The Wedding Ring vs. The Engagement Ring

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Wedding, Nondenominational Minister, Wedding Ring

The wedding ring, that most famous and instantly recognizable symbol of the joining of a man and a woman as husband and wife in the institution of marriage, has a long, wide-spread and mysterious history.

The ring is of course a circle and this was the symbol of eternity for the Egyptians as well as many other ancient cultures.  It had no beginning and no end, like time.  It returned to itself, like life; and the  shape was worshipped in the form of the sun and the moon.  The hole in the center of the ring is not just space either; it is important in its own right as the symbol of the gateway, or door; leading to things and events both know and unknown.

It is not difficult therefore, to see how the ring and the  gift of a ring began to be associated with love, in the hope that this most worthy of emotions could take on the characteristics of the circle and capture eternity.

Why the left hand?

A wedding ring is often worn on the left ring finger, which is the fourth finger from the thumb of the left hand.  But in some countries like Bulgaria, Norway, Germany, Poland and Russia it is worn on the right ring finger.  The wedding ring is usually worn on the fourth left ring finger of the left hand because it is believed that the left ring finger contains the “vena amoris” or “vein of love”.  It is traditional belief that the “vein of love” directly ran from the heart to the fourth finger of the left hand.

How to wear the engagement ring on your wedding day

It’s up to you.  Most people move their engagement ring to their right hand so that the wedding band will not be “upstaged” and can be placed first on your finger, in its traditional position “closest to the heart.”  Later you can move your engagement ring to your ring finger as shown below.  You may also want to not wear your engagement ring that day — stow it somewhere safe — especially if you are wearing gloves.

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Wedding, Nondenominational Minister, Wedding Ring

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.