To some this may seem like a silly question, but it is one we frequently encounter.
Technically there is no difference, a ring is a ring is a ring and the meaning it has to each individual wearer determines the symbolism of that ring. We have had customers purchase the same style of ring to be used for Engagement, Marriage and just as a Dress ring. However over the years, 2 specific styles have stood out from the rest and are now commonly viewed in society as Engagement rings and Wedding rings.
So what is the difference?
Design- the primary difference between engagement rings and wedding rings is the design. Engagement rings tend to be larger and more extravagant and are synonymous with a centre stone such as a diamond or morganite etc. Wedding rings are usually either plain or carrying smaller diamonds set in a particular pattern such as Eternity or Half Eternity.
Timing- of course the timing plays a large role in the symbolism behind each ring, as the engagement ring is presented during the proposal and is worn by your fiancé and wedding rings are exchanged on the day of the marriage as a promise and a symbol that the person is married.
Does my engagement ring and wedding ring need to match?
In short, no. It is not vital that the 2 match, but we would always recommend going with a complimentary style if you do not want a matching band. There are many variations and many ways this can be achieved depending on your engagement ring style.