9 Alternatives to Wedding Rings That Defy Tradition

Break the traditional wedding mold with these wedding ring alternatives.

Published April 17, 2023

Wedding rings aren't the must-have marriage accessory they're marketed as. Of course, an expensive piece of jewelry can be a wonderful gift, but for so many people, affording a ring can be a barrier to entry on starting a life with the person they love. Whether you're just a quirky couple with unconventional tastes or you can't afford to invest in a ring right now, here are some great wedding ring alternatives.

Get Permanent Jewelry Made Together

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Everyone hopes their wedding turns out to be a lifelong affair, and you can put your "til death do us part" money where your mouth is and commit to a piece of permanent jewelry. Instead of wearing a ring you can take off, lose, and maybe only wear on special occasions, you can get permanent jewelry affixed together.

Permanent jewelry usually amounts to a precious metal chain that's cut and soldered onto your wrist, neck, or ankle. So, unless you break the chain, it's not coming off. What's one more commitment when you're already making a much bigger one in your life?

Commit to a Shared Financial Investment


For some people, jewelry just doesn't hit in the same way that cold hard cash does. Instead of spending a few thousand dollars on wedding rings, the two of you can invest that money into a shared financial account. Whether it's in a stock portfolio or retirement plan, you can make a more substantial investment in your shared future by putting that ring fund elsewhere.

Get Matching Finger Tattoos


For people who work with their hands, wedding rings aren't always the best idea. Before silicone rings were a popular option, people's main alternative was getting finger tattoos. By getting your wedding date, your spouse's name, or something more ambiguous, like an infinity sign, tattooed, you can commemorate your wedding in a way that's more permanent than jewelry.

Buy Each Other Vintage Watches to Wear


Sometimes, rings just aren't your style as a couple, and that's totally okay. For thousands of years, people didn't need rings to signify their married status, and you don't either. If you're more sentimental and dapper in your fashion senses, you can pick out vintage watches to gift to each other. This way, you're spending sustainably and really curating a thoughtful gift your partner will love.

Have Hand Casts Made on Your Wedding Day

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A really interesting way to commemorate your nuptials without feeling like you need to invest in a piece of jewelry is to get a mold made of you and your spouse's hands on your wedding day. After the ceremony and before the reception, carve out some time to get a mold made of the two of you clasping hands together. You can then have this filled and fired, so you can keep the sculpture for years to come.

Save a Bottle of Wine With Your Wedding Year Vintage

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A new wedding trend that's popped up in the past few years is buying a bottle of wine to commemorate your wedding and locking it away until a future anniversary. If you're both amateur sommeliers and nothing gets you more excited than sitting down for a glass of red, this is a great ring-alternative for you. Put the thousands you'd spend on precious gems towards a top-notch bottle of wine that'll only get better with time.

And it's a promise to stay committed to one another in a way that wearing a ring isn't. Instead of something you get to wear every day, you'll both have to wait years to taste the payoff.

Commission an Old-School Portrait

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A really fun way to embrace the sentiment of a wedding - that of a deep connection between two people - is getting a professional couple's portrait made. For the princess core, royalty core, and dark academia babes, this one's for you. Because handcrafted arts can be really expensive, it'll definitely be worth allocating your ring money to.

You might be thinking it's a bit silly to put a portrait of you and your spouse in the middle of your living room, but your ancestors would beg to differ. After all, we still can't help picking up those random but lovely old paintings at thrift stores. So, invest in being a future thrifter's find with a custom wedding portrait.

Set Up a Commemorative Cloche With Wedding Mementos

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Victorians turned mourning into an art, and you can do the same with your wedding. For creative couples who like to experience life outside of its norms, one way you can mark your wedding commitments is by creating a wedding centerpiece to display in your home.

Glass cloches (think the Beauty and the Beast rose case) offer an antique aesthetic with a modern construction. They're relatively cheap, come in a variety of sizes, and turn even the most mundane objects into high art. Collect mementos from your wedding like flowers from the bouquet, ribbons from the decorations, and handkerchiefs that wiped up your happy tears. Then arrange and display them inside your cloche.

Carry Around Small Travel Vows

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A really quirky but heart-warming alternative to keeping your spouse with you at all times by wearing a ring is carrying around a small booklet or laminated copy of your vows. Bonus points if you get them handwritten. Think of it like carrying around a little reminder of your commitments to each other, so that you'll always be living life in a way to support and love them more.

Don't Put a Ring on It


From wearing tennis shoes to you-pick-the-style bridesmaid dresses, non-traditional weddings are shaking up the traditional wedding industry. Continue to break the mold by forgoing the wedding ring and picking out one of these cool alternatives instead.

9 Alternatives to Wedding Rings That Defy Tradition