On the hunt for the best wedding bands for men? You’re in luck: we’re coming to you live from Wedding Week, GQ Recommends’ exhaustive guide to navigating the nuptials circuit in style. Whether you’re looking for a non-corny groomsmen gift, the right venue to get hitched, or just trying to figure out how much to spend on a swanky new tux, we’ve got all the thoughts, takes, and, yes, recommendations you need to make planning your wedding—or attending someone else’s—a breeze.
Finding the right wedding band, for yourself or your soon-to-be spouse, seems like it should be easy—after all, you probably know this person pretty well by now. But, like planning a wedding itself, hunting down the ring of your dreams can be deceptively tricky. Maybe you’ve recently learned that your Prince Charming dreams of nothing more than an extremely big, bold ring to subvert all the minimal-leaning clothes in his closet. Or, while doing some very important internal reflection, you realized you actually kind of want a classic wedding band—but nothing too stuffy.
Whatever vibe you’re after, we’ve got you covered. The beauty of buying a wedding ring in 2023 is that it can come from anywhere and look like anything; it can come wrapped up in a little blue box, it can come from your favorite indie jeweler, it can come in a 12-pack you ordered purely for the express shipping. (Heck, it can even be totally nonexistent, though if you’re planning to go sans ring you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.) All that’s to say, there’s a dizzying array of options out there—and more options, as anyone dealing with a wedding caterer well knows, just means more anxiety.
So to help make your imminent union as stress-free as possible, we cherry-picked the best wedding bands for men, and slotted them into four no-frills categories you should familiarize yourself with before the big day. Figuring out your fiancé was the one might’ve taken years, but finding your ride-or-die ring should only take minutes.
Four Types of Weddings Bands Worth Knowing
The Modern Classics
We’re calling them classics for a reason: sleek, simple, and always in style, these are the bands you probably saw your parents exchange when they forced you to watch their wedding video as a kid. They’re still crafted from warm gold or cool silver, but much like the department store your folks bought theirs from, the genre has undergone a bit of transformation lately. Today, you can choose from any number of no-frills circular bands, but you can also opt for a luxe modular silhouette or a jewel-inset version that’s left intentionally open-ended. (Don’t read too much into the symbology there.) The best part of taking the more traditional route is the chance to re-examine–and possibly re-define–what tradition looks like to you in the first place.
The New Wave Alternatives
If the idea of wearing a wedding band didn’t cross your mind until this very moment–maybe you never imagined yourself as the settling down type, or just disliked the idea of wearing a single piece of jewelry for the rest of your life–relax: in 2023, any ring can be a wedding ring if you dig it enough (and your partner’s cool with it). If you’re newly pro-band and want something with a little more funk than the usual options, there’s an onslaught of extremely wavy rings—some stacked to the brim with colorful, eye-grabbing gems—waiting for you to slip them on.
The Eco-Conscious Gems
If your relationship to Mother Earth ranks only slightly below your relationship to your significant other, your wedding band should reflect your values. So before you spend a couple months’ salary on ring, you’re going to want to assess its materials (and where they were sourced). Maybe your future spouse strictly opposes buying newly-minted precious jewels, or maybe you just can’t see yourself springing for a natural diamond with a clear conscience. Whatever factors are compelling you to put the planet first (or, at least, at a close second), there’s no shortage of eco-conscious, ethically-made, and—yes—incredibly stylish bands to choose from.
The Cheap (but Not Cheap-Looking) Replacements
Sometimes you need to take your wedding band off–to go to the gym, to get an MRI–and sometimes you end up forgetting where you put it down. Best case scenario, it fell to the floor, and after a few minutes of frantically scanning the ground with your phone’s flashlight, it’s back on your finger before anyone notices. The worst case scenario, though–the one that leaves you in dire need of a replacement, pronto—can be a crushing emotional and financial hit. There is, however, a third option: If you’re the forgetful type, you could swing over to Amazon and order yourself a 4-pack of extremely affordable replacements that’ll look the part for pennies on the dollar. Is the Bezos-backed superstore the first place we’d check for a top-notch wedding ring? No. But if you’re already down a band or two (in every sense of the word), it might behoove you to save yourself the headache going forward.