Personal meaning

Ditch traditional diamonds: East Coast couples opt for personal meaning and uniqueness in wedding bands

When Melissa McCarron married husband Danny in 2017, she knew she didn’t want a typical wedding or engagement ring.

“For a very long time, I never imagined myself with a traditional engagement ring and having a diamond on my finger wouldn’t represent who I am,” said Sturgeon, a PEI woman.

“I don’t wear jewelry, I’m a pretty simple person, I try to lead a minimalist life, and I’m a nature lover.”

She wanted to incorporate this somehow into her rings.

When Sturgeon, PEI couple Danny and Melissa McCarron got married, they decided they wanted something different from the traditional rings. “When we were dating and started talking about marriage, I always said I wanted a wooden ring,” says Melissa McCarron. – Contributed

“When we were dating and started talking about marriage, I always said I wanted a wooden ring,” she said, adding that she didn’t know where they would find one, but she did. that was what she wanted.

“Danny intended to make me one and my uncle often made fun of him by ‘cutting’ a ring for me. I had my doubts, so I went online for ideas, as I wasn’t sure what kind of set I could get.”

She eventually found a business in Guelph, Ontario. who had some nice sets.

“I liked the look of the English oak and went with the black pearl because pearl is my birthstone. I told Danny what I wanted, and he took it from there. When it came time to get our bands, we had a matching set made,” she said.

And for her husband’s DIY project?

“Danny made a ring, but it didn’t go as planned. His intentions were there though,” McCarron says.

She adds that she is happy that she stayed true to her ideals and got the ring she wanted.

“We wanted something more eco-friendly, more representative of us and unique. We get lots of compliments on our rings. They might not be flashy, but they still stand out,” she says.

“We are not very favorable to materialistic things. Our rings mean so much to us that they might not be worth much, but they are invaluable to us.”

Catherine and Jamie Sansome, a couple from Indian Cove, Newfoundland, can't wear traditional rings to work, so they opted for tattooed rings instead.  - Contributed
Catherine and Jamie Sansome, a couple from Indian Cove, Newfoundland, can’t wear traditional rings to work, so they opted for tattooed rings instead. – Contributed

Make permanent

If a marriage isn’t permanent enough, Catherine and Jamie Sansome, a couple from Indian Cove, Newfoundland, have found another way to make sure their wedding vows last forever.

“We opted for tattooed wedding bands,” explains Catherine.

“I love art in all forms, including tattoos, and we both can’t wear rings while working due to the nature of our jobs.”


“The tattooed rings symbolized our union and would not need to be removed and possibly lost during labor.”

-Catherine Sansome


Catherine works as a baker and pastry artist and owns Catherine’s Incredible Edibles, a small home baking business. Her husband works as a mason/mason.

“So it’s a danger for one of us to wear jewelry,” says Catherine.

“The tattooed rings symbolized our union and would not need to be removed and possibly lost during labor.”

“I love art in all its forms, including tattoos,” says Catherine Sansome. She and husband Jamie Sansome opted for tattoos instead of traditional rings. – Contributed

Cheaper choices

When Kensington, PEI couple Amy Doyle and Tyler Graves got engaged in July 2020, Doyle was very budget-conscious.

“When we were discussing our engagement, I told Tyler that I wanted to wear a ring, but he better not spend more than $100 on it,” she says.

The couple were new homeowners, she explains, and she thought the money would be better spent on their home.

Amy Doyle and Tyler Graves from Kensington, PEI.  have selected silicone wedding bands.  - Contributed
Amy Doyle and Tyler Graves from Kensington, PEI. have selected silicone wedding bands. – Contributed

“He found a beautiful ring for under $100 to offer, but I told him if he had found some twigs in the woods and tied them together it would have been just as special,” Doyle added.

The couple also didn’t want to wear traditional metal bands when they got married. Instead, they opted for silicone bands, which Doyle likes a lot more.

“They never cling, are comfortable, can be swapped out for different colors, and I never worry about losing them,” Doyle says.

Another advantage? Her husband “can wear a silicone bracelet while on the job as a paramedic and it doesn’t interfere with his job.”

Doyle and Graves aren’t afraid to think outside the box and go against tradition if that’s not working for them.

“(We) think critically about most traditions and will change the way we celebrate them to suit us,” says Doyle.

“Buying an expensive ring just to show off your status is so ridiculous to us, while a simple silicone ring conveys the same message. Expecting a diamond ring over $1,000 is so weird, and to think that the cost of the ring proves your love is stronger is fake.”

Although their wedding plans have been repeatedly postponed due to COVID, they are already happily sporting their silicone bands.

“Tyler is wearing a ring now even though we’re not married yet – we know we’re committed to each other for life and we both love the symbolism of a ring, so why should we expect him to wait for our wedding, especially since it’s been postponed so many times?” Doyle said.

“We love the symbolism of wearing a ring to show we are committed to each other, but we hate the materialism and classism of expensive diamonds. The appearance of the ring doesn’t matter, only the idea of ​​wearing one is what matters.”

Doyle said their choice of silicone bands for wedding rings is a much better reflection of who they are.

“We’re both laid-back, laid-back people who prefer to be comfortable rather than fashionable.”

New Takes, Old Tradition

Lan Gallagher is one of the owners of Trinity Jewelers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which specializes in custom work and jewelry maintenance. More and more, says Gallagher, couples are coming in search of synthetic diamond (LGD) engagement rings.

With the same attributes as a mined diamond, LGDs are simply grown in the lab rather than mined from the earth.

Lab-cut diamond engagement rings and wedding bands are growing in popularity, says Lan Gallagher, owner of Trinity Jewelers.  - Contributed
Lab-cut diamond engagement rings and wedding bands are growing in popularity, says Lan Gallagher, owner of Trinity Jewelers. – Contributed

Many couples are also looking for new versions of heirloom pieces.

“(We) see a lot of jewelry that comes from family heirlooms where we use the material — gold, gemstone, or both — to create a new piece,” Gallagher explained.

“For those who want to keep the original pieces from their great-grandmothers and aunts, we restore them so the customer can wear the piece worry-free.”

Using old gold and recycling it into new alliances or alliances has also become popular, in part because the price of gold is so high right now. For couples who already have the material, it becomes a more cost-effective option, while being environmentally friendly to reuse the material.

“What is old is new. We see older pieces being restored or recycled into new pieces. The 1980s trends are coming back,” added Gallagher. “Yellow gold, chains and necklaces are in demand. Classic and simple pieces like signet rings, necklaces and solitaires are also a big hit.”