There’s a short answer and a long answer as to which hand you should wear your engagement ring and/or wedding ring on. In today’s blog, we will explore both.
If you do an internet search for the answer, you will more than likely find something like this: in western culture, tradition has confirmed that both engagement rings and wedding rings should be worn on the 4th finger of your right hand. But there is more information to be discovered on this topic. We will try to hit on a few of the more interesting and significant bits.
History and Tradition
So, where exactly did the tradition of wearing these rings on the 4th finger of the left hand come from? Well, you can thank the Ancient Romans for that. When it came to rings being exchanged as symbols of love, the Romans had pretty steadfast thoughts about the vena amoris – literally “vein of love” from the Latin.
The vena amoris was supposedly a vein that ran from the 4th finger on the left hand, straight to the heart. Of course, we know differently now but the symbolism stuck, therefore the tradition of a romantic ring being worn on that finger got stuck as well. The good news is, a gradual relaxation of wedding and engagement etiquette has provided us with a lot more freedom when it comes to wearing romantic bands.
What it comes down to is, like with most things in this life, what do YOU want to do? You can certainly choose to follow the traditional route – left hand, 4th finger – and not even have to think about it. However, it’s really your decision, and your future spouse’s, as to how you will wear your rings. And on which hand. And on which finger. If you even chose to wear a ring at all. That’s another thing.
While rings are pretty standard fare in western culture. There are many places in the world that exchange different symbols of love and commitment, from garland wreaths around the neck, to necklaces and bracelets, from ornate toe rings, to specific articles of clothing and ribbons. Apart from cultural differences, this clearly illustrates one thing: it’s the meaning you give your wedding or engagement symbol that is more important than the symbol itself.
Like we mentioned upfront. A short answer and a long answer. But there is another thing that couples find curious related to this topic. It’s the fingers.
What About the Different Fingers?
Just like the myth about the vena amoris, fingers have stories, meaning and symbolism going back to the beginning of time. For those who eschew standard romantic ring wearing traditions, you might want to consider some of the associations that have been given to fingers throughout history. Perhaps it can help you in making a decision about which digit to wear your wedding or engagement ring on. Here’s a brief primer:
The Thumb – wearing a ring on your thumb is a symbol of perseverance. It indicates determination, iron will and immense strength. Although, it’s not the most comfortable ring position.
The Index Finger – wearing a ring on your index finger shows ambition. It can also be an indication that you are a natural born leader or exhibit leadership abilities and have a strong sense of pride.
The Middle Finger – wearing a ring on your middle finger is a statement of peace and satisfaction. It can indicate that there is a significant level of balance in your life and that you are a reliable human being, especially when it comes to everyday responsibilities.
The Ring Finger – as expected, wearing a ring on your ring finger is a statement of love and romance. This symbolism was carried over from the vena amoris myth. But it can also mean you are a free spirit and have a high level of trust and acceptance.
The Little Finger – wearing a ring on your little finger, or pinky shows that you are a strong communicator and someone who always makes good on their word. It also indicates you are very good at eliminating things from your life that no longer serve you.
Thank you! We sincerely trust we’ve answered any questions you might have about wearing romantic rings. We also hope you enjoyed reading. And don’t forget that if you are in the market for an engagement or wedding ring, The Bradford Exchange has a great selection to choose from, all with original designs you won’t find anywhere else.On Which Hand Should You Wear Your Wedding and Engagement Ring? by The Bradford Exchange