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Why do we wear wedding rings?

Monday 24, April 2017

Why do we wear wedding rings?

Why do we wear wedding rings?

Due to get married? You may be wondering why do we wear wedding rings? Your first thought might be an obvious one… to let people know that you are married! Of course this is the main intention of a wedding ring but there is a deeper meaning to it than just that…

It is believed that the tradition of wearing a wedding ring dates back as far as almost 5,000 years ago, to ancient Egypt. Back in those times women would wear rings braided from reeds and papyrus. The circle of the braided ring was the ultimate symbol of eternal love and something that would go on forever, with no end, like a circle. The empty space within a ring was believed to be the beginning of new things, a portal that led to new life and unknown events. When a woman was presented with a ring it was a sign of never ending love and a romance that would last for eternity.

Over time as it became clear that such rings would become damaged they were gradually replaced with various other materials, including leather and even ivory. The ring given, and the material used, was a sign of wealth.

Fast forward to Roman times and a ring was given not only as a sign of eternal love but as a symbol of ownership. Men in Roman times would use these rings to symbolise that a woman ‘belonged’ to them. Quite an out of date time I’m sure we would all agree now! Regardless this continued on for tens of years.

In the 9th Century, rings were given as part of the Christian marriage ceremony. These rings were adorned with embellishments, including hands meeting or doves being released. Only in the 13th Century were these rings simplified to the ones that we know and wear now as part of our own wedding ceremony and declaration ’til death do us part.

There are a number of reasons that we wear wedding rings, and wear them specifically on our 4th finger. This is believed to be partly religious reasons, as part of the blessing during the wedding ceremony, but also for practical reasons that most people are right handed. This means that a wedding ring is less likely to be damaged for the majority of the population due to being worn on the left hand. However there are a wide variety of countries, including Norway, Russia, Greece and Austria where the wedding ring is traditionally worn on the right hand. Also, in other religions the ring may be worn on a different finger entirely, often the index finger.

One thing that remains consistent throughout the years is that wedding rings have always been presented as a sign of eternal love and a sign of togetherness. This is a wonderful tradition and one that has been in existence for thousands of years now. Whether your band is a simplified version, or a diamond adorned one, it still stands for the same things today as it did 5,000 years ago. Eternity. Eternal love. Togetherness.


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