The bride and groom should choose the wedding rings well in advance to allow for alterations. The bride must choose a wedding band that looks good with the engagement ring; they are the most important pieces of jewellery she will wear. Nowadays it is usual for married men to wear a wedding ring, though it is certainly not compulsory.
The engagement and wedding rings should be made of the same metal, otherwise over time the stronger metal will wear away the weaker one.
Gold comes in a vast range of shades, tones and carats; white gold may 'yellow' over time and need to be re-plated every ten years.
Platinum is strong, durable and hypoallergenic. It will last longer than silver or white gold as the metal, when scratched, is just displaced rather than worn away. Platinum wedding rings also wear down into an attractive dull sheen.
There are three ring shapes to choose from: D (curved edge), Flat (straight edge) and Court (tapered edge).
The general rule for both men and women is the wider the hand, the thicker the band should be. Several rings should be tried on.
Many brides choose to wear a wedding ring with diamonds, an eternity ring, or a patterned/engraved ring, instead of a plain band.
Both the wedding rings and the engagement ring must be insured - jewellers' receipts should be kept in a safe place in case a claim has to be made.
On the wedding day, the bride wears her engagement ring on her right hand, so her finger is ready for the wedding ring. She then puts her engagement ring back on her left hand after the ceremony.