The difference between engagement ring and wedding band


The engagement ring comes first, the wedding band follows. But what’s the exact difference between those two?

The engagement ring comes first and the wedding band follows, right? But what’s the exact difference between those two?

  • They are given at a different time
  • They have a different meaning
  • They do not look the same
  • Traditionally, one is worn by the woman only while the other is worn by men and women

Meaning: engagement ring vs wedding band

In many cultures, an engagement ring is given to a woman upon the occasion of a proposal or soon after the couple has decided to become engaged. An engagement ring symbolizes the promise to marry each other. Thus, the engagement ring is the wedding band’s predecessor and is given first.

As for the wedding band, the exchanging of rings is for many the most beautiful moment of the wedding ceremony. The tradition’s origin is hard to trace. In many cultures and religions, the traditions of wearing (or not wearing) wedding bands differ, but their common meaning is the promise of eternal love and support. Hence, rings can of course also be exchanged, even if there is no religious ceremony!

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Typical design: engagement ring vs wedding band

Engagement rings are usually adorned with one or more diamonds or other gemstones, with one stone being the center focus of the ring. The best-known design is probably the solitaire: A silver-colored shank (made from silver or white gold) holds a single, sparkling, round diamond.

Yet, there are many engagement ring styles, which can make the choice overwhelming, especially when the engagement ring is bought secretly.

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Here are some typical engagement ring designs:

A wedding band is usually a much simpler ring, made of plain gold. In most cases, wedding rings don't feature any diamonds or gemstones, although Eternity rings - which are nothing but a wedding band covered in diamonds - are also a very popular choice for wedding rings amongst women.

Here are some typical plain or diamond-adorned wedding bands:

Who wears it? engagement ring vs wedding band

  • The engagement ring is worn by women only and is often bought secretly by the other partner.
  • Wedding bands are usually worn by both partners, are often chosen together as a couple, and usually have exactly the same style.