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Traditional weddings and marriages are filled with a lot of…um…traditions.
But since we cater to alternative couples going for micro weddings and elopements (which are by definition non-traditional) then we damn well better be prepared to offer some marriage ritual advice perfect for the kind of people that choose to give the ring finger to traditions in the first place.
We say, if the ring fits, but you don’t want to wear it, then don’t wear it.
If you’re looking for the “OK” to put your ring on the holding dish and leave it there, or not buy one at all, then we give you the thumbs up as the authority on anti-traditions!
Many wedding and engagement rings contain nickel, which is used as an alloy to harden white gold and silver. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 10% of Americans are allergic to nickel.
You gotta take your health into consideration, first and foremost. While some skin irritation due to a nickel allergy won’t do as much long term bodily harm as a pack-a-day habit, it’s still reason enough to call it quits on the ring wearing.
If you want to wear your ring but your nickel allergy has become a deterrent, try getting a new band that’s nickel-free or applying a transparent nail polish or nickel guard to your existing band as a way of temporarily blocking the irritants.
Another health factor contributing to going ring-less is related to body weight. The human body is a living, breathing organism, while a ring is cold, stiff and hard, and if it’s built right, not supposed to change shape or size like people do.
If your ring has become too small or too big, it’s not because the ring changed, it’s because your finger did. Totally natural and happens all the time. Climate and temperature differences can cause issues. So can trying to wear a ring during pregnancy or while experiencing other weight changes over time.
Instead of constantly going to the jeweler to get the ring resized, some people just don’t wear it. As an alternative, they may choose to go with a necklace or another symbol of love. It’s up to you.
For some people, wearing a ring can flat out just give them the heebie-jeebies. Maybe it’s the material. Maybe it’s the thickness. Maybe it’s the way it feels. Maybe it hasn’t been broken in.
Any number of factors could be causing a case of the willies. If it feels weird just sliding the ring on your finger, you may want to find an alternative or make do without.
It’s alright if you just don’t like the way it feels. You’re not alone. Check out this subreddit of people dealing with sensory issues when it comes to rings and jewelry.
Some people just don’t like rings. They may think they are gaudy, or they don’t like the tradition and don’t want to participate. Still others don’t like being “branded.” If you’ve got nothing to prove to strangers or don’t care to wear your wealth on your finger, that’s totally alright. You do you! If wearing a ring makes you uncomfortable in any way, then don’t wear it. Haters gonna hate and you don’t gotta listen to the noise.
Needs Too Much Care
Having the question popped isn’t the only ring related surprise in store for the newly engaged. Sure, you’re awestruck by the sparkle and shine, but do you have any idea what it takes to keep it looking new? The ritual of caring for your gemstones and precious metals is another season some people choose not to wear one.
Dirt and oil buildup block the light interactions in a diamond or other stone, so if you don’t keep it clean it won’t sparkle. And if it doesn’t sparkle, then what’s the point?
Cleaning your ring isn’t a super labor-intensive process, but it does need to be done every few weeks. It’s easy to do with warm water, dish soap and a toothbrush, but do you really need another thing on your monthly to-do list that involves soap and a scrub brush?
No stone? That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Metal tarnishes over time due to dirt, oils and creams on your hands also. This is more true the less pure your metallic ring is. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure every time, so if you’re worried about your ring tarnishing, pay up and get one with a higher purity.
And if you go the ultrasonic cleaning route, are you prepared to deal with that awful noise? That’s a hard pass for some folks.
Fear of Loss
Engagement and wedding rings are often the most expensive pieces of jewelry people own. Sentimental attachment aside, if you’re going to park all that value in an item the size of soda cap, it’s understandable you might be scared about losing it.
Everyone loses big and small stuff all the time. Hell, the Titanic was lost for 73 years!
Rings do in fact get lost all the time; according to one survey, 4 out of 10 married men have lost their ring!
But if it happens to you, there are ways to recover or replace it. If you want a little peace of mind, insurance is the way to go. Jewelry insurance can offer unlucky ring-losers with replacements.
Many lost rings are found right where the owner knew it just had to be. A metal detector and a skilled operator can usually find it for you, if you know where to look. The Ring Finders is a network of professionals and hobbyists who want to help.
For minimal “call out fees” and the promise of a reward, these folks enjoy reuniting people with their lost rings.
But if you don’t want to go down that road, remember, you can’t lose a ring if you don’t take it out of the box to wear it. Just don’t lose your jewelry box!
In England and elsewhere in Europe, standard wedding and engagement rings are made with 18k gold, while in America, the favored purity for gold jewelry is 14k. Can you guess why?
It’s a lifestyle thing. On the continent, people are less likely to be engaged in manual labor than across the pond in the States. America was built by hard work, brute and brawn, and wearing a ring isn’t always compatible with blue collar work.
Remember this the next time the Frenchies make headlines for going on strike. (We love you, France! Keep sending us your croissants and champagne!)
If your day-to-day is spent using your hands, then wearing a ring might not be practical. Some employers may even forbid it.
If management doesn’t allow you to wear a ring it’s probably due to safety.
There are nearly as many reasons not to wear a wedding ring as there are diamonds in the Crown Jewels of England or the LA Rams Super Bowl championship ring. (It’s so big there’s a football stadium inside it!)
But if you’ve not totally given up on the idea yet, and aren’t so sure you want a traditional ring, then check out our guide to alternatives, like tattoos!
For couples with personality wanting an offbeat, boundary-pushing wedding, McKenzi Taylor is fast-becoming America’s go-to elopement and micro-wedding expert. Electric Sugar Elopements barged onto the scene in 2021, with the company drawing on McKenzi’s 15+ years as a wedding photographer, 5+ years as a successful wedding coordinator, and standing as a board member for the LV chapter of WIPA. Her ‘let’s do this differently’ attitude to weddings has helped over 700 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills, and has led to her being featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times.