Women's Diamond Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands on hands

Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Band

There is something magical about ring shopping. Gazing at diamonds makes life feel brighter, love deeper and commitment stronger. The ring process makes the entire wedding planning feel more real and exciting. However, as you're enjoying cloud nine, practical thoughts might sink into your orbit. Things like: what are the differences between engagement rings and wedding bands? Do I really need both on my big day? Let’s explore these questions and more! 

Key Differences Between Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

Engagement Ring
An engagement ring is traditionally given by one person to their partner during a marriage proposal. It typically features one, central diamond in various metal settings. A diamond engagement ring symbolizes the promise of marriage and is worn on the ring finger of the left hand. 

Wedding Band/Wedding Ring 
A wedding band is a ring exchanged between partners during the wedding ceremony. Wedding bands typically don’t have a central diamond and are instead made of solid metal or an eternity band with diamonds that go all the way (or half way) around the finger. A wedding band symbolizes the commitment and unity of marriage and is worn on the left hand ring finger, often alongside the engagement ring.

  • Engagement Ring = The Promise 
  • Wedding Band = The Commitment

Engagement Ring Design 

There are many different styles of engagement rings, but these are the top five most classic settings. However, custom engagement ring designs can combine many of these details in case your dream piece is in your head vs. listed below. 

Solitaire Rings: 
These rings feature a single stone situated in the center of a metal band. The minimalist design highlights the beauty and brilliance of the central stone, making it a timeless classic.

Pave Rings: 
These rings feature a single, central stone atop a band that has pave diamonds that go half or all the way around the band. The pave setting adds extra sparkle, enhancing the overall brilliance of the ring and making the central stone appear larger.

Halo Rings
These rings feature a ‘halo’ of diamonds that surround the center stone. There is also a ‘hidden halo’ option which is a circle of diamonds that are under the center stone. 

Bezel Setting:
These rings feature a thin layer of metal around a center stone in lieu of prongs. The bezel setting offers a sleek and modern look while providing enhanced protection for the gemstone, making it a durable and secure choice.

Three-Stone Rings: 
These rings feature a center stone flanked by side stones. The side stones can often represent the past, present, and future of the relationship, adding sentimental value to the design.

Wedding Band Design

A wedding band can truly be whatever ring you’d like to add to your finger on the big day.   These are a few classic examples.

Solid Gold Band
This kind of band - in yellow gold, white gold or rose gold - is popular for a reason. It pairs with anything/everything, is sophisticated yet subtle and is truly timeless. 

Eternity Band: 
This band features a row of diamonds that go all the way (or half way) around your finger. The diamonds are typically round, oval or emerald cuts. 

There are so many beautifully designed gold and diamond rings that might not fall into the ‘traditional realm of wedding bands’ but pair so well with (or without) an engagement ring. 

Do You Need Both an Engagement Ring and a Wedding Band?

No! There are no rules here, this is your personal preference and what your heart desires! Culturally, people tend to have both based on the moment in time and commitment to each other but there are so many ways to symbolize your union and eternal love! 

Check out the DRD client page for some gorgeous inspiration! 

Alternatives to Traditional Practices

One Love, One Band! 
Opt out of a single stone engagement ring! Some people choose a round diamond eternity wedding ring that serves as both their engagement ring and wedding band. Overtime, they add other rings to create a wedding ring stack!

Mix it up! 
Go with a different metal for your wedding band! We love how yellow and white gold look together — such a beautiful contrast! We also love how a thicker wedding band looks against a more delicate engagement ring band. 

Capture Color! 
Some choose a gemstone featuring a color vs. a classic white diamond for their engagement ring or wedding band. Think: sapphire, emerald, ruby…

How to Choose a Coordinated Set

  • Channel Your Inner Rebel! There are no rules when choosing an engagement and wedding ring set, let personal preference and style guide the way. 
  • If you want to coordinate in a matching sense, make sure that your wedding band is the same color/style as your engagement ring. 
  • For those who want to match, make sure your wedding band is the same width as your engagement ring’s band. 

Timing Your Purchases

Timing is super important. DRD recommends 3-4 months pre-proposal to design an engagement ring and 4-6 months before your wedding date for wedding band(s). 

That being said, we have in-stock options if you need something quick.

Budgeting for Both Rings

  • Most important: It’s essential that each client feels supported throughout the entire process, start to finish, regardless of budget.
  • DRD experts won’t present anything that’s extremely out of your price range. 
  • It’s a good idea to establish what your total budget is for both rings before you begin looking. 

Exploring DRD Bridal Collections

If you’re located near Chicago, head to the DRD showroom for a consultation to view the bridal collection in-person. 

If you’re not local, DRD experts are available via phone, email and face-time to show you options and discuss anything you’re not seeing online. 

DRD Standards: 


All DRD natural diamonds adhere to the gold standard of GIA grading, guaranteeing the best quality and authenticity in every stone.


Proudly based in the Windy City, DRD crafts and creates in their own factory, where hands-on dedication, attention to detail, and craftsmanship are central.


We take pride in crafting lasting jewelry with fine, ethically sourced materials, including conflict-free diamonds from carefully chosen suppliers.


Transparency and complete honesty is DRD’s core value. DRD clients know exactly what they are getting when it comes to quality and expert craftsmanship. 

If you have a clear vision of a ring that you'd like but have not seen it on our website, we love creating custom pieces! The DRD team of GIA certified specialists can bring your idea to life. 

Most important: enjoy the process - these are core memories!

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