Does the wedding ring go on the right or left hand? We bet you’ve known the answer since you were a kid. Most people wear their wedding ring on their left ring finger, notably in the United States.
But why, exactly, is the wedding ring worn on the “ring finger”? Is it a requirement for brides and grooms? Your first instinct may be to place your wedding ring on the fourth finger of your left hand after your significant other proposes. It’s known as your “ring finger” since it’s a popular place to put a wedding ring.
But you’re not alone if you’ve ever pondered which finger a wedding ring should be worn on. The wedding band is commonly worn on the left ring finger, especially in the United States, although it is not the only option.
Highlights in this article
- The symbolism of a wedding ring on the right hand
- On which hand does the wedding ring go for men?
- For women, which hand does the wedding ring go on?
- The Meaning of the Engagement Ring Finger
- The Meaning of the Traditional Ring Finger
- The Meaning of the Wedding Ring Finger
- Wearing Your Engagement Ring and Wedding Band in Unusual Ways
- Why is a wedding band worn on the left-hand ring finger so important?
The symbolism and tradition of the wedding ring finger have a long history, and they vary greatly among countries. So, which finger and hand should you wear your wedding ring on? Is it required that you wear it on your left wrist, or can you move your jewels to your right if you prefer? We’ve outlined all you need to know about wearing your engagement, wedding, or promise ring in this article.
The symbolism of a wedding ring on the right hand
The wedding ring has always been worn on the fourth finger of the left hand since ancient times. This custom is based on the concept that a particular vein known as the vena amoris, or “vein of love,” connects the ring finger to the heart.
Wearing the wedding ring on this finger was a romantic gesture expressing the couple’s commitment and affection for each other, as well as a symbol of their love and connection.
Some people, on the other hand, choose to wear their wedding ring on the fourth finger of their right hand, which raises the question: what does it all mean? Is there any significance to wearing your wedding ring on your right hand? Let’s look at why some people prefer to wear their wedding ring on their right hand.
The Reason for Wearing a Wedding Ring on the Right Hand
1. Health Issues
Some people may be unable to wear their wedding rings on their left hand due to medical conditions. This might include bone-related disorders such as arthritis, which can cause knuckles to enlarge, making it difficult to put on and remove your wedding ring. While a hinged ring may be an option, just switching hands is a cost-effective and simple solution.
While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, this is frequently cited as a rationale for wearing a wedding ring on the right hand.
When you wear your ring on your dominant hand, it is subjected to a great deal of everyday wear and strain, which can lead to scratches, dents, and other indications of wear. This may be prevented by swapping the ring to the right hand.
Wearing your ring on your non-dominant hand is often more comfortable and doesn’t get in the way as much.
3. Different Traditions
It is mostly a cultural difference whether the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left or right hand.
- In several southeast Asian nations, such as Sri Lanka, the man wears the wedding ring on his right hand, whereas the wife wears it on her left.
- In certain countries, such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand until the wedding, at which point it is switched to the left.
- Wedding bands are worn on the right hand by members of specific religious groups, such as Orthodox Christians.
- The wedding ring is worn on the right hand in some Eastern European and Latin American nations.
As you can see, depending on cultural and religious factors, the right hand is frequently chosen for wedding rings. When meeting people from various nations, you may notice that their wedding band is on their left or right hand, which might be perplexing.
4. Gay and Lesbian Marriage
Wedding rings are frequently worn on the right hand by gay and lesbian couples to avoid typical heterosexual expectations. However, this is a personal choice. No law or guideline says same-sex couples must wear their rings on the right hand; any finger would suffice.
On which hand does the wedding ring go for men?
The question is, with which hand does a man’s wedding band go on? There is a simple solution. And the left hand is the solution. When you look a little further, you’ll find that men’s wedding rings have a vast history that differs by country. The more complicated response is, “It depends.”
Yes, wedding rings are usually worn on the left ring finger (the second finger from the left) by both men and women in the United States. This custom derives from the assumption that a vein flows straight from the left ring finger to the heart, which dates back to the Tudor era in England in the 1500s. This notion may date back to Ancient Rome. That meant that putting a ring on a woman’s left ring finger was tantamount to claiming her heart.
Of course, there isn’t such a vein. But, given our need to believe in love, it’s hardly unexpected that such a romantic tradition has endured for millennia.
You’ll see that in Tudor times, the custom was for a guy to place a ring on a woman’s finger. This is because men did not wear wedding bands at the time. Many men, like women, have sought to wear wedding bands as a symbol of eternal love and devotion over the years.
Why is the “ring” finger supposed to be the second finger from the outside? The sun, beauty, and love connections have all been connected with that finger in different civilizations. That relationship between the ring finger and the sun explains why so many people choose gold (the sun’s hue) for their wedding bands, even if today’s fashion-forward brides and grooms choose more lasting choices like tungsten rings.
