Feb 26, 2008

Wedding Ring History

The original article is on Wendymyers.wordpress.com.

I hope you enjoy.

Why do people wear wedding rings?

The meaning of the wedding ring can be traced back almost 5,000 years. It is said the wedding ring tradition was first originated by the Egyptians who some 4,800 years ago twisted plant material (such as hemp) into rings and bracelets.

They believed the round symbolism of wedding rings was linked to an eternal love with no end. Use of the wedding band symbol is mentioned in the hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptian tombs as translated by archaeologists.

Some 2000 years ago, Asian puzzle rings were commonly used as wedding bands. It is said that sheiks and sultans required each of their wives to wear one as a pledge