An Engagement Ring Shopping Guide for Alternative Brides

rustic diamond slice alternative engagement band

Every bride-to-be is different. Not everyone chooses a classic solitaire diamond, and not everyone wants to use their budget that way. Often, brides want to choose a ring that expresses their individual taste and unique personality in a way that a classic diamond engagement ring simply doesn't.

There are so many choices available once you look past the classic solitaire diamond band - it can be intimidating! You're choosing your forever jewelry, and it represents so much, so it's not a small decision to make. Also, there are a lot of factors at play; stone type, stone size, gold color, symbolism, beauty, wearability, style, budget - wow! Where do you start?

Research - our favorite part! set aside all of your ideas of what an engagement ring "is" and start looking at what you love. The internet is your best friend here - you can travel around the world of gemstones without leaving your sofa. Take a look at vintage and modern styles, precious and semi-precious stones, different colors and types of gold, and start to compile the rings you like. This should present you with an idea of your taste, by viewing common characteristics of all the rings you've compiled.

tourmaline engagement band for an alternative bride

Another part of your research could also be the deep meanings behind stones. For this part, you can think about your relationship with your beloved – what is important to you? Diamonds are a classic stone, representing strength, purity and everlasting love. But other stones also have beautiful meanings that can enrich your bridal choice with personality and tell your love’s story. Take a look at some of these examples: 


July’s birthstone, and a symbol of love, passion and powerful emotion. Rubies are part of the corundum family, and can range in color from pinks to deep rich reds. They are beautiful, striking stones, and a wonderful choice for an alternative bride who is looking for a vintage feel.


May’s birthstone, and symbolic of unity, infinite love and fertility. Its rich green color is unmistakable, and looks wonderful in white or yellow gold, as well as rose for an offbeat, unusual combination. Emeralds also represent  good luck and health, so they make a wonderful bridal choice.


Classic blue sapphire is beautiful, but it is only one color in the stunning spectrum of hues sapphire is available in, from bold to neutral, with something for everyone. Contact us for more information about sapphire rings. Sapphires represent wisdom, virtue and good fortune.

rainbow moonstone

Embodies femininity, and is a stone for new beginnings - perfect to represent the start of your life together! Dramatic one of a kind styles are available, as well as sleek and wearable made-to-order classics. Rainbow moonstone features flashes of color, and is a stone that's sure to be noticed.


A stone of strength and perseverance to reinforce and solidify your relationship. Natural labradorite has a lot of variety - dark to light, with neutral tones through to flashes of vibrant electric blue. This stone's inner life and beauty makes it a great choice for brides.


A beautiful stone with pink tones, full of romance and joy. Our specially hand-chosen morganites have pink tones (no peachy morganites in our selection!) and are set in softly hued rose gold to make the most of the stone’s natural properties

rose cut options for an unusual bridal stack of rings

Another thing to consider may be diamonds with a difference! Not every diamond is a 2 carat round or oval brilliant cut; why not mix it up with rose cuts, tapered baguettes, trillions, teardrops, micropave, old mine cuts...lots of ways to express yourself with stones older than life on earth.

As much as we’d like to imagine a world where it isn’t a factor, next up is budget. There is no one “right” answer to the question of the cost of an engagement band. Tradition often states that it should cost two months of the proposer’s salary, but you’re an alternative bride! Remember this purchase is the first step on the path of your lives together, so it doesn’t need to be guided by tradition or social norms or anything other than what you and your love want. Again, set aside all of your ideas and preconceived notions about these things, and decide what you want.

A few other things you may think about as an alternative bride:

      • Height – how does the ring sit on your hand? If you’re a rock climber, a passionate potter, a boxer, a sculptor, or use your hands a lot, think about wearing your ring during your everyday activities. Will it be at risk of loss or damage? Will it be comfortable?
      • Setting – how will this ring work in conjunction with your future wedding band? It’s smart to think about the rings together, since that’s how you’ll be wearing them. Do you want a matched set? Do you want to build up a stack with anniversary bands over your years together?
      • Resize (if necessary) – an eternity band is a beautiful classic style, full of meaning for your life together. However, eternity bands are very tricky to resize if necessary, so it is worth considering a three-quarter or halfway setting.

a rustic diamond eternity band bracketed with halfway micropave bands to make a one of a kind bridal stack

We know that deciding on your bridal jewelry is challenging – there are so many beautiful choices for an alternative bride! We hope that this post has been helpful, and given you some starting points to begin making your big decision. We at Liven LOVE alternative brides like you – we are so inspired by your individuality, your passion and your love. If you need any further guidance on making this decision, please feel free to reach out to us – we would love to hear from you, and help you out in any way we can!


x o liven