Wedding ring etiquette

ring pillowPerhaps the most romantic aspect of any wedding is the giving of rings between the bridal couple.  From the first time the excited bride shows off her engagement ring to the moment the couple exchanges rings nothing says romance like wedding rings.  But the history of wedding rings is a long and varied one.  Many wonder how did it become a marriage symbol, and why is the fourth finger of your left hand the lucky recipient?

The Pharaohs of Egypt first used the circle, as a symbol of eternity, but wearing a ring as a public pledge to honor the marriage contract did not become customary until Roman times. The earliest rings were made of simple iron, but gold rings set with gems were fashionable by medieval days. The most popular gems were symbolic, a red ruby was the color of the heart, a blue sapphire reflected the heavens but the most coveted and powerful gem was the indestructible diamond.

The Archduke Maximilian of Austria started the diamond ring trend in 1477 when he presented one to his beloved, Mary of Burgundy. The tradition of wearing the engagement ring and wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand can be traced to the Egyptians, who believed the vena amoris (vein of love) ran directly from the heart to the top of this finger
In the 1300s the Greek Orthodox Church introduced the dual-ring ceremonies, in which both bride and groom wear a ring. The custom didn’t catch on in America until the beginning of World War II.  Young men were being forced to leave their beloveds behind, not knowing when and if they would return. Many couples married in anticipation of separation, and wedding bands, one for each partner were considered critical to the war effort, as a solace to lonely soldiers and as a reminder for brides that their faraway soldier was thinking of them.  Almost 85% of marriages were dual-ring ceremonies by the height of the war. And they continue to be today with some spectacular rings for both bride and groom. Yet since this is often the first major jewelry purchase made by a couple often questions and concerns arise.  Below are some common questions about wedding ring etiquette-

Question: What is engagement ring and wedding ring etiquette? Does a bride have to have a wedding ring, or can she just continue to wear an engagement ring after being married?
Answer: Though there’s not necessarily a correct way to do it, most married folks do wear their wedding rings at all times (with or without their engagement ring). After all, it’s a symbol of your love, devotion, and, well, the fact that you’re no longer engaged- you’re married!
Question: Does tradition and etiquette dictate that the wedding band is made of gold, or can it be another material?
Answer: The traditional Jewish wedding band is plain gold, but beyond that, you can choose any type of band you like.   For the past five years platinum has been hugely popular for engagement and wedding rings.  Gold is still considered the traditional “marriage metal” and is currently making a comeback.
Question: Is it okay to wear the engagement ring and wedding band on different fingers?
Answer: Although many people seek out engagement and wedding ring sets there is no etiquette that requires wearing both the rings on the same finger.  Sometimes couples choose different styles of engagement and wedding bands that can be worn separately.  This is all a matter of personal taste and style.   It is perfectly acceptable to wear the engagement ring on the right hand.  Some women, especially those with active lifestyles, find that the traditional prong-set solitaire can wreak havoc in their everyday lives, catching on clothes and getting scuffed. To avoid losing or damaging their ring, they opt to wear only the wedding band every day, saving the engagement ring for special occasions. When and how you wear the engagement ring is entirely up to the wearer.
Question: Who is responsible for the purchase of the groom’s wedding ring — the bride or groom?
Answer: Today most couples shop together for both wedding bands and pay for them together or each buy the other’s band as a gift.  How to deal with the cost of the wedding bands is really up to the two of you.

Perhaps the most romantic aspect of any wedding is the giving of rings between the bridal couple.  From the first time the excited bride shows off her engagement ring to the moment the couple exchanges rings nothing says romance like wedding rings.  But the history of wedding rings is a long and varied one.  Many wonder how did it become a marriage symbol, and why is the fourth finger of your left hand the lucky recipient?

The Pharaohs of Egypt first used the circle, as a symbol of eternity, but wearing a ring as a public pledge to honor the marriage contract did not become customary until Roman times. The earliest rings were made of simple iron, but gold rings set with gems were fashionable by medieval days. The most popular gems were symbolic, a red ruby was the color of the heart, a blue sapphire reflected the heavens but the most coveted and powerful gem was the indestructible diamond.

The Archduke Maximilian of Austria started the diamond ring trend in 1477 when he presented one to his beloved, Mary of Burgundy. The tradition of wearing the engagement ring and wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand can be traced to the Egyptians, who believed the vena amoris (vein of love) ran directly from the heart to the top of this finger
In the 1300s the Greek Orthodox Church introduced the dual-ring ceremonies, in which both bride and groom wear a ring. The custom didn’t catch on in America until the beginning of World War II.  Young men were being forced to leave their beloveds behind, not knowing when and if they would return. Many couples married in anticipation of separation, and wedding bands, one for each partner were considered critical to the war effort, as a solace to lonely soldiers and as a reminder for brides that their faraway soldier was thinking of them.  Almost 85% of marriages were dual-ring ceremonies by the height of the war. And they continue to be today with some spectacular rings for both bride and groom. Yet since this is often the first major jewelry purchase made by a couple often questions and concerns arise.  Below are some common questions about wedding ring etiquette-

Question: What is engagement ring and wedding ring etiquette? Does a bride have to have a wedding ring, or can she just continue to wear an engagement ring after being married?
Answer: .Though there’s not necessarily a correct way to do it, most married folks do wear their wedding rings at all times (with or without their engagement ring). After all, it’s a symbol of your love, devotion, and, well, the fact that you’re no longer engaged- you’re married!
Question:  Does tradition and etiquette dictate that the wedding band is made of gold, or can it be another material?
Answer:  The traditional Jewish wedding band is plain gold, but beyond that, you can choose any type of band you like.   For the past five years platinum has been hugely popular for engagement and wedding rings.  Gold is still considered the traditional “marriage metal” and is currently making a comeback.
Question:  Is it okay to wear the engagement ring and wedding band on different fingers?
Answer: Although many people seek out engagement and wedding ring sets there is no etiquette that requires wearing both the rings on the same finger.  Sometimes couples choose different styles of engagement and wedding bands that can be worn separately.  This is all a matter of personal taste and style.   It is perfectly acceptable to wear the engagement ring on the right hand.  Some women, especially those with active lifestyles, find that the traditional prong-set solitaire can wreak havoc in their everyday lives, catching on clothes and getting scuffed. To avoid losing or damaging their ring, they opt to wear only the wedding band every day, saving the engagement ring for special occasions. When and how you wear the engagement ring is entirely up to the wearer.
Question:  Who is responsible for the purchase of the groom’s wedding ring — the bride or groom?
Answer:  Today most couples shop together for both wedding bands and pay for them together or each buy the other’s band as a gift.  How to deal with the cost of the wedding bands is really up to the two of you.

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