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Which Finger Does a Wedding Ring Go On?

by Clean Origin
Last updated on February 11, 2022

You might be a new bride or groom and curious about where your engagement ring should go. We have answered the burning question of which finger your wedding ring should go on.

Keep reading to help decide which finger to wear your wedding ring or engagement ring on. We have compiled all of the information about wedding ring finger traditions, their history, and how customs differ between cultures.

If you’re shopping for the perfect engagement ring or wedding band, it is important to know some of the history behind wedding rings and the left-hand ring finger.

Origin of Wedding Rings

Ancient History of Wedding Rings

You can trace wedding and engagement rings back to ancient Egypt and Europe. The ancient Egyptians are sometimes thought to have originated the tradition of giving engagement rings. The tradition is also present in ancient Greek history. Yet, most of the traceable history around engagements rings comes from the Romans.

People once believed that engagement rings were a part of the bride price the groom paid to the women’s family. Wearing a ring signified that a woman was taken. In the past, the idea of this ownership and purchase of a bride was more serious.

The diamond engagement ring became popular in ancient Europe, and today most engagement rings feature a beautiful diamond in the center.

Meaning of Wearing a Wedding Ring on Your Ring Finger

History of the Wedding Ring Finger

The Vena Amoris

The ancient Romans recognized a small vein they believed ran straight from the fourth finger on the left hand to the heart. In Latin, this vein is called the vena amoris, which translates to “vein of love.” The idea of this vein was popular in the 1600s in ancient Rome and Europe. It created the tradition of wearing wedding rings on this finger. Wearing a wedding ring on this finger symbolized a connection of two hearts between couples. When newlyweds joined the rings together, the vena amoris connected the hearts in a single line.

Modern-day understanding shows that this singular vein does not exist, and there are veins from all fingers to the heart. Despite this, these wedding traditions have stuck in many Western cultures because of their history and heartwarming backstory.

Stacking Wedding and Engagement Rings

Many people choose to wear their engagement ring and wedding band together. You may be wondering how to stack the two rings. Married couples often opt to wear their wedding rings closer to their hearts and the engagement ring above them. There is also the superstition that married people should never take off wedding rings, so people wear their wedding bands closest to the knuckle. There are many stackable bands to look for when shopping for wedding rings.

Others opt to wear their wedding band solo without the engagement ring, which is a viable option. Some people wear their wedding ring on their left hand and their engagement ring on their right hand. It is up to you whether or not you want to wear your engagement ring after getting married. You can stick to common traditions or do whatever is comfortable for you.

Some may be confused about the engagement ring finger versus the wedding ring finger. Although there is a difference between engagement and wedding rings, the fourth finger of the left hand is the traditional ring finger for both rings in Western culture. In other cultures, people may wear their wedding ring on a different finger than their engagement ring. This also may be part of the wedding ceremony and exchange of wedding bands.

During the Wedding Ceremony

You can move your engagement ring to your right-hand ring finger on your wedding day, so your left ring finger is free for your wedding band. You can move the engagement ring to the left ring finger during or after the ceremony. A bride may also choose to have her wedding ring and engagement ring soldered together to wear as one piece.

Wearing a Ring on Your Ring Finger While Not Engaged or Married

Some wonder if you can wear a diamond ring on the left-hand ring finger if you’re not engaged or married. Of course, no one can tell you which finger you can and can’t wear a ring on. An old wives tale says that wearing rings on your engagement ring finger is bad luck and that you’ll never be proposed to if you do. Yet, we don’t know how true this superstition is! If you want to wear a ring on your ring finger, then go for it.

If you wear a ring on the left hand’s ring finger, people may assume that you’re married or engaged. This may not do you much favor in the dating scene but could be beneficial in some instances. Having a diamond ring on your wedding ring finger can scare off unwanted attention.

Promise Rings

A promise ring is a ring given to signify a commitment to someone. It can mean that an engagement ring may come in the future, or it can simply be a ring women wear to show devotion to their partner. You can wear promise rings on the right or the left hand. It doesn’t matter which finger you wear it on. Men can also wear promise rings on their right hand or left hand.

Same-Sex Couples

There are many questions about wearing engagement rings and wedding rings for same-sex marriage. There are no different wedding ring finger traditions for same-sex couples, but it is still important to determine where to wear the engagement and wedding ring. Many couples will wear their rings on the same finger as their partner. Just as with every couple, there are no rules here! You can wear your ring on the traditional wedding ring finger of the left hand or the fourth finger of the right hand if that better suits your cultural background.

Different Traditions in Other Cultures

In the United States and the West, wedding ring traditions come from Europe, but other marriage rituals exist worldwide. Many cultures worldwide have different conventions on which fingers people wear their wedding rings on. The wedding ceremony looks different for people around the world as well. Some cultures wear wedding rings on their right-hand ring finger.

Orthodox Christians have the tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the right hand. In Greek Orthodox weddings, the bride will wear her engagement ring on her left hand, and during the wedding ceremony, the wedding ring is placed on the right hand.

People wear wedding rings on the right hand in many European countries, including Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Austria, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Ukraine. People in South America like Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru wear their wedding rings on the right hand instead of the left hand.

In India, the left hand is considered “unlucky” or “impure,” so engagement and wedding rings are worn on the right hand. Overall, where the engagement and wedding ring are typically worn depends on the culture.

What Finger Should You Wear Your Wedding Ring On?

In the end, whichever finger you choose to wear your wedding ring on should be your decision. If you like to follow tradition, then you’ll probably wear your wedding ring on your left ring finger. But if you like to break the rules or have a different preference, switch up the ring finger tradition! It’s all about you feeling comfortable and happy with your wedding jewelry.

Whether you wear your wedding ring on your right hand or your left hand, we hope you find the perfect ring that you absolutely love. If you want to wear your engagement ring or wedding ring on the traditional ring finger or the right ring finger, then go for it.

Personal Preference

If your partner has a different preference than you, you can wear your rings on different fingers. Couples don’t have to wear their wedding rings on the same fingers. What matters the most is being comfortable about your engagement and wedding rings. Clean Origin offers the best styles and choices if you’re looking for a beautiful and ethical engagement or wedding ring. Now you can feel good about the ring and which finger you wear it on.