Relationships

In Which I Lost My Wedding Ring

Joanna and Alex wedding

Last week, I lost my wedding ring…

I was climbing into bed one night when I realized my ring wasn’t on my finger, and probably hadn’t been for hours. It could be anywhere. I searched our apartment, my bag, our office, the sidewalk, the bathroom sink… but so far, no luck.

To be honest, I sort of don’t mind. Is that strange? First off, it was a super simple ring, so it’s not a big money loss, and also I’m not very sentimental. I loved wearing a wedding ring when we were first married; it was new and intoxicating. And I remember when I first referred to Alex as my “husband,” when we were in the airport leaving for our honeymoon. I was stocking up on magazines for the flight (New York, Bon Appetit, the September issue of Elle), and I told the clerk, “Oh, my husband is grabbing a bottle of water, too.” THRILL OF THRILLS!!!!!

But now that we’re older and wrinklier and have gone through so much, I’m not as tied to the ring. Alex also lost his ring a few months ago, so when we were hanging out this weekend, I was laughing: ‘We basically look like two people on a date.” A stranger might not know that we’ve been married for nine years, through many life ups and downs, and got two little stinks out of the deal. The ring, which felt so important at first, has been swallowed up by all the other things — bike rides on the Hudson river, nights watching Homeland, pet peeves, arguments, dinner parties, crying babies, giggling toddlers, debates over politics and ice cream flavors, sex, loss, depression, his toes! So many things.

The other day, I read a Yara Bashraheel quote, which resonated with me about marriage — not in a depressing way, but in the most unconditionally loving way: “Maybe home is nothing but two arms holding you tight when you’re at your worst.” And that rings very true to me. Someone who is there, alongside you, for all the highs and lows, and somehow still loves you.

Plus, my finger still has a clear indentation where a ring has lived for almost 9 years, so it kind of looks like I’m wearing one anyway!

But at the end of the day, it’s still fun to have a ring, right? I’ll definitely get a replacement, and it might be nice to try something new. Here are three lovely ones: black diamond, bateau and loved. I also really like this one, even though it’s offbeat.

Joanna Goddard and Alex Williams wedding

What styles do you like? If you have a wedding ring, what does it look like? How cool would it be to get a “no regrets” one?

(Photos by Max Wanger from our wedding, when we were tiny babies!!!)

  1. Mjay says...

    While I love my rings, I sometimes dream about new ones. We have both changed so much over the years, sometimes it would be fun to have a new design that matches us now.

    I wear my rings daily but take them off when I go to the gym and place them in an egg cup in an out of the way cupboard. Occasionally I forget to put them back on but I have a permanent indent and tanline from my rings so it’s obvious what is missing! My hubby has gained weight and no longer wears his rings. They are tucked away in the egg cup for the day when those extra lbs drop!

  2. Pam Ross says...

    When my husband and I first got married we didn’t have much money so we got matching wedding bands, mine was $32, and his $33. We had 2 beautiful girls together. While taking a bath I placed my wide band on the back of the toilet. One of the girls started playing with it while sitting there later and dropped it in. Afraid to tell me it got flushed. After going without it for several years, at a special point he gave me a beautiful waterfall ring, not a standard symbol of marriage, I know, but said “I hope we are married at least as many years as there are diamonds”, 19. We were married just that long when things started falling apart, he left, papers were filed and we almost were divorced. We both came to our senses and got back together. At 20 yrs he gave me a ring, also not traditional, of 2 sweeps with inlayed baggettes and 2 diamonds set together in the center. He told me, I know at the Jewelers suggestion, “this represents 2 souls coming back together appearing as one”. Even though I don’t think he thought of it, he liked it and gave it to me with that meaning. That ring was and is so precious to me because it reminds me of not only how much he loves me, but also of the very special man I almost lost and to treasure our marriage. 5 yrs later our youngest daughter died and he was the glue all through me that held me together. We are now approaching our 45th anniversary next month and a few months ago while getting into bed my ring snagged on the blanket. I looked down to find that one of the diamonds had fallen out. Again I am ringless. We talked about another ring. Feeling it was fitting to get a special one at this time. He says he genuinely wants me to have something I choose that I have always wanted. I am really ok with the fact that it will not be something he picks out for me this time. I have been in thought of what this ring means to me now as I plan the design. I do feel, as friends now are loosing their mates to death that the most important thing is feeling those arms around me each night and that I too maybe end up in their position. I am proud that this wonderful man loves me, that I was the one that carried his children and made him a father. That we made it though some of the most difficult events in someone’s life, rocky and painful, coming though it still holding each other’s hand and each other up. I would not need a ring to remind me that I am married, I want to show others that I am proud to be married and that there is only one man I am interested in. For that reason it never comes off, it’s there ever minute of everday. There will always be fights, other people that are new, interesting, and flattering. That’s when some slip that ring off, for awhile they think. Divorce comes easy, working on keeping a marriage is hard, but as they say “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, and you appreciate it more than ever. The design I am putting into this ring, I feel, tells of my feelings of my marriage: the band is a crisscross canal baggettes to symbolize us intwined an the bright happiness we both bring. The second ring is bringing forward the remaining diamond, it’s him, the only man that will ever be in my life and I don’t ever want to forget what I almost lost him, and that God held us together during the roughest time to hold each other up.

    • Wb says...

      Just beautiful, thank you for sharing.

    • Vera says...

      Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Summer says...

      Wow, that was lovely – I loved all the rings and what they symbolize. So sorry about the loss of your daughter.

  3. Chels says...

    I absolutely love my engagement ring + wedding band and have been so bummed to be relegated to a gym ring (one of those ugly black stretchy ones) for the end of my pregnancy. I cannot wait to be able to go back to wearing those.

    My husband is a bartender so he can rarely wear his ring at work – it gets irritated very quickly from having his hands wet all the time. He hates it. “I want people to know I’m married!” Haha.

    We’re in our first year of marriage (this is our sweet honeymoon baby :)) so of course we’re very much still giddy. That’ll probably lessen as time goes on, as you said. (I so relate to the thrill of getting to use “my husband!”)

    My Oma and Opa have been married since 1963 and they have really never worn rings, yet they are the most fairy-tale couple I know. :)

  4. Katharine says...

    Y’all! Get mysterious disappearance for your jewelry. It’s on your homeowners insurance I think. Especially for the more expensive pieces.

  5. Liz says...

    My husband gave me a drop-dead gorgeous one-carat diamond ring when he asked me to marry him. Almost seven years later, I gaze at the ring and only think of him and the beautiful life we have together, and our two children we adore.

    During our wedding ceremony, my husband handed me a perfect, simple gold band. “It was my grandmother’s,” he whispered. At the reception, I learned more. Inside it’s engraved, “August 2, 1912.” This ring originates in Belgium – it was my husband’s great-grandmother’s ring, and then it was passed to his grandmother. And then, to me. I wear it everyday. I believe jewelry can be so sentimental! And, connect us to the past.

  6. Carolyn says...

    My engagement ring (which I also wore as a wedding band) no longer fits after 2 pregnancies. I haven’t had it sized up because I’m not sure if my hands have truly changed size or if I were to lose 15 lbs that my finger would return to its previous size. My baby is already 2 years old! Ack. Did anyone else have hands that changed size after pregnancy??? Should I hold out for those 15 lbs? I miss wearing my ring!

    Enjoy picking out a new ring, Joanna!

    • Lara says...

      My Catbird engagement ring broke (it was a simple baguette diamond gold ring) and unfortunately it would cost as much to fix as it would to buy something new. I’m also post baby so holding out… ringless but have a sweet baby girl in place.

    • Vera says...

      Yep, my hands changed after pregnancies! And I think it’s not the weight, but somehow my joints got a tiny bit bigger, enough for my rings to feel uncomfortable. I get my wedding band resized after baby #1, and now afer baby #3 I almost can’t get it off. (I also have +10 kgs and the “baby” is 2, so maybe it’s time to get my other rings resized too. ;))

  7. Eva says...

    For Brooklynites looking for an amazing local jeweler with really romantic designs, I hiiiighly recommend Digby & Iona (https://digbyandiona.com). My engagement ring and both our wedding bands hail from there. Have to admit I’d still feel devastated if I lost these! but it’s only been four years ;)

  8. I’ve been married 4 years now and stopped wearing my rings after our baby was born 20 months ago. I didn’t want them to get poop on them while changing diapers, and now it’s just easier to NOT wear them. My husband still wears his and mine sit on a pretty ring stand on the dresser. And it’s just fine.

  9. Becca says...

    I haven’t lost my wedding or engagement rings but I did lose a ring with my oldest daughter’s initial on it and I was very sad. It fell right off my finger. Whats worse is the company no longer makes the same ring (catbird! why no more letter rings?!) so the replacement I got doesn’t match the one with the younger daughter’s initial. That sounds silly, reading it back to myself, different rings for different girls I guess. But I am still bummed I lost it.

  10. Emily says...

    Joanna,
    I already love you so much, but now I love you even more. I love that you don’t need a big fancy wedding ring, and you are into more nontraditional ones. I’ve never been into traditional wedding rings. I’ve had two different ones in 27 years. I get comments from friends all the time, like “That’s your wedding ring?” I’m really sorry you lost yours, but selfishly I am happy you had to share new ones you love, because I’m now thinking of getting the small black diamond one myself! Show us what you end up with, pretty please!

