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From Promise to Forever: Bridal Sets vs. Engagement Rings

If you’re thinking about walking down the aisle soon, you’ve got a whirlwind of exciting decisions ahead, not the least of which is choosing the perfect engagement ring! Whether you’re reading this as a soon-to-be bride eagerly planning your dream proposal, or a soon-to-be groom seeking inspiration for a surprise that will sweep your beloved off their feet, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide we’ll help you navigate the shimmering world of bridal sets and engagement rings, each of which represents a magnificent symbol of your unwavering love and commitment. Along the way, we’ll also discover some exquisite examples from luxury jewellers and gain insights from fashion commentators and influencers, all to make your journey towards a perfect ring as memorable as your love story itself.

What Is a Bridal Set?

Let’s start off with the basics. A bridal set, as its name suggests, comprises two carefully coordinated rings, one designed for the engagement and the other for the wedding ceremony. These perfectly matched pairs are not only a reflection of your love and unity but also an embodiment of the journey you’re about to embark upon together.

Unlike bridal jewellery sets, which sometimes comprise earrings or other jewellery pieces, bridal sets in this context refer to just the rings.

Bridal Set Styles: Your Love, Your Style

Bridal sets come in a wide range of styles, each offering a unique canvas to paint the portrait of your love story. The options are as diverse as the relationships they symbolise, allowing you to select a set that perfectly mirrors your personal taste and preferences.

Classic Bridal Sets: Classic sets embody timeless elegance and simplicity. Typically, they feature an understated engagement ring paired with an unadorned wedding band. This choice encapsulates the ageless beauty of your relationship, echoing the enduring qualities that make your bond so special. A popular example of this classic style is the “Tradition” bridal set from renowned jewellery, Harry Winston. It showcases a magnificent round-cut diamond engagement ring paired with a gracefully plain wedding band, reflecting a love story that’s elegant and enduring.

Vintage-Inspired Bridal Sets: For those who gravitate towards nostalgia, vintage-inspired sets are a perfect choice. These sets often feature intricate designs reminiscent of bygone eras, adorned with filigree and detailed engravings. Choosing a vintage-inspired set signifies a union that cherishes history and celebrates the enduring charm of old-world romance. One captivating example of this style is the “Era of Love” bridal set by David Yurman. This set encapsulates the elegance of eras gone by, with a vintage-inspired engagement ring that is a work of art, beautifully complemented by a wedding band that exudes timeless sophistication.

Halo Bridal Sets: Halo engagement rings, with their surrounding clusters of smaller diamonds, create a mesmerising and radiant effect. When paired with a matching wedding band, they offer an extra layer of brilliance and elegance. The halo design mirrors the way your love illuminates and enriches each other’s lives. For a perfect example of this style, look no further than the “Radiant Glow” bridal set from Cartier. Inspired by the famous engagement ring worn by Grace Kelly, this set features a breathtaking diamond halo engagement ring that enhances the central stone’s brilliance, matched with a wedding band that perfectly complements the sparkle and elegance, telling a story of love that shines brilliantly together.

What Is an Engagement Ring?

Conversely, an engagement ring is a stunning piece of jewellery that traditionally represents a promise of marriage. These rings typically feature a central gemstone, most commonly a diamond, set on a beautifully crafted band. The type of engagement ring you choose can say a lot about your personal style and the depth of your love and commitment.

Engagement Ring Styles: A World of Possibilities

Engagement rings come in many styles, but three of the most popular choices are solitaire, halo, and three-diamond rings. Each of these has its unique characteristics, and the one you select should align with your personal taste and style.

Solitaire Engagement Rings: Solitaire rings are known for their timeless elegance and simplicity. They feature a single, dazzling diamond that takes centre stage, surrounded by a plain metal band. The purity of the design allows the diamond to shine brightly and makes it a popular choice for those who appreciate understated sophistication.

Instagram jewellery commentator Jennifer Engel (@Jenniferengeldesigns) suggests that this type of engagement ring is the perfect choice for thoselooking for a statement piece that epitomises timeless beauty. “A solitaire engagement ring is the embodiment of pure, unadulterated love,” she states. “It’s a symbol of a love that stands alone, strong and unchanging, much like the diamond itself.”

Although you’ll find a wide range of solitaire engagement rings online if you value exquisite craftmanship we recommend browsing solitaire engagement rings by meaden.co.nz. These Auckland-based specialists pride themselves on producing handcrafted engagement rings with painstaking detail and the highest quality materials. Amongst their collection is the stunning “Clara Round Diamond Solitaire” which features breathtaking round-cut diamond set on a yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum band.

