More than a beautiful piece of jewelry, wedding rings symbolize you and your loved one’s eternal commitment to each other. If you grew up in the US, you’d find that most couples wear theirs on their left ring finger. But have you ever asked why wedding ring on left hand? This feature got you covered.
Why Wedding Ring On Left Hand?
In many cultures and countries around the world, the marriage finger is the left ring finger or fourth finger of the left hand. There are several reasons behind this — from ancient beliefs to practical ones. We’re rounding up the top reasons below.
The vein of love
Thousands of years ago, the ancient Romans had the belief that a blood vessel ran directly from the ring finger through the heart. This vein of love or vena amoris was later proven medically non-existent; it’s only a legend.
Nonetheless, the belief attached to the legend — that wearing your wedding ring near that vein means you regard your partner as the person closest to your heart — is so romantic that the tradition remains alive.
A Chinese theory
The Chinese also have their own spin on the ring-finger tradition. They consider each finger to represent your family members: your thumb represents your parents, the index, your siblings; the middle, yourself; the ring, your partner; the pinkie, your children.
If you put your hands together and bend your middle fingers so that the knuckles touch each other and try to pull each pair of fingers apart, you’ll see that only the ring fingers are hard to pull apart. This symbolizes how your partner is someone you’re destined to spend your life with forever.
Most people are right-handed
Apart from legends and theories, there’s a practical reason why the wedding ring finger for men and women is their left hand’s fourth finger.
9 in 10 people have their right hand as their dominant hand. They use this hand to perform many activities — from writing to grabbing things. If the wedding ring is on the right hand’s fourth finger, the ring will be more exposed to wear and tear.
Putting this significant piece of jewelry on the left instead will make it less likely to get scratched and damaged.
Why wedding ring on left hand? It’s simply the norm most people grew up with
Have you ever wondered: Which hand wedding ring female or male is worn? Another big reason is catering to people’s expectations.
Cultures, especially western ones, have many traditions and beliefs regarding weddings and marriages. For instance, the bride must wear a white dress. There should be bridesmaids and groomsmen on the wedding day. Also, the bride and groom must feed each other a bite of their wedding cake — which shows their lifelong commitment to providing for each other.
When it comes to rings, one of the traditions is to have it worn on the left ring finger. Because it’s the norm that most people grew up with, they also end up doing that when it’s their time to get hitched.
Who Wears Their Wedding Rings On The Right?
Not everyone observes the same tradition of wearing their wedding ring on the left. Here are some exceptions.
Many European countries
If you’re asking what cultures wear wedding ring on right hand, the list of answers will include a number of European territories. It includes Spain, Norway, Denmark, and even Italy. It also dates back to the Ancient Roman belief that the left hand is an unreliable body part.
In Germany and the Netherlands, people wear engagement rings on the left hand, while wedding rings call the right hand their home. This represents the change in cultural status that a married individual goes through.
Indians and Muslims
Indians and Muslims have a common wedding tradition: Rings aren’t necessarily a part of the marital ceremony. However, modern weddings see couples wearing such a jewelry piece. Muslims can wear the ring on either hand. In India, men commonly put the ring on their right hand. The women wear theirs on the left.
Speaking of modern times, recent years have seen more and more countries legalizing same-sex marriage. To distinguish themselves from heterosexual couples, most same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQ+ community wear their rings on their right hand.
Similar to the right-handed’s practical reasons, left-handed individuals wear their rings on their right (their less dominant hand) to protect these jewelry pieces.
As people consider the wedding ring a physical representation of one’s love and commitment to their partner, couples have the responsibility to preserve its quality and damage-free. Doing this is one way of showing how much they value their marriage.
Most Commonly Asked Questions About Ring Fingers
Now that you know why wedding ring on left hand is the more common tradition, we’ll now delve into the most commonly asked questions.
How do I properly get the size of my ring?
Whether you’re wearing your wedding ring left or right hand, the most important thing is to get the right size. Right sizes are numerical figures assigned to a certain measurement of the ring’s inner circumference. For example, size 3 means that the ring’s inner circumference measures 44.2 mm.
There are various ways to measure your and your partner’s fingers. You can use a tape measure or a printable ring sizer. You can also visit a local shop to measure your fingers professionally. Pro tip: Measure your ring finger during the middle of the day at room temperature (this is when your finger’s size is most normal).
Can you wear your engagement and wedding rings at the same time?
You can wear your engagement and wedding rings both on your left ring finger or separately on your left and right fingers.
If you’re wearing them both on the left, the order you want will depend on you. Some put the engagement ring first, then the wedding ring, to follow the chronological order. Others do it the other way because it means that the wedding ring will be closer to the heart.
When is it okay to take off my engagement or wedding ring?
To protect your rings, there are times when you need to take them off. Generally, you must not wear them while showering, gardening, cooking, or sleeping. The same applies if you’re swimming, exercising, or doing high-impact activities.