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(No, not the music one… the one that goes on your finger!)

As part of a series of blogs, we’re going to be looking at different ways we can help our brides look their best and best prepare for their wedding day.  Anything we can do to help make the day a little bit easier!

I was lucky enough to sit down with Debbie McKernan, Jewellery Manager at Hamilton & Inches in Edinburgh to talk wedding bands, the options and what people getting married should be looking out for when choosing this symbol of never ending love.




I’m sure there are many things to look at when purchasing a wedding band, but what would you say is the most important?

The most important elements to consider when purchasing a wedding band are the materials and the design.  If there is an existing engagement ring, then matching the metal to the wedding band is imperative.  This allows equal distribution of any wear and tear as the metals will be the same strength and durability.

For the gentleman, again the material if often the most important consideration.  Platinum tends to be the most desirable metal for its strength and durability.  Having said this, Palladium is now becoming a second favourite due to it’s lower cost but retaining the elements of strength.   Many gents are unfamiliar with wearing jewellery so a “classic court” is a comfortable option as it is rounded both on the outside and the inside.



There are so many styles out there to choose from, is it better to go trendy or classic?


You have to think of the longevity of the style when choosing a wedding band so I really think that the design is best kept simple and classic.  The classic elements of the style are important as you still need to love it 30 or 40 years down the line – remember, this ring is for life, not just for the wedding!   Often, women are dictated to by the style of their engagement ring so the band should compliment the engagement ring but not overshadow it.  Trendy may seem an option at the time but a classic design with an area of interest, like a sprinkling of diamonds, in my opinion is the best option.




Let’s say that the bride’s engagement ring is platinum but the groom really doesn’t suit it – he looks better in rose gold.  Do the bands have to match?


Not at all!   Traditionally partners’ rings were almost always matching but in today’s world, this is no longer the case.  It is all about finding the most comfortable rings that look good and suit the individual.    If you would like to add personal sentiment, a hand engraved inscription matching on both is a nice way to keep the rings “as one”.




So what are the metal options and why are they different?


Here at Hamilton & Inches we recommend either Platinum or 18ct gold but other cost effective options like palladium are quickly proving to be a really good alternative – especially for groom’s rings which tend to be heavier and therefore more expensive.  Wedding bands are most commonly available in 18ct yellow gold or platinum, but 18ct white gold, 18ct rose gold or palladium are usually options as well.  It depends on the style so it’s best to enquire when you are placing your order.





I understand what you’re saying about classic but diamonds are still a girl’s best friend…  What about diamond set wedding bands or even bands with coloured stones?


Traditionally, a  wedding band was always plain and it was the eternity band (presented on the birth of your first child) which was set with diamonds.  Today, it is often the wedding band that now has the sparkles!  This is usually the case as women are less likely to wear three rings on their left hand – they may even prefer to go for a right hand ring as their “eternity ring”.  So if you want your ring to have diamonds, then absolutely go for it, an additional touch of sparkle never goes a miss!   If your engagement ring is a coloured stone like a ruby or a sapphire (or even if it isn’t) you might even want to look into a wedding band that is alternately set with coloured stones and diamonds.  That’s something that is a bit different but still classic.




What about a more unusual or modern set engagement ring that doesn’t sit perfectly with a wedding band, what are the options there?


The vast majority of engagement rings these days are what we call “wed fit”,  when there is space for the wedding band to sit flush to the engagement ring.  However, there may be the odd design that shows a small gap due to the diamond sitting proud or having a more ornate mounting.  The old way was to combine it with a shaped wedding band but this often moved on the finger at a different rate to the engagement ring and in the end, didn’t look any better than having a band with a gap.

Now, I have to say that I would suggest just a plain, uncut band and live with the slight gap – this does not distract from the beauty of the engagement ring and still offers a traditional look.




Lastly, no one likes to feel rushed leading up the wedding  – when’s the best time to place your wedding band order?


Most classic wedding bands don’t take as long to order as people might think, but it’s always best to leave yourself some time to make sure the size can be adjusted properly.  We recommend placing your order around 3 months before the big day, that way you’ll have your rings well in advance of your wedding, but not long enough for them to be accidentally misplaced once you get them home!


Debbie’s fantastic window displays, talents and more of her friendly advice can be found at their Edinburgh showroom,  87 George Street, EH2 3EY or online, www.hamiltonandinches.com.


For full pricing information and more information about wedding bands or other wedding jewellery, please email Debbie on debbie.mckernan@hamiltonandinches.com.







All images © Morgan & Rose Photography 2014