  11. My wedding band is a platinum Cartier trinity ring – it’s a ring with three interlocking bands that rolls onto your finger. I love the symbolism of a ring that is not static; it moves. About a year ago, one of the bands cracked, and I stopped wearing my ring for about nine months while I procrastinated finding the time to go to downtown to take it to be repaired. For quite a while, the indentation on my finger stayed, and then it faded. Not wearing a ring for a time was an interesting experiment (spoiler: no one hit on me! also, the world did not end!) but ultimately I decided I liked having a ring on that finger. Our 20th wedding anniversary is on August 1. I decided to have the ring repaired in time for our anniversary. I was a little surprised at how different the ring looked when they returned it to me: it seems they either replaced the ring or smoothed out all of the wear and tear on the ring, so it looks shiny and unworn. It’s been quite the nice symbolic match: a new/not new ring for the next iteration of marriage.

  12. Laura says...

    My grandmother’s rings were the only possession I asked of her, starting when I was very young (and nowhere near marriage!). They are beautiful, vintage 1950s white gold and diamond. She gifted them to me, and my husband used them to propose. They are really my only prized physical possession, as they encompass the one great example of marriage in my family between my grandparents. Now my own marriage has fallen apart, and I cannot bring myself to take off the rings. My grandmother has passed away and I’m so sad that they have not symbolized for me what they did for her. I only have sons so I do not have a daughter to pass them to, but I hope that one day I’ll find a way to bring them back to their intended meaning.

    • Kathryn says...

      I inherited my parents wedding bands – my parents were married for 40 years – high school sweethearts- until my mother died at 59. Now my father is gone too and I love having their rings – the simplest 10k gold bands – and it makes it feel like they are closer to me somehow.
      Maybe one day your rings can take on a different meaning for you – they could be about love instead of marriage. There’s never any harm remembering their love.

    • Meg says...

      This is so beautiful. Maybe you can pass them on to your sons? My husband proposed with a ring his mom passed to him, which originally belonged to her mom (so, his maternal grandmother). It is my most prized possession! I knew vaguely of it’s existence before he proposed but had never seen it – it’s so beautiful; a diamond with a unique black spot in it (this inclusion lowers the monetary value but makes it priceless to me).

      Though, like many others on this thread, I am not wearing it as I just had a baby. I actually missed it so badly, I jammed it on my finger a week postpartum… my finger turned purple and after visiting a jeweller, a fire station and a doctor friend in an attempt to get it off in one piece, I had to have it cut off (so devastating).

  13. My brother-in-law works construction, so my sister went online and bought tattoo ink and needles– and put a permanent ring on him!

  14. Catherine says...

    It’s so interesting to read about people’s different preferences and values when it comes to rings! I wear a single band with a few small diamonds across the front, purchased secondhand from a vintage/estate jeweler, as my combined engagement and wedding ring. It suited my style (and our small budget) perfectly, but it sometimes doesn’t read as a “wedding ring,” especially in social circles where a traditional engagement ring + wedding band is the norm. A family member was SHOCKED that I chose not to get a separate wedding band: “What will you do, just take it off before you walk down the aisle and have him put it back on your finger after the vows?!” Unsurprisingly, that worked out just fine :)

    My partner and I both wear a ring and have definitely felt its absence the few times one of us has forgotten to put it on before we leave the house. I personally appreciate the meaning and visibility it affords us as a biracial couple that sometimes isn’t assumed to be a couple when we’re out in the world. Although we felt just as much like partners before we wore rings, it’s nice to have that public signifier.

    • Summer says...

      I only have my engagement ring. I was in zero mood to spend any unnecessary money while (small) wedding planning, and….I already have a ring! I, too, went down ring-less and he put my ring back on me. :P It worked out just fine for us too.

  15. Jamie says...

    I lost my engagement ring after being engaged for about two months (and about six weeks before our wedding). I had been running errands, and knew it had been on my finger before, but a few hours later it was gone. I was devastated, and spent many hours crying and praying and searching for it. It was special to me because my fiance (now husband) had designed it himself, without any input from me (we love surprises). As a sort-of replacement, we got a ring on our honeymoon in Hawaii, which is shaped like a wave (very simple), which I wear above my wedding band. It’s not quite the same, but it’s become special too. Maybe someday we’ll get a more “blinged out” ring, but this one has memories too, and that’s the most important thing to me.

  16. Erin says...

    I love this! And it’s so timely too. My engagement and wedding bands are white gold, and when I was pregnant with my son last year, I developed a bad nickel allergy (there is a little nickel in white gold). I hoped it would go away after he was born, but it hasn’t – if I wear my rings for even one day, I get a horrible reaction on my finger that takes an entire week to heal. I’ve just resigned to going ringless. I do love wearing a ring on that finger, and kind of feel naked without one, so for my birthday next month, I’m hoping to replace my rings with a very simple band. I have my eye on this: https://vraiandoro.com/products/petite-diamond-band?variant=12645688737858
    It’s funny how tastes change. When we got engaged almost 8 years ago, I was set on a shiny ring with a big diamond, and now I want something very simple and delicate.

    • Tara D. says...

      Erin – I also developed a nickel allergy! Have you tried getting them dipped in rhodium? That’s what I did and it worked well. They said it doesn’t always work (if your allergy is super severe I guess?), but it could be worth a shot. It cost me $75 a ring ( I did my wedding band, engagement ring, and my grandmother’s wedding ring which I wear on my other hand) and so far it’s been totally fine.

  17. I’ve only ever had an engagement ring. Why do I need two rings? I only married one guy!

    • Amanda says...

      Haha, this is awesome.

      I have an engagement ring that is beautiful but I do not wear it with my wedding band. I only wear my wedding band–which seemed more for the ceremony of the wedding than for any other purpose. I joked I would propose to my husband since he proposed to me and then we’d both have a ring–but I never got around to embarrassing him in public and popping the rhetorical question (as was the plan in my head).

  18. Mali says...

    About three years after we were married I took off my rings (wedding band and diamond engagement ring) in a park to wash my hands really thoroughly. I handed them to my husband who put them in his shirt pocket. We both forgot about them. Late that night I remembered them–and of course they were nowhere to be found. Somewhere along the way they fell out of the shirt pocket.
    I was devastated. We both knew that a diamond wasn’t going to happen again for many, many years. I cried, I berated myself, I regretted and I prayed that they would somehow turn up. That night, my daughter threw up in her crib. As I was changing the sheets, we found them under the mattress. They must have fallen in when my husband put her down. I was so relieved and happy. And I’ve been careful with them ever since. I love my rings and I wear them every day.

  19. Anya says...

    I’ve been engaged for almost two months without my engagement ring (long story, it’s finally arriving in 2 weeks!) – and we’re getting married in less than a month so i’ll be doing from having 0 rings on my fingers to 2! I also chose a simple wedding band so that when I travel I can easily leave my engagement ring at home.
    I love what you’ve said “Maybe home is nothing but two arms holding you tight when you’re at your worst.” It’s not about the wedding band but about the love you have together.
    My fiance had a hard time finding a wedding band (he wanted something simple but unique), so we ended up ordering a Damascus Steel ring for him.. it’s arriving this week so i’m really curious to see what it looks like.
    My rings are from Bario Neal – which sponsored a giveaway here on Cup of Jo a number of year ago and I’ve been a fan of them ever since..

  20. SEVDI says...

    When I was 3 or 4 years old I used to beg my father to play with his wedding ring. One day his ring went missing . It was a thick gold band and they did not have the means to replace it. My parents begged, bribed, scolded me to tell them where I put it, but I insisted that I didn’t know where it was. A few months later my mother stumbled upon my secret hiding place. Yes, there was my father’s wedding ring, along with his favorite tie, tie clip and monogrammed handkerchief, all of which had been mysteriously missing. Upon interrogation, I confessed that I had saved them for my future husband. ;-)

    • Amanda says...

      That is so adorable!

  21. When I read the title of this article I expected nothing short of a complete emotional breakdown. I am an incredibly sentimental person, and although I am not married, I have a necklace I received from the Mister almost a decade ago for my 16th birthday. Although it isn’t my style anymore I think I would have a breakdown if I ever lost it!

    This is why I would like to thank you for your down to earth insight. It’s a reminder I should only be sentimental about the arms that hold me, rather than the necklace in it’s box!

  22. Princess Hajjar says...

    loved this, no surprise. My husband and I also don’t wear our rings anymore. We have simple matching bands. He never liked his, because he plays guitar and always had to take it off. I love mine, but spent many years working outside for my job and would also remove it frequently. My engagement ring, a diamond in a lovely modern setting has always been something I put on just for special occasions lol! I lose e v e r y t h i n g and am always paranoid about the stone dropping out of the setting or something. After 8 years and two littles, it does seem our marriage is so much more than those rings. I remember being engaged and thinking, I would never take my ring off as it would always serve as a reminder of my marriage… newsflash I NEED NO REMINDER! Our marriage for better or worse is the thread that weaves my entire life together at this point.

    • Becca says...