There are several exceptions to the rule that most men today wear their wedding rings on their left hand. One striking example occurs when left-handed people who aren’t used to wearing rings want to memorialize their weddings with wedding rings.
Many left-handed people prefer to keep their dominant hand devoid of any adornments because it’s the one that holds a pen or a computer mouse and does the most gesturing. For convenience’s sake, these lefties frequently move their rings to their right hands.
Religion might have a role in men’s wedding bands being moved to the right hand. The Eastern Orthodox Church, for example, has long worn wedding bands on the right hand. Men of this faith may choose to keep their rings on their right hand to honor their religious heritage and history, as well as their new bride.
Furthermore, some homosexual couples opt to wear their rings on the right hand as a monogamous statement. While straight people who aren’t aware of the ritual may not understand that they’re looking at a wedding ring, homosexual people are more likely to recognize that attractive man’s ring on the right hand as a wedding band right away.
When it comes to wedding rings for women and men, most Americans choose the left ring finger, but not all cultures agree. In many nations, both men and women wear their wedding rings on the ring finger of their right hand. Apparently, they never heard of the vein that runs from the tip of the finger to the heart!
In Russia, Poland, Greece, and other Eastern European nations, wedding rings are traditionally worn on the right hand. Of course, many of these nations have considerable populations of Eastern Orthodox Christians, so religious and national traditions are visibly entwined.
Brides and grooms in India, as well as those getting married in Colombia, frequently choose to wear their wedding bands on their right hands. While traditions are fantastic, many brides and grooms want to develop their own when they marry. Women’s and men’s wedding bands, for example, have been considered to be made of gold for numerous generations (with a few people opting for platinum).
Note: A rising number of individuals are asking if that tradition has any personal significance for them these days. Rather than a basic gold band, many individuals are looking for wedding bands, especially men’s rings, that make a considerably more unique statement. Stone and wood bands are becoming increasingly popular because of the more natural impression they give off.
In addition, these materials are becoming increasingly popular as insets within typical metal wedding rings. Exotic woods, such as zebra and koa, may make a wedding band stand out.
Some daring couples go even farther, including incorporating turquoise into their rings or embellishing their rings with organically harvested bone from male deer shed antlers. Men’s wedding bands, in particular, prefer to follow this new style. The basic fact is that you may wear your wedding band on any hand you choose and with whatever sort of ring you like.
For women, which hand does the wedding ring go on?
If you’re planning your wedding and looking down at that sparkler, you’re probably thinking about how you’ll wear it on your wedding day. The first thing to keep in mind is that wedding bands are often worn close to the heart—that is, below the engagement ring.
Moving your engagement ring to your right hand for your walk down the aisle is perhaps the most popular method to do this. Your fiancé will be able to put your wedding band on your left hand, and you will be able to place your engagement ring on top of it afterward.
“Most individuals have somewhat bigger ring sizes on their right hand,” Ghanimian explains, “but as long as it’s within a quarter of the size, this should work.” If the engagement ring is too big or small to do so, or if you just don’t want to take it off (and risk losing it! ), it’s fine to wear your band over it.
Some women have their wedding bands fused to their engagement rings, resulting in a single piece of jewelry that symbolizes the marital relationship. Wear your engagement and wedding rings as you choose after the wedding day.
Again, the most common method in the United States is to wear them both on the ring finger of the left hand, with your wedding band on first. However, you can wear your wedding band alone or split them and wear them on opposite hands.
While it’s tempting to worry about which finger a wedding ring should be worn on, the decision is ultimately yours. Many individuals are wearing their wedding bands on their right hand as an excuse to start a collection of bands. On the wedding day, some couples receive several wedding bands to encircle their engagement ring.
Another trend we’ve noticed is women requesting a gorgeous diamond eternity band instead of the standard engagement ring. Traditions may exist, but there are no rules! Wedding jewelry allows everyone to exhibit their particular preferences.
The Meaning of the Engagement Ring Finger
It wasn’t until later that engagement rings became popular. Mary of Burgundy received a ring with hogback diamonds (modern-day baguette diamonds) set in the shape of the Gothic letter M from Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477.
His choice of engagement ring inspired a trend for a variety of reasons. Lawler-Trustey writes: Diamonds have long been an unshakable emblem of a couple’s lifelong love and dedication to one another.
A diamond is the toughest and most durable naturally occurring substance on Earth. A diamond is an ideal symbol of enduring, undying love and the promise of eternity. Each diamond is also extremely rare and one-of-a-kind. Each couple’s love has its own unique tale, just as no two diamonds are identical.
Diamonds, however, aren’t required for an engagement ring. They can be set with different gemstones or anything else that matches your taste. The engagement rings of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Carrie Underwood, and Jessica Simpson, for example, are blue sapphire, canary yellow diamond, and red ruby, respectively.