Halo Engagement Rings: Halo engagement rings are designed to make the centre diamond appear larger and even more radiant. They feature a central diamond encircled by smaller, accent diamonds, creating a halo effect that enhances the overall brilliance of the ring. Halo rings are ideal for those who love a touch of vintage-inspired glamour with a modern twist.

Notoriousvintage fashion influencer@AshleyLikesGems emphasises the timeless appeal of halo rings. She stated, “Halo engagement rings are perfect for those who adore a blend of classic and contemporary styles. The delicate, ornate halo design beautifully complements the central diamond, creating a dazzling effect that’s simply irresistible.”

If you’re looking for halo ring inspiration then check out luxury brand Tiffany & Co. Their “Soleste” collection, in particular, has gained immense popularity in recent years. The “Soleste Oval Halo Engagement Ring” boasts an exquisite oval-cut diamond surrounded by a brilliant halo of smaller diamonds, set on a platinum band. The design reflects the brand’s commitment to timeless style, and it’s favoured by many who desire a ring that exudes opulence.

Three-Diamond Engagement Rings: Three-diamond engagement rings, often referred to as trilogy or past, present, future rings, are rich in symbolism. These rings typically feature three diamonds, representing the past, present, and future of a couple’s journey together. The central diamond is often larger, flanked by two smaller stones, creating a captivating visual effect.

Famed Jewellery brand De Beers is celebrated for its collection of three-diamond rings. The “De Beers Past Present Future Diamond Engagement Ring” is a prime example of their artistry. The ring showcases three exceptional diamonds set on a sleek platinum band, embodying the promise of eternal love and commitment.

Fashion icon and jewellery lover, Mia Collins (@ChicAdornments), expresses her admiration for three-diamond rings. “These rings echo the enduring journey of love,” she says. “They’re perfect for those who appreciate not only the beauty of diamonds but also the depth of emotion that each stone represents.”

Bridal Set or Engagement Ring? Top Tips to Follow

Now that you’ve learned all about the basic styles and terminology, it’s time for us to divulge some expert tips that will make your decision-making process smooth and enjoyable. Keep in mind the following advice before you make that all-important purchase!

  1. Reflect on Your Personal Style: Your choice of either an engagement ring or bridal set should seamlessly align with your personal style and preferences. Think about the types of jewellery you typically wear and love. Are you drawn to classic elegance, vintage charm, or modern minimalism? Knowing your style will guide you to the perfect ring that resonates with your heart and represents you.
  2. Set a Realistic Budget: Decide on a budget for your engagement ring or bridal set. This budget should be reasonable and in line with your financial capacity. Keep in mind that there are plenty of gorgeous options available across various price ranges, so finding a beautiful piece within your budget is entirely feasible. We also recommend organising your ring well advance. Your wedding day planning is already likely to take up plenty of time so tick this one off the list nice and early!
  3. Seek Inspiration from Fashion Influencers: Explore the worlds of fashion influencers and trendsetters who regularly share their insights on engagement rings and bridal jewellery. Their recommendations and style tips can provide invaluable guidance and inspire you to find your dream piece.
  4. Visit Trusted Jewellers: Make it a point to visit reputable and well-established jewellers here in New Zealand. These trusted establishments often offer quality craftsmanship, a diverse range of styles, and expert guidance. Whether you’re choosing a bridal set or an engagement ring, your experience is likely to be enhanced by the knowledge and assistance provided by experienced jewellers.
  5. Delve into the Metal Choice: The choice of metal for your ring can significantly affect its overall appearance. Consider options like white gold, yellow gold, platinum, or rose gold. The metal you select should reflect your style and complement your skin tone, creating a harmonious and visually appealing look.
  6. Lifestyle Considerations: Think about how your ring will fit into your daily life and activities. Consider whether your chosen design is suitable for everyday wear and whether it complements your personal style. Your ring should be a symbol of your love and commitment that effortlessly integrates into your lifestyle.
  7. Embrace the Sentiment: Above all, remember that your ring is not just a piece of jewellery but a profound symbol of love and commitment. It should resonate with your heart and tell the unique story of your relationship. Choose a design that holds deep sentimental value and speaks volumes about your upcoming union.

For more wedding or engagement tips, be sure to check out our lifestyle section which includes advice like the many ways you can use rugs for your boho dream wedding.





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