We are so excited to bring you an eleven-part series of tips, trends and advice from wedding professionals ranging from photographers to pastry chefs to hairstylists. Here at Urbanity Studios we work with brides everyday on their wedding invitations and coordinating items, but we are usually working with them in the beginning of the wedding planning process. We wanted to talk to experts in the wedding industry and gather tips, and recommendations that would not only be insightful, but also helpful for brides. We also wanted to pick industry expert’s brains about past trends and upcoming trends with respect to their wedding niche. We hope you find these articles fun and inspirational for your upcoming wedding planning needs.
All About Wedding Rings
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Barbara Miller Baldwin at O.C. Tanner Jewelers and asking her about engagement ring trends, advice for couples purchasing wedding rings and other things to consider.
Engagement Ring Settings and Styles
The biggest trend that has been around for quite some time and continues to be strong are rings with Micro Pave and a Halo. The rings are absolutely stunning as you can see below.
Dream – Grace Collection, Exclusive to O.C. Tanner
White metal (white gold or platinum) reign supreme in trends but rose gold and yellow gold are slowly starting to emerge. Rose Gold is created by adding copper to gold. The outcome is beautiful and looks beautiful on certain skin tones.
The timeless, clean, classic look is still quite popular. Envision a simple band with a solitaire diamond.
Grace Collection - Exclusive to O.C.Tanner
A trend among second-time brides or older brides are bands with diamonds.
Paloma – Grace Collection, Exclusive to O.C. Tanner
Another emerging trend in antique-styled engagement rings that include hand engraving on the band itself or a beaded edge.
Amitie Collection – Sylvie Collection
A trend among active brides or brides who work with their hands i.e. a nurse, is a bezel-setting which encases or protects the diamond and is very durable.
Nova – Grace Collection, exclusive to O.C. Tanner
Diamond Shapes and Carat Trends
The average carat size for new couples is between .75-1 carat.Older brides and second-time brides tend to go larger, bolder, and on occasion utilize colored gems.
The most popular shape is still the round diamond. According to the Gemology Institute of America, the round cut has been around since the 1700s and the cut has been enhanced over the years to enhance the diamond’s fire and brilliance.
Round Cut -Photo Courtesy – I W Marks Jewelers
The cushion shape is becoming ever more popular. This shape was introduced in the mid 1700s and was very popular before the 20th century, according to the Gemology Institute of America. The shape consists of a square cut diamond with rounded corners.
Cushion Cut – Photo Courtesy – I W Marks Jewelers
The Ashoka diamond by William Goldberg is also gaining ground. It is a modified cushion cut that is rectangular in shape with rounded edges. It also contains 62 facets, whereas the brilliant round contains 57-58 facets. Ashoka literally means “power to remove sorrow” so couples not only like the meaning, but the elegant facets of the stone.
Ashoka Cut – Collette Ring – William Goldberg
Groom’s Wedding Band Trends
Mens wedding bands trends continue to maintain a simple, sleek band created out of Platinum, Yellow or White Gold. However, alternative metals continue to be popular, such as Tungsten, Stainless Steel and Titanium, due to the durability and economical cost. The downside to the alternative metals is that bands cannot be sized once created.
Styles of bands among younger grooms are mixed about half and half. Fifty percent opt for plain solid bands, and the other half select bands with some sort of decoration i.e. braiding, rope, etc. Older grooms opt for plain bands, but some select bands with diamonds.
Designing Your Ideal Wedding Ring
If you are looking to custom create a setting or utilize family jewels or metals, a custom design might be the best option for you. O.C. Tanner Jewelers offers a complimentary customization process that includes a meeting with a personal shopper to outline what you have in mind. Next, a graphic designer will create a 3-D model of your custom creation. Once you approve the 3-D artwork your ring will go into production and will be available to you within 3-4 weeks. The cost is for the time and materials used during production.
When asked about the most unusual custom ring she’s been a part of she described a bride who created a ring out of 3 Carat Tanzanite gemstone cut in a cushion shape and set with a halo of pave diamonds and split shank. Sounds absolutely stunning!
Advice for Ring Shopping Couples
Purchasing rings is a big investment so make sure you are purchasing from a reputable jeweler. Buying from someone in person gives you an outlet if you ever have problems or questions regarding your purchase. Avoid online retailers as you may not receive what you think you purchased.
Ask the jeweler to educate you on the ring you are interested in purchasing. Reputable jewelers are trained to educate you and answer any and all questions you may have.
Things to Consider Regarding Your Ring
Setting considerations – If you’re interested in a diamond band, where the diamonds wrap all the way around the ring, consider leaving a small portion of the ring without diamonds- this way the band can be re-sized in the future if needed.
Ring Care – Rings are not indestructible. To preserve the beauty of your ring, avoid wearing the ring in hot tubs or swimming pools as the chemicals can cause damage to the diamonds and metals. Avoid using harsh chemicals like Clorox while wearing your ring too. Don’t wear your ring all the time and avoid activities that could ruin your ring, such as weight lifting, gardening and cleaning. You should also have your ring checked every 6 months to ensure the prongs are straight and the diamonds haven’t become loose.
Ring Cleaning – One of the best solutions for cleaning your ring is a mild dish soap, a soft bristled tooth brush and hot water. You can also purchase jewelry cleaner from jewelers that is okay for your ring.
About Barbara Miller Baldwin
Barbara has been with O.C. Tanner Jewelers for 19 years and is extremely close to receiving her Graduate Gemology Degree, a prestigious accolade from the Gemologist Institute of America. O.C. Tanner Jewelers began in 1976 and has continued founder Obert C. Tanner’s vision today.