Engagements and weddings are important life milestones steeped in tradition and etiquette. One such tradition relates to the placement of wedding and engagement rings on the bride's ring finger. It’s customary for brides to receive two rings. An engagement band before the wedding, and a wedding ring during the ceremony. Your first ring is a promise of marriage. The second solidifies the promise. Sometimes knowing which one goes where can be a bit confusing.
Day of the Wedding
On your wedding day, you should switch your engagement ring to the third finger on your right hand. During the ceremony, your future spouse places the wedding ring on your ring finger. The custom of the third finger on your left hand being your ring finger originated in Egypt, where people believed the vein in that finger led directly to your heart. By placing the wedding ring on that finger, the groom ensures that it is in the position closest to your heart. Yes, definitely romantic!
Engagement Ring Etiquette
Once you’re married, tradition dictates that your engagement band be moved back to the third finger on your left hand. When you do so, your wedding ring should remain closest to your heart (where your spouse placed it on your wedding day) and your engagement ring is placed next to the wedding ring.
Some women choose to ignore ring etiquette, and instead infuse their own style on the custom. Some variations on the traditional ring placement include:
- Continue to wear the engagement band on the right hand
- Forego wearing the engagement band
- Weld the rings together
Regardless of how you choose to wear your ring, the most important thing is that it be comfortable for you and sized properly.
Follow Tradition or Become a Trailblazer
Years ago, it was tradition for a man to purchase an engagement ring with a diamond setting. However, times have changed. Other precious stones are also acceptable on an engagement ring.
Another tradition is for you and your spouse to have matching wedding bands. For instance, if you have a gold wedding band, then his would be gold as well.
Many couples are choosing to incorporate their unique style with traditional ring etiquette.
There are no rules for most faiths on how to wear wedding rings. Whether you want to become an engagement band trailblazer or stick with tradition is up to you.
Engagement and wedding rings are more than beautiful, sparkling pieces of jewelry. They are symbols of your love and future and should be treated with care and respect.
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