Saturday, September 24, 2011

With Same Sex Marriage Laws Come Stunning Alternative Wedding Bands

In recent months, many states have passed groundbreaking laws allowing same sex marriage. While not yet federally recognized, the laws have allowed many people the chance to make their relationships official and even to obtain tax and health benefits that states allow to other couples. With these changes, a segment of the population that was largely excluded from the wedding community has a chance to make their love official, and with these ceremonies come a host of remarkable alternative wedding bands.

While a number of same sex couples opt for traditional wedding bands, many couples are looking to alternative jewelry. While for some the choice is in order to obtain custom matching bands, for others the choice is about finding rings that stand out and serve as a reminder of how hard they fought for the right to have what the rings symbolize. Alternative wedding bands come in a variety of designs, settings, and colors, and the choices are nearly infinite.

One popular trend among same sex couples is to purchase matching bands or rings for their wedding. Many of these bands share a common inscription, which may be on the inside or the outside of the ring. The inscriptions vary, from names and dates to sentimental phrases, literary quotes, biblical verses, and more. Other couples opt for matching rings with symbols of gender or traditional wedding symbols, such as the Claddagh.

Another common trend among current same sex couples is to choose matching settings and use alternative stones rather than diamonds. The most popular stones chosen are for each member of the couple to use the other’s birthstone. This creates beautiful rings that mark a special occasion in a unique way.

Many same sex couples also consider rings with six differently colored stones representing the rainbow, which is considered a symbol of gay pride. When these rings are made with real gemstones, they are both exceptionally beautiful and quite valuable. For couples unable to afford these gemstone bands, there are alternatives made with simulated stones.

Perhaps the most popular ring style among same sex couples is the band. While the band can be simple or elegant, it does not contain protruding stones. This is for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Many people do not enjoy protruding stones that immediately draw the eye, and in many professions they are considered hazardous and even forbidden. They can quickly snag on gloves and machinery and can present a risk to wearers, patients, and coworkers. This has helped to increase the popularity of alternative wedding bands.

While many people can not wear rings with three dimensional stones, many couples still seek rings that offer more than a simple, single colored band. Many alternative wedding bands feature a combination of two or more metals in a pattern. This can be anything from black titanium and platinum to a combination of white and yellow gold. Designs range from simple stripes to intricate Celtic knot designs and gay pride symbols.

There is really no shortage to the designs that can be implemented on alternative wedding bands. Many same sex couples elect to create their own custom wedding bands in order to have a set of rings that is truly unique to them. These couples have waited a long time, some of them an entire lifetime of sixty years or more for this day, knowing that they may never see it, and the desire for everything to be perfect means the creation of the perfect wedding rings.

While not yet legal across the nation, a few states have set forth this groundbreaking legislation. Political arguments aside, these laws allow for numerous happy couples to finally have the chance to walk down the aisle and pledge their lives to the person they love. While each ceremony is still considered groundbreaking and each couple still feels incredibly lucky to take part, at the heart of every ceremony is a simple exchange of vows and rings that symbolize the culmination of many years of struggling. With the exchange of these alternative wedding bands, these couples can take a look at their ring fingers and know two very important things; they have finally been able to legally promise to spend their lives with the ones they love, and they were truly a part of changing history.

With the legalization of what has long been called an “alternative lifestyle”, it is only fitting that there is commonly an exchange of what we consider alternative wedding bands. Not the three dimensional, diamond studded bands that are expected at most weddings, but quieter, more subtle, and often with stones embedded inside the band, these rings are unique and often one (or two) of a kind. They seem to make a perfect way to mark a union so unique and so desperately fought for.

No comments: