There’s something very intimate about having your wedding rings engraved. Because the inscription is inside the ring, closest to your skin, it’s like a secret only the two of you share, one that you carry with you forever. What’s written there should be as important as your wedding vows.
Yet engraving is often an afterthought – just another box you have to tick (or not tick) when selecting your rings. Unlike the metal colour, most people don’t give any thought to the inscription until they’re ordering, and by then it’s too late to do anything about it. They end up quickly choosing something generic, such as “I love you”, or opt for no engraving at all.
But by dismissing the inscription as ‘just another customization option’ you’re missing an opportunity to make your wedding rings more special and personal. Take some time to find the perfect inscription instead of going for the first thing that pops into your head.
What makes a good wedding ring inscription?
Over the years of helping couples choose the perfect wedding ring inscription we've learned that the best inscriptions follow three ‘18-karat gold’en rules:
- Make it short
- Make it meaningful
- Make it timeless
Let’s take a look at each of those in turn.
Make it Short
This perhaps goes without saying, but there isn't a lot of room inside a wedding ring. If you order engraving directly via our website there’s a 26 character limit. But for a small extra charge, we can hand-engrave anything on request - of any length, in any language – as long as it fits inside the ring.
Even so, if you've got your heart set on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, you’re going to have to make some cuts. Instead of trying to squeeze the whole thing in, try choosing two or three words that capture the essence, such as “Love alters not.” You’ll be reminded of the full meaning every time you see it.
Alternatively, if your chosen inscription can’t be shortened, you could engrave half inside one ring and half inside the other. There’s nothing to say both rings have to have the same inscription and what better way to say “you complete me”!
Make it Meaningful
By meaningful, I mean meaningful to you. Your wedding ring inscriptions are for your eyes only. Who cares if the world at large doesn't understand Klingon? If you do and you want it engraved inside your rings, go ahead.
Lots of things can be meaningful to you that would make no sense to anyone else - whether it’s a line from your favourite movie or your pet names for each other. One Californian couple we know had the names of their Second Life characters engraved each other’s wedding rings as a permanent reminder of how they met.
The important thing here is authenticity. Lots of people fall into the trap of thinking that a wedding ring inscription should be serious and profound. But don’t pick a quote from Pride and Prejudice if you've never read any Austen. Choose something that reflects who you really are as a couple.
Make it Timeless
Let’s not be cynical. Love is forever. Your wedding rings are forever. A good wedding ring inscription will be as meaningful on your golden wedding anniversary as it is on your wedding day. Bad wedding ring inscriptions, on the other hand, are like bad tattoos. You’ll forever be asking, “What were we thinking??”
An inscription that’s timeless will always ring true (pun intended) no matter when you look at it. Love may alter not but people do, and the things you like now may not be the same things you like in 20, 30 or even 50 years’ time.
So how can you be sure of choosing an inscription that’s timeless? As a general rule of thumb avoid:
- Jokes. Nothing is funny for that long.
- Pop culture references, e.g. “Officially off the meerkat”. (Also see 1.)
- Anything trying to be ‘cute’ or ‘clever’. It won’t age as well as you will.
Five Easy Steps to Inscription Perfection
So now you know what makes a good wedding ring inscription, but how are you ever going to decide what to use? Just follow these five easy steps to inscription perfection:
- Grab some paper and write “About Us” at the top. Then list everything you like to do together, your shared interests and beliefs, your favourite films, songs, books, and everything else you have in common.
- On the same page, add significant details about your relationship such as where, when and how you met, your pet names for each other, and your plans for the future.
- Once you've finished, it’s time to hit the books (or screens)! Look up the lyrics to your favourite songs, watch your favourite films again and write down any lines you like. Also look up quotes on-line using keywords that are on your list. You never know what you’ll find.
- Start a new list for anything with wedding ring inscription potential. Stick it on the fridge and add to it as needed.
- After a few weeks – or whenever you need to order the rings – go through your list and choose your favourite. Don’t forget to use our three ‘18-karat gold’en rules to help you!
Wedding Ring Engraving for Dummies
Here’s a quick summary if you don’t have the time or the inclination to read the whole article (or, as I like to think, you've relished every word and don’t yet want it to end):
- Don’t just opt for “I love you” because it’s easy. Take the time to come up with something original.
- Choose a wedding ring inscription that’s short, personally meaningful, and that will age well.
- Brainstorm all the things that define you as a couple to find the perfect inscription.
And remember, if you really can’t decide or you’re not sure about having an inscription at all, don’t do it. It’s much easier to have one added later than it is to remove an engraving that was a mistake!