With so many choices of metals, style, and ways to personalize, finding the perfect wedding ring is no easy task. You need to make sure your ring is perfect, though, because you'll be wearing it every day for the rest of your life. Our ring buying guide can help make your decision easier.

The first thing to know about ring shopping is it is important to start early - ideally at least 3 months before your wedding. This will guve you plenty of time to browse and shop around, plus time for engraving if you choose. Start by browsing online to find sime styles you like. Try stores like Tiffany and Jared to get an idea of rings in many price ranges. When researching styles, make sure you are looking for something you be comfortable wearing throughout your normal daily life. For example, it may be best to avoid bulky or oddly shaped rings if your job requires you to work with your hands. After you get a good idea of what you like, be sure to check out some rings in person before you buy.

It is a good idea to get a wedding band in the same material as your engagement ring, as different metals wear differently over time. As well, you want to make sure your wedding ring's shape will fit comfortably next to your engagement ring. But you don't necessarily need to choose the same metal as your partner. It is more important that your wedding rings match your personal styles.

As well, carefully consider whether you would like diamonds part or all the way around your ring. It is difficult to resize a ring with diamonds the whole way around. However, if your ring has diamonds on only part, you may be constantly adjusting your ring on your finger to keep the diamonds facing up.

When thinking about style, the biggest decision is the type of metal you would like for your ring. The most common choices for wedding bands are yellow gold, white gold, platinum, and tungsten. We'll give an overview of each of these four options here. See Blue Nile for infomation about additional metal options, including palladium and tungsten.

Yellow gold is traditional choice for wedding band materials. If you like gold but want a more modern look, consider a white gold ring. "White gold" is gold mixed or coated with other metals such as palladium, iridium or rhodium to give it the silver color. Over time, the coating on white gold rings wears off, and the ring shows more of the gold's yellow. You can get your white gold ring replated to make it look like new again. If you have a white gold engagement ring, consider a white gold wedding band as well so that the wear shows similarly on both rings.

If you buy a gold ring, either in white or yellow, we recommend getting an 18ct or less band. Gold is a very soft metal, so rings with higher carat values are easily damaged. The lower carats means less pure gold, but it also that the ring is more durable due to the other metals.

Platinum is the next most popular wedding band material behind gold. Platinum is a great choice because of its vibrant color that never fades. As well, platinum rings are less prone to scratches and generally more durable than gold rings.

This white-coloured metal is extremely tough and stands up well to everyday wear and tear. It’s rarer than gold and much more expensive but a platinum wedding ring will last, unmarked, forever.

Titanium is another good choice for wedding band material. It has a nice color that is a darker gray than platinum and white gold. As well, titanium is very light and extremely durable. This metal is a great choice for anybody looking outside the traditional choice of gold.

Whichever metal you decide, make sure the inside of the ring is stamped with a quality mark, such as "18k." If the ring is made from more than one metal, make sure there is a quality mark for each.