The etiquette for engagement rings is enshrined in tradition. For this reason, many people feel they need to check if something is “allowed” before they can go ahead. The good thing about traditions is that they can evolve and they can also be broken.
Just because something goes against tradition, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong, and this is certainly true when it comes to topics like engagement rings. Tradition tells us that the man gives an engagement ring to the woman when he asks for her hand in marriage, but this clearly doesn’t fit with modern relationships.
Same sex couples don’t fit in this tradition, so already we can see why traditions don’t always have to be followed. And with more women choosing to propose to their partners, it’s easy to see why this tradition might be on its way out. The good thing about tradition is that it is there to be broken.
Do guys wear a ring when they are engaged?
It’s not common for men to wear an engagement ring, but it is growing in popularity. Even if the man has proposed to his female partner, the couple might choose to then go out and purchase an engagement ring for the man so that he can also take part in this tradition.
Another situation where a man might wear an engagement ring includes same sex couples. In this scenario, the partner who proposes will buy a ring for their partner. If the proposal is accepted, they might then go out and purchase a second ring for the other partner.
While tradition might dictate that only the woman wears an engagement ring, there is nothing wrong with breaking with tradition and allowing the man to wear an engagement ring. In some cultures, both the man and the woman will wear an engagement ring before the wedding.
What percentage of men wear engagement rings?
According to a survey by The Knot, only around 5% of men will wear an engagement ring. So while it might not be very common, it’s certainly not unheard of. Some of the reasons a man might choose to wear an engagement ring include:
- Their partner was the one to propose, so they received the ring
- They are in a same sex couple or non-binary couple
- They want to break with tradition or start a new tradition
- They saw a ring they liked and wanted to wear it
- It is in their culture for men to wear an engagement ring too
- They want to show off that they are engaged too
Many men see the engagement ring as a symbol of devotion and they will also wear an engagement ring as they are excited to be married. In some cultures, including Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Sweden, it’s customary for both parties to wear an engagement ring.
Who usually buys the man's engagement ring?
Tradition states that you will buy each other your engagement rings, so the man’s engagement ring should be purchased by the woman in a heterosexual relationship. If the woman is breaking with tradition and proposing to the man, she might choose the ring in advance and then they will go shopping for her ring together. If the man proposes but he decides he would also like to wear a ring, the woman can then purchase this for him.
What does a man’s engagement ring look like?
Men’s engagement rings are typically more like a signet ring than a woman's engagement ring. They might be wider in design and feature stones set into the band, rather than a raised setting. Men commonly choose less conventional metals for their engagement rings, including materials like tungsten or cobalt chrome.
As men’s engagement rings grow in popularity, we can expect to see more options and designs available. There are also specialist rings available, such as silicone rings for those who are very active and want to be able to continue wearing their rings while they play sports. You can also find rings made from horn, bamboo or bone for a nature-inspired choice.
Since men’s engagement rings are less common than women’s engagement rings, it could actually be easier to select a men’s ring. This is simply because any ring worn on the left ring finger will be interpreted as an engagement ring. The engagement ring should be slightly more decorative or personalised so that it isn’t mistaken for a plain wedding band.
Do men wear an engagement ring and a wedding band?
Unlike with women, it’s more common for men to remove their engagement ring on their wedding day and replace this with their wedding band. They might choose to keep wearing their engagement ring on a different finger if they are very fond of the jewellery.
It’s less common for men to stack their engagement ring and their wedding band, as they are often a lot wider than women’s rings. If they have chosen narrow bands, they might choose to wear them together.
As it isn’t very traditional for men to wear an engagement ring, there are even fewer traditions to follow when it comes to pairing your wedding band with your engagement ring. For this reason, you can do whatever feels right to you.
In some cultures, it’s traditional for men to wear an engagement ring while they are engaged. While this practice might not be widespread, it is growing in popularity. As the trend grows, we can expect to see more styles available for men’s engagement rings.
With celebrities like Ed Sheeran and Michael Buble opting to wear a male engagement ring, we can expect to see this trend continue to grow. Like most traditions related to the wedding industry, they are not hard and fast rules. Traditions are flexible, are subject to change and can also be broken.
Breaking with tradition is growing in popularity as same sex marriage is legalised in more places throughout the world and with more women taking the lead and proposing to their partners. Discover a host of proposal ideas on our blog.