As with many things at a wedding there are some things that people just don’t think about until they have to make a decision on the matter, in this case it’s engagement ring etiquette. When are you supposed to take it off, how are you supposed to wear it and do you switch hands it’s worn on once you’re married? There are a few different traditions people follow regarding how you place your engagement rings and wedding bands on your hands before the wedding, the day of the wedding and after the wedding. As a wedding photographer I’m often asked what is supposed to happen, so I thought I’d write a blog about it!
Engagement ring etiquette
During your wedding ceremony
On the day of your wedding, engagement ring etiquette dictates you should be wearing it on the third finger on your right hand (your right hand ring finger) – which is probably the opposite to what you’ve been wearing it on 😛 During the ceremony your husband to be should place your wedding ring on the ring finger of your left hand. At the end of your wedding ceremony you should have a ring on both hands – your engagement ring and your new wedding ring.
The history of the left hand’s ring finger being used dates back to ancient Egypt where people believed it contained a vein that linked directly to the heart – thereby linking your heart to the wedding band.
After your wedding ceremony
Once you’re married, you are supposed to move your engagement band back to the left land. In doing so your wedding band should be placed closer to your heart, or the closest to the base of your finger. This is where your husband placed your wedding ring on our wedding day. Dependant on the hand you wear your engagement ring on you’re supposed to tell if someone is merely engaged or already married if they choose not to wear their wedding band, and only their engagement ring for whatever reason.
You could also ignore tradition
As with many traditions, due to it becoming more obscure due to not many people knowing about it, people often not worry about them anymore. Much in the same way the traditional wedding dress colour was actually blue up until a few hundred years ago. But it’s always nice to know these traditions exist and revive them if you’re that was inclined 🙂
Some ideas of what some ladies do with their engagement rings include continuing to wear their engagement rings on their right hand or not even wearing it at all. Some people go for far as to combine the two rings together permanently by welding or adding molten gold. The most important thing is just so that you’re comfortable wearing whatever you want to wear 🙂