Many different countries and cultures use wedding rings as a part of their wedding ceremony. This article looks at some of the traditions around the World.
Wedding ceremonies vary from country to country, however, many places use wedding rings as part of the marriage ceremony. Here we will look at some of the wedding traditions from several countries.
The finger on which the wedding ring is worn varies depending on the country's traditions
The finger on which the wedding ring is worn varies from country to country, some placing the ring on the right ring finger and others placing the ring on the left ring finger. In some countries the hand on which the ring is worn can change before and after the ceremony. For example in Greece, the couple wear the ring on the left hand until after the wedding ceremony when they are transferred to the right hand. In some European countries, the engagement ring also serves as the wedding ring and it is engraved after the wedding. Some people choose to wear the engagement ring on the right hand ring finger and the wedding ring on the left hand ring finger. This can help to prevent damage to the rings caused by them rubbing together.
The Romans considered the wedding ring to be the last in a series of gifts
The Romans believed in giving a series of gifts to the bride-to-be, and the final gift of the series was the wedding ring. The engagement ring could also be one of the series of gifts.
Some recently-introduced traditions include the trilogy ring, the eternity ring and the pre-engagement ring
The trilogy ring usually consists of three separate diamonds which symbolize the couple's past, present and future. The eternity ring symbolizes a long marriage, and the pre-engagement ring is sometimes given when a relationship becomes more serious.
In Britain, the 'Best Man' is responsible for looking after the wedding rings during the ceremony
The Best Man's task during the wedding ceremony is to look after the bride and groom's wedding rings until the part of the ceremony where the rings are exchanged. Some weddings will have a ring bearer who carries the rings on a cushion.
It is interesting to see that despite some small differences in how they are worn or exchanged in the wedding ceremony, that many countries use rings as part of the wedding ceremony. We may have more in common with people from other countries than we realise.