When we talk about the exchanging of rings, so much emphasis is put on the initial engagement ring that we sometimes overlook the other (some would even say more important) pieces of bling… aka the wedding bands. We also tend to forget that, while men stereotypically aren’t too fussed when it comes to jewelry, this is something they’re going to be wearing for the rest of their lives. So, if there were ever a time for a man to consider his personal jewelry options, it’s before he gets up to that altar. But soon-to-be-husbands can rejoice: Engaged recently tracked down David Audette, Vice President of East Providence gem, M.R.T. Jewelers, and asked him how local grooms can ring in the new marriage with the right wedding band.
When should couples start looking at wedding bands?
We find that most couples purchase at least three months prior to the wedding. That is not to say that we don’t have couples who shop earlier and those who come in, unfortunately, up to two weeks prior…..Stress!
How do you help a groom make sure he gets the right band for him? Do you recommend different metals based on the groom’s lifestyle?
Great question. Yes most men purchase based on comfort and durability which correlates strongly with lifestyle and occupation. Luckily, today there are plenty of affordable and durable options that were not available even five years ago.
Which metals are more durable? Which would you recommend to those who have more hands-on jobs like construction?
We have seen cobalt-chrome replace titanium and tungsten steel as the go to alternative metal. It’s a wonderful metal, very durable and comes in both white and black colors. We also love the new hybrid version where cobalt-chrome is combined with either gold or even platinum, the perfect blend of durability and luxury.
Do brides ever come in to purchase the groom’s wedding band as a surprise or a wedding gift?
I have yet to have a bride surprise the groom with his band. I would be against this all together – there are too many choices today and ring size must be accurate, up to a 1/4 of a size in some cases.
What factors should couples keep in mind if they want their wedding bands to complement each other?
In most cases we see very little “matching” going on. The most we see is a complementary color choice between bride and groom. I.e. both white metals or both yellow, rose gold…etc.
Which men’s styles are the most popular? Have you seen any new trends pop up over the past year or so?
The largest trend, if you can call it that, is a shift away from the alternative metals and back to precious metals such as white and yellow gold, rose and Platinum. Metal prices have stabilized and new couples have begun to see value in the staying power of these time-honored metals.
How can a wedding band be personalized?
There is the traditional method of engraving the inside of the bands, which we actually only see in approximately fifty percent of our couples. But if a couple seeks something more extreme, there are brands that will laser engrave your partner’s finger print or even their actual handwriting.
Does M.R.T. run any wedding band specials?
At M.R.T. we only offer one sales event per year, our Wedding Band Blitz! It usually takes place late March / early April and we offer up to 20% off retail pricing for this one weekend only on all in-store merchandise. This year we plan to add something special to the sale…so stay tuned!
I saw that you carry quite a few BENRUS items– do they make a good wedding day gift for the groom?
Yes the BENRUS line has been a good performer for us. The watches in general remain the most popular gift from bride to groom. We also really love the BENRUS Elite travel bags and sunglasses….Think honeymoon, perfect! And we love the BENRUS Rhode Island connection: A lot of mutual respect from one vintage brand – M.R.T. circa 1918 – to another – BENRUS circa 1921.