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Wedding Band Etiquette (refusing an heirloom?)

Discussion in 'Bride World Wide & Grooms Grooves' started by galeteia, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 21, 2008
    I need some advice.

    Near my workplace is a jewellery store that is closing down and liquidating their inventory. (75% off for most items) I dropped by to check out their wedding bands; thinking that I could get our bands for cheap and then tuck them away until the wedding, which is about five years off or so.

    Sure enough, my heart's desire for matching w-bands (classic yellow gold domed band) can be had for $80-09 dollars for mine and $100 for his. No way I'd find a deal like this outside a close out; I'm tempted to score them now and just sit on them. Trouble is, he's 1000+ miles away and I'll need him to get measured for ring size.

    Enter difficulty. My guy just hates, HATES, the thought of having to wear jewellery, even if it is a w-band. Like asking a cat to swim in deep water. Me bringing up the subject made him all dreary over the prospect that one day he will have to deal with the peeve of having something on his hands; he hates to even wear a watch.

    Then he emails me the next day telling me that his dad, out of the blue, offered him his great-grandfather's wedding ring, whom he was named after (they have an unusual name). My guy gets all excited at the prospect of inheriting his namesake's wedding ring. "Cool" and "appropriate" were the words he used "considering it's my namesake's and all" and he loves old things.

    My response: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I don't feel it's appropriate at all, but I'm struggling with feeling like a huge bridezilla. I do not like the thought of him using his heirloom ring at all.

    It's hard to explain my feelings exactly, but I feel like it should be "with this ring, I thee wed" and not "hey can I borrow that ring that already belongs to you for a second?" The ring should be a symbol of a new family being created between the husband and wife; that's why they each wear the ring their spouse gave them as a symbol of their marriage. That's how I feel about it, at least.

    If it was my great-grandfather's ring, I would feel differently, then it becomes a symbol of joining the two families together, not him bypassing a connection to me in favour of linking back to his own family.

    Am I making any sense? I feel like I am struggling with instinctive beliefs and not being able to intellectualize them particularly well.

    If it was both his great-grandfather and -grandmother's rings being offered I would accept because the matched set and the blessings that came with it were being passed down to us as a couple, or I give him a ring from my family history and he gives me a ring from his, but this feels like it is a connection being made back into his own family history that might as well have nothing to do with me at all. And it will make our wedding rings unconnected to one another. I will not be wearing my e-ring with my band, I prefer the look of the band by itself on the hand and being identical to the spouse's, being less a fashion statement than a clear statement of marriage.

    I prefer the idea of a pair of matched rings being newly minted to celebrate a new beginning. Am I being being a jerk for being less than thrilled about all this?[​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  2. neatfreak
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    by neatfreak » Apr 21, 2008
    You may not like what I have to say...but I think you are being a bit bridezilla-ish. If he loves the ring let him wear it! I am SURE that you wouldn''t want him telling YOU what ring to wear for the rest of your life, so you should give him the same courtesy.

    Just my .02.
     
  3. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 21, 2008
    Well, I am acknowledging that possibility. However I did ask him if wearing this ring would get him past his aversion to wearing rings at all, and he said no, but the best thing about it was "it's free". Which made me laugh a bit; we're extremely frugal people.

    Edited to add: he's never seen it, it will have to re-sized, and we have no idea how good a shape it's in.
     
  4. SarahLovesJS
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    by SarahLovesJS » Apr 21, 2008
    Hmmm...I understand what you''re saying, and I understand preferring the separately matched rings. On a side note, why don''t you go ahead and buy the rings (get him to go to a store and get sized) and sell them if you have to? You''ll way more than make your money back with the way the gold market is. I think considering how opposed he is to wearing jewelry to begin with, you should probably be excited he will wear a wedding band at all. [​IMG] I say, proposing buying the rings and if he doesn''t like it selling it. Your band should be what you like and his band should be what he likes. Yes, you''re joining families, but it''s also about compromise. That''ll be the rest of your life, too!
     
  5. Gwyn
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    by Gwyn » Apr 21, 2008
    Well what does the ring look like? How do you know that you cannot find something similar (or get something similar made)

    I have to agree that you probably need to let this go. I mean, even if it comes from his side he will still be wearing it b/c he wed YOU not them :))
     
  6. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 21, 2008
    We know that it''s ''gold'', which we are guessing means ''yellow gold'' but that''s about it. I''m going to hope his great-grandfather''s ring is in better shape than my grandmother''s; gold seems to wear away over time which makes me worry about how well it''s going to stand up to being sized.
     
