The ultimate guide to designing your own wedding rings

Bespoke rings are chic and unique, and much less work than you’d think! Time to get sketching and see your designs brought to life…

Selection of shaped diamond bands, £POA, James Brown & Partners
Selection of shaped diamond bands, £POA, James Brown & Partners

The biggest trend in weddings over the last few years is do it yourself. You’re probably sewing your own bunting and making your own table settings. Some of you might be creating the favours or even baking the cake. But have you considered going one step further and designing your own wedding band?

It sounds far-fetched but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. We’re certainly not suggesting you’d be up to cutting any gemstones or grabbing a pair of pliers to shape the band. But with a piece of paper, a pencil and a little imagination, you could come up with a design for your own, unique wedding rings – with the guidance of a professional jeweller, of course.

There are many reasons why couples decide to have bespoke wedding rings made. It doesn’t mean you’re on the lookout for outlandish and wild designs. You’re possibly just looking for something that feels a little more personal. “Many of our clients are searching for a design that is completely unique to them,” says Sarah Alexander, head of design at Laing Edinburgh.

If you have an engagement ring that’s a bit unusual, it may not quite sit well with the ready-made wedding rings on the market, says Sarah: “We’re seeing many people look for bespoke designs for wedding bands where their engagement ring just doesn’t look right or fit with a standard band.”

18ct white gold diamond engagement and wedding ring set, £POA, The Ringmaker
18ct white gold diamond engagement and wedding ring set, £POA, The Ringmaker

We’re guessing you’ve never thought about designing a ring before – so where should you look for inspiration? A good jeweller will be able to take you through all the steps. “Magazines are a fantastic way to find inspiration,” says Harry Brown, managing director of Chisholm Hunter. “That said, clients often come to us with a blank page.” If you have no particular ideas in mind, the jeweller will be happy to steer you in the right direction and help you piece together a wedding ring you’ll love. “We’ll listen first before asking a number of questions, which allows us to gain a real sense of the couple’s vision,” Harry explains.

Now that the process of creating your ring has begun, how much control do you actually have over how it will eventually look? “We welcome any ideas you have, no matter how unusual or traditional they may be,” says The Ringmaker’s Francesca Flynn, a graduate of  Glasgow School of Art’s silversmithing and jewellery design course.
Perhaps you’d like to add a bit of family history into your ring? “Some couples like to incorporate either the stones or the precious metal from an heirloom or sentimental piece of jewellery into their wedding rings,” explains Francesca.

You’ve got the design down. Next in the process are the practicalities. “We talk through the various elements involved, from the type of metal to the choice of stone, along with issues such as height and weight,” explains Sarah.
Have you thought about which metal will work best against your skin tone and whether you’d like to incorporate diamonds or other gems into your design? “We make rings in a wide variety of precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and white, yellow and rose gold – and even green gold,” Francesca tells us.

A sketch of an Esme ring by Sarah Alexander, head of design, both Laing Edinburgh
A sketch of an Esme ring by Sarah Alexander, head of design at Laing Edinburgh

Traditionally, a wedding band doesn’t include gemstones, but you can have them if you want, so don’t be afraid to play around with what’s available. “A coloured stone can be incorporated into the design to add interest, and it can be as bold or as subtle as you wish,” says Francesca. You may even come across stones you had no idea existed. “There are many unusual and eye-catching stones out there – from treated blue diamonds to pink sapphires.”

Going bespoke gives you the opportunity to pay homage to your family and culture in a beautiful and personal way. “We recently worked with a bride who was of French-Algerian decent and who wished to incorporate colours from both national flags into her wedding band,” recalls Harry. “We picked out gemstones to represent these colours. It worked out brilliantly.”

It takes less time than you might think for a ring to be made, as Sarah explains. “It can all be done in around four to six weeks. We tend to allow ten working days for the design process itself, with a minimum of four weeks to finish the piece.” Sounds pretty quick to create the ring of your dreams!