ring and wedding band worn together. As brides become less beholden to tradition and more into embracing their uniqueness, we’re seeing a lot more variation. Double band engagement rings guarantee you’re looking at at least three bands when you add a wedding ring. We also have brides that stack two wedding bands on either side of the engagement ring, for a more symmetrical stacked look. And still, there are brides that opt for engagement ring only or wedding ring only.

The truth is, no piece of jewelry is able to make you and your spouse any less or more married, that’s the job of a marriage license. So whether you live for some nice bling or if glittery jewelry really isn’t your preference, you have complete control on what you decide to be a symbol for your partnership. You may choose to have one ring play both parts of engagement ring and wedding band or you can opt to create that iconic two-ring stack. This pairing will never go out of style but there’s always room to put your own spin on it. And one last thing: think about what you’ll want in your wedding pictures. With the ubiquity of First Look photos, we see some couples regret that they weren’t wearing their wedding rings yet. Remember that you’re in control and you get to choose what’s on your finger.

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