Traditionally, and in most cultures, your engagement ring and wedding ring are worn together on the same finger commonly known as the "ring finger". It’s the fourth finger on your left hand, right next to your pinky. Exchanging rings as symbols of love is believed to have originated in Egypt. They believed that the vein in the fourth finger ran directly to the heart, strengthening the pledge of love and commitment. Romans adopted this tradition, spreading the practice throughout Europe, thus becoming the basis for the U.S. tradition. In reality, there’s no such vein, but the symbolism and tradition remain strong.
Before the Wedding: When you receive your engagement ring, traditionally it is worn on the ring finger. (You do not receive the wedding ring until the wedding ceremony.)
During the Wedding: During the wedding ceremony where there will most likely be an exchange of wedding bands, the engagement ring shifts to being worn on the right hand ring finger. This is done because due to another tradition, as a symbol of ultimate love and devotion, the wedding band is typically worn closest to the heart with the engagement ring on the outside. Wearing the engagement ring on the right hand during the ceremony also makes it easy for the wedding band to slip on the left hand without having to move a ring.
After the Wedding: After the wedding, many will choose to shift their engagement ring back to the left hand ring finger so the two rings start to be worn as a pair. The wedding ring is placed on the finger first so that it resides closest to your heart, with the engagement ring following on the outside. For those who prefer to wear these two rings together, bridal sets that are specially designed to match and wear well together are popular choices when planning for both rings. This ensures the rings will sit nicely on your finger next to one another without unnecessary rubbing or even scratching of metal by stones. For some, they may choose to solder their two rings together to prevent movement and twisting around the finger making the rings misaligned.
While this is the traditional arrangement, some prefer to only wear their wedding ring on a day-to-day basis, or add additional bands to create a unique stacked set.
We’ve worked with clients to create an engagement ring and wedding ring set that are perfectly matched in style and format, while other clients prefer their rings to have a bit of contrast, whether by mixing metals or styles.