Wedding Rings are a symbol of everlasting love between two people. Choose a wedding ring that will be a lasting reminder of your special day.
Not everyone wears a wedding ring so if you don’t want to have one, it’s up to you. The wedding ring, the shape of a circle, is a symbol of eternity. It is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, which in past times was thought to have a vein that traveled directly to the heart.
The ring is a symbol of your love and commitment to each other. It doesn’t matter what style or metal you choose. By necessity however, careers do make a difference. If your fiancée is a mechanic, a ring encrusted with diamonds would be black within a day. Purchase something simple.
A wedding ring or wedding band is a ring, often but not always made of metal, indicating the wearer is married. Depending on the local culture, the ring is usually worn on the base of the left or the right ring finger. The custom of wearing such a ring has spread widely beyond its origin in Europe. In the United States, wedding rings were originally worn only bywives, but during the 20th century they became customary for both husbands and wives. Wedding rings are a tradition that goes back many centuries, having been manifested in the wedding customs of many nations and religious groups. They come in many forms, most traditionally a ring made of gold or some other precious metal. Many people wear their wedding rings day and night, causing an indentation in the skin that remains visible even when the ring is taken off. Another indication of their cultural importance is that wedding rings are among the few items permitted to be worn by otherwise restrictive rules for prison inmates and visitors.
It is widely believed that the first examples of wedding rings were found in ancient Egypt. Relics dating back as far as 6,000 years ago, including papyrus scrolls, show us evidence of braided rings of hemp or reeds being exchanged among a wedded couple. Egypt viewed the circle as a symbol of eternity, and the ring served to signify the never-ending love between the couple. This was also the origin of the practice of wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand, which the Egyptians believed to house a special vein that was connected directly to the heart, otherwise also known as Vena amoris.
Historical ring styles
During the 16th and 17th centuries, European husbands would bestow a gimmel ring upon their wives. Similar to the puzzle ring, they consisted of two interlocking bands. The bride and groom would each wear one of these bands after their engagement, and the two bands would be reunited at the wedding ceremony. The wife would then wear the combined ring.
This was a style of ring that was popular during the Renaissance. It came in the form of a band of sterling silver, inscribed with a poem or “poesy” therefore its name.
Other ring styles
There are many other historical ring styles throughout different cultures. For example, see the picture below of the Byzantine era ring depicting Christ. Also, there are puzzle rings representing an old custom from the Middle East. This ring was made up of several pieces that would join together in a cohesive band when worn correctly. The object of this ring was to be very difficult to put on properly so that, if the wife took off her wedding ring, her husband would know.
In 1942 British wartime restrictions on the manufacture of jewellery resulted in “utility” wedding rings which were limited to a mass of no more than two pennyweightsand were made from 9-carat gold rather than the traditional 22.
The double-ring ceremony
The double-ring ceremony, or use of wedding rings for both partners, is a 20th-century American innovation but has been used elsewhere before. The US jewelry industry started a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging this practice in the late 19th century. In the 1920s, ad campaigns tried introducing a male engagement ring, but it failed due to the necessity that its advertising campaigns make secret appeals to women. Marketing lessons of the 1920s, changing economic times, and the workplace impact of World War II led to a more successful marketing campaign for male and female wedding bands, and by the late 1940s, double-ring ceremonies made up 80% of all weddings, as opposed to 15% before the Great Depression. Rising expectations of equality between the sexes in nearly all spheres of life during the 20th century cemented the trend, and double-ring ceremonies remain preponderant in the US in the 21st century, causing some orthodox religious authorities to struggle to harmonize their single-ring traditions with couples’ desire for a double-ring ceremony.
Outside the US, it is still common to find single-ring weddings with just the bride wearing the wedding ring. In several European countries, like the Nordic countries, it is normal to use plain engagement rings of the same kind for both sexes, and typically, an additional, more precious, bejeweled wedding ring is given to the bride. In the nuptials, the groom’s ring becomes a wedding ring, too, and can be put on anew by the bride as a part of the ceremony with marriage vows. The engagement is typically a matter of agreement between the two, where rings are chosen together. Both engagement and wedding rings are worn on the left hand, the bride having both rings together. Occasionally, the groom gets a separate wedding ring. In Germany and Austria, both parties use engagement rings worn on the left hand. At the nuptials, a wedding ring is put on the right hand, as in several east European countries, like Russia, Bulgaria, and Poland. This can be a new ring for the bride, or both, or reusing the engagement rings. Any engagement rings can then remain on the left hand or be moved to the right hand. Also in Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and the Netherlands, both sexes wear engagement rings, where the groom’s ring often becomes a wedding ring at the nuptials used in the ring exchange ceremony.