Which Wedding Ring Goes on First?

Posted by Koorosh Daneshgar on Feb 28th 2023

Weddings are special occasions that mark the beginning of a new chapter in a couple's life. The exchange of wedding rings is a significant part of the wedding ceremony, symbolizing the love and commitment between the couple. But have you ever wondered which wedding ring goes on first? In this blog, we will explore the origins and traditions behind the placement of wedding rings and answer the question of which ring goes on first.

The origins of the wedding ring can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where the circular shape of the ring was believed to represent eternity and the unending love between two people. The tradition of exchanging wedding rings was later adopted by the Greeks and Romans, who wore them on the fourth finger of the left hand, which was believed to have a direct connection to the heart.

The tradition of wearing wedding rings on the left hand continued throughout Europe and eventually made its way to America. However, there are variations in the way different cultures wear their wedding rings. For example, in some countries like Russia, Germany, and India, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand.

Now, coming to the question of which ring goes on first. In most Western cultures, the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, which is commonly referred to as the "ring finger." The engagement ring, on the other hand, is traditionally worn on the same finger, but before the wedding ring.

The reason for this tradition is rooted in history and has to do with the symbolism of the two rings. The engagement ring is given before the wedding as a promise of commitment and love, whereas the wedding ring is a symbol of the union and the commitment that the couple has made to each other during the wedding ceremony.

The order of wearing the rings also has to do with the practicality of it. In most cases, the wedding ring is the simpler of the two rings, and it is easier to slide it on first. The engagement ring, with its intricate design and sometimes larger size, can be a bit more challenging to put on after the wedding ring.

There is also a tradition that states that the wedding ring should be closer to the heart, which is why it is worn first. This tradition may have originated from the belief that there is a vein that runs directly from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart, called the "vena amoris." While this belief has been debunked, the tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the left hand remains strong.

In some cases, couples choose to wear their engagement and wedding rings on separate hands. This may be due to personal preference or cultural traditions. For example, in some countries, such as Spain and Greece, the engagement ring is worn on the right hand, and the wedding ring is worn on the left.

Another reason for wearing the rings on separate hands is practicality. Some people may find it uncomfortable to wear both rings on the same finger, especially if the rings are large or have a lot of intricate designs. In this case, the couple may choose to wear the engagement ring on one hand and the wedding ring on the other.

In some cases, couples may also choose to forgo one of the rings altogether. Some may opt for a simple band instead of an engagement ring, while others may choose to only wear the engagement ring and not have a wedding ring. Ultimately, the decision of which ring to wear and how to wear it is up to the couple and their personal preferences.

In conclusion, the tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand is deeply rooted in history and symbolism. While the engagement ring is traditionally worn before the wedding ring, the order of wearing the rings may also be determined by practicality and personal preference. Whether the rings are worn on the same finger or separate hands, what matters