January 1, 2010

You are not Lord of the Rings. You aren't Lord of anything, really.

You may be the exception. You may be that groom who actually cares about wedding rings. If that's the case, you may not find this at all helpful. If you're the groom who has browsed, bookmarked and memorized New York Magazine's Who's Who of Manhattan Jewelers, then this post may not be for you.

Rather, this post is for those men who would consider purchasing their wedding band out of the back of a van before considering Van Cleef & Arpels.

"No, I like it, I do ... I just think it sends the wrong message..."

Gentlemen: Let's start simple.

You won't be buying your bands out of the back of a van
The fruit might be alright (edible, even), but you should accept the fact that this purchase will be made with a retailer. Of wedding bands. Not fruit.

Best supporting actor
The common misconception about wedding bands is that this is a dual decision. But like that other common misconception -- that your opinion matters -- this is simply untrue. Think of your band as the appetizer to her main course ... the Pluto to her Saturn ... the boutonniere to her bouquet. You will very likely choose your ring months before she decides on hers. And yes, you'll still be responsible for accompanying her even after you've made your decision. Bring a light sandwich and cue the moral support music.

Playing the field
2E's and I have visited two jewelers thus far: one in the hectic diamond district in Downtown LA, and another in a high-rise in Beverly Hills. In both instances, I made my selections quickly and easily, tapping the display case and saying,

"Um, I like the really plain one. No -- the even more plain one right next to -- Yes, that one."

Meanwhile, 2E's had pared them down to perhaps 5 or 6 top picks at both locations, all in a moderate price range. But it's no matter. We're currently on a break from the wedding band hunt. Things got awkward. Things were said that weren't ... well, we're moving past it.

Staying calm
Be prepared for the unfamiliar, gentlemen. Words will be tossed around -- words like "pavé" and "beveled" and "appraise" -- words that they've ripped straight from the pages of Jane Austen novels. You'll be asked to differentiate Tungsten and Platinum. Don't be fooled. They are EXACTLY the same. They may even ask if you know your ring size. For god's sake, you don't even know your shoe size.

The key is to stay calm. Squeeze your 2E's hand and she'll cover you. She'll cut in with, "He's probably an 8," or, "He may actually prefer the white gold."

And when she does, the best response (as always) is a nod, followed by a smile.


  1. Come on!? Surely if there's one thing that a betrothed man should care about it should be the ring? Fair enough flowers really aren't that exciting and colours can be dull. But the ring?!

    Maybe I am just being a little slow this morning?

  2. Touché, Anna. And it's true - there's some investment in something that I'll be wearing for the rest of my life.

    But we grooms (at least in this humble groom's opinion) care more about the symbol than the metal band. We'll gladly pay $500 for that symbol. We'll even get insurance on that symbol. But, ideally, we'd love to pick it out, put that symbol in a bag and get some lunch on the way home.

  3. I think my response didn't upload. Gah!

    Right, ok.

    Right back at ya! I totally agree, give things some thought, do it and then get on with the next thing! Sniper buying is fabulous. Lunch is also fabulous!

  4. Just stay away from evil rings with strange ancient Elvish writing on them. Remember what happened to those poor Hobbits.....

  5. Well the symbolism is going to be there no matter what. I figure that leaves you with picking something you'll always like and that can actually hold up for a lifetime.

    In terms of longevity, my hesitation with tungsten is that I've heard it isn't resizable. I don't know my ring size yet either, but I figure it's going to go up over the years in proportion with beer and cheeseburger intake. Platinum is pretty durable from what I gather and doesn't need replating like white gold. The stronger the metal and less maintenance it needs, the better I say.