  7. mimzy
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    by mimzy » Apr 21, 2008
    i sort of ditto neatfreak. and i know that my stepdad wears his late father''s wedding band as his own and it means the world to him. i can''t see many good reasons to deny a man that....and i have to say that i wouldn''t say that yours really qualify[​IMG]. (sorry hope that wasn''t mean sounding!)

    i agree with saralovesjs - buy the rings, and then sell them if you have to, but let him make his own decision about it. i know swallowing a pill the shape of letting a desire like matching bands go might be hard, but you might have to just suck it up
     
  8. FrekeChild
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    by FrekeChild » Apr 21, 2008
    Eh. My mom has two wedding rings. They both have silver/turquoise rings (my dad wears his) and my mom has a engraved gold wedding band. I say buy them anyway, and figure it out later.

    I totally understand what you''re saying though.
     
  9. swingirl
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    by swingirl » Apr 21, 2008
    Oh, I love the idea of anyone wearing a family heirloom. Especially if it can bring a jewelry-hating man to wear a ring. I think the problem you are having is that you feel left out of the picking-out-together part.

    But, honestly, even thinking about picking out rings 5 years in advance seems a bit odd. Your taste may change, your finances may change, your finger size...

    It doesn''t seem like saving a couple hundred dollars is worth it at this point.
     
  10. Selkie
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    by Selkie » Apr 21, 2008
    My brother is wearing our grandfather''s wedding band as his now. I don''t see it as much different than a woman getting an engagement ring that''s been handed down in her family. It''s an inanimate object, you can instill it with whatever meaning you want to. If it has more intrinsic meaning to him than a couple of rings you happen to buy because they''re on discount, then why begrudge him that? Doesn''t change his feelings for you, or the act of creating a new family with you. The heirloom ring would most likely need to be resized, so if he really likes it and wants to use it, why not also get it engraved with YOUR initials or a sentiment that has meaning to you? That would personalize it to both of you.
     
  11. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 21, 2008
    If you have any ideas on a way to get him into a jewellery store or counter (for sizing) that doesn''t involve a crowbar and some vaseline on the doorjambs to keep him from getting a good grip on ''em, let me know.[​IMG]

    Possible a team of wild horses may do the trick ... I think part of the appeal of his g-g-daddy''s ring is that he can put off getting sized for a few years.

    Buying the rings and getting it all sorted out later is a good idea, but I am leery of making him think I''m secretly hoping he''ll come around. I also don''t want to pressure him into going with my preference to make me happy; on the other hand I can''t get a sense of his true feelings because every time rings are brought up he goes into a dreading-the-day-he-has-to-wear-it funk.

    I also appreciate the reassurances that what I''m feeling is understandable, thanks Saraj and Freke!
     
  12. sunnygirl
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    by sunnygirl » Apr 21, 2008
    I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but I think if he is excited about it then that is enough reason to let him wear the ring. I don''t know about your FI but mine doesn''t get excited about much of this wedding stuff so when he does, I let him go for it! You said the best thing about it to him is that it is free but you also said he is excited that it was his namesake''s ring. I feel like family connections mean more than matching rings and he might be upset if you tell him he can''t wear it for that reason. Good luck!
     
  13. NewEnglandLady
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    by NewEnglandLady » Apr 21, 2008
    This is my question: if you're JUST going to be using a ring for the ceremony and he won't be wearing a ring after that, then does it really matter? You may as well use the band he loves.

    DH hates jewelry as well and I was just going to buy him a silver band for the ceremony--no use in buying any band, even if it's only $100 (I am frugal, too) if he didn't want to wear a ring. And I certainly wasn't going to make him.. Naturally, three weeks before the wedding he decided he wanted a platinum band to match mine. Now he loves his ring, but I definitely wouldn't have bought it if he wasn't going to wear it.
     
  14. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » Apr 21, 2008
    I''d let him accept this band. It''s a family heirloom, get it polished, have it engraved with what''s meaningful to you as a couple. I think it''s nice he wants to wear it. I wouldn''t put up a fight over this.....[​IMG]

    My husband refused to wear a wedding ring. If a family heirloom came along, I would have embraced it. 21 years later, it still bothers me like an itch I can''t scratch. But have let it go. [​IMG] His father never wore one, my Dad didn''t. We live in an area where most men don''t wear them. But gosh darn it, I wanted to break that trend. I got a hell no to that, early on. LOL!!!

