If you’re anything like most dudes, you’ve probably never stopped to think about how to wear a wedding ring, and we don’t blame you. But there’s a lot more to it than you might think. Never even considered it? Don’t fret. This guide is pretty much gonna cover everything you need to know about rockin’ that ring, whether you’re a first-timer or are on replacement ring number four. No judgment, by the way.
DO: FIND THE RIGHT SIZE
A properly sized ring will fit snug on your finger but not too snug that it hurts or causes the skin around the band to bulge (no one likes the dreaded ring bulge). You should be able to easily turn it around your finger, and there should be some resistance as you are pulling it over your knuckle, but it should still be relatively easy to remove. If it easily falls off your finger, it’s too big. If you have a hard time pulling it off, it’s too tight. There are a few different ways you can go about getting your ring size. Here are our recommendations from the best option to the least recommended.
- Get the Manly Ring Sizer – Not to show off too much, but the Manly Ring Sizer is the best way to measure your ring size. It works by letting you wear a specific size all day long to find the most comfortable size for you. Check out the video below to see how it works.
- Take an Average – Your hand changes size throughout the day, depending on its temperature. So, when you’re measuring your ring size, do it multiple times throughout the day so you can get a solid average.
Remember, these are for ring sizes in the U.S. and Canada. If you know your ring size in another country, check out our international sizing chart.
DO: KNOW PROPER RING ETIQUETTE
There is one thing that we have to point out before we hop into this section: Since marriage is a pretty traditional thing, there are a lot of traditional rules that come with it. Which ones you choose to follow are completely up to you—we aren’t here to tell you how to live your life, so go ahead and cherry-pick. (AKA: You do you.)
WHO PICKS OUT THE GROOM’S WEDDING RING?
There’s a little bit of debate in the wedding world about who should pick out the wedding bands. Though your partner will technically give you the band during the wedding ceremony, that’s most likely not the whole story. Traditionally, the betrothed picked out and purchased the rings for one another, but that’s largely considered an outdated practice, gone the way of the dowry (collective sigh of relief for that) and the jumping of the broom.
In fact, these days, most guys pick out their own ring, and we’re pretty big fans of that approach. The thing is, you’re going to wear the thing for the rest of your life—if all goes to plan, of course—so you’d better like it. It’s the same reason why one in three couples shop for the engagement ring together. Who cares about tradition, we say. Go and get yourself the band you want. As far as payment goes, consider it a wedding expense and pay for it the same way you’re paying for everything else. In the end, it’ll all come from the same pot.
DON’T: WEAR IT IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS
Traditionally, guys wear their wedding bands on the fourth finger of the left hand. Yeah, that’s why it’s called your ring finger. Generally, the tradition states that you should wear it all the time and rarely take it off, with few exceptions. Remember, though. Free country. You can do whatever the hell you want. Also, this is really not the best idea because some activities can really mess it up.
WHEN SHOULD YOU WEAR YOUR WEDDING BAND?
There are three reasons to not wear your wedding band:
- When it’s bad for the ring or could cause damage.
- When it’s impractical.
- When it’s downright dangerous.
And, usually, it is a combination of the first two. Here are a few times when wearing your ring is a definite no-no:
- When Working Out – No matter what you’re doing, your workout is not the time for you to wear your wedding ring. You’re putting it in harm’s way and risking scuffing, cracking, bending, or even fully breaking, not to mention putting your finger in a compromising position. If you are deadlifting the massive amount of weight we know you are, you are gonna bend that ring in a second.
- When Swimming – Don’t wear your typical ring in either the pool or the ocean. Remember that whole thing about your hands changing size depending on the temperature? That water can cool and shrink your hands just enough for that ring to slide off. If you’re in the ocean, consider your ring long gone. Salt and chlorine can also damage your wedding ring. How it damages it depends on the material, but more on that in a second.
- When Cleaning – Certain cleaning agents can be very abrasive for a wedding ring. They can cause the color to wear away and leave many of the inlays looking cloudy. At the same time, try to avoid wearing your ring whenever you’re around the sink or the drain in general—these babies love to slip right down the pipe.
- When Showering or Getting Ready – Water, moisturizers, hair sprays, shampoos (we told you no showers with it), colognes/perfumes, and all those other chemicals that you get ready with are no good for your band. Your wedding ring should be the last thing you put on before you head out the door.
- When Working in Demanding Conditions – If your job requires physical labor or you work in a demanding field like an electrician, it’s best to leave your ring at home. For the first, it is primarily to make sure it is not broken or lost. For the latter, it is to make sure the ring doesn’t zap ya.
BUT THERE IS AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE ...
What if you don’t want to worry about any of this? Then we suggest The Everyman. The Everyman is made of silicone and is tough as nails. You can work out with it, swim with it, and even wear it as you work with electricity (since it’s non-conductive). You can use it as your primary band or as a secondary band that you don’t have to worry about beating up.
CARING FOR YOUR WEDDING RING
Caring for your wedding ring starts with not wearing it during the activities we mentioned above. This will go a long way toward preserving your ring and keeping it looking fresh no matter what. But, to keep that band lookin’ brand-spankin’ new, a little extra care is needed. How you care for your ring is based on the type of material your ring is made out of.
And, considering we have a huge selection of rings from a bunch of different materials, we feel that we are a pretty good source on how to take care of them. For any ring besides a silicone ring, you’ll want to take them off during the activities listed above. However, there are a few more things that you can do.
- Have the Setting Checked Once a Year – If you have a diamond or any other precious stone set in your ring, you’ll need to get the setting checked on occasion. Even with the right precautions, a rock that is set in your ring can loosen over time. This increases the risk of it falling out of the ring. You can prevent this from happening by taking the ring to a jeweler every six months to every year to have your setting checked.
- Clean Your Ring on the Reg – Regular cleaning will keep your ring looking like new and prevent any gunk buildup. To clean your ring you’ll need a soft-bristled toothbrush, mild soap, and warm water. It’s as simple as it seems—just take some warm water and soap and gently brush your ring to give it some dazzle. If there are any stones or inlays involved, we think it’s best to skip the machine and ultrasonic cleanings, as they can cause damage.
- Get It Professionally Cleaned – If you can’t get your wedding band back to the level of shine it used to have, then you can take it in to get it professionally cleaned at your local jeweler. These guys know what they’re doing and can help you get it back to looking like new.
- Clean By Material – Proper cleaning comes down to the material at hand. Make sure you clean your wedding band based on what it’s made out of. We covered this in a previous guide, so give that a glance before you bust out your cleaning gear. Some materials are especially sensitive to certain cleaners, so be extra-diligent about what you use to scrub and polish.
- Have It Repaired if Needed – If you buy from us and have a pesky piece of rust that won’t come off, you can ship it to us for a free cleaning that is covered with your free lifetime warranty.
ROCK IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT
And that’s everything you need to know about wearing your wedding ring. We know you’re a natural-born badass and a true-blue trailblazer, but sometimes it’s fun to be reminded of the rules. These guidelines will help ensure that your ring stays in pristine condition no matter how much you drag it through the (perhaps literal) mud.