Weddings are full of traditions that have been passed down through generations. One major custom is the exchanging of rings between the bride and groom during the ceremony. The wedding ring is given by the groom on the day of the wedding and should be worn below the engagement ring on the same finger. What should the bride do with the engagement ring during the wedding to ensure the groom can put the ring on her finger? Don't worry: we've researched this topic thoroughly and have put together this guide to help you think about what to do with your engagement ring during the ceremony.
Traditionally, the bride wears her engagement ring on her right-hand ring finger during the wedding. This lets the groom put the wedding band in its correct position on the left ring finger. But if you'd rather, feel free to leave the engagement ring on your left hand or take it off for the ceremony.
There are so many details you have to figure out leading up to the wedding, so this is one that might fall by the wayside. Keep reading for more details on the different options and answer some other questions about engagement rings.
Here we go!
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Do You Wear Your Engagement Ring When You Walk Down The Aisle?
Tradition dictates that the wedding ring goes on the bottom of the finger, then the engagement ring goes on top of it. The wedding band, which is used to signify the eternal nature of love, is "sealed" onto the finger with the engagement ring, demonstrating the couple's commitment to love each other forever.
These traditions originated in ancient Greek and Roman cultures, where the groom's family was responsible for providing a dowry for the bride. The ring, which was often intricate and valuable, showed the bride what she was worth. Throughout medieval times, wedding rings began to demonstrate a commitment to each other.
Because of this traditional layout of the two rings (known as the wedding set), it would be difficult for the groom to remove the engagement ring to put on the wedding band during the ceremony. Here are three options for what to do with the engagement ring during the ceremony.
Wear it on the right-hand ring finger
This is the best method to ensure that all of the ring traditions are followed. It also allows you to wear the ornate, expensive engagement ring during the ceremony. After the ceremony, simply move the engagement ring back to the left hand on top of the wedding band.
Make sure it fits on your right-hand ring finger. If it doesn't, consider wearing it on a different finger on your right hand. The idea is to get it out of the way of the wedding band while still getting to show it off during the ceremony.
Don't wear it during the ceremony
If you don't feel the need to show off the engagement ring during the wedding, it's acceptable to leave it off. Ask a trusted friend or family member to hold onto it or put it in a safe location. This option also ensures that your wedding band will be the star of the show and won't be overshadowed by your engagement ring. It's your party, do whatever you'd like!
Wear it on the left ring finger
Are you more interested in practicality than tradition? Then maybe all of this talk about how things "should" be done doesn't interest you. If this is the case, feel free to break these traditions by wearing the engagement ring on the left ring finger during the ceremony.
The groom can put the wedding band on the left ring finger on top of the engagement ring. Then, you can switch the order of the rings after the ceremony. This is a great option if your engagement ring doesn't fit on your right-hand ring finger.
An alternative method that isn't recommended is to have the groom remove the engagement ring during the ceremony, put the wedding band on, then put the engagement ring back on the correct finger. While this makes the order traditional, it might take too long and be awkward. Since rings are supposed to fit snugly on the finger, the groom might struggle to remove the engagement ring at the moment.
Want to make sure you're spending the right amount of money on a ring? Read this article for details: How Much Should a Wedding Band Ring Cost?
What Happens To An Engagement Ring After A Wedding?
Most wives continue to wear their engagement ring after the wedding in the same position as described above: the wedding band first, followed by the engagement ring. In fact, many people solder -- basically fuse -- the two rings together. This keeps the rings from sliding around and grating against each other. It also makes it more comfortable to wear both rings since they won't constantly be moving.
A jeweler will be able to solder the two rings together for around $50. Or, if you purchased the rings from the same place, they might offer to solder them for free. If you'd prefer not to weld the two rings together, that's completely fine! You don't even really have to wear both rings together if you aren't concerned with tradition.
An optional gift is known as an anniversary ring. Some husbands give their wives an anniversary ring to commemorate a special anniversary. Anniversary rings often look similar in style to a wedding band or might feature a birthstone or another gem. If a wife decides to wear the anniversary ring on her left ring finger, it should be third in order, put on after the wedding and engagement rings.
Trying to pick out the perfect wedding ring? Check out this article for a helpful guide to all the options: 12 Types of Wedding Bands.
Do Guys Wear An Engagement Ring?
Historically, guys don't wear an engagement ring. There are several reasons for that, most of which are related to the traditional nature of proposing. Throughout most of Western history, the male has proposed marriage to the bride, who can then accept or deny the proposal. This commitment to marriage is signified with a ring. Since the man typically proposes, the bride doesn't have anything to give him.
In modern times, however, a growing number of men wear engagement rings. In fact, one study says up to five percent of engaged men wear engagement rings. This has always been a custom in some cultures but is now growing in other parts of the world.
Male engagement rings usually look very similar to a male wedding band. Actually, most jewelers don't have a separate category for male engagement rings. A jeweled band like the one below would be perfectly acceptable for a guy's engagement ring.
Your wedding should be all about what makes you happy, including what you do with your engagement ring! If you're concerned with following traditions, wear your engagement ring on your right hand, then put it on the left ring finger after the ceremony.
Don't care so much about doing it the customary way? Then leave the engagement ring off for the wedding, or keep it on the left hand and switch the order later. It's up to you! Afterward, consider having the rings soldered together if you plan on wearing both of them on the same finger.
Hopefully, this guide has answered your questions about what to do with your engagement ring during the wedding. Good luck, and happy wedding day!