    So good luck, hoping it all works out for you and for HIM. [​IMG]
     
  15. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 21, 2008

    No, he'll be wearing it permanently after the ceremony; he'll probably take it off for heavy work and handling raw meat like I do, but otherwise it stays on 24/7.

    And it would not be appropriate for me to have anything engraved into the band or modify it in any way.
     
  16. neatfreak
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    by neatfreak » Apr 21, 2008
    If he isn''t going to wear it anyway, why do you care about which ring he has? I don''t mean to be mean, but it does seem like something silly to worry about 5 YEARS before you even need to wear the rings. And somewhat selfish to force him into buying a matching ring just because you want him to. I would think about it before forcing the issue any more, and certainly at LEAST see the ring! I have 2 of my grandmothers'' wedding rings (one is my great grandmother) and they are in beautiful condition even though they were worn everyday. So give it a chance first...maybe it is gorgeous!

    A lot can happen in 5 years, so personally I would wait anyway...but that is just me.
     
  17. NewEnglandLady
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    by NewEnglandLady » Apr 21, 2008
    It sounds like he really doesn''t want to wear one...if he''s wearing one to respect your wishes, then I''d definitely let him wear whatever he wants. If he feels forced to wear a ring and then ON TOP of that, feels forced to wear the ring that you want him to wear, the ring might be a symbol of resentment and not exaclty everlasting love, you know?
     
  18. swingirl
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    by swingirl » Apr 21, 2008
    What are you doing with those pretty bands you got on eBay? Were you able to get those sized and wearable? Are they for the engagement or promise?

    I just borrowed from a jewelry store plastic sizing rings. They don''t work as well as the metal ones because they aren''t smooth and slippery but they still work.
     
  19. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 21, 2008
    Well, we''re getting legally married in a few weeks, it''s the ceremonial marriage that will happen some 5 years down the road. So it''s not as haybrained an idea to get the bands now as it might otherwise be.

    I would never force him into doing anything; that''s not how our relationship works. I may be the proactive one but no one forces my FF into doing something he doesn''t want to do. Luckily he''s even-tempered and loves logic so it''s hard to run afoul of his stubborness.

    I do not have the option of waiting to see the ring before I talk to him again. The store will close at the end of this month, before I move down to where he is; Christmas would be the first chance we might have to see it.

    He is going to wear it because we both feel it''s appropriate and traditional in our families to do so. He has other traditional feelings about rings, including e-rings being ''the one'' and not ''the one for now''. He''s just grumping at the prospect of having to get used to something on his finger.

    What do people think of him getting married with the heirloom but having a plain matching band for everyday wear? That way, the heirloom won''t be exposed to constant wear and will be better preserved, and he can wear it for special occasions where he''s likely to share the meaning behind the ring (i.e. family functions, etc.)

    Swingirl, the bands off ebay are gorgeous and were successfully sized and the workmanship was impeccable. My best friend has stated that she wished she''d found them first (half-serious only, she wants WG not two tone) and grabbed my hand at a restaurant and shoved it under her FI''s nose, stating "THIS is what I want, honey. In white gold, with surprise diamonds in the florals, but THIS." Apparently they''re going to be dragging me into the goldsmith''s at some point so he can take reference photos. Good thing I''m not territorial!

    My female coworkers do swoop-bys to coo over it on a regular basis. It is a promise ring and not an e-ring, but I love it and never thought a .25 pointer would work so well on my hand. I love going to the movies because the thing throws off fire in the theatre; I spend half the movie getting distracted by my sparklie. If I''m going to do something that could damage it (work out, building things) I''ll wear the matching band instead so won''t have a naked finger but don''t risk the diamond. I love that it clearly isn''t a traditional set and I doubt anyone would recognize the band alone as a w-band because it looks so unique.
     
  20. rms
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by rms » Apr 21, 2008
    I have 2 wedding rings...my mother''s ring which is a gold band which I used for our civil ceremony, and then my 2 wedding bands that match my e-ring which I used for our church ceremony...so actually that makes 3 wedding bands. So I am all for having more than 1 ring if that works for you.
     
  21. Sabine
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    by Sabine » Apr 22, 2008
    Just throwing out another thing to consider...especially if you don''t buy these rings...even if you and FF get matching yellow gold bands, they aren''t going to be created together from the same gold, they might not even be made by the same company or found in the same store. I totally get wanting your rings to have sentimental value, but I think you can find a ring to match the heirloom and it will become special because you make it special by giving it to him. Maybe it would make you feel better if the ring was passed down TO YOU to GIVE to him?
     
