Ten Alternatives to a Traditional Wedding Ring

Wedding Ring Alternatives

Tradition may suit most couples – the stark white wedding dress, gold wedding rings, church ceremony, and reception following is a general pattern that millions of couples have molded their wedding plans after – but many other couples are looking off the beaten path towards more inventive and unique alternatives for their weddings. One of the most traditional features of any wedding is the wedding rings; they are a symbol recognized in many countries around the world for marriage. So what options are there for offbeat couples looking to stray from tradition? Well, check out our list of unique wedding ring alternatives below!

Why Go With a Wedding Ring Alternative?

Still unsure if you want a wedding ring alternative in lieu of a traditional band? Well check out some of the reasons why others decided to go with alternatives, then read what some of your various options are below to help guide you towards the right decision for you and your future partner.

  • Expensive
  • Uncomfortable
  • Easily lost
  • Damaged/Broken
  • Too ‘conforming’
  • Not a person’s ‘style’

Ten Alternatives to a Traditional Wedding Ring

There are many reasons both for and against traditional wedding bands, however it ultimately depends on the couple and their lives/interests. Some men prefer other types of jewelry as opposed to wedding rings because of their job (ie it would get damaged or have to be taken off all of the time), while women may find that their skin is too metals touching the skin and generally prefer some other meaningful item.



1. Wedding ring tattoos

Wedding ring tattoos have been around for years, but they are, by far, one of the most popular wedding ring alternatives today. Wedding ring tattoos allow the couples to have the symbolic ring on their left hand, proudly indicating to everyone else in a known way that they are married, yet it has none of the downsides a physical ring has.

2. Name/date tattoo

Instead of a tattoo on the actual ring finger, other couples prefer to have the same tattoo on them of their wedding date, their partner’s name, or some other meaningful tattoo that symbolizes their love. These permanent pieces of art are incredibly meaningful and a beautiful alternative to a traditional ring.

3. Necklace

Necklaces are a great wedding ring alternative that does not require permanent inking of the body. Whether you avoid tattoos for religious reasons, or personal ones, necklaces can be used as an alternative for both men and women in a multitude of ways. Rings can be placed on necklaces (often done for working men), or a beautiful necklace with diamonds can be used in lieu of a diamond ring for a woman. Either way, there are endless possibilities for personalization allowing offbeat couples to truly customize the ultimate symbol of their love to each other.

4. Bracelet

Bracelets are another style of jewelry popularly used instead of traditional wedding rings. They allow more freedom of movement with the hands without worry of the ring getting caught, damaged, or broken. Additionally, bracelets can be personalized extensively.  Women can get gold charm bracelets that have additions for each milestone of the marriage (ie first year, fifth year, tenth year), so that the bracelet is a collection of memories that can be worn each day.

5. Nose ring

Popularly used in Indian cultures, wedding rings in noses are the traditional symbol for marriage. For a woman interested in Indian culture, or who simply loves body piercings as opposed to a ring, an elegant nose ring can be a possibility.

6. Watches

A common alternative for men, an expensive watch that can be used as an heirloom is a fantastic option. They are both functional and stylish, and can be extensively personalized. Messages can be engraved on the underside of the watch as well, allowing for a touching and heartfelt touch to a practical alternative.

7. Charm

As we pointed out earlier, bracelets and necklaces are a popular alternative, however an elegant charm is as well. If a woman already has a precious necklace or bracelet, then purchasing a charm for the wedding to be worn on it can truly make that piece of jewelry even more meaningful.

One gentleman bought a beautiful Pandora bracelet and proposed to his girlfriend with it, then purchased an exquisite charm and personalized it for their wedding. It was a truly sweet and thoughtful alternative that suited his partner perfectly!

8. Hand Harness

While a very different option, hand harnesses combine both rings and bracelets into one for a unique alternative that keeps a bit of its traditional roots. These hand harnesses can come in many styles, materials, and options; however some of the best we’ve seen are those that contain a small charm that is linked between the ring and the bracelet portion. This charm can have something engraved on it, contain gems, or even be in the shape of something such as a heart.

Overall, hand harnesses are quite unique and very stunning – a truly interesting alternative for women looking to add a twist to a traditional ring!

9. Meaningful Item

While there are countless items we can list, knowing your partner’s interests will help make any gift personal and memorable. Couples looking at alternatives to wedding bands need to truly think hard and find what will represent their partners love to them above all. Finding something that stands the test of time will ensure that the couple can look back on their symbols of love and know that they were given from the heart and that they mean that much more because of it.

10. Memories

There is no possible way to list all of the wedding ring alternatives here because each couple is vastly different from the next. Many couples find that the bands are enough to truly symbolize each other’s love, while others prefer something different.

For those who like to think outside of the box more, the creation of a memory can truly be the perfect alternative. What best symbolizes love than actually being in the moment with your partner and sharing an experience with them? Whether you go away on a romantic trip, or simply spend time in a meaningful place together, love needs no visible symbol and the experience being together is what truly counts. If you do go on a vacation or to a trip, make sure to bring a camera or phone! Capturing the moment on video or camera is a perfect way to relive the moment later!

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3 comments

  1. Ada says:

    My friend and her fiance just got their names tattooed on each other but it looks so tacky. Not that I’m against tattoos, I just don’t see branding someone with a name as attractive. On the other hand, I have seen some beautiful wedding ring tattoos in color as opposed to just black! Am thinking about getting them done for my husband and I on our anniversary since he’s an electrician and often has to take off his band 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks for stopping by Ada! Best of luck on your tattoo and a million congrats on your upcoming anniversary!

      When it comes to tattooing names, there is quite a bad stigma against it – many think its “bad luck” and, after speaking to several tattooists, the number of clients who come in for cover ups of names from past relationships is staggeringly high! Kudos to anyone brave enough to do it though, and may they never have to go in for a cover up or a laser removal!

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