Other current alternatives to the conventional bauble are emerald engagement rings and black diamond engagement rings. Pearl engagement rings and moonstone engagement rings are two more non-diamond engagement rings to explore. Men’s engagement rings (or watches) are likewise becoming increasingly fashionable. It’s not unusual to see males wearing engagement rings these days.
The Meaning of the Traditional Ring Finger
Wearing an engagement and/or wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand is a romantic tradition, but its meaning is completely false. The Vena Amoris, or Love Vein, was thought to go directly from this finger to the heart by the ancient Romans. Couples in love should, of course, display their love and commitment on their lifelines.
The tradition of wearing engagement and wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand is still practiced in the United States, even though we now know there is no such vein (though we still enjoy the narrative!).
However, according to Zaven Ghanimian, CEO of Simon G Jewelry, there are certain nations where brides and grooms prefer to wear their rings on the ring finger of their right hands, such as Russia, Greece, and Colombia. Want to know which finger and hand your wedding, engagement, or promise ring should be worn on? Continue reading.
The Meaning of the Wedding Ring Finger
Wedding rings have long been a wonderful symbol of lifelong love. The tradition of wedding rings began around 4,800 years ago in Egypt. The circle represents eternity since it has neither beginning nor finish. Most people are unaware that the hole in the center of the ring also has significance; it is a doorway or entrance, not merely space.
When you give someone a ring, you are symbolizing eternal love. After saying their vows, couples usually exchange rings on each other’s wedding ring finger, the fourth finger of the left hand, during their wedding ceremony. When it comes to deciding which hand the wedding ring should be worn on, the decision is entirely up to you. Traditions are good, but etiquette guidelines have loosened over time.
There are no requirements as to what metal your wedding rings must be made of or if they must match. Simple bands or more complex ones with stones or patterns are available. Some couples inscribe their wedding date or a sentimental remark on their rings.
Wearing Your Engagement Ring and Wedding Band in Unusual Ways
To fit their relationships, modern couples are reimagining ancient rituals. Similarly, when it comes to the engagement ring and wedding ring, women are mingling these traditions.
Finding a creative way to wear your rings as a pair might be a representation of your love. It’s not unusual to see ladies wearing their rings in a variety of ways that reflect their style:
- The rings remained on their right hands.
- Keeping the engagement ring near their hearts
- Combining the engagement and wedding bands into a single piece of jewelry.
- They only wear their engagement ring on rare occasions.
- With an accent white diamond band, the engagement ring and wedding band are layered.
Why is a wedding band worn on the left-hand ring finger so important?
Most brides wear their engagement and wedding bands on their ring fingers, which is the fourth finger on their left hand. All cultures and countries, however, are not created equal. Instead, wedding rings are worn on the right ring finger by women in some parts of Europe.
In some cultures, the right hand is utilized as a part of the physical depiction of entering into numerous pledges and oaths. Hence, the right hand may also be used for wedding bands. The ring is said to be worn on either hand’s ring finger because it includes a vein that leads directly to the heart.
This custom stretches back to the early Romans, who referred to the vein as the Vena Amoris, or love vein. As a result, the ring finger has come to represent the couple’s two hearts, as well as their love for one another.
According to our current understanding of biology and human anatomy, all of your fingers have veins that connect to the heart. Despite this, the ring finger is still one of the most popular places for wedding and engagement rings.
Which hand wedding ring is female in the United States?
Most women in the United States wear their wedding bands on the same finger—the ring finger on their left hand.
Which hand wedding ring is female in the United Kingdom?
In the United Kingdom, the majority of women wear their wedding rings on their left hand. Your wedding band is traditionally worn on your fourth finger, which is also known as the wedding ring finger.
This is also the finger that your engagement ring is worn on. In most cases, only women wear engagement rings, but in other cases, both spouses may opt for one. In this situation, the engagement ring will be worn alongside your wedding band on your left hand.
Is it okay for me to wear my wedding and engagement bands on opposite hands?
Yes! Personal or cultural preferences are frequently used to make the decision. Some women prefer to wear their engagement ring on the right and their wedding ring on the left ring finger. Whether you wish to carry on a long-standing tradition or develop your own is entirely up to you.
I’m not engaged or married, so can I wear rings on my ring finger?
According to an old wives’ tale, wearing a non-committal ring on your left ring finger is bad luck. Not a believer in superstitions? Wear the ring if it fits! Wearing a ring on that finger, on the other hand, could indicate that you’re in a committed relationship, which isn’t ideal if you’re single.
All of the above-mentioned customs have a certain enticing quality to them. Borrowing exotic wedding and engagement customs from other countries, cultures, and lifestyles has become not only acceptable but popular in an increasingly multicultural and gender-fluid world.