5 Engagement/Wedding Ring Alternatives

Not into the traditional wedding hardware? Have no fear — you've got options.

Okay, so you and your partner have decided it's time to make a lifelong commitment to one another. Congratulations! And while you're planning how best to commit — be it a huge wedding, a simple civil ceremony, a common law marriage, or something in between — the subject of how to show your commitment to the outside, everyday world will probably come up.

But maybe you're not so into the typical diamond engagement ring/matching wedding band situation? Here are 5 alternatives that will help the two of you dare to be different.


Nothing says "forever in love and committed" like body art that will literally last...forever. You could get a tat simulating a ring; a symbol (like a heart, aww); the date you met; the date you're getting married; the date you got engaged/decided to get married...the options are kind of endless here. Plus, tattoos are cool (not that I'm biased or anything; I only have two).

A "diamond" ring

Venessa Arizaga, a Brooklyn-based jewelry designer who just happens to be one of my favorites, makes this "diamond" varsity ring in both sterling silver and gold plated brass. It offers a play on the traditional and is a funky ring in its own right.

A Claddagh ring

Traditional in a different way, the Claddagh ring is an Irish ring that represents love, friendship, and loyalty. All things that are ideally present in the decision to make a lifelong commitment to another person. Sure, it may mean more to you if you have some Irish ancestry, but they're widespread enough now that you don't have to be a McSomething to rock one with pride.

A ring by any other stone... 

Closer to the classic diamond ring option, sure, but still different (and not potentially tinged with controversy). Go with an emerald, a sapphire, a ruby, topaz, what have you — go with a rainbow of all of them, even!

The naked finger

Maybe you don't need to show the outside world that you're committed to someone you love. Maybe just knowing, between the two of you (and whomever else you decide to tell), is enough. Simple, sure. Free, yes.

Ultimately, of course, you and your partner have to decide what's right for you — and you may pick something I haven't even thought of yet! Please let me know in the comments if you do. And go forth, enjoy your lifelong love. Cheers to you!