Which hand does the wedding ring go? (and why?)
Updated: Apr 27
If you're about to tie the knot or just curious about wedding traditions, you've probably heard about the "ring finger." The wedding ring goes on the fourth finger of the left hand. But what exactly is it? And why do we wear wedding rings on that finger?
There's actually a fascinating history behind this tradition! From ancient Rome to modern-day Western culture, the wedding ring finger has evolved over time. And it's not just about the finger – there's also the question of which hand to wear the ring on, what type of ring to get, and more.
So if you're interested in learning about the history and significance of the wedding ring finger, keep reading!
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What is the Wedding Ring Tradition?
The tradition of wedding rings has a long and varied history, spanning cultures and centuries. The ancient Egyptians wove reeds into rings as a symbol of eternal love, while the Greeks and Romans believed that iron rings represented strength and permanence. In the Western World, the tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the left ring finger began in the 16th century, with the "vein of love" theory.
Today, couples often wear a wedding band and an engagement ring, with the engagement ring often featuring a diamond or other precious stone. Although the left ring finger is the traditional placement, some couples choose to wear their rings on different fingers or display them in other ways. There are countless options for choosing a wedding or engagement ring, from classic gold or platinum bands to intricate designs with precious stones. Ultimately, the significance of the wedding ring is personal to each couple and serves as a symbol of their love and commitment.
Why is the Wedding Ring on the Left Hand, Ring Finger?
Now, I am sure that many of us are really curious about this. Most of the time, we just say "oh it's because that's where it's commonly worn" just to answer this common question. But enough of this question curious cats! We'll answer it for you!
The Ancient Greece Culture
One theory dates back to ancient Greece, where people believed that the fourth finger (which is the ring finger) had a vein that ran directly to the heart. This vein was called the "vena amoris," or the "vein of love," and it was believed that wearing a ring on this finger would allow the wearer to keep their love close to their heart.
The Western Culture
In Western cultures, the fourth finger of the left hand has become the standard for wedding ring placement, and it is now widely accepted as the "official" ring finger for wearing a wedding ring.
The Christian Culture
Another theory comes from Christian tradition, which holds that the priest or minister who officiates the wedding ceremony places the ring on the ring finger of the left hand as a symbol of the holy trinity - the father, the son, and the holy spirit. By placing the ring on this finger, it is said that the couple is symbolically joining together under the blessing of the trinity.
The Sinhalese and Tamil Culture
Opposing to those, there are also traditions like the Sinhalese and Tamil culture. In Sinhalese and Tamil culture, the groom wears the wedding ring on his right hand right ring finger, but the bride wears it on her left hand ring finger. This can be seen in countries like Sri Lanka , which has a rich Sinhalese and Tamil cultural influence on the society.
A Jewelry Expert's Comment
Jeweler Stephanie Selle notes that while the tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand is prevalent, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some people choose to wear their wedding and engagement rings on different fingers or even on their right hand.
Ultimately, the significance of the fourth finger as the wedding ring finger is a matter of personal preference and cultural tradition. Whether you choose to wear your wedding ring on the left or right hand, the most important thing is the love and commitment that it represents.
Are There Other Types of Rings?
Of course there are! You probably thought that there's just two variations (engagement ring and wedding ring) but you're wrong! Want to know more about the others? I got you!
The Difference of Wedding Ring and Engagement Ring
Engagement bands, commonly known as engagement rings are usually adorned with diamonds or other precious stones and are given as a symbol of commitment and love from one partner to another. Wedding rings, on the other hand, are typically plain bands made of gold, silver, or platinum. They are exchanged during the wedding ceremony as a symbol of the couple's commitment to one another.
Is there an engagement ring finger? Of course! However, the placement is the same finger as the wedding bands, worn on the fourth finger.
In the most basic sense, a promise ring is a huge upgrade from dating. It demonstrates to the public that your heart lies to someone else and that you are committed to safeguarding and fostering that connection. A promise ring is most typically offered as a preliminary to an engagement these days, although this doesn't always have to be the case.
According to Estate Diamond Jewelry's Benjamin Khordipour, some of his clientele do not particularly support marriage, so they present promise rings as a representation of a long-lasting partnership.
A commitment ring, as the name implies, is a physical indication of your desire to devote to another person. This might be presented to commemorate a significant milestone, such as an anniversary, or it could be presented to show an eternal devotion to your spouse. In the latter instance, many couples prefer to wear commitment rings on both hands. They are placed on the ring finger.
Several same sex couples choose to wear commitment bands on their right-hand ring finger during this time period to show their devotion to one another. But, after same-sex marriage became legalized, many couples began wearing their rings on their left hand during wedding day.
Choosing the Perfect Wedding Ring
When it comes to choosing wedding rings, there are countless options available. From simple and classic bands to more intricate and unique designs, the choices can be overwhelming. But don't worry, we've got you covered! Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect wedding rings for your big day.
Consider Your Lifestyle:
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wedding ring is your lifestyle. If you have an active lifestyle or work with your hands, you may want to consider a more durable and scratch-resistant material like titanium or tungsten. On the other hand, if you have a more formal lifestyle, you may want to consider a classic gold or platinum band.
Choose a Metal:
There are many different metals to choose from when it comes to wedding rings. Gold and platinum are traditional choices, but there are also options like titanium, tungsten, and even stainless steel. Each metal has its own unique properties, so be sure to choose one that matches your preferences and needs.
Decide on a Style:
Wedding rings come in a variety of styles, from simple and classic bands to more intricate and unique designs. Take some time to browse different styles and find one that suits your personal taste and style.
If you want a truly unique wedding ring, consider working with a jeweler to create a custom design. This can be a great option if you have a specific vision in mind or want a ring that reflects your personal style.
Set a Budget:
Wedding rings can vary widely in price, so it's important to set a budget before you start shopping. Be sure to consider the cost of both rings, as well as any customization or engraving fees.
Don't Forget About Comfort:
You'll be wearing your wedding ring every day, so it's important that it's comfortable to wear. Consider factors like the width and weight of the ring, as well as any design elements that could impact comfort.
By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be able to choose the perfect wedding rings for your special day. Whether you opt for a classic gold band or a unique custom design, your wedding rings will serve as a lasting symbol of your love and commitment.
Wedding Ring Brand Recommendations
Now that everything is settled, here's a bonus for you! Here are some of the best wedding ring brands in Singapore that you definitely should check out!
Tiffany and Co Wedding Rings
All images are sourced from their respective company websites and are used solely for reference purposes; we do not claim any copyright ownership.
If you're planning to buy a wedding ring as an upgrade from an engagement ring, Tiffany & Co will not disappoint. In 1837, they began as a fancy goods and stationery business. Charles Lewis Tiffany, its creator, was acclaimed America's King of Diamonds and established the bar for American elegance.