Apart from the slightly expensive engagement ring (with some would-be brides pushing on a one-karat diamond ring at the very least), over-the-top proposal ideas, and the grand wedding set on a destination that more than half of your guests may hardly afford, another piece that couples should prepare for is their wedding rings.

Wedding with live band on the backdropWedding bands, as they are most popularly called, have now moved to include more bling. Innovations include diamond-encrusted bands, or bands with each couple’s birthstone on it. Also, intricate designs that appeal to artisan jewelers that of course, do not come cheap. Saving on these rings can even afford you to hire the top wedding band in New York City for live music at the reception. That’s the kind of “band” who’ll keep the guests on their feet.

With the rise of social media, new designs from all over the world are being broadcasted online, giving couples more ideas on how to design their wedding rings. What’s great with social media is it does not only market for upscale clients; but also, for those who would want to stray away from traditional rings that can be ill-fitting for couples on the budget.

You don’t have to be a hippie to want a wedding ring other than the traditional gold or silver band. In this day where it is harder for people with families to survive on a 9-to-5 job, there’s no surprise as to why couples opt to go for designs and materials that are unique, ethical, ecologically sound, and above all, practical.

What are alternatives to the traditional wedding ring that are getting raves online lately? Here are some that topped the list for 2017:

1. Wooden bands

Who says wedding rings must always be made with gold and silver?

The humble wood that has transformed houses into homes, built bridges to connect towns and cities. Wood has provided an abode for people, plants, and animals. It can also be used to make rings that can show a couple’s commitment to each other. Any wood can be used, from pine to teak, and can be engraved with the couple’s names and wedding date. Sizing is also easily customizable with the universal ring size chart that can be used when making the rings.

For sure, it’s more environmentally friendly to use wood for wedding rings. As long as the wood is sourced ethically or better yet, sourced from a naturally fallen tree. Some couples even make their rings on their own with lots of free tutorial videos available online.

2. Mixed material bands

Since pure gold and silver rings are costly, some couples opt to use mixed material bands made with a bit of gold, silver, zircon, titanium, and copper. With a mix of these elements, rings turn out cheaper because costly materials are put to a minimum. And these are combined with more inexpensive resources. Mixed material bands work well if you like a dual or tri-color look.

However, some couples still opt for the traditional look, so they go for lab-grown gold and silver rings. Honestly, there is no significant difference when looking at lab-grown rings from afar, but when you look closely, you will see that lab-grown rings do not have the same shine and semi-rough finish as real gold and silver.

Mixed material wedding rings can be elegantMixed material and lab-grown rings are less expensive. Compared to those made with pure gold and silver, and they can also last longer than wooden rings. It is no surprise, then, that these new materials are getting more popular among young couples.

Wooden, mixed material, and lab-grown wedding rings are gaining popularity among this generation who opt for practicality. When it comes to purchasing this important piece of jewelry marking a couple’s commitment to each other. In the midst of a recession that is still being felt worldwide, alternatives to the traditional gold and silver wedding bands are being given a second look not only by young couples but also by the older generation, as well. There is no reason to say “No” to alternatives to traditional wedding bands!