Are you finding yourself wondering why people started wearing wedding rings in the first place? Well, we did some digging and some self-educating to hook you up with some of this throwback, traditional wedding knowledge.
It all started back more than 3,000 years ago in the land of the Egyptians (depicted on ancient scrolls!). This evidence showed us of some of the first recorded ring exchanges which showed couples presenting each other with braided rings made from what we can assume to be a material like hemp. If the relationship lasted, those rings would be replaced with a stronger material such as ivory or leather.
Some say that the ring symbolizes love with no end, an infinite love. Others, like the Romans, believe that it symbolizes love’s connection to the heart (and why we wear it on our left ring finger since that finger is connected directly to the heart, and the vein running through this area is known as the “vena amoris” or vein of love).
In modern times, the ring also symbolizes being off the market. There are no onlookers who must guess at another’s relationship status. Some take this as a symbol of loyalty and fidelity; already committed to another.
Other Expert Knowledge
“The story of why the wedding ring is worn on the left hand can be traced back to ancient times (really). In that era, the Romans believed that the vein in the ring finger (the fourth finger) on the left hand ran directly to one’s heart. Because of this belief, they called that vein the “vena amoris” or vein of love. Naturally, to solidify a union based on love, they’d place the ring on that finger that housed the vein of love to signify the romance that the newly married couple shared. A pretty adorable physical representation of two hearts being connected, don’t you think?
Unfortunately, our modern-day understanding of biology suggests that all your fingers have vein connections to the heart. But, screw science. If you want to designate the fourth finger vein from the right on the left hand as the most special of veins, power to you.” – Brides
“As Christianity spread, there became another reason for placing a wedding ring on your fourth finger. During a Christian marriage ceremony, the priest would say a prayer over the couple, closing it with, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” As he prayed, the minister would touch each finger on the left hand, starting with the thumb (one finger each for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). As he said, “Amen,” the priest would seal the marriage union by placing the ring on the fourth finger. Again, the specifics of this tradition aren’t quite as commonplace (not everyone has a religious ceremony), but the placement of the wedding ring has stayed put through time.” – Wedding Bee
Other Questions Answered
Does it have to be a diamond?
Our opinion? Absolutely not. You don’t need a diamond to get married. You don’t need a sapphire or a ruby either. An engagement ring isn’t an essential part of your marriage
With that being said though, we know an engagement ring is a sign of promise, commitment, and love. And although our tradition holds diamonds to the highest of standards in regards to this big leap, that same leap can be made with a gemstone that you love and reflects your personality in the right ways.
Are there any alternatives to traditional wedding bands?
Of course. Nowadays, you have everything from a platinum wedding band to a silicone one. It all comes down to personal preference, necessity, style, and, of course, your budget too. You can also move away from the act of wedding bands altogether if you were to create your own symbol. Some couples have even decided on tattoos or piercings to represent their commitment.
If you’re looking for alternative designs though, check out this guide to help you decide and shop around at all the right places.
Can he wear an engagement ring too?
It is common for most men to only wear a wedding band. But, if you’re questioning this tradition, don’t be afraid to talk about some options. Some men want to wear an engagement to signify the same thing that their significant others are flaunting – impending nuptials and a really big commitment.