      “our marriage for better or worse is the thread that weaves my entire life together at this point” – what a sweet and profound sentiment. Beautiful words!

    • Princess Hajjar says...

      Thank you Becca!

  23. Maryann says...

    Love your perspective on marriage, and your lost ring. Cheers to the indent on your ring finger!

  24. Judith says...

    I wish I had been as mature as you when my husband lost my rings a few years ago. We went skinny dipping in the ocean off the coast of japan and I asked if he’d put them somewhere safe before we headed off and he made the mistake of thinking his pockets would be safe. I was so so mad at him for months and we ended up buying an expensive replacement ring that I like to try to put a patch on my anger and now I have an expensive ring that’s pretty but feels like a mistake. I wish I could have realized how little things like rings actually matter. I feel like this even goes for weddings. Weddings are so special and important at the time, but I’d just go to courthouse and have a nice dinner with family if we had to plan our wedding again now. None of it ends up being that important in the long term if you’ve got someone you love.

  25. Sarah says...

    I chose my own engagement ring. I found it on Etsy and I love it, but the second I put it on, I knew I had no interest in ever swapping it out for a wedding band, so my engagement and my wedding ring are now one in the same. The ring I chose wasn’t wildly expense, but it is very delicate and homemade, so I have come to terms with the fact that I may – someday – lose the diamond and it will be OK because I’ll still have my family.

  26. Jen says...

    I’m just a month married and am still thrilled with my ring. I skipped an engagement ring, so the wedding ring is THE THING. I had a ring custom made in rose gold with a scalloped edge and diamonds added. Sort of like this: https://www.raffi-jewellers.ca/wedding-bands/tacori-wedding-bands/pretty-in-pink-18k-rose-gold-diamond-wedding-band.html

    I hope I don’t lose it because, for sentimental and monetary reasons, I think it would be a big deal for me.

    I already forgot it one day when i went to work and texted my husband (!!) “Forgot my ring, still married.” He said “if you say so..” Lol.

  27. Heather D says...

    One of the main diamonds fell out of my original engagement ring a few years ago. I wore just the band for awhile, but I wanted a replacement. My birthday and our anniversary are both in July, so I worked with an Etsy designer and created my own simple ruby solitaire. It’s simple, beautiful and meaningful.

  28. Sarah says...

    I honestly have the Mac Daddy if mother in laws. She lives in another country and before my husband proposed, we’d had a total of one dinner together—she really didn’t know me. All the same, she gave me HER engagement ring. She wanted me to know that I am welcome and I belong in her family. It was such a grand gesture, I immediately looked for a hidden motive (the ring is gorgeous). I never found one! One day, I hope to do the same for my kids. In law dynamics can be tedious but it really helps in the heat of things to look down at my finger and know we all want the best for our family.

    • Cat says...

      This story really resonated with me. My MIL and I often clash (partly because we’re so different, but partly because we’re so similar) and I’ve never been really sure that she approved of me. A little less than a year after we married, we traveled overseas to visit her. I was in the very early stages of pregnancy and my husband and I agreed it was too early to talk about, but I think my MIL had a hunch. At dinner one night, she spontaneously gave me the ring off her pinky – a beautiful, simple diamond ring that was my husband’s great-grandmother’s ring. I cried, then she cried. I resized it and wear it often. I love what you said about looking at your ring in the heat of the moment and remembering the love – I will do that going forward!

  29. txilibrin says...

    Never ever wore mine… I just got it in case they ask at the City Hall to exchange rings (which they did!)… But I don’t believe in marriage either (got married because with a baby, if anything happens, paperwork is way easier…). I’m such a romantic…

  30. Sabrina says...

    Lost mine on the streets of Rome! Never gave it a second thought. Love is so much more than gold.

  31. Ingrid says...

    I have a diamond engagement ring and as a wedding band I use the threerings in one my now husband gave me years ago. I gave him the same kind of ring for an anniversary and it was always clear when we got married this year after being together for 26 years that we would wear these rings as wedding rings. Unfortunately his might be produced with some additional material in it, apart from the three golds, the brand is one of the most wellknown worldwide and the rings were not cheap, only saying because he has from the start been very allergic to his. So, husband was sad he could not wear the wedding ring.
    Last year his father had died and another year earlier his adored mother, a friend of hers managed the funeral proceedings etc. as we were living in another city then. Now, we live in my husbands parents house and are in contact with this friend and telling her we finally got married here in May. She came for a Sunday afternoon visit and first thing she does is handing over one of these small jewellery boxes to my husband and says „Look I still got your fathers wedding ring, the funeral people gave it to me“ my husband has been wearing it ever since as our wedding ring.
    As I work a lot in the garden and around the house and with colours I do not wear my rings constantly, too afraid of losing or damaging them, once I read about a woman in Denmark who lost her diamondring while gardening and a year later it was wrapped around a carrot she was just pulling out – such luck….

  32. Laurie says...

    After reading all these comments, I’m beginning to think the world is absolutely covered in missing wedding rings. I could climb up a mountain and be like, “Hey! There are three wedding bands up here!” I’ll never see those people with metal detectors in public parks the same way. Thanks for this!

  33. Mary says...

    My hubby bought me a plain palladium wedding band but he also bought a 1.2 carat cornflower blue sapphire engagement ring. As a nurse I can’t wear the engagement ring to work which means I hardly ever wear it, sadly. :-( I love them both though, and rarely take the wedding ring off because everytime I look at it I think of him and our wedding day 8 years ago.

  34. Ivana says...

    I don’t wear my wedding ring but I would love to have a (replacement )ring from Rust jewellery. Artemis and her husband Nao make the most beautiful jewellery!
    They have the best taste!!!

  35. Magda says...

    We have the simplest white gold bands. My engagement ring is very minimalistic. Still we wear the rings only on special occasions, I sometimes wear my ring when I just feel like it and my husband generally hates having any jewellery on. And I think it’s ok. We used to wear the rings every single day at the very beginning of our marriage. Just like you said, it was the thrill of all thrills :)

  36. Aileen Johnston says...

    This article is very timely as I have had my rings off for weeks due to the heat making my fingers swell up. I thought I would miss them but I realised that whilst I still love my rings and what they represent it is more the marriage that I am proud of. I don’t need everyone to know I am married as long as my husband and I know we are together. My husband lost his ring months ago (he was very fat when we got married and now is not!) and he was so upset but as I said to him, its just a ring! If you do pick a new ring I loved the Black Diamond one. :)

  37. Three months after my wedding, I was lying on the beach. A girl came down to the beach with her fiance and a metal detector, hysterical. She had lost her engagement ring in the sand the day before, and the metal detector was no help. It was gone.

    I thought to myself … I shouldn’t be wearing my wedding rings to the beach. I couldn’t cope with a loss like that.

    The next weekend, I took off my wedding band and engagement ring before heading to the beach. And when I returned home, I discovered that someone had taken a crowbar to my front door and stolen everything. My wedding ring. My engagement ring. All of my grandmother’s jewelry.

    I wish I could say that I let it roll off my back like you did. But it shook me. It took me months to get over it. I would cry spontaneously in public just thinking about it and I felt like replacing my wedding rings was entirely pointless. If it wasn’t the ring my husband put on my finger the day we got engaged, on our wedding day, a replacement wouldn’t hold any real meaning.

    About a year later, I was helping my parents clear out their house for a big move. Vacuuming my childhood bedroom, I found an emerald ring my grandmother had given me as a child, embedded in the carpet behind my dresser. The bottom of the band was still wrapped in tape and yarn…my solution to make the ring fit my 8 year-old finger in 1996. But with the tape removed … it now fit me perfectly.

    My grandmother had died a couple years before my wedding, and it was incredibly emotional for my dad’s side of the family that she hadn’t been there to celebrate with us. Because she would have been lit-from-within happy to watch her first granddaughter marry the love of her life.

    This is the ring I now wear on my left ring finger. And to me, it feels fated.

    • Liz says...

      This gave me goosebumps! What a beautiful story!

  38. K says...

    Both my engagement ring and wedding band have a lot of sentimental value…
    We moved across the world together and there is a jewelry store in our new city with ties to old childhood friends back home. My partner went there to pick out my engagement ring; every aspect of it was chosen by him with the help of a friends cousin.
    When it came time to get wedding bands, a teammate on my partner’s hockey team offered to make them for us. We went to his tiny little jewelry making shop in his garage, and he helped us design them.

    It feels extra special to have community ties like that when we are so far from home.

  39. Elise says...

    As I am terrible for losing small items I have learnt to enjoy my belongings, but have released any sentimentality around them, freeing me up from perpetual fear!

    Instead of material gifts for birthdays, I ask for experiences instead. A coffee date, a road trip, an all expense luxury city break (still waiting for this one!). Those things you can’t lose. I’m also extending this “experience gifting” to my nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays, but they aren’t fully on board with the idea yet…

  40. Grace says...

    My wedding band and engagement rings are both super sparkly and expensive but I like to think in a tasteful way, so I’d be devastated if I ever lost them (touch wood!). Plus they both miraculously survived 2 break ins when we lost a lot of other stuff, including my husband’s Wedding band, so it would definitely be heartbreaking if I were ever to lose them through carelessness. They’re a part of me now and even though I’ve been married for going on 7 years now, looking at them and remembering my husband’s insistence on getting what I really liked (versus anything more practical) still brings me joy. What can I say, I’m a bling-and-sparkles kinda gal, ha!