  22. bee*
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    by bee* » Apr 22, 2008
    I think that if he''s happier wearing this ring then let him. D and I aren''t going to be having matching rings-he wants to pick out his separately. I don''t mind what he wears so long as he likes it.
     
  23. D2B
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    by D2B » Apr 22, 2008
    I am sorry, but let it go. he is excited about wearing a family heirloom, it seems really unfair and somehow not in the spirit of goodwill to deny him this. it will be your wedding ring iykwim. Just imagine if the situation was reversed and you wanted to wear a family heirloom wedding ring and your FI said no.

    enjoy the wedding and enjoy your rings.
    good luck
    D2B
     
  24. brazen_irish_hussy
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    by brazen_irish_hussy » Apr 22, 2008
    You are being unreasonable.
    Is what''s bothering you that your FI was willing and excited to wear a band for a dead relative and not for you?
    I think heirloom bands are better. They have a history and have far more meaning in my mind. My dad''s ring has nothing to do with my mom, he had it made from his mom''s wedding ring. My mom thinks that makes it more special because he has a connection to the actually material he would never have with another ring.
     
  25. surfgirl
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    by surfgirl » Apr 22, 2008
    Word! And Ditto. You''re trying to control too much here and if he wasn''t excited to wear a ring but he will be now, with a family heirloom no less, why not embrace it? Let it go.
     
  26. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 22, 2008
    Talked with my guy and am feeling much relieved.

    He sent me a very sweet email that said he is going to love what it represents regardless of the physical discomfort and not to spend another moment worrying about it, and that his primary reason for liking the ring was that it''s free!

    I think I will go ahead and get the rings made now and accept the offer from his family; we can get married with his namesake''s band and he can have an everyday ring to wear that he doesn''t have to worry about damaging. I think having to treat his ring with kid gloves would just push him over the edge.[​IMG]
     
  27. HollyS
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    by HollyS » Apr 22, 2008
    So ..... this is what I would do if he really wants his grandfather''s ring.....

    Ahead of the time he would wear it, have him try it on to determine if resizing is necessary. Look carefully at the condition; would he prefer an ''older well-loved'' look or would he consider having it polished up and looking spiffy? Does it have anything engraved on the inside? If not, could you add your own inscription? If it does have one, will an additional inscription fit? This would make the ring really belong to the two of you, as well as being an important heirloom for your hubby to be.

    We have friends who were married in December 07. They had both been down that aisle before with someone else. When it came to rings, they were offered her mother''s and father''s rings to use as their own. (Her father had passed away, but her mother is still alive.) They decided that would be a lovely way to remember her dad, have a connection to her parent''s long and happy marriage, and have a wedding set with a tremendous amount of meaning and symbolism. They told the story of the rings in their wedding program so that everyone in attendance knew how much the rings meant to them.
     
  28. galeteia
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    by galeteia » Apr 22, 2008
    It appears his interest in his grandfather''s ring is not as sentimental as I originally thought, and he''s said it''s a non-issue for him. He also told me I can stop mistaking his apathy towards jewellery as being in a funk at the thought of wearing a ring, which is a relief. Because of the way he phrased his email, I was under the impression he was sentimentally attached to the idea of wearing his great-grandfather''s ring.

    He''s very apathetic about the colour, shape, polish, etc of the rings; he made it clear a long time ago that this ring business is in my hands. He''s happy that I have simple tastes and prefer the plain, comfort-style bands.

    If we were in a position to get a wedding set I would not hesitate and be honoured that the symbolism of a successful marriage was being passed down to us as a couple.

    I probably would feel differently if I could have the ring engraved or modified to symbolize our life together, but it would be innapropriate to do so.

    I think I have found a nice compromise with having the 2 bands. That way he can carry on his normal activities without worrying about damaging his ring, and he has his heirloom band he can wear when he chooses and it won''t be at risk.
     
  29. Diamond*Dana
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    by Diamond*Dana » Apr 23, 2008
    [​IMG]
     
  30. anchor31
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    by anchor31 » Apr 23, 2008
    If he wants to wear the heirloom, then let him. It''s really not worth getting upset over...

    The way I see it, we always have two choices. You''re not 100% happy with your FH''s wedding band. So either you 1. choose to be upset about it and find 1000 reasons to justify it, or you 2. decide that what''s most important is that he''s happy, realize that it may not mean a lot to you but it does to him, and let it go.
     
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