About two months before the wedding, I asked Junkyu if we could look at wedding bands, but we didn’t see anything we like until we made an appointment for our pre-wedding photos. There was a woman there who was representing a jewelry store, and told us she would give us a discount and free pieces of jewelry if we bought from them. The store is called Estubi, and we went in a few weeks later to choose our wedding rings.
In Korea, the bride and groom (and their families) typically exchange presents. Wedding jewelry (more recently rings, but also necklaces and earrings) is something many grooms give to their brides. I got an engagement ring when my husband proposed, and I wanted to make sure his wedding ring matched mine. I also wanted to get a wedding ring that looked like the typical American engagement ring (a ring with a center stone) because my engagement ring looks like a wedding band, so I wanted to balance the look.
We went in the store and I tried on a few different rings, but one stood out to me the most, and I ended up falling in love with it. My wedding ring has a simple band and a gorgeous setting that looks like a flower, and the stone is so colorful in the light. It also came in a set with a side ring, which I got sized for my middle finger, and it’s very dainty and also looks like a flower. Having my wedding ring be the bigger one makes me feel like marriage will be even better than engagement (and it has been so far). We also got him a wedding band that has a twisting design, just like my engagement ring.
He also indulged me and bought me a necklace and earring set, both in a similar flower design. The store did good on their promise and gave us two matching necklace and earring sets for free. The entire thing came a gorgeous jewelry box, where we store our rings when we don’t wear them.
Speaking of which, my husband doesn’t wear his wedding ring during the week. For a while, even on the weekends he forgot to put it on, and I still sometimes remind him to wear it if we go out on dates. When I was in Japan, I didn’t see many married men wearing wedding rings, especially the older ones. Younger couples often do get rings, but it’s not as much of a staple as it is in America. In Korea, though, it is more common to see a married couple (or even just a dating couple) have matching rings.
I know many Asian men don’t wear rings because it’s just not a huge deal to them, but for my husband, he works in hospitals all week and washes his hands over 10 times a day with alcohol (whenever he oversees surgery). For him, wearing a ring during the week would be a huge hassle, as he would have to take it off and put it back on constantly, and he’s afraid of losing it that way.
So he usually keeps his in the ring box unless we go out on the weekends or have a date night. I think he’s okay wearing it, but sometimes he complains that it bothers him. I’m used to wearing my engagement ring, and it’s light and nothing pokes out of it, which I love. I never really like wearing rings before getting engaged, but now I feel strange even just having it off to shower. I definitely understand better now how he feels about his ring, because my wedding ring is heavier and more noticeable when I have it on than my engagement ring. I normally don’t even wear mine to sleep, but I do love wearing it most of the time.
It’s been almost two months since we got married, and we still feel giggly when we go out shopping, wearing our rings together, and we get asked if we are married or dating. Some people are surprised when we tell them we’re married, but it just makes us smile.