10 Wedding Ring Traditions From Around The World
I'm Shawn and you are very likely to speak with me on the phone if you ever call in here at Sound In Motion.
Since I'm not one of the DJs, when Adrian and Raffi make me write a blog post, I usually have a harder time coming up with something than the people who are always in the field do.
So I went out and did a little bit of research and got a kick out of learning a few things about wedding rings. I hope you will too!Talk to you soon : )
10 Wedding Ring Traditions
1) Most people in the United States, France and Canada wear their wedding and engagement rings on their left hand, because of the old tradition that a vein in the fourth finger of the right hand ran directly to the heart. But in plenty of other countries, including Germany, Russia, India and Norway, brides wear their engagement rings and wedding bands on the right hand instead.
2) A long time ago, the exchange of the wedding ring at the wedding ceremony was a part of an economic commitment, not a symbol of love. Men gave their brides engagement rings to show her family that they were financially able to support her. In fact, the wedding ring was initially given along with a purse full of gold coins, a sign of the groom’s commitment to support his bride.
3) It is very common today to see a man wearing a wedding ring, but this tradition is fairly new. It became popular back in World War II so when men went off to war they had it to symbolize their unbroken connection. Even though about 80% of men wear wedding rings in the United States, there are no traditional engagement rings for men at this time in the States.
4) Engagement rings don’t always have to be worn on the finger. In the Hindu tradition, women are given toe rings, called bichiya, as engagement rings. In West Bengal, women are given iron bangle bracelets, often plated in silver or gold. These untraditional engagement rings can be quite beautiful and ornately decorated, much like the Western style of engagement ring. However, today, many Hindu men give their brides both the traditional engagement ring and a Western-style one.
5) In Romania, there is a beautiful custom that celebrates long-lasting marriages. On their silver anniversary, the twenty-fifth, couples exchange silver anniversary bands that they wear along with their gold wedding rings. It is a simple but lovely way to commemorate not only the commitment to the marriage, but the beauty of having spent their lives together.
6) The tradition of exchanging the engagement rings seems like just a tradition, it is actually referred to in wedding ceremonies of many religions. Roman Catholic, Jewish and the Church of England all have references to the wedding ring in their marriage liturgies.
7) The Claddagh is a uniquely Irish ring that can be used as an engagement ring, a wedding ring, or just as a gesture of friendship. The way in which it is worn, whether it is worn on the right or left hand, and which direction it faces, lets people know whether it is an engagement ring or wedding band. Its design, featuring a pair of clasped hands, a heart and a crown, represents friendship, love and loyalty, making it perfect for an engagement ring with real symbolic value.
8) The last decade or so, there has been an increase in popularity of a new form of engagement ring in American culture: the promise ring. Often exchanged by couples who are serious about each other but too young for marriage, this pre-engagement ring traces its roots back to the poesy and scribbling rings of the 16th and 17th century, which were also used by young couples to show their love and devotion to each other. Unlike engagement rings, promise rings usually do not have large center diamonds, but are often set with smaller stones.
9) Legally speaking, in the United States an engagement ring is considered a conditional gift, making it an exception to the general rule that gifts cannot be taken back by the giver. Regardless of who initiates the break-up, in the US a man is allowed to take the engagement ring back in the case of a broken engagement, unless it was given on a nationally-recognized gift-giving occasion, such as Valentine’s Day. In England, however, if the man initiates the break-up, he may not be able to take back the ring.
10) In the Nordic tradition, both men and women exchange and wear engagement rings. These engagement rings generally take the form of simple gold bands. More recently, however, more women have begun to initiate proposals, leading to a drastic increase in the popularity of men’s engagement rings. These bands are more ornate and complex than the traditional simple band, however not as elaborate as a woman’s engagement ring