If women can wear engagement rings to announce their status, why can’t men? Well, there really is no reason. Historically, the wearing of men’s engagement rings is more common in other countries. We expect the tradition to spread, however, as more U.S. couples prefer the man (or men, if the couple is same-gender) to wear evidence of their status and as society more readily accepts nontraditional relationships.
Why Would a Man Want to Wear an Engagement Ring?
Well, for all the same reasons a woman would want to…
It is a symbol of commitment. Like it or not, the presence or absence of a left-hand ring is a cultural cue as to whether that person is available for a more-than-just-friends relationship.
It is a visual representation of involvement in the process. For many, there are certain steps to ending up married: get engaged, set date, plan wedding, become wed. A ring represents the beginning of that journey.
Bling is fun. There is no reason the joy of showing off a ring and sharing stories behind it should be limited to the girls. Right?!
Unlike for women, there is no set “etiquette” involved with the wearing of engagement rings for men. So feel free to make up your own rules. Here are some ideas if you are planning to propose to your guy…
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Traditional Ring Approaches
- The most straightforward approach is to buy a classic, plain man’s wedding band as an engagement ring, for later use as the wedding ring.
- Propose with a narrow gold band, then replace it with a similar, but larger version during the ceremony.
- Take a cue from the women and have him emerge from the wedding ceremony with two rings on the left hand. Give one upon engagement, and add the second during wedding vows. Because bands come in a variety of widths, from around 2mm up to 9mm or so, the two combined need not be overwhelming.
- If you believe “diamond’s are a fiancée’s best friend,” regardless of gender, get him a inexpensive man’s diamond or CZ ring if your budget cannot bear the cost of a natural diamond. (The ring above is 18K gold over silver, with CZ.) Depending on the style, he can later wear it as a right hand ring or continue wearing it as a wedding ring after you are married.
Start Your Own Tradition
If none of the above appeal to you, know that any ring can serve as an engagement ring. You can keep it on the left hand upon marriage, switch it to the right, or simply convert it into a keepsake or heirloom for future generations.
- Purchase a tungsten, titanium, or other alternate-metal ring for wear during the engagement and opt for a gold wedding ring later. Or simply re-designate it as a wedding band at the ceremony.
- Choose a unique design, such as a fingerprint ring. Or buy a ring with a textured style as the engagement band and a shiny-finish version as the wedding band.
- Go with a gemstone fashion ring.
- Opt for symbols of commitment on the engagement ring, such as the trinity or Celtic knot.
- Consider rainbow rings if you are a gay couple and wish to convey it even when you are apart. These include one or more narrow strips of color in the design or have a more general, multi-color appearance.