Jewelry Blog

Can You Use Your Engagement Rings as a Wedding Band?

Victorian Era Engagement Ring on Finger Without Wedding Band 12529

It goes without saying that there are many things to consider when planning an engagement or a wedding and just the rings are a world of their own. One of the most important considerations associated with the rings is the cost, which leads to the common question of whether you are able to use your engagement ring as a wedding band?

But first, let’s discuss what is an engagement ring.

What’s an Engagement Ring?

Victorian Era Diamond Engagement Ring on Finger

An engagement ring is a piece of jewelry that is worn on the finger, gifted to show intent to marry. Traditionally, the metal is comprised of platinum or gold and the center stone is a diamond.

The main difference between an engagement ring and a wedding ring is the following: you give the engagement ring to your significant other at the proposal, while the wedding rings are exchanged during the wedding ceremony. 

Traditionally, when a guy decides to propose, he buys an engagement ring and proposes with it. If the girl says “yes,” she starts wearing the ring from that moment on. It’s one way to show the world she’s promised to her fiancé. 

Some men don’t buy an engagement ring but give a family heirloom to their future wives. For example, it can be an antique engagement ring that belonged to their grandmother. These engagement rings have great sentimental value and can make a girl feel very welcome to the family. Others may just prefer to buy a vintage engagement ring from a vintage jewelry boutique.

Normally, girls are the only ones wearing an engagement ring. In most cases, men don’t wear them, but some might wish to do so. Jewelry stores offer engagement rings for men, too, but they’re usually different from the ones that the ladies wear. 

Male engagement rings are very similar to wedding rings. They come in a variety of colors, including rose gold, which has been quite popular lately. Engagement rings for males can also have diamond channels, finishes, and carved-in details in different textures.  

Can You Use the Engagement Ring as a Wedding Ring?

Diamond and Sapphire Wedding Ring on Fingers with Smaller Diamonds

If you’re still wondering if you can use the engagement ring for your wedding ceremony, the answer is yes. The only factor that should go into this decision is the couple’s personal preferences. There are no official rules. It’s your life to live. If you only want to wear the engagement ring, feel free to do so.

That being said, it is important to note that couples who are more traditional, tend to buy two rings – one for the engagement ring and one for the wedding (and, technically speaking, a third ring for the groom as well). 

Two-in-one bridal sets are also a good option. These sets consist of an engagement ring and a wedding ring put together, and they’re usually in the same color. These bridal sets are quite a popular choice nowadays. 

The bride’s ring doesn’t need to match the groom’s if they have different preferences in style and color.

We often get carried away with all those fancy enormous-sized diamond rings that celebrities typically get, but the reality is a bit different. The truth is, you can use any ring as an engagement ring – a small stone will do, or even a totally different kind of ring. 

It all depends on the bride and groom’s preferences – there isn’t a right or wrong answer. And there’s plenty to choose from on the market, from 4-carat diamond rings to incredible and rare Victorian Era ones. 

The Benefits of Having Only One Ring

Platinum Diamond Engagement Ring on Fingers without Wedding Band 12702

The downside of only one ring is obvious – a girl will usually prefer having two beautiful rings on her hand. However, using the engagement ring as a wedding ring does have its benefits. 

  1. If you’re only buying one ring, you could afford to splurge a bit more than if you were buying two. Instead of spending less on each ring separately, you can invest the ring part of the wedding budget into one perfect ring. 
  2. If the bride isn’t used to wearing rings, the engagement ring may feel a bit uncomfortable on her hand. It might take time, and it’s definitely easier to get used to one ring instead of two. 
  3. It’s not unheard of that a bride loses her ring. It may happen while she’s cleaning the house or swimming in the sea, or simply when she loses weight (and this happens a lot due to pre-nuptial stress). So, why worry about two rings when you can just worry about one?
  4. If the bride prefers wider rings, having an engagement ring and a wedding band may occupy too much space on her finger. But if you get one ring, no need to worry about that. 

These reasons aren’t overwhelming, but for some, they may be rather compelling.

Difference Between a Wedding Ring and Wedding Band 

Stacking Diamond and Yellow Diamond Wedding Bands

Actually, there is none. A wedding band is just another term for a wedding ring. It’s the ring both bride and groom exchange s at the wedding ceremony. These rings are symbols of love and unity, and they’re supposed to be closest to the heart. The terminology is interchangeable.

The bride will wear her engagement ring on top of the wedding ring. And maybe for some practical reasons, too – it’s more likely that she’s going to take off the engagement ring every now and then. 

There may be differences between the wedding rings for men and women. Men usually don’t like too many ornaments. Their rings are simple metal bands in most cases, sometimes with the wedding date engraved on the inside. Women may prefer a few more details on their rings, like a diamond channel set. They also look for wedding rings that match their engagement ring. 

On Which Hand Do You Wear the Engagement Ring? 

Engagement Ring with Double Halo on Left Hand
As shown in this picture, the engagement ring is worn on the left hand.

At the time of the proposal, the man places the engagement ring on the ring finger of his girl’s left hand. This may vary in different cultures, but it’s usually what the etiquette dictates.  

After the couple takes the plunge, the bride places the wedding ring first and the engagement ring on top of it. 

There may be questions about whether the bride should wear the ring during the wedding ceremony. Luckily, the bride gets to do whatever she feels is right, or whatever is more common in her culture. She can move the engagement ring to her right hand temporarily or leave it where it was and then switch the rings after the ceremony. 

As mentioned, some jewelry stores offer bridal sets, consisting of an engagement ring and a wedding band, so the groom can place the wedding ring first and then the engagement ring on the bride’s hand during the ceremony. That way, the bride doesn’t need to switch anything later. 

It’s All up to Your Preferences 

Engagement Ring with Sapphire Halo and Diamond Wedding Band

Whether the proposal happened out of the blue or the groom decided to be all traditional and ask the girl’s father for her hand, the question about the rings remains. Should you get both an engagement and a wedding ring? Can the engagement ring be used instead of a wedding band? 

It’s a good thing that there are no strict rules about it, and today, it all depends on what the future husband and wife want. You get to choose if you want the classic diamond engagement ring and a simple gold wedding band, a bridal set, matching wedding rings… or none of it. 

The commitment and love will always be in your heart, not your hand, anyway. 


About Benjamin Khordipour

Benjamin Khordipour is one of the jewelry researchers and gemologists at Estate Diamond Jewelry. He received his official gemological degrees from both the GIA and GUBELIN. He also regularly contributes to Business Insider, Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, and Brides Magazine. Benjamin was born in New York and joined Estate Diamond Jewelry in 2014. He is passionate about vintage jewelry and diamonds. This blog was built on his strong belief that jewelers have a responsibility to properly educate their customers. In 2019, Benjamin co-authored the book The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. His favorite vintage jewelry era is the Art Deco Era and his favorite type of stone is the Kashmir Sapphire. He also collects rare antique pins.