If you are looking to get married, the chances are you have already started looking for wedding rings. A good ring design should appeal to your partner and have a sentimental meaning. That is the only way you will feel good about wearing that ring every day you wake up.
You might have already spotted that many people wear wedding rings on their left hand; however, why is that the case? What is the significance? We talk about which finger should hold the ring and what are the other traditions around rings you did not know below.
The Tradition of Ring Finger
You might wonder, how did we even get to a point where humans wear rings as a symbol of marriage?
Wedding rings have been around for the longest time. We cannot trace how far back, but we know people have always used rings as a tradition and symbol of marriage.
It was believed that the ring finger was connected to the heart via a vein in ancient times. Using a ring would mean connecting your partner to your heart. That is quite an exciting view.
Romans used to call the ring finger Vena Amoris or simply the vein of love. When each of the newlyweds had a ring, it meant that their hearts were connected.
However, anatomy in the modern day shows that all the fingers have vein connections to the heart and not just one finger. Nevertheless, it was an adorable symbolism that made weddings great to experience.
Of course, weddings are still fun; all you have to do is find someone you love and plan your life together.
The ring finger tradition still exists today as many couples still use the fourth finger on the left hand for their wedding rings. This is an aim to signify their commitment to each other.
What’s the Proper Finger for a Wedding Ring?
For the longest time, wedding rings have always been worn on the fourth finger on the left hand, counting from the thumb. This was a common practice in the West that has now spread to many other places worldwide.
This does not mean you cannot wear the ring on your right-hand ring finger. However, you should expect many more people to wear it on the left hand.
Countries that used the right-hand ring finger include:
- Germany, etc.
Orthodox Christians also used to have bands on their right hand to signify marriage between couples. We also see that Indians considered the left hand dirty or unlucky. That is why you could get them using the right hand. However, many things have changed to the point they also use the left hand, but some are still conservative.
What about those who are in a same-sex marriage? LGBTQ couples had a tough time before they made same-sex marriage legal in the US. Most of them would wear commitment rings rather than wedding rings and keep them in their right hands.
Since the US Supreme Court made same-sex marriage a constitutional right, you can now see many gay people wearing their wedding rings on their left hand like it is supposed to be traditional.
Other than the ring for the wedding, you have other types of rings that we have to consider and see how best they can be worn.
The first ever engagement ring recorded in history was a gift to May of Burgundy by Austria’s Archduke at the time, Maximilian. This was way back in the 15th century, and it seems the tradition is still strong in modern-day society.
Most people wear their engagement rings on their left-hand ring finger and remove them only when they marry. Interestingly, in some European countries, people wear their engagement ring on their left hand and then the ring for the wedding on their right hand.
In a country such as Brazil, the betrothed couples would wear their engagement rings on their right hand and then move them to their left hand after exchanging their vows. So, how you wear the engagement ring can vary greatly from country to country.
The promise ring
During the Middle Ages, the world saw the rise of promise rings, especially in France and England. These were simply tokens that lovers would exchange with each other. Most of the time, they were inscribed with love poems.
Today, a promise ring is given to someone with an actual promise or several behind the ring. So, promise rings can mean different things from one person to another. The biggest task would be to remain committed to those promises.
Some of the commitments of such promise rings would be abstinence until marriage, upcoming engagement, and many others. It all depends on what you agree with between you two.
Getting a ring is not the only thing that people do. Sometimes some opt to stay with no ring at all. This does not mean that the person is not severe, but they could have chosen another way of showing commitment.
The most common alternative to using a ring would be getting tattoos drawn on the ring fingers as a symbol of marriage. You have to love someone to get a ring tattoo. Make sure it is a ring design you like, as it is not something you can take off and wear again like an actual ring.
So, whichever option you opt for above, now you know how best to wear the different rings.
Wearing your wedding ring on whichever hand is a matter of choice and tradition. So long as it symbolizes the love between you and your partner, that is what matters. You can expect to find other people using other forms of commitment, such as tattoos which are acceptable. That is how they want to do it. Of course, with reasonable care, you can manage to keep your wedding ring in pristine condition.
Wedding Ring Finger FAQs
Can you wear both engagement and wedding rings on the same ring finger?
It is possible to have a wedding ring finger stacked with an engagement ring. However, what would be the right order? You will find that most people would have their wedding ring first and then the engagement ring on top. You can always switch the engagement ring to the right hand if you need to and maintain the ring for the wedding on the left-hand ring finger.
Can a person wear a wedding ring and an engagement ring on different hands?
Yes. This is the most common practice among women. They would still want to show off their beautiful engagement ring even if they get married. So, you can have the wedding ring on the left hand during the engagement ring on the right hand.
Should you wear wedding rings always?
It can feel like you are obliged to wear wedding rings all the time, but that is not the case. There are some cases where you might want to consider removing the ring to protect against scratching, disfiguring it, or harming the stones. Of course, you may also want to remove the ring when cleaning, especially if you have to use chemicals, go to bed, go to the gym, or do other physical activities.