EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about wedding & engagement rings

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Yorkshire Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@youryorkshire.wedding

Vintage Meets Modern

Vintage Meets Modern

Q What should we look out for in the world of weddings in 2024?
A Michelle Nina Hanson says: As we anticipate 2024, wedding jewellery trends are set to blend classic elegance with modern innovation. A resurgence of vintage-inspired designs with intricate details and heirloom aesthetics take centre stage. Vintage gemstone cuts like cushion and emerald make a notable comeback, adding an element of nostalgia.

Personalised creations too gain popularity as couples seek to imbue their jewellery with sentimental value. The emphasis on sustainability and ethics drives a trend towards responsible practices, with couples choosing sustainable materials, ethically-sourced gemstones, and eco-friendly processes. The appeal of sustainable choices aligns with a desire for meaningful symbolism, each piece a testament to enduring love and a commitment to ethical values.

Customisation extends beyond engravings to include birthstones and entirely bespoke pieces, allowing you to weave personal narratives into your wedding adornments. In terms of metals, yellow gold's enduring appeal offers a warm and romantic alternative to traditional white gold. A mix of metals also becomes more prevalent, providing you with the opportunity to experiment with diverse textures and tones.

Michelle Nina Hanson, Lister Horsfall

Emerald cut

Emerald cut

Q My fiance proposed with a Haribo ring as he knows how fussy I am with jewellery. I have my heart set on an emerald engagement ring. What should we look out for when we go shopping?
A Claire Beatson says: Firstly, I do hope you enjoyed your Haribo ring... Secondly, an emerald is an excellent choice for the real deal!

Before you go shopping, you'll want to do some research on the four C's for emeralds (colour, clarity, cut and carat). The most important factor for emeralds specifically is the colour. If you're picking a pre-made ring you'll want to closely compare the emeralds they have, a deeper green hue with minimal hints of blue and yellow are seen as the most desirable and therefore most expensive. It comes down to personal taste on which one you pick but knowing this makes sure you get a good price!

Remember that emeralds are a relatively soft gemstone compared to others like diamonds or sapphires, so slight imperfections (known as inclusions) are to be expected. However, we think these markings only lend to the one-of-a-kind, vintage feel of these ethereal stones so they shouldn't put you off.

With that said, this softness does limit the style of cuts available. We generally recommend against pointed cuts like pear or marquise because the risk of damage is much higher with emeralds.

When it comes to the design, this is where you want to select or create something original to you and your partner. Research different styles online to get a feel for what you like and be sure to try on different styles in store to see what looks right on your hand. Do you want a simple solitaire where the emerald takes centre stage? Or would you prefer a halo to add some sparkle?

Lastly, you should always remember to ask your jeweller which country, organisation and mine the emerald originates from to ensure it's from an ethical mine (Brazil is our top choice for ethical emerald mining). Alternatively, you can always opt for a lab grown emerald instead which is considerably cheaper without compromising on quality or ethics. Lab grown emeralds actually tend to have a much higher clarity than natural emeralds due to the fact they have far less inclusions as a result of being grown in a lab.

As a final curveball, you might also want to look into green sapphires. They're more durable and come in a wider variety of cuts but finding one with the same deep green hue of an emerald can be tricky. Again, it all comes down to personal taste!

Claire Beatson, Nightingale

Rolling stones

Rolling stones

Q I want my wedding band to be a bit different, what stones would work well?
A Andrew Geoghegan says: First establish whether you're a 'hard wearer' of jewellery i.e., does your current jewellery exhibit signs of heavy wear and tear like indentations or scratches on the surface? The gentler you are with your jewellery, the more choice of stone type you have as you can consider the inclusion of softer stones in your ring like topaz, citrine and amethyst.

As wedding bands are usually worn every day and often come into repeated contact with a wide range of hard surfaces, my practical advice would be to lean towards stones of a durable nature. Diamonds, sapphires and rubies are usually safe bets and represent a wide choice in terms of stone colour. Sapphires and diamonds are available in a rainbow of colours − although you may need to re-mortgage your house for a sizeable blue diamond!

The choice of stone, the metal and even the style of the wedding ring is largely determined by your choice of engagement ring. The wedding band is there to complement the engagement ring, not outshine it. I'm not saying that the wedding band needs to mimic, match or even fit the engagement ring but there must be some sort of synergy between the two rings otherwise the finger can look like a very small car crash.

Select a piece that is timeless. The wedding ring is to be worn for decades so be cautious of a stone or style of the moment. Teal green sapphires may be all the rage today, but will you tire of it after 10 years?

Most important is to consider what the wedding ring symbolises for you. What story does it tell and how does it embody your relationship? The wedding ring is the symbol of a union, but every story of a union is different. Consider how, in some way, that story might be expressed in the design of your ring and if you can't find anything that you can relate to, engage a jeweller to realise your story in a bespoke design.

Whilst exploring the possibility of including stones in your wedding ring is a beautiful journey of discovery, remain open to the conclusion that the perfect ring for you and your engagement ring is one without stones! The Andrew Geoghegan Sunray is a perfect example of a wedding ring that's fundamentally different in approach and design from the engagement ring, yet the two come together to tell a story. When worn with a vintage cluster ring for example, it elevates and modernises without being fashionable and faddy.

Finally, the overall design of the wedding ring is the key consideration. If stones will feature isn't the starting point, more a question for the journey of discovering your perfect piece.

Andrew Geoghegan, Andrew Geoghegan

The right one for you

The right one for you

Q My husband has no idea what wedding band to go for. Please can you give me a lowdown of the basics we need to consider?
A Shannon Mugford says: When choosing a wedding band for the gentlemen, there's still so much to consider. Firstly, what area of work is he in? For instance, if he works in construction, it's best to go for a rounded profile, this way, it's less likely to get in the way. Always find a ring that works with your every day, a bulky ring won't be the ideal option if he's an active person, outside or inside of work.

Next it would be best if you thought about the aesthetics of the ring. Does he usually wear jewellery? If so, what's his preferred metal? What type of style does he have? Is it modern or alternative? Matching your ring up to his everyday look will only complement it.

Lastly, you have the practical elements of the wedding band. You should always opt for the most durable and hardwearing metal so that it lasts for years to come, even with everyday wear. We recommend platinum, a metal that's both strong and resistant to tarnishing.

Shannon Mugford, Joshua James

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