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, but we expect the tradition to spread as more U.S. couples prefer the man–or men, if the couple is same-gender–to wear evidence of their status.
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…
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: one given upon engagement, with a second added 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 man’s diamond ring. 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. Upon marriage it can remain on the left hand, be switched to the right, or simply become 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 one with other 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.
- If you are a gay couple and wish to convey it even when you are apart, consider rainbow rings, which include one or more narrow strips of color in the design.