Hell. Fucking. Yes.
It's the twenty-first century, and relationships are evolving. Our wedding jewelry traditions need to evolve too.
As I stress time and time again to my clients, the most important thing in making decisions about wedding jewelry is open and honest communication with your partner. Listening blindly to the traditions of your conservative relatives shouldn't even rank on your list of decision-making priorities (unless, of course, that's what you and your partner want).
The "traditional" heteronormative proposal process entails a man bestowing his bride-to-be with an ornate engagement ring prominently featuring a large diamond (a tradition dating all the way back to the golden age of the 1940's, a scheme concocted by an evil corporation, by the way). She then gets to wear this ring for the length of the engagement (and often beyond), to the admiration and jealousy of her peers.
The jewelry choices for him tend to be limited to a simple solid precious metal wedding band in one of a few smooth profiles. Additionally, he typically doesn't get to wear his ring until the wedding ceremony.
This "traditional" process leaves little room for the ever-expanding conceptions of marriage and any sense of personal touch. LGBT couples, in particular, are forced to innovate on these wedding customs and jewelry to adapt these gendered traditions to their needs. A lot of these excellent innovations are also catching on with straight couples too.
Growing in popularity are wedding bands for men that feature a higher degree of ornamentation, with decorative stones, and in some cases, a larger prominent center stone. More and more men are also electing to wear their rings during the engagement, instead of only after the weddubg ceremony, to demonstrate their commitment to the world just like his partner.
Also growing in popularity is the concept of engagement rings for men. This trend features a more ornate ring for men to be exchanged during the proposal and worn during the engagement. Men may then also augment their ring with a wedding band during the ceremony, just like their partners, or they might leave it as-is.
The great thing about wedding jewelry is that you and your partner can make whatever decisions make you happy. Spending time to focus on men's jewelry in addition to women's is a great way to highlight his individual style and taste.
It's also a great conversation piece, and helps to spark debate on heteronormativity and the institution of marriage as it relates to the modern couple.
Men's engagement rings often feature more traditionally masculine design elements, leveraging a higher weight of precious metal, a more understated or dark stone, and stronger, more angular lines. However, these rings, much like the men who wear them, demonstrate a wide degree of individuality and variation. There are plenty of rings typically marketed to women that would be a natural fit for any man.
Couples exchanging engagement rings during or shortly after a formal proposal is a great way to demonstrate the mutual respect, commitment, and admiration they feel for one another.
I am currently working on developing a line of men's engagement rings featuring rough diamonds, but until that line is complete, I can always work with you to design something custom. Let's make something awesome together!