  41. Lindsay says...

    My wedding ring is really nice, it’s my mother in law’s diamond from her ring in a setting I picked out. It’s too tight after having 3 kids, but I really love wearing my grandma’s ring anyway, she was a stylish lady and always had this ring on, always. My Grandpa gave it to her for thier 26th wedding anniversary, he died soon after. it has 26 tiny diamonds in a nice pattern, I love it so much.

  42. Joanna says...

    As a single woman, I REALLY appreciate when men wear wedding rings because it helps me adjust my behavior accordingly. A wedding ring = friendly, engaging, respectful behavior on my part / no ring = a little extra sparkle in my eye (and I’m embarrassed to admit, hope in my heart).

    I want to honor others’ marriages and when couples wear rings, it helps me do that.

    • Em says...

      I was reading through these comments thinking the EXACT same thing — you took the words right out of my mouth! It’s so true.

      I always think of the Polynesian tradition to wear flowers on an ear — left side for available, right side for taken — and it makes life so much easier to know who’s available and who to maintain a polite friendly distance from.

  43. Anne says...

    I was married at nineteen and was married for 51 years when I lost the love of my life to cancer seven years ago. My husband gave me a beautiful diamond engagement ring and a very simple wedding band, I wore them both with pride for 35 years only taking them off if I had to. Unfortunately in 1995 I had to have them cut off as my finger had swollen so bad it was turning blue, they were beyond repair. My Husband took my old rings and had them reset into another lovely setting which I have worn ever since and they will remain on my finger until the day I join him again. As long as I have them on I still have him with me, I also wear my Husband’s wedding ring on the finger next to my ring finger.
    “Together till the end of time”

    • Charity says...

      Anne, what a sweet and lovely story. :) I hope we can all have that kind of love!

  44. Mercedes says...

    Here is a thought have you guy’s ever thought of getting a tattoo ? Reason I say that you will never loose it. Find a nice design and go for it. Never need to check any gem’s on it never have to go shopping for new ring never have to resize it. That’s definitely something to think about. I would definitely do that and let’s say you get in a major fight and you or spouse go and sell it online or pawn shop.

  45. Rachael Kelley says...

    I developed a severe metal allergy during my first pregnancy (a mere 3 weeks after our wedding). I was really devastated at first, but realized with my newborn, I didn’t want to be wielding sharp objects while breastfeeding anyway. I found a lovely hickory ring on etsy and it’s become my new permanent ring. I love the weight and natural vibe, my beautiful bridal set looks almost tacky now, ha!

  46. Lisa Hodgson says...

    I’ve been married almost 38 years now. I loved my original ring. It was a beautiful small diamond in a teardrop setting . The engagement ring was joined with a band that curved around it.
    We were at my high school aged son’s football game. The weather was changeable. I pulled a jacket on and off. When I got home, I realized that the whole center of the ring, included the smallish diamond was gone. We went back the next day, and walked under the bleachers. We quickly realized the setting was unfindable.
    I went without a ring for several months, and then decided I felt unlike myself without a ring.
    After 20 plus years, it was very fun to shop for a new ring! I went with a local goldsmith. I have a beautiful wide curve of a band with three channel set diamonds.
    Why play around?
    Get a real ring.
    Wear it.
    Rub on lotion, and sunscreen.
    Sleep in it.
    LOVE IT!

  47. My husband and I have been married for 13 years and never got rings. I think we like the rebelliousness of not having them and not “needing” them to signify our love. Buuuuuut, my friend Stephanie has this company where she teaches couples how to make their very own, gorgeous rings in her studio (http://withtheseringshandmade.com). So at some point, when the right design strikes me, we’ll likely make each other rings!

  48. My favorite, favorite is With These Rings where you and your partner can go and literally make your own gorgeous rings in a day. Such an incredible and magical concept! http://withtheseringshandmade.com

  49. Judy Matthews says...

    I still wear my original wedding bands on my right hand because he bought me a engagement/wedding ring all I one 17 years later

  50. El says...

    Personally I still LOVE wearing my wedding band, 6.5 yrs in. It’s a plain and very thin rose gold band! I’ll be really sad if I lose it!

  51. Lisa Tyburski says...

    I added a new band to mine. It has 1 stone from my grandmothers wedding ring, 1 from my mothers and 1 I picked out. I will pass this ring to my daughter. I also like that the wedding ring lets people know I am happily married. I am proud to be my husbands wife. By the way the black diamond is nice.

    daughter.

  52. Lisa Tyburski says...

    I added a special band to mine . It has 1 stone from my grandmothers wedding ring, one from my mothers and 1 new one from me. I will pass this down one down to my daughter. me. I e

  53. Jessica says...

    The Noemi petite diamond band would be lovely, too! It’s on my wishlist. I have an engagement and wedding ring I love, and would be horrified to lose. The engagement ring is my great grandmother’s from 1929, which my grandmother beautifully restored when it came into her care. Every time I visited my grandmother growing up, I would ask to try it on. I have never been a big jewelry gal, but I was taken with the sparkle and the history and the Art Deco-ness of it. When my now-husband-of-8-years and I were talking marriage, I was like, YOU HAVE TO ASK MY GRANDMA FOR THIS RING! He did, she said yes, and we paired it with a band that incorportes his granmother’s diamonds from her tennis bracelet. We have a picture in our home from the day my great grandparents got engaged in March 1929. They are arm and arm beaming with joy, dressed in icon flapper style. The ring is on her finger. I love to see the rings on my finger, and hope to pass them on as a symbol of a committed and joyful marriage.

  54. Emma-Jane Stanley says...

    I had my husband’s initials tattooed to my ring finger in lieu of a ring; it’s a bit more me/us, and reading this I realise it also saved me from myself as I get SO attached to things, and losing my wedding room would break my sentimental little heart! I didn’t go back for the re-inking I was supposed to (it hurt so much the first time!) so nine years on, the tattoo has faded and kind of looks like part of my hand. Still love a beautiful ring on other people though!

  55. Madeleine says...

    I wear my great grandmothers wedding band. It’s a simple gold band with orange blossoms engraved in it (although at over 100 years old they are quite faded now). While I’m not generally super sentimental, this ring is precious to me. When I look at it I think of my family and the generations of love stories before me!

  56. Paula says...

    The ring with the black diamonds was classy, but I love the eternity bands that have the stones pave set all the way around, but my favorite one is just one stone wide and you almost can’t feel it. Looks yummy by itself and extra yummy with my solitare when I dress up to go out. I recently lost my irish/gaelic design gold band, and our original gold bands are a little wide for me. So, right now we wear nothing.

  57. I haven’t been married long, and when my hands are cold my ring gets loose! I wouldn’t be surprised if I looked down one day and it was gone. Until that day, here is my exact ring, made of recycled gold by a duo of very cool women up in Canada: https://atticgold.com/products/interlocking-rings-1

  58. Becca says...

    When we got engaged, my husband knowingly said, “I give you about five years before you lose this ring, let’s see how long it takes you” ….. annnnd, just lost the ring last month, 4.5 yrs into our marriage :) Good thing I picked out a very cheap ring for him to propose with, and good thing neither of us really care about the symbolism of it. Also, 5 years sounded like SUCH A LONG TIME when we got engaged at 21; time has a funny way of seeming so short in retrospect.

  59. Alexandra says...

    My mother lost her simple gold band wedding ring years ago. It bothered her, but she really didn’t know how to replace it. I saw Paloma Picasso’s loving hearts band and knew it was perfect for her. We are a family of three, and the band depicts three hearts intertwined. Maybe you could get a ring that represents not only your marriage, but your family as it is now?

  60. Cindi reeder says...

    I had one that I was ok with too at first…it lost 2 of its small diamonds thru the years so took a 3/4 carat diamond from a necklace that was my mom’s and 6 of the small diamonds from orig ring and had an extra special ring made…..and i just love it

  61. Julie says...

    I lost mine one week before our wedding – I was horrified because he had gotten me a really beautiful (expensive) ring, and it felt so flippant of me to just lOSE it. My husband’s response was the perfect response in my guilt-ridden soul . He said “nothing you could lose or ruin would make me love you less; we can look for the ring as long as you want, but it is just a “thing”. I wore a fake for the wedding and bought a more simple ring after the wedding.

  62. Brooke says...

    I started a new job 6 months ago and majority of my coworkers are married women. They ALL wear their rings differently! One only wears her engagement ring, another only wears her band, another wears a costume ring that she picked up after her wedding, one doesn’t wear a ring, one wears her band on the other hand.. and the list goes on! As a newlywed, I’ve loved seeing this as it reinforces that all the showy things about a wedding and engagement don’t matter – it’s just about the love the commitment.

  63. Kay says...

    My $30 ring gave out this year (14 years!) and his needs to be resized so we look like we’re not married I guess – but I’m holding out for something fun, and special and colorful and haven’t found it yet.
    Funny how we have such a visible signal for our “status”!

