Why Does the Wedding Ring Go On the Left Hand?

If you ask pretty much anyone “What finger does the wedding ring go on?” they would know the answer.  It’s pretty common for most people to wear their wedding ring on their left ring finger.  But why is it the left hand?  

And do brides and grooms have to follow this tradition?  In today’s blog we look at the reasons behind it and whether or not it’s important that you follow this custom. 

The story of why a wedding ring is worn on the left hand can be traced back to ancient times, when Romans believed that the vein in the ring finger (the fourth finger) on the left hand runs directly to your heart.  Because of this, they even named the vein ‘vena amoris’ or vein of love.  This meant that naturally, when solidifying a union based on love, they’d place the ring on the finger that houses the vein of love.  This signifies the romance that the newly married couple shares, and is a really lovely physical representation of two hearts being connected.

Our modern day understanding of biology suggests that actually, all of your fingers have vein connections to the heart, but we still love the idea of the ‘vena amoris’ and what it represents.  In many central and northern European countries like Norway and Austria they wear their wedding ring on the right, so it really is each to their own!

Since most have accepted the above reasoning as the rationale behind a wedding ring on the left hand, the newly engaged have also taken to wearing their engagement ring on the same one.  Interestingly, those in Europe who favour the right for their wedding band still wear the engagement ring on the left and then transfer it over.   Whereas some in other countries do the exact opposite!

More recently, men have begun wearing engagement rings, especially in same sex relationships.   Swedish brides often wear unique wedding ring sets made up of an engagement ring, wedding band and the ring of motherhood.   

If you’ve opted to wear both (or all three) rings on the same finger, you should know there are also some rules for stacking!  Married couples conventionally wear their wedding bands on the bottom so they are closest to their heart (cute!).  If you want to honour this on your actual wedding day, the most popular strategy is to move your engagement ring to the right hand before you walk down the aisle, then once the ceremony is complete you can put it on top of your wedding band.  Simple!

With bespoke wedding ring design anything is possible.  You could choose to redesign your engagement ring into one engagement and wedding ring or design a wedding ring that fits perfectly with your engagement ring.  If you would like to find out more, please click on the wedding ring guide below, and get in touch if you need any help or information at all.

Love, Roseanna & Co x

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