Ritual symbolism abounds in everything we do; this is particularly the case when an individual commits their love and devotion to another and offers a promise of marriage. The custom of offering and exchanging engagement rings and wedding bands is a time honored tradition rich in symbolism and meaning that has been carried on for centuries.
As time has changed so have consumer traditions and buying patterns. The rich tradition of exchanging vows as a symbol of love and devotion is still a traditional time honored ritual practiced in many cultures. Certain aspects of engagement and marriage have changed with time however. Whereas in times of old a couple might take several outings together in search of the perfect engagement rings or wedding bands, in modern times more and more couples are buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online.
Thanks to the internet and the resulting access to a global marketplace, couples are realizing they have more options available to them all from the comforts of their living room. Some couples are even going to the extreme, not only buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online, but also purchasing wedding gowns, flowers and even participating in virtual marriages.
How have these changes come about? What can today's modern couple expect when planning a walk down the aisle?
The Engagement Ring
The practice of a groom offering his bride to be an engagement ring as a promise of love and affection began nearly 2 centuries ago in the United States; many associate the giving of engagement rings with a need to express implied commitment and understanding forever. The term "A Diamond is Forever" was in fact used as a means of reinforcing the notion that an engagement ring is a commitment from one fiancé to another to live a life together in marital harmony forever. The phrase is also a popular advertising catch phrase that reinforces the notion that love and devotion are part of everyday symbolisms that require an outlet for expression.
The use of engagement rings as a token of love and affection is a norm that instilled in the hearts and minds of most people, in part due to heavy marketing and advertising from diamond ring and other jewelry manufacturers, and in part based on the needs of mankind to project symbolism into everyday living.
Once a couple has decided to walk down the aisle together, the next step is often purchasing wedding rings together. Because there are so many different kinds to choose from, it helps to know what distinguishes one wedding band from another. There are several tips that you can follow to ensure that you purchase wedding bands that suit your individual preferences and budget.
First and foremost consumers should keep in mind that it certainly pays to do their homework. The best advice for wedding ring shoppers is patience. Couples should take the time to shop around and look at several different wedding bands, and have in mind an idea of what exactly they are looking for. Far too often customers compromise because they feel they can't find exactly what they are looking for; chances are you can find what you are looking for at a reasonable price, if you give yourself plenty of time to research wedding rings thoroughly before purchasing.
An article in Today's Summer Bride in Summer of 1989 suggested that consumers be patient and shop wisely, but also have faith that they will find what they are looking for. The article was referring to purchase of a wedding gown, but buying wedding rings follows the same logic. You probably didn't bump into your partner overnight, and likewise you should expect it to take some time to find the perfect wedding rings as symbols of your love and devotion to one another.
Marriage represents a commitment and shared love between two people. Wedding ceremonies are often shrouded in symbolism, among the most significant of which is the exchange of wedding rings between husband and wife.
Buying Engagement Rings, Wedding Rings and Wedding Bands Online
Society is ever changing, and with the advent of technology and access to a global marketplace, more and more consumers are buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online rather than shopping for these ritual symbols of devotion in a traditional store. Buying online affords consumers the luxury of perusing the widest selection of rings available from the convenience of their home.
Some people have infused the process of buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online with romanticism. New rituals and traditions are being built in the face of modern technology. In fact, some couples are planning entire wedding ceremonies through their computers. A virtual ceremony can be broadcast to friends and family members the world over!
What advice can we offer the couple interested in shopping for wedding accessories online? Here are some suggestions for a successful venture:
- Keep an open mind. Know what type of engagement rings (diamond, gemstone, bands) or wedding rings you are looking for, but consider looking at many different varieties. You may change your mind about what type of ring best symbolizes your relationship and love.
- Make shopping online romantic! Place some candles around the computer, turn on your song and have some wine! Buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online can be just as fun and exciting as buying them in person... and even more fun when you create a loving and warm atmosphere.
- Be prepared to spend a fair amount of time perusing different styles and makes. There are an incredible variety of engagement rings and wedding bands available: titanium, platinum, white gold, traditional gold, silver, gemstone, diamond... the list goes on and on. Once you have reviewed a fair number of styles be sure to compile a list of your favorites to narrow down your search.
- Know your size! Nothing is more obnoxious than having to have a ring re-sized before you wear it. There are several websites that offer jewelry sizing online. Typically women wear between a size 5-9 and men between sizes 8-12. The average for men: a 10; the average for women: a 7.
A Symbol of Your Love and Devotion
Ritual symbols such as the exchange of engagement rings and wedding rings are time honored traditions that will likely continue through the next two centuries. Though the manner in which people shop and commit themselves to one another is changing, the time honored tradition of exchanging vows and bands as a symbol of love and devotion will not likely change in the near future.
Take advantage of modern technology, and consider buying engagement rings, wedding rings and wedding bands online. You'd be surprised the variety available, and pleasantly surprised by how exciting it can be shopping from the comforts of your living room, office, or bedroom...
Antigone Arthur is a successful freelance writer with 10 years of professional experience providing consumers with informative articles on such topics as engagement ring design, and diamond wedding rings.