Ring Traditions: Which Finger Takes A Wedding Ring

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Which finger should you carry an engagement and wedding ring at? You might be astonished to discover that there are at least seven different variations to this custom in Britain and worldwide. In this article, you’ll get:

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The British Ring Traditions

Engagement Ring: Traditionally, the man proposes to the woman with an engagement ring in the UK and Ireland. He puts it onto the fourth finger of her left hand, known as ‘the ring finger’.

Promise Ring: Few couples purchase a promise ring before an engagement ring. A promise ring can signify the couple’s commitment to each other before they plan to marry. Or it can serve as a substitute ring until the couple chooses an official engagement ring. Promise rings are worn on the left-hand ring finger, the same as engagement rings.

Wedding Ring: After espousing, British women usually use both the engagement ring and the wedding ring. It’s fair to wear the wedding ring alone, although this is less frequent. Either way, both are always carried on the left ring finger.

In the UK, women usually wear their engagement ring ‘on top of the wedding ring, implying that the wedding ring is put on the finger first. The reason for this is an excellent British superstition which says that a wedding ring should never be taken off. During the wedding ritual, the bride puts her engagement ring temporarily on their right hand. It gives a left hand free for the wedding ring. When the ceremony is done, the bride slips the engagement ring ‘on top of the fashionable wedding band to ‘seal it in place.

Egypt Ring Traditions

In Old Egypt, people believed that the vena amoris, or the ‘vein of love, began in the fourth finger of the left hand and led to the heart. Therefore, they believed this was the ideal spot to wear a wedding ring, representing love and commitment.

Germany Ring Traditions

The fourth fingers of the right and left hand can be utilised in Germany. As a general practice, the left hand is more widespread among Protestants, and the right favoured by Catholics.

Jewish Ring Traditions

Modern Jewish duos often put the wedding ring on the right hand’s ring finger through the marriage ceremony and later wear it on the left hand’s ring finger post-ceremony. Nevertheless, in some of the more conservative Jewish traditions, the index finger or the thumb are accepted. Curiously, although not for any religious purposes, in Brazil, the ring is also first placed on the right hand’s ring finger then switched to the left hand during the wedding ceremony.

South Asia and West Asia Ring Traditions

Engagement Ring: It is worn in several Islamic countries in South Asia and West Asia, and men usually wear them on the right and women on the left hand.

Wedding Ring: It is not used in traditional Muslim wedding ceremonies, but it can go either on the left or the right ring finger if one is worn. In Iran, the wedding band is more popular and continues on the right.

Various Ring Traditions

In some nations, it’s conventional for the woman to carry the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the right hand. This is a widespread custom in many countries, including Russia, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Poland, Austria, Hungary and Venezuela. Currently, among the English-speaking countries, the USA, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and New Zealand follow the same engagement ring custom as residents in the UK – wearing their rings on the fourth finger of the left hand. Elsewhere in the world, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Turkey, Jordan, Mexico, Slovenia and Romania also share it.

In these nations, the right hand appears to be the established custom, notwithstanding of religion. The engagement ring is ordinarily put on first, followed by the wedding ring. It is simply for practical purposes because of the order the rings were settled in. However, this custom can vary according to what feels most comfortable to the bride.