411 on Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

If you’re confused about the engagement ring, the wedding band, or how to wear them, you’re in luck! There is no one, correct way to wear them together or separately. But here is some useful information whether you’re going for the traditional or more creative route.

Black White Rings

Photo Credit: Leland Francisco, Flickr

Firstly, there is a difference between the engagement ring and the wedding band.  The engagement ring, in Western cultures, is usually made from diamonds or other precious gemstones and is presented to the woman as a promise for future marriage.  They can be set in metals such as gold, silver, titanium, platinum, and stainless steel.  The idea of the engagement ring can be traced back to ancient Egyptian and Roman times.  It was commonly worn on the woman’s left hand ring finger because it was believed that this finger contained a vein that led to the heart.  So by wearing the ring on that finger, the man can be sure that it is placed closest to his woman’s heart.  Very romantic indeed!

Engraved Rings

Photo Credit: Comellmare, Flickr

The wedding band is a ring indicating that the couple is married.  In historical times, it symbolized an exchange of valuables and bestowal of “earnest money.”  However, it has come to represent eternal love, trust, and devotion between a pair.  Wedding rings are often simple bands made of white or yellow gold.  Some choose to have them engraved on the inside. The engravings can have the name of the spouse, a short message, or the wedding date.  In some traditions, the best man or maid of honor is given the responsibility of keeping the wedding rings and then presenting them at the wedding ceremony.  Others may choose to have a ring bearer, usually someone part of the bride or groom’s family.

Two Rings

Photo Credit: John Morton, Flickr

Okay so now how do you wear your rings?  Women may choose to wear only their wedding band, use the engagement ring as the wedding band, or wear both together.  If you want to wear just your wedding band, it is common to wear the ring on the left ring finger, closest to the heart.  It is the same custom if you want to use the engagement ring as the wedding ring.  But in some other countries, such as Germany, couples wear the wedding ring on the right ring finger. The choice is yours depending on personal preference or cultural traditions.

Red Rings

Photo Credit: Kelly B., Flickr

To wear both rings together, some women place the wedding band on the left ring finger, then place the engagement ring onto the same finger. Others believe the engagement ring should be placed closest to the heart to tell the story in order of courtship and then marriage.  This custom works best if at least one of your rings is simple and not highly ornamented.  Still, some women choose to wear the wedding band on the left ring finger and the engagement ring on the right hand finger.

Ring Necklace

Photo Credit: Adam Lehman, Flickr

The last option would be to wear the ring or rings as a necklace.  Slide the rings onto a chain and wear it around your neck, also close to your heart.  I would suggest choosing a strong and durable chain to ensure the safety of your rings. This option works best if you do a lot of handy work or work with machinery.  So whether you want to follow ancient traditions or come up with solutions of your own, remember that it is all a matter of extreme personal choice.

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