Rings play a central role in wedding services and symbolise partners’ love for one another. They represent the commitment required to sustain a relationship and embody the vows couples make to each other on their wedding day. They can also be spectacular pieces of jewellery that truly take the breath away.
This article looks at an increasingly popular phenomenon – custom wedding ring design. Designing a wedding ring allows you to create a one-of-a-kind testament to your love and affection. It is not always easy. But it usually yields spectacular results. This comprehensive guide walks you through the process by providing information on why you may want to design a wedding ring, how to do so, and what you need to consider beforehand.
Marriage is arguably the most important commitment a person will make in their lifetime. And the wedding ring is the most prominent symbol of that commitment. While many people are content to recognise that commitment with a regular wedding ring, others celebrate the special nature of the occasion by commissioning a custom wedding ring.
Of course, both approaches are equally valid. Which you choose will largely depend on your tastes, preferences and desires. However, there are several benefits associated with custom ring designs.
Each relationship is unique, and every marriage represents a one-of-a-kind connection between two people. What better way to celebrate this fact than designing a one-of-a-kind ring? Jewellery is often endowed with extra significance and value when it is completely original. And rings are no different. A custom design is truly something special.
As we already mentioned, marriage expresses a significant personal connection. Custom rings reflect the unique nature of this connection, enshrining it in a personalised design that will mean a lot to both the person giving the ring and the person receiving it.
While everyone values their wedding ring, whether it is a custom design or not, the sense of attachment is amplified when your partner has put considerable time, effort and thought into creating a ring that means something special to you both.
More practically, custom designs give you a way to realise your ideal ring. Something that appeals to you on an aesthetic level. Think other rings are too bulky? Can’t find a ring that features the stone you love? Want a particular engraving? A custom ring design is the answer. You can personalise them in endless ways, creating something that meets your needs and personal tastes.
Custom wedding ring design can be a time-intensive process. Do not leave it too late and introduce unnecessary stress into the process. The exact time it will take largely depends on the designer and the complexity of the design. It can range from anywhere between a couple of weeks to several months. With this in mind, we recommend giving yourself plenty of time.
In the current post-COVID economic climate, you must also be aware of material shortages and backlogs. A lot of this comes down to luck. You never know when particular materials will suddenly become hard to source due to supply chain problems. And anticipating how busy a designer will be at any given time is a tricky business.
How long is a piece of string? The cost of custom rings varies significantly depending on several factors. These include the designer’s skill and reputation, the materials used and the work required to realise the design. Complex rings cost more to produce, as do rings that utilise rare or costly materials, such as precious stones.
When it comes to pricing, most custom ring designers will be completely transparent. If your designer is vague about the costs involved or cannot explain how they have reached a certain sum, it might be a good idea to seek a second opinion. Designers will also often work to your budget, suggesting cost-effective alternatives if your chosen materials or design pushes the total cost beyond your budget.
Finding a wedding ring designer that can create your dream design is half the challenge. You want to work with someone as excited about the project as you are and will strive to realise your vision as closely as possible. Take your time, do your research and talk to designers before making a decision.
Generally, people work with designers in one of two ways. Either you know exactly what you want for your custom design and arrive with a fully-formed concept, or you collaborate with the designer to create a ring that meets your requirements. Both approaches will require a bit of back and forth to get things right. But the second will demand closer communication and more of a time investment on your behalf.
To ensure you make the right decision, check out the designer’s portfolio or ask for examples of their previous work. If you want a specific style, search for a designer who specialises in that area or has considerable experience creating similar designs. Reviews are another great way to vet designers. Some designers have professional qualifications. Many do not. It is up to you how much weight you attribute qualifications.
Finally, you must trust your designer and believe you will enjoy working with them through the design process. Creating a custom ring is a fun and exciting experience. You want to associate the ring with positive thoughts and memories and end up with an incredible design that embodies the love and care you put into it.
Though it may not seem it, this is arguably the most crucial stage of the design process. It is where you form the key ideas that determine how your ring looks. Do not rush your research, and make sure you look at a wide range of designs. Try rings on for size, feel and how they look on your hand. This part of the process can be a lot of fun, so enjoy it!
Part of your research will include finding the right designer for your ring. We have discussed that process at length, so we do not need to cover it again. Once you conduct your research and form a basic idea of what type of design you are looking for, we recommend speaking to your designer. They will tell you whether your design is feasible and highlight potential hurdles, challenges and obstacles.
Speak to the designer early in the process. You do not want to invest considerable time and effort in designing a wedding ring far beyond your budget or entirely impractical. You can also bounce ideas off the designer and get their feedback, allowing you to refine the design with the help of an experienced professional.
Now you get into the details. Gemstones are often the centrepiece of a design and come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some rings incorporate multiple stones, while others feature a single stone. Many people designing a wedding ring immediately commit to diamonds, but you should not restrict yourself unnecessarily. Jade, pearl, sapphire and amethyst are all popular options, too.
We recommend heading down to a jeweller to look at what stones are available. Getting a good idea of how gemstones look on the finger is hard without seeing them in person. Ultimately, your decision will come down to a few key factors. These include the size, shape, shine, colour, quality and cost of the stone.
The ring band is often overlooked but is just as important as the stone. We wear wedding rings almost constantly, so comfort is essential. However, it is not all about feel. The way the band complements the stone or other details contributes to the overall look of the ring. The right band also helps key embellishments stand out.
The main decision you have to make concerns the band material. The material you choose impacts colour, comfort and durability, so think carefully about what works best for you. Popular metals include gold, rose gold, silver, titanium, platinum and tungsten.
Engravings add a personal touch that contributes to a unique design. Whether it is a short message, an important date or a name, an engraving is the perfect way to express your love. While most people choose to engrave the interior of the ring (particularly if the design features a stone), engravings on the exterior are a beautiful alternative to other forms of embellishment.
Having considered the design’s main aspects, it is time to take your choices to the designer and request initial sketches. These will give you an idea of what the ring will look like when finished and whether your imagined design matches what you can achieve in reality.
This stage may involve a fair amount of discussion and collaboration with the designer, so do not be afraid to speak your mind, give your opinion and request changes. You want everything to be right before they start working on the ring.
The final stage before the work begins is establishing your budget and timeframe. You should have already spoken about these two factors and have a general idea of where you stand. However, it is always a good idea to firm things up and discuss the cost and timeframe specifically. At this stage, we do not want any unfortunate surprises, so make sure you are happy with the price and delivery date before you give the go-ahead.
Modifying an existing band is a popular alternative to designing a wedding ring from scratch. This is an excellent option if you own a ring with considerable sentimental value (maybe it was passed down through the family) and you would like to make a few changes to the design. There are several advantages and disadvantages to this approach.
Though it is fantastic if your ring is perfectly sized when you first slip it on, it does not always work like that. Sometimes rings require resizing to ensure maximum comfort and accommodate the changes our bodies go through. Anyone whose hands swell up a little in warm weather knows it can affect how rings feel.
Most designers will be happy to resize the ring and make adjustments for you if necessary. Do not worry if the ring is not the ideal fit the first time you try it on. While you should do everything in your power to ensure you get the right size, it is not uncommon to need to make alterations. Wear the ring for a while (as long as it is safe to do so and you will not lose it), see how it feels and then go and talk to your designer.
Once you have created your perfect custom wedding ring, you should ensure you are covered for loss, theft or damage. TH March is one of the UK’s leading jewellery insurance specialists, having provided protection against unforeseen events since 1887. Boasting a hassle-free claims process and worldwide cover, they ensure your investment is safe and secure. Get in touch today to protect your precious wedding ring.