I’m in a non-traditional wedding, who buys the ring?

    Introduction to Buying a Wedding Band

    Wedding etiquette has been around as long as weddings themselves, with age old rules that sadly have not been updated in decades. This leaves the modern couple wondering- what roles do we play in today’s wedding scene? Most importantly - Who the heck is buying the wedding bands?

    What is a non-traditional couple?

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    Let’s start by discussing what a non-traditional couple actually is. The definition of a non-traditional couple is different for everyone. To us, a non-traditional couple is one that does not adhere to traditional trends of marriage, including gender roles, and more. The Merriam-Webster definition of non-traditional is “not following or conforming to tradition”.

    Wedding Band Traditions

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    Traditional language surrounding weddings is quite binary. Most conversations revolve around a bride and groom, which is not relevant to some couples in today’s day and age. This leaves non-traditional couples wondering where to start, and how to navigate the binary world of weddings.

    Historically, the bride buys the groom’s wedding ring, and vice versa. Simply speaking- you buy your partner's wedding ring. That being said, there are many factors to consider when buying a wedding ring, including budget, style preference, and income, as well as others. For these reasons, it truly is up to your personal preference as to who buys the wedding rings. Some couples choose to split the cost of rings together, while others feel they’d prefer to take turns with wedding costs, meaning you might pay for both wedding rings while they pay for another wedding-related cost, like catering. Nothing is off-limits when it comes to non-traditional weddings.

    Modern Couples and their Wedding Bands

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    Just because your relationship is non-traditional doesn’t mean your wedding has to be! You can very well choose to abide by the age-old rules of buying your significant other’s wedding ring, or you can approach the situation from a different perspective. The truth is, there are no rules to non-traditional weddings, and the only deciding factor is what you and your partner feel comfortable with.

    Choosing the Right Wedding Ring

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    This is where things get interesting. Would you prefer to choose your own ring, or do you trust your partner enough to allow them to surprise you with a mystery ring at the altar? If you’re choosing your own ring, does your partner’s opinion matter to you, and if so, how much? Let’s say you love a ring and they hate it, but they’re the ones buying. Then what?

    Just like in the rest of your relationship, the most important part of choosing your wedding band is proper communication. Don’t wait in silence only to find out your partner is just as clueless about the process as you are! Start the conversation early about who chooses the wedding rings, that way you can be on the same page as you move forward.


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    Your wedding is arguably one of the most important ceremonies of your life- don’t limit yourself by trying to fit into a mold that doesn't match your relationship. While couples historically purchase each other’s wedding rings, there are many different routes you can take to getting towards your happily ever after. Nothing matters more than what makes you and your partner happy.