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Pros and Cons of Surprise Wedding Bands

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Are you wondering whether or not wedding bands are supposed to be a surprise? Should you go as a couple to pick them out together?

Traditionally, engagement rings and wedding bands both involved a surprise of some kind. These days, it can go either way. Wedding bands can be a surprise or they can be picked out together, depending on the couple. Here are some of the pros and cons of both scenarios.

It’s also good to remember that wedding bands aren’t “necessary” and aren’t for everyone. If you think you might be one of these people, have a look at my article Wedding Bands Aren’t Necessary and Here’s Why.

The pros of surprising your partner with the wedding bands

It may be more exciting

It’s true that surprises are more exciting. There will be so few surprises on your wedding day, at least if you’re planning your wedding the way most people do these days. There’s usually little room left for chance or serendipity.

So a little “planned” surprise here and there might be nice. Of course, the flip side of this is that you may hate the choice of wedding band your partner has made or it may not fit you if you haven’t tried it on beforehand. But no matter. As long as there is a refund or exchange policy in place, you can take care of all that after the wedding.

If you’re a person who loves surprises, this may be the route for you. Just don’t get upset if you don’t get what you had in mind. And make sure to ask your partner to buy with the option to exchange.

You can blend your tastes together

Another cool thing about surprise wedding bands is that you can see how your two tastes blend together. What I mean is that one of you can pick out the engagement ring and one of you can pick out the wedding band, and then you have the two of your unique personalities next to each other on your finger.

Obviously, the downside to this option is that they most likely won’t match, if that’s something that’s important to you. Consider all of this beforehand and have a conversation. It’s okay to have a conversation to plan a surprise. It’s still a surprise if you don’t see the ring beforehand!

The pros of picking out your wedding bands together

You can avoid picking out a ring that isn’t your partner’s taste

This is a biggie. If you are especially picky about your jewelry and your partner gives you a ring that you hate, it’s going to be hard to wear that thing every day. A conversation and picking out the rings together (both the engagement and the wedding bands) will save you from this uncomfortable scenario.

There’s no shame in talking about and picking out rings together. We aren’t mind readers and can’t expect each other to know exactly what kind of rings we would each like to wear.

You can design the rings yourselves

It’s cool if you ring shop together because you have the option of creating custom rings or designing your rings together. Some couples take heirloom pieces or their own old jewelry that has special meaning, and want to craft it into a wedding band or engagement ring.

You could also take an old piece of jewelry that one of you gave to the other in the past and turn it into wedding bands. The creative process could be an enjoyable part of the wedding planning and make your weddings bands that much more special and meaningful.

You can decide on a budget together and potentially save money

Picking out your rings together could allow you to save some money while ring shopping. This is because you’ll both be able to communicate your expected price points to each other and not break the bank trying to impress one another with a “perfect” surprise wedding band.

Honesty and communication, and saving money, can actually be really romantic in my opinion! More romantic than a surprise bill for a crazy expensive wedding band.

You can find rings that are eco-friendly and conflict free together

This is a really cool aspect of picking out rings together. It’s hard to tell sometimes whether or not the jewelers we’re buying from are sourcing their precious metals and gemstones from ethical practices.

There is a big business out there that relies on destroying thousands of acres of habitat and exploiting thousands of workers for the sake of rings that are supposed to represent our love and commitment. And many of us aren’t even aware of it. We just see the pretty photos and advertisements telling us that we should want these pieces, and that our love is lesser for not having them.

If we pick out our wedding bands together, we can more easily navigate insidious companies trying to sell us unethically sourced jewelry. And both individuals will be responsible for knowing where their rings came from and what they truly represent.

You can bond over finding the perfect ring for each of you

The process of searching for wedding rings together can be romantic, even without the element of surprise! You can turn it into a game and make it fun. Think of your partner’s tastes and desires and try to find rings that match this. Send your partner photos of rings that you think they’ll like.

Take a trip to shops together and ask questions. Don’t impulse buy! Help each other and compliment each other along the way. Compliment their tastes and instincts, and allow the process to be playful. The memories that you keep from this time should be something that you enjoy thinking about and looking back on every time you glance down at your wedding ring.

Unlucky for the bride to see the wedding band before the wedding?

Finally, for some people the question of “Who is supposed to pick out the wedding bands?” is a question of superstition more than tradition.

For answers on whether or not wedding rings are religious, check out my article Are Wedding Rings Religious?

Some people fear bad luck that supposedly comes from brides seeing their wedding bands before the wedding. All I have to say to that is: it’s not real! It’s invented!

If you’re bothered by any of the typical wedding day superstitions, such as rain on your wedding day (cue Alanis Morissette), the groom not seeing the bride before the ceremony, wearing a white wedding dress only, “something borrowed, something blue”.. etc… I don’t think I’m going to convince you otherwise!

But all of these things are just made-up and you don’t have to believe any of them, or follow any of them, or think about any of them on your wedding day if you don’t want to! If you want to buy your wedding bands together, do it! If you love surprises and want to be surprised with your wedding bands, do it!

But whatever you do, do it because it’s what you and your partner think is best and most fun for YOU guys. Not because of some silly tradition or superstition 🙂


Brittany is a writer and teacher in Vancouver, Canada. She started the website Wayfaring Weddings as a way to share her research on affordable, eco-friendly, and less stressful approaches to wedding planning.