Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times in your life. With all of the excitement, you may be wondering what hand and finger does the engagement ring and wedding ring go on?
Below are the answers to your questions:
What hand does the engagement ring go on?
The engagement ring is worn on the left hand in most Western countries.
What finger does the engagement ring go on?
The engagement ring is worn the fourth finger on the left hand.
Why are the engagement and wedding rings worn on the fourth finger of the left hand?
The wedding ring has been worn on the “ring finger” of the left hand since ancient Roman times. During that era, the Romans believed that the vein in this finger ran directly to one’s heart. They called that vein the “vena amoris” or vein of love. It therefore made sense to place a wedding ring symbolizing eternal love to be placed around this vein.
Do I have to wear my engagement and wedding rings on my left hand?
No. Many people wear their engagement and wedding rings on their left hands, but many cultures actually wear their engagement and wedding rings on their right hands. If you choose to wear your rings on your right hand, you will actually be in good company. Here are some countries that wear their rings on their right hand:
- Belgium (some areas)
Do I wear my engagement ring on my honeymoon?
Your honeymoon is the perfect time to show off you engagement ring and wedding band.
6 Most Common Ways How To Wear A Wedding Ring And Band
Is there a correct way to wear wedding ring set? You may have asked this question at least once. Engagement rings are rings brides-to-be receive when their hands are asked for marriage, while wedding bands are the jewelry items that couples exchange on their wedding day as they utter their vows of love.
Whether you want to stick to traditions — or break away from them — the decision is up to you. But below are the most common ways how to wear a wedding ring and band.
Engagement ring on top — ring finger
Traditionally, most married couples (especially those in the US) wear their engagement ring on top of the wedding ring.
The main reason? They believe that if you keep the wedding ring at the bottom or near the base of your ring finger, it will be nearer to your heart. People see this as a symbol that you consider your partner the person you hold closest to your heart.
The ring finger refers to the fourth finger of your left or right hand. Commonly, marriage-related rings are worn on the left ring finger. But some countries and groups wear it on the right. These include Jews, Muslims, Indians, LGBTQ+ members, and several European countries (e.g., Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Germany).
Wedding ring on top — ring finger
Some couples wear their engagement ring first and their wedding ring next. This follows the order in which they received the rings. Symbolically, you view it as the wedding ring sealing the groom’s promise of forever.
Now, if you have another ring, like an eternity ring, you may also ask: Which order do you wear engagement, wedding, and eternity rings? In this case, you can either wear the wedding ring, next is the engagement ring, and lastly, the eternity ring. Or you can do the engagement ring first, then the wedding ring, and the eternity ring.
As for anniversary rings, many couples replace their wedding ring with an anniversary ring. But you can always choose to keep both on your finger/s.
Engagement ring on the left ring finger, wedding band on the right
If you don’t want to stack your wedding and engagement rings for any reason (e.g., the two rings don’t go well aesthetically speaking), you can always give your right ring finger some love. Wear your engagement ring on the left, and your wedding band on the right.
Engagement ring on the left ring finger, wedding band on whichever finger
You don’t always have to wear your wedding band on a ring finger. If your engagement ring already occupies your left ring finger, you always have the liberty to wear the wedding band on whichever finger on your left (or right) hand.
Wearing the rings alternately
While both engagement and wedding rings are important pieces of jewelry, it doesn’t mean that you always have to wear them. If you just wear one ring on your ring finger, you can wear your engagement and wedding rings alternately.
Doing this is also beneficial for practical reasons. By minimizing the rings’ exposure to wear and tear, you can better preserve both jewelry pieces.
Wearing them as a necklace
Want an option that deviates from the finger-centric tradition? Consider incorporating the rings on your necklace and secure them on your neck. This is another practical reason because the rings won’t hinder you when you perform activities using your hand/s.
In some situations, couples altogether skip a wedding band because they already consider their engagement ring their marital symbol. Instead of a wedding band, they often choose to ring tattoos or bracelets.
FAQs About Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands
Apart from wanting to know how to wear a wedding ring and band, you will likely have many more questions concerning engagement rings and wedding bands. Below are the most frequently asked questions about these pieces of jewelry.
1. Do You Need To Propose With A Bridal Set?
Though it’s not a rule, you can always propose with a bridal set. It’s customary to wear the engagement ring on the left until the big day. After the wedding, many brides opt to permanently fuse their engagement and wedding rings so they can wear them as one.
2. Do You Wear Your Engagement Ring All The Time?
Though you may always want to display that you’re about to get hitched, there are occasions when you need to take off your engagement ring (and, once you’re married, your wedding ring as well).
Before you sleep, bathe, take a shower, or swim, you must always remove these jewelry pieces. You should do the same before doing activities that expose them to damage-inducing substances or situations. These include cooking, gardening, cleaning, and exercising.
3. Can Men Wear Engagement Rings?
Though it may seem unpopular, men can wear engagement rings, too. After all, these are vital pieces of jewelry showcasing their commitment to marrying their fiance. Some celebrities who wore an engagement band include Ed Sheeran and Michael Buble.
4. What’s The Proper Way To Wear An Engagement Ring On My Wedding Day?
On their special day, brides move their engagement ring from their left ring finger to the right. This is to prepare their left ring finger for the wedding ring that their partner will put on them during the ceremony. You can wear the rings as you like after the wedding day.
5. What Does It Mean When People Wear Their Wedding Ring On Their Left Or Right Hand?
Commonly, cultural tradition dictates whether couples will wear their wedding rings on the left or right hand. The common practice in the US is to wear this ring on the left finger. But, as mentioned, some countries wear theirs on the right hand.
There could also be religious meanings behind it. For instance, Orthodox Christians wear theirs on the right because, for them, the left hand has a negative connotation (The Latin “sinister” means “on the left side”).
The choice also depends on which hand is dominant. Left-handed people typically wear their rings on the right to prevent their rings from getting damaged, scratched, or chipped.
How to wear a wedding ring and band is one of those practical questions that married (or soon-to-be-married) couples ask.
As stated, there’s no right or wrong way of doing this. Some traditions wear the wedding band at the bottom and the engagement ring on top of the left ring finger. Some break away from the convention and do it the other way around or in separate ring fingers.
The choice depends on your preference, the style of the rings, and your finger type. You can even have your wedding and engagement rings permanently soldered together — or wear them as part of your necklace. What matters most is you protect and regularly clean them to preserve their beauty and brilliance.