  64. Hi! Going out on a limb here but I own a fine jewelry boutique & workshop and we could totally make a new band for you! I’m a huge fan of your blog – it has kept me sane and motivated through the ups and downs of owning and running this business with my husband – and we would be happy to send a simple gold band up to New York if you decide you do want a replacement. We fabricate and finish our jewelry in-house so it could be extra special.
    Though, honestly, I do dig your idea of letting go of the material elements of marriage. Even as a jeweler I feel that too much is placed on these physical manifestations of relationships and too much judgment goes around when those objects aren’t up to “par”. Despite my profession I wear a simple flat gold band (that my husband made by hand) every day and I can’t count how many people lament this because I “should” have something flashier. A ring is just a ring, even if it’s a very special ring :)

  65. Erika says...

    Yes, the ring is a symbol. And symbols are important — but not more important than what they signify.
    After being married for a dozen years and then painfully separately and then divorced … my rings became symbols of love and loss.
    When I fell in love again, I couldn’t wait to be married, to have a ring, for it to be official. But, from experience, I also knew how fragile it could all be.
    That was five years ago and now I don’t care a wit about a ring or a dress or a legal designation (and I’m a lawyer!). We have a family, house, life … and such a deep understanding and appreciation for each other and what it took to get here. There is no symbol that could be more important than that.

  66. Jennifer Simmons says...

    I broke my diamond engagement band on a yoga mat 2years ago after we had just been through a rough spot in our marriage(13years of marriage). We ended up taking the diamond and making a family ring since I already wanted a ring with the kid’s birthstones. ❤

  67. Jessica says...

    I wonder if you’ll get hit on now that you’re not clearly identifiable as ‘taken’. Ha! (Please let us know if you do, that would be too funny)

  68. Sean Blais says...

    Contact me if you would like a custom ring made. Loved the article

    Cheers
    Sean

  69. Beverly Pair says...

    My heart is sad for everyone who lost their wedding rings! I too lost mine, a set and a plain gold band! I was putting lotion on my hands and arms and I had laid my rings on the hem of my shirt in my lap. Husband stopped at McDonald’s for us to go to the bathroom, so I get out, go to the bathroom, wash my hands and get back in the truck. We get to the football game and meet up with one of my granddaughters. I check my earrings to make sure the backs are still on and feel for my necklace, then as I reach to check that my rings are turned straight on my finger, I get a sick feeling and realize I forgot to put them back on after I put my lotion on!!!! I knew exactly what had happened, but I was praying they had fallen into the pocket of the door when I got out to go to the bathroom! I was nauseated and had a strange feeling in my heart, sort of a disconnect from my husband!!! I had told him, when he bought the band to match the engagement ring, that he’d never have to buy me any other rings! Well, 8 years and I’m eating my words!!! My granddaughter helped me look all in the truck, and we went back to the McDonald’s to look, and report it to them, just in case some good Samaritan turned them in, but NO LUCK!! I’m sooo upset when we get back and after the game, my husband takes me to file a report at the police station so they can check the pawn shops! Well it’s been about 7 years and no word of them being found!! I have posted a reward for the return of them and no charges will be filed, but still nothing!! We have been married 15 years now and I was hoping to have them back at least by our 20th!! Please say a prayer that the return will be soon! I appreciate all prayers!! (pairofpairs213@gmail.com)

  70. Brigid says...

    I got my engagement ring and band from Bario Neal (you posted about them years before I got married and I always planned to go with them). They are an amazing option for simple or rings with colored stones.

    Also, I love Young in the Mountains which makes rings also from recycled metals and American-mined stone inlay (sometimes fossilized dinosaur bone!)
    http://younginthemountains.com/

  71. Ell says...

    So sorry you lost your ring.

    But it is still on this planet with you, going round and round the sun for eternity <3

  72. Aly says...

    I wear my engagement/wedding ring daily and I would be upset to lose it. Mainly because my husband put so much thought into it when he picked it out. The center stone is an Alexandrite which changes from purple to teal depending on the light. I never wanted a huge diamond so he found a stone that contained my two favorite colors. The band has scrollwork details that he chose specifically because it reminded him of the doodles I am constantly drawing all over any piece of paper I get my hands on. He chose a marquise shaped stone because it was different then what you typically see and I’m known to not follow social norms. I love that he put that much thought behind my ring. On the flipside the morning after our wedding he lost his ring in the campground we were at. My reaction was “its not a big deal, we can get a new one” he was more upset about it than I. Luckily we found it after everyone spent 20 minutes searching. So I wouldn’t be upset by about losing the material object, more the sentimentality attatched to it.

  73. Kaitlin says...

    I lost my wedding ring twice. I replaced it, found the original and then lost the one I had replaced it with. (Closet the first time, sink drain the second.)

    But more lovely to me is my engagement ring. My husband and I got engaged when I was 20, and I promptly chipped the emerald in the middle. I later lost about 80 pounds but held on to this broken, too big ring. About two years ago, I had the gold and two diamonds repurposed into a new ring with a custom asymmetrical setting: the two old diamonds to represent us and a third tiny diamond to represent the future, which I hoped would be our child. She arrived last month and even though the ring stopped fitting halfway through my pregnancy, I still love looking at it everyday.

  74. Sharay says...

    “Maybe home is nothing but two arms holding you tight when you’re at your worst.” And that rings very true to me. Someone who is there, alongside you, for all the highs and lows, and somehow still loves you.

    Loved this……..

  75. Christine Bolin says...

    My husband and I were married in 1974. Together we picked out our rings and he purchased the trio of matching rings. My 1/3 ct engagement ring and matching band and his matching band. I have worn it for 44 years. The band shanks wore thin and had to be replaced. The diamond mounting points have been retipped because they wore thin and flat. He wore his ring only on special occasions because he was a butcher/meatcutter for 46 years and the equipment he worked with could have pulled off more than a ring. So when he retired last year, I had it resized and put it on his finger where it will remain til death do us part.

  76. Jessica says...

    My husband lost his ring last month while on vacation in Munich. He had been swimming around the stream in the English garden and it apparently slipped off. I felt so bad for him because he was really torn up. While it was inexpensive and he can get a new one, he said it was meaningful to him because it was the ring I had given to him when we made our vows to one another. Poor guy! So the next time anyone swims in this stream, keep an eye out! (I too have an indentation from my ring. Is this a normal thing?!)

  77. Jane Y. says...

    My husband recently lost his ring — in a waterfall in Hawaii! We’d been swimming in and out of a series of pools and falls, and knew immediately that we’d never find it. He must’ve seen my face start to crumple, and jumped in right away. Standing in golden light, waist deep in a mossy pool below the falls, he said: “Now a part of us will always be here.” That took my breath away. He turned worry, anxiety, self-recrimination into a beautiful moment that I’ll remember forever, in the best way. One of the reasons I love him so much.

  78. London says...

    My husband and I met for lunch this week and (for the third time this month) the waitress brought us separate checks. We realized that nobody can tell we are married when we are out together! We have different looks and ages and styles and don’t do a lot of PDA. Both of us wear plain bands. We joked about buying a giant diamond or starting to makeout all the time in public together. At the end of the day it was just a hilarious realization, because we love our marriage (even if nobody knows what it is).

  79. NancyD says...

    Sweet to read all these comments. I’m looking at my wedding ring right now. I NEVER took it off and now that I am widowed it’s still on my finger. Funny that it feels right to just leave it there…so that’s what I’ll do until if/when it doesn’t feel right anymore.

  80. Ava says...

    I’ve only been married for a few months. I love my engagement ring so much – we designed it together and it’s unique and probably my favorite thing that I own. I didn’t get a wedding band because I love the way the engagement ring looks alone. I’m not super sentimental about objects so I can see in the future getting a new ring if my preferences change or if I were to lose it. But for now I adore it :)

  81. Rachel says...

    When we were first married, I assumed I would “upgrade” after a big anniversary. But then after year 10, I had to stop wearing my rings because I developed an allergy to gold. I just went on Amazon and picked out something that reminded me of my wedding rings, but in titanium and cubic zirconia. It looks beautiful, doesn’t make my skin react, and cost less than $30 so it’s absolutely no stress in wearing it (or temporarily misplacing it) day to day.
    If I ever lose this one, I think I will replace it with something even cheaper and more durable, silicone.
    It’s funny—having an impressive ring seemed like such a huge deal when we were newlyweds, and now even my Amazon.com ring seems too flashy!

  82. Laura Grant says...

    My husband needed a heart transplant. He decided to buy me a blue diamond and matching eternity band to remember him by. Blue diamonds are for hope. We were very lucky and he received a new heart in 2004.
    We have been married for 51 wonderful years. I treasure all of my wedding rings.

  83. Lynn DeLaRosa says...

    I am married 33 years..did the 80s matching thing for first 12 years…pawn shop ring for 8..significant set for the next 10. But now I realize, I am committed to my husband and to marriage with him…but I cannot commit to a ring…inexpensive, small, large, simple, sparkely…I love them all and trade them regularly.

  84. S says...

    Is this the second time you’ve lost your wedding band? Or maybe I’m thinking of a different blogger? Do you wear your engagement ring at all?

    While I haven’t lost my rings, I rarely wear them anymore. They stopped fitting while I was pregnant and then I just kind of stopped wearing them as often once the baby arrived. While the ring definitely made me feel married in the beginning there have been plenty of things since then that have solidified our marriage other than the rings. Happy shopping for the new ring! :-)

  85. Lauren says...

    I lost both my engagement AND wedding ring over a year ago and then my husband lost his ring as well, partly thanks to our daughter (who I’m pretty sure was playing with them one morning). We have yet to replace them, but my Dad gave me some of my mom’s old jewelry (she passed away over 5 years ago) so that we can work with a jeweler to make some new rings when we are ready. I’m pregnant with our second– so it hasn’t been a huge priority right now.

  86. Sarah says...

    just curious, do you have an engagement ring? did you tell the story of your proposal, I can’t remember?

  87. Louise says...

    Jo, I think your ring got lonely and probably went to find Alex’s ring. :)

  88. Auste says...

    I stopped wearing mine when I was pregnant and my fingers got too fat. Even after I slimmed back down, I never put it back on. I have another little black diamond ring I wear on occasion. My husband lost his at the gym one morning and we both just kinda laugh about how we’re just a couple single people living together with two kids. I know we’re married. He knows we’re married. That’s all that matters.

  89. Jane says...

    I think it would be fun to pick one out with your boys, all of them. It’ll be an heirloom to them someday, whether it’s big and fancy or not. My own is a set from a now closed antique store in Pike Place Market, where I worked (and met my husband) when we got engaged. It’s from the 1940s, has teeeeeeny tiny diamonds, and cost less than $150 for the set. I adore it though, and I can’t wait to pass it on to one of my kids.

  90. Jennifer says...

    I love this. My husband died in the fall. I worry all the time about losing my engagement and wedding rings, which he chose for me. I wear his ring around my neck. But I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I’ll wear them like this forever. After ten years of marriage, it’s heartbreaking to imagine being without them, but your post reminds me that our marriage was about so much more than the rings. Thank you.

  91. Sharon says...

    I’ve noticed women that switch their ring out. they have different ones the way you would switch out your earrings. And at first, I was a bit envious, but then I realized, I could do the same! No one makes these rules!

    My husband and I are still newlyweds, so it does make me feel all warm inside when I notice how often HE wears his ring. He has a casual silicone one and a gold one pasted down from his grandfather; and even though he was a long time bachelor now over 40, he is religious about wearing his wedding band. So, to honor him, and make him feel that same joy, I try to make a point to always where mine.

    When I was young, I was dying to wear my engagement, then wedding ring, but probably not for the right reasons (that 1st marriage was never a good fit). I was dying to look grown up and be taken seriously as an adult. As a woman in business, I think it’s something lots of women deal with. Somehow being married makes you seem more established, which is silly…

  92. Alana says...

    This is so timely. After 3 pregnancies my diamond engagement ring doesn’t fit so I haven’t been wearing it and a replacement seems a little trivial after 5 adventurous years of marriage. In it’s place I wear my grandfather’s simple, gold wedding band on the middle finger of my right hand and my own on the left. We were very close and I was holding his hand when he took his last breath. He was married to my grandmother for 61 years and the interior of the ring is engraved with their initials and wedding date. I look at it and twirl it often, thinking of him and all the life stages he experienced while wearing it.

  93. Kim says...

    Very sweet post. I love my engagement ring and wedding band, especially because we customized them together. I do take them off for sleeping and working out and it’s so funny how people acted shocked like they never take theirs off, EVER. My brother-in-law never wears his ring. My sister couldn’t care less but for some reason it bothers my parents. People are silly, it’s not the ring that’s important. Thanks for your consistently lovely posts!

  94. michaela says...

    I have two ring dishes at home—one in the dining room, and one in the bedroom—and if the ring comes off my finger, it goes immediately into one of the dishes. I take it off to shower and cook/clean up, so the ring dishes are placed very far away from sinks or other places I could easily drop the ring into! I know if I didn’t have this system, I’d misplace it somewhere. I love the sentiment in this post, but I would hate to lose my ring. My husband worked with a jeweler to custom design it for me. After many discussions about what I liked and would want to wear when that time came (and what he had envisioned picking out for me!), they ultimately interpreted everything into a design that is a perfect blend of our styles, and I love the symbolism of that.

  95. A Martin says...

    Both my husband and I wear silicone rings. We both have proper wedding rings but ahhh these little guys are soooo comfortable and functional.

  96. Ryal says...

    My ring is 33 years old, and I’m very proud of it.

  97. Christina says...

    I have a simple rose gold ring with a string of small diamonds on it. I don’t wear an engagement ring, and it’s the only piece of jewellery I wear.

    I look at it every day, and I love seeing my husband’s on him, so I’d be bummed if either of us lost ours, but we went the first year of our marriage without one (we eloped, and had a more formal ceremony one year to the day later, then with exchange of rings for our families to see) so it’s not the end of the world if it disappeared. But I hope it doesn’t!

  98. Shelly says...

    I really love my engagement and weeding band but we also bought some silicone ones and those am wearing most of the time am very absent mind so if i lose them it wouldn’t be as bad??

  99. We’ve been married more than 35 years. I think dear husband quit wearing his within a week of the wedding. A couple years ago, we found Enso rings (silicone). I love it for working out because it’s so comfy. He likes it because it feels like nothing on his finger and there’s almost no problem when he’s doing construction projects around the house.

  100. zivar says...

    i rarely wear my ring, a simple gold band. on the other hand, my husband loves his and wears it all the time. he thought he lost it for a half second, last month, and tore our apartment apart until he found it in a pocket where he had tucked it while playing basketball. i find his devotion to his ring, wearing it with so much love and joy, to be beautiful and endearing. affirming of our connection. i also think he relates it to our daughter and being her dad, she was conceived on our wedding night.

  101. db says...

    Totally can relate to that shiny new ring at the airport feeling on the honeymoon, and then years later not being too sentimental about it.

    My husband stopped wearing a ring about 16 years ago. He bikes a lot and didn’t want it to slide off when he was sweaty. Then we had a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay and he didn’t want it to slide off on the boat or worse yet, get caught on something.

    Then when I worked in SF and was traveling a lot, my ring started to make my finger itch when it got wet (it is a wide artists-made ring – I never wanted a diamond) and my boss told me she always took her wedding ring off when she got home, which was like a revelation to me. At first I took my ring off to get over the itch and let my finger breathe, and then I kept taking it off when I got home.

    All these years later neither of us wear our rings frequently and it doesn’t bother either of us. The only time I might toss it on is when I don’t want any one to get the wrong idea about my status, or I just want my ring on because I love it. It’s really not about what other people think, it’s about what you think. After many years of marriage I know what I’ve got going on, no ring needs to tell me that. :) . But when my husband does wear his ring every 7 or 8 years, I do love it because in those moments it has special meaning because it is something he wants to do, not something he has to do.

  102. brie says...

    I am so jealous (which sounds odd) but I lost my 2 carat 4 prong round diamond ENGAGEMENT ring on Long Island (anybody seen it?) a year and a half ago when I took it off for an exercise class and put it in an envelope pouch attached to my bag, proceeded to forget about it for 4 days only to find it GONE when I checked back. The phone calls, pleas, searching and tears were endless. But in the end, Ive still got the most important thing of all, HIM. But man I miss that sparkly gem!

  103. Jephanie Harris says...

    I have a Marquis diamond, I still in love with it, I been married for 8 years, and would not change it.

    • Peg says...

      I have had my marquis for almost 10 years and still love it, too. My wedding band is a wrap, and sometimes (like today) I like to wear just the diamond ring without the wrap.

  104. Ralphie the Buffalo says...

    I got married this past June after 12 years of dating. My now husband dreaded the idea of a ring. He never got one in high school or college and doesn’t even wear a watch. He’s just not into that sort of thing.

    His career is a property inspector so I knew from the get go that I wouldn’t be buying a metal ring (white gold or platinum ) since it conducts electricity. I looked into cobalt and tungsten rings and decided they were too bulky.

    A friend of mine told me about her husband who is very handy with tools around the house that he wears a silicone ring. I looked online and found the perfect one from a site called QALO. My husband was reluctant to wear it so I said give it a month and if you hate it you won’t have to wear one, I won’t care.

    He really liked the design and how different it was, but he felt like it was a touch too big and still a little bulky. His 3rd day back to work, he lost it. Two days later he found it. Less than a week later, he lost it for good.

    I was a little bummed but chalked it up to that’s life and he’s just not one to wear that type of thing.

    He took it harder than I did and he really did feel bad like he let me down.

    I went online to amazon and bought a 3 pack of silicone rings and surprised him with it. The design isn’t as cool, and I don’t think the silicone is as strong on these new one, but he hasn’t taken these off, they haven’t fallen off, and he says the fit and comfort is better!

  105. I have a simple, rose gold band that I love. My engagement ring is gorgeous, so I wanted a simple band to accompany it. I am a very sentimental person and would hate to lose my ring. My rings have been extra important to me because for the first seven months of our marriage, I spent over three months without them because of an emergency cancer diagnosis and hospital transfer to a different state. I asked my husband to choose a simple half-eternity band from Etsy until I got my real ones back. It’s gorgeous—rose gold plated with a row of CZ. I now wear it on my right hand unless I have to be in the hospital, when I wear it as my main ring. But, you’re right, while my rings are a symbol of our love and commitment, our marriage (filled with the hardest things I’ve ever faced and beautiful, mountaintop moments) is what matters the most.

  106. Kathie Shoemaker says...

    Our first rings were that matchy three ring thing in the 80s. After 20 years hubby bought me an antique ring I fell in love with. I tried three different bands over the years but never found the right one. At 25 years I finally found it. He had lost his band a few years before. Then we hit 35 years and were going to get new rings for us both. My health took a turn and I couldn’t afford them any longer. We just celebrated 37 years and I’m wearing cheap rings from online. I had wanted something sparkly and SIGNIFICANT. I never had been into sparkle or girly. Maybe someday. Or maybe not. Its kind of fun to buy a new cheap set every once in awhile. My tastes have changed so much over the years. And lets be honest the rings from the early 80s were ugly.

  107. Everyone is posting about the ring, but your concept of marriage really hit me. I recently read the most beautiful sentence in Elizabeth Strout’s novel, “Anything is Possible. She writes, “Everyone, she understood was mainly and mostly interested in themselves. Except Sibby had been interested in her, and she had been terribly interested in him. This was the skin that protected you from the world–this loving of another person you shared your life with.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh that is so beautiful, christiana.

    • Dawn says...

      Your so right!

    • Em says...

      I just finished I am Lucy Barton and I loved it; adding Anything is Possible to my list now!

  108. I lost my engagement ring and wedding ring in the ocean last year. I knew it immediately, one minute was there and the next it wasn’t. After the initial sadness of losing the heirloom, I was shockingly FINE. It felt sorta nice to have the representation on my hand of our new era. I loved what you said, Joanna. There’s just so much behind that symbol now. It’s a different life than it was 12 years ago! My husband bought me a new, lovely, much simpler band. Which, in the current stage of Play-Doh, tons of swimming, and tons of dishes, feels really beautiful to me. I earned the more simple. The woman wearing the ring has gotten more beautiful and the marriage more meaningful.

    • “The woman wearing the ring has gotten more beautiful and the marriage more meaningful.” Beautifully said!

  109. Meg says...

    When I remarried, I picked a “rustic” black diamond. It has lots of imperfections, just like me, and my very happy marriage. I love it. And also the the edgy irony of a black wedding ring. It’s a little private joke every time I look at my hand.

    • Sharon says...

      I love that! I say all the time “I am who I am”… not in the sense that I don’t want to try to “improve”, but in the sense that I know I’m imperfect and I accept it, and yet want to be loved all the same. When I remember that, I have much more empathy for others, especially my imperfect and yet so lovable spouse. ;-)

  110. Anonymous says...

    So timely. Ever since I was little I would ask to try on my grandmother’s wedding ring. Always I would comment on its beauty with stars and my eyes, while my grandma would proclaim it far ” too much” and explain that she didn’t what my grandpa was thinking when he picked it out for her. That is when stars would appear in her eyes. Their relationship was so tender, a dance really. She would always act so proper while he would walk by and still a kiss. When my grandfather passed and I became an adult the ritual continued. Last week, my grandmother passed and the ring came to me. It fit. The second a replaced my simple band with this ring, my daughter, Fern climbed on my lamp and asked if she could try on the married ring…and so the ritual continued with a slightly longer story of a young engineer and a nurse. I hope I will have stars in my eyes for as long as we are here.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so, so sweet xo

    • A Martin says...

      So beautiful ❤️

  111. Beth Thurston says...

    We got married at 17 & 18 years old and this year we celebrate our 38th anniversary. I have my starter ring. The one with the little tiny diamond that we could barely afford and that doesn’t fit. For our 20th anniversary we upgraded and that is my special occasion ring. I have an inexpensive ring with our initials on it that I bought off Etsy that I wear daily. We work in the automotive industry so my husband has never worn his ring daily. He has also upgraded years ago. Most of the time neither of us wears a ring but we know we are married and that the commitment is there regardless of a ring.

  112. Dayna says...

    My father never wore his ring and my mum wears hers only on occasion – they’ve been married for 39 years and counting!

  113. Carrington says...

    Is it weird that I NEVER take off my rings? They are insured but I am so absentminded that I would surely lose them immediately. Plus, my husband picked my engagement ring himself and proposed on a mountain in Vail. And as superficial as it sounds, it’s from Tiffany’s and I was excited to see the little blue box that he had wrapped in some dirty socks :)

  114. Annie says...

    Ha, wedding ring “losers” unite! I had a very simple engagement band that I loved, and managed to lose (I swear it fell off my finger!) at a bar. I was back in my hometown visiting, without my husband, and had been married a year. I didn’t realize it was missing until the next morning and ran back to the bar to scour the floors. Well..I’m from a very small town and this same bar is also a “happening” brunch spot so I got to have a mini high school reunion (cue embarrassment) as other people crawled around on the floor helping me look. What a way to catch up, ha! I was feeling like a winner (not) and everyone who I didn’t already know there started referring to me as “the girl who LOST her engagement ring”. It never was found, but luckily when I called my husband to tell him, he laughed. Another reason to love him. Objects can feel so imbued with meaning but ultimately, they are objects. Love is action. But..I definitely can’t go back to that bar without a slight twinge of embarrassment!

  115. Kristin says...

    My husband gave me a slim white gold band and called it ‘his bookmark.’ It marked his place. I wore just that ring for years. We added a wedding ring on a trip to Brazil and I wear them both. My husband was wearing his ring while working on batteries on the boat and got a good shock. The ring heated up and burned his finger all the way around. He took off the damaged ring but jokes he now has a brand. I’m glad you have peace with losing your rings.

  116. Kaleigh says...

    I always told my husband that I wanted just a band because I knew that eventually that’s all I would want to wear, but he insisted that he get me a diamond anyway. I love my ring but since having a child, it does not fit the same. So now I wear an enso ring, and so does my husband, and we LOVE them. This is not an advertisement, we just truly enjoy them. We are not worried about losing them as they’re relatively inexpensive. My husband loves it because he never has to take it off either, he can wear it while working on projects around the house, or the truck, without fear of it getting caught and ripping his finger off. Ok, now I sound like an advertisement. I’ll stop. But truly, at some point I think the novelty wears off and practicality wins out!

  117. Ilse says...

    Mine flew off my finger into The Arabian Sea on my honeymoon. I’ll always know where it is.

    • I love this perspective

  118. Black diamonds is gorgeous.

    Phewf. I thought you were going to start a ‘no wedding ring’ movement for a minute there.

    It’s true, a ring is only an ‘outward symbol’ of marriage, but it represents a good symbol, one of the most important you’ll make. The normalacy & nostalgia of it is a comfort as well.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i agree. xoxo

  119. Julie says...

    This article has such great perspective. As I read that Alex had already lost his ring, perhaps when the time feels right you could have a simple gathering and reaffirm your vows. I bet your boys would love it too.

  120. Alice says...

    My husband and I married 13 years after we met and we didn’t get rings. We didn’t have a wedding as such, neither of us are particularly into the trimmings of weddings so rings just didn’t occur to me, really until now! I’m quite fickle with jewellery: I don’t usually wear it, when I do it’s bold, and I wouldn’t want to wear a ring every day on the same finger. He knows this about me, has bought me amazing pieces over the years, and I suppose he knew not to bother. He doesn’t ever wear rings. We never even discussed it! Thinking about it, I love how we aligned on the matter without thinking about it.

  121. Katie P. says...

    I lost my wedding ring in a Costco parking lot (!) when I was 5 months pregnant with our first son. I remember calling my mom in tears, and she said, “oh no, is it the baby?” I explained that I lost my ring, and she said, “well as long as you, Mike and the baby are OK, then we’re all OK!” A great reminder that material things are replaceable but a strong family team is the true joy of marriage.

  122. Jennifer O. says...

    My mom’s ring got too small – 5 babies and time I guess – and now she wears my dad’s. He’s ringless (I think his finger outgrew his too, but I don’t know if he considered a new ring or is just happy it lives on my mom’s finger). They just passed 45 years married.

  123. allison says...

    My mom lost her wedding band a few years’ ago during the holidays. We tore the house apart, (even the sink and garbage disposal!), and went through every trash bag after hosting a large group of friends and family for a delicious Christmas dinner. A few days later, my mom was still in tears….and I decided I was hungry. I plopped some of these au gratin potatoes (https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/scalloped-yukon-gold-and-sweet-potato-gratin-with-fresh-herbs) into the microwave for a snack, consoling my mom all the while. Three bites in, and I almost broke a tooth on that ring! She was OVERJOYED and cried of happiness for the next three days. I am recently married (!) and like many other readers, we used family rings. My husband has a ring that is a family heirloom, but is not going to wear it due to his work. My engagement ring has the diamond from my grandmother’s ring, and I am using a ring that my mom received as an anniversary gift from my dad as a wedding band. It is now sized just for me, with my husband’s initials and our wedding date. It is just stuff, but I do love the sentimental value of our jewelry! I hope yours turns up in the leftovers :)

  124. Ivonne says...

    My husband lost and found his ring several times. The mere thought of it being lost terrifies me. That’s why I use mine and his on one finger. I think it’s nice to use both, even when he’s huge and dances on my finger.

  125. Pip says...

    I am on my third wedding ring after 13 years of marriage. The first I bought, for the ceremony, featured a small, beaten silver heart but the bottom point was digging into my finger so I didn’t wear it. The second, bought as were about to move to Australia from the UK, had a bowed band that stood out from my finger and I just couldn’t get used to the feel of it so I didn’t wear it. A couple of months ago we went to Tiffany’s in Melbourne and I now have a simple silver eternity ring which fits beautifully – to the point where I don’t feel it and wear it all the time.

  126. Hani says...

    I can’t wear my (husbands family heirloom) wedding ring because I’ve gained 80lbs since we got married. He couldn’t wear his because of his job. So I started wearing his, and lost it down a drain.
    Right now, neither of us wear wedding rings and we think the same thing when we’re out–no one would know we were 7 yrs married with two kids. Just out on dates! Lol.
    It makes me a tiny bit sad every now and then, but, honestly it doesn’t feel like as big a deal as I would have thought before actually BEING married. Nice to read in the comments that we aren’t alone in this?

    • Sandhya says...

      Hani, I recently had a revelation and had my college ring re-sized after it got too small — it’s a forehead-slapper that it took me so long to realize this was an option! If you love your wedding ring and would like to wear it, this is totally feasible.

  127. xox says...

    This post is very moving to me because of some things happening in my life right now. I love that quote and you are right – if you have that, you have 1000 rings.

  128. Ellen says...

    Wow, what a beautiful story.

  129. Veronica says...

    I haven’t replaced mine I lost it about 2 years ago.
    My sister wears a silicone wedding band – it is supposed to be so much more comfortable.

  130. bree says...

    I wear a simple band like yours and when I was seeing patients, it amazed me how frequently my band would come in conversation. “Do you have an ACTUAL ring though?” or “Does your husband not love you enough to get you a bigger ring?” were two of my favorites. I like the look though – simple and classic.

    • Jessica says...

      Wow these are incredible!

    • Katie says...

      Yes! These have been on my wish list for years. They’re so pretty.

    • Nina says...

      Those are gorgeous. Funnily enough they remind me of my parent’s (mom’s) wedding band. It was a thick gold with alternating rubies, diamonds, sapphires – that had star spokes around them. But the band was also textured and it said: all my tomorrows inside. My mother never wore it that I remember due to her distaste of the marriage. It took her years to give it to me, after I begged and begged for so long. by then I didn’t even want it and I sold it when I needed some money for the gold. I don’t regret that, it felt like I was holding onto so much negative energy with it.

  131. My ring is also really simple and pretty, and quite reasonable compared with what I’ve seen other girls around NYC wearing! I just got married so still wear it every day and would be sad if I lost it, but it would definitely not be the end of the world. Love this attitude, Joanna!

  132. Teresa Andrews says...

    My marriage was lost way before my ring. I sold it for $25 and felt I got my money’s worth. The money I used to take my baby’s to McDonald’s and that was the happiest of happy meals ever.

    • Gen says...

      Oh my gosh, amazing.

    • cgw says...

      Omigosh, that last line, I love everything about it.

    • Lizzie says...

      You are fabulous.

  133. Martini says...

    Weep no more, Ladies.

    Beautiful Sophia Loren once told this story live on The Johnny Carson Show many years ago and I’ve never forgotten it and I’m ever grateful to her for it. It’s saved me an ocean of tears.

    Sophia Loren’s husband Carlo Ponti absolutely adored her and kept her in millions and millions of dollars worth of precious gems and jewels. Just gorgeous!
    She was robbed of all of them and was naturally crushed about it.
    Without blinking, Carlo completely replicated and enlarged upon what she had lost.
    And it too was lost again in yet another robbery.
    Once again Carlos had the entire treasure replicated but this time he had them all made in paste. Fakes, but just as pretty. She was thrilled and apparently never robbed again.
    Carson asked Sophia what she had learned from all this and she replied…”Never cry over something that wouldn’t cry back for you!!”

    Sound advice.

  134. shannon says...

    OMG. How did I not know that you had MAX WANGER photograph your wedding?!?! I’ve admired his work from afar (San Francisco) FOREVER! Does Max maybe want to do a secret sale for your followers?!? Pretty please?

  135. Irina says...

    My husband and I don’t have wedding rings. I have a thin gold ring with a tiny diamond that he gave me when he moved to the US to marry me. I guess I could consider it a wedding ring, or an engagement ring, maybe? In any case, it is something that symbolizes our relationship and I’d be sad to lose it. I wear it on my right middle finger.

    My husband doesn’t have a ring at all. I never gave him one; somehow it didn’t occur to me. And, now that I think about it, any kind of ring would be totally out of place on his finger, it’s just not his style (he wears the plainest pants, t-shirts, plaid shirts, and sneakers, extremely casual).

  136. Erin says...

    Being just a month into marriage, I think I would still be heartbroken to lose my ring! I can still feel my husband (!!!) shakily placing it on my finger during the ceremony, and all the times we tried them on before we were married imagining what it would feel like (but never at the same time – boundaries). It’s good to remember that our life together is bigger than the ring, but right now the ring is the symbol of the biggest thing we’ve done together, and I like that too.

  137. KimG says...

    I have a band quite like that one. I recently added a teeny one with an inside joke on it to make me smile when I’m feeling low.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that :)

  138. Kim G says...

    That quote brought tears to my eyes!
    I am happily married, I adore my husband.
    I ever knew life could be so good.

    Thanks for this!

  139. Jess says...

    My husband lost his second wedding ring (both to the sea) over a year ago and both of us have just forgotten to replace it ha. Think I’ll just get him a silicon ring for now for an anniversary present as he clearly can’t be trusted when swimming in the ocean ;)
    I’ve just been wearing my engagement ring (wedding band got too tight in super hot weather!) which is not worth a lot, but is a simple thin, platinum band with a small diamond from Portabello Road in London, where we met.
    Rings and the decision to wear one or not are just as unique as every relationship x

  140. Jen says...

    I have been reading this blog a long time and I could have sworn you had already lost it? Maybe someone else in the office?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i lost my first one in the floor boards at our office in 2015:
      https://cupofjo.com/2015/08/link-list-weekend/

      this is the second time i’ve lost it. i also misplace my phone, keys, wallet, etc constantly. alex got me one of those Tiles things for christmas! ;)

  141. Katie says...

    My 6 year old used to take my husband’s wedding ring off and play with it when he was toddler. When he was 2 we were on Maui and he threw it into the ocean! My ring has always been too bulky and uncomfortable so I stopped wearing it a few years ago. 10 years of marriage and 4 years without rings, and neither of us have found a replacement we love. We talked about getting new rings for our anniversary this year but I don’t think either of us really care that much!

  142. Shannon says...

    My husband lost his ring on the top of a mountain. I appreciate that it goes alongside a good adventure story. It also seems fitting for the man I married and love, and that’s more important.

  143. Rachel says...

    When I was thinking about what I wanted my wedding ring to represent I kept coming back to embracing the imperfection of life…and certainly of marriage. I’m not a pessimist but I find being with the light and dark of life an important practice. So a sparkling white diamond just wouldn’t do. Enter: gray diamonds. Not only is my ring beautiful but it truly represents how I want to approach marriage and life.

  144. Lexi says...

    This reminds me of what happened to my parents when I was a teenager – and though it may not sound like a happy ending story it was absolutely the best for everyone.
    I was maybe fourteen or fifteen when my mother realized that the diamond in her engagement ring was gone. She was devastated; she had almost definitely lost it outside, and our house was in the middle of the woods. There was no chance of finding it.
    She was frantically upset for a few days, almost outlandishly so. She couldn’t make up her mind about what she wanted to do. She didn’t want a new ring, she didn’t want a new stone placed in the old setting, she didn’t want to take it off, she just wanted the old diamond to have never been lost and for everything to go back to how it was before.
    Finally, she decided to take the ring off. She couldn’t remove it by herself, her fingers had severely swollen and grown over the course of her marriage, so my father had to take a pair of pliers and break the actual ring to get it off. It was all pretty aggressive – and symbolic. My parents, staring at the broken ring, decided almost on the spot to separate. While there was no ill will between them there was also no real connection; they were together mostly out of habit and finally felt free to make a change. They became much better friends, wonderful co-parents, and it was a peaceful and positive transition for the whole family.

    I’m so glad you’ve found your own positive insights from your experience (and that onyx ring is gorgeous). Just funny how much we can put on a single piece of jewelry.

    • Laura C. says...

      Wow, what a story, Lexi.

  145. Elizabeth says...

    I’m pregnant with my first right now and my wedding ring no longer fits. It’s a funny feeling – no more ring, but a belly with his kiddo inside! Feels like I’ve traded one sign of our love for another. :)

    • Jolanda says...

      This happened to me when I was pregnant with my first as well! My husband, who feels very strongly about our wedding bands, and put great thought into the design, immediately had it resized. Now I am pregnant with my second, and I am happy to report that it still fits me! (after the pregnancy I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but luckily for us, never to my pre pregnancy ring size…)

  146. Shelley says...

    My parents both lost their wedding rings longggg long ago. Neither of them cared! I always loved that.

    • Laurel says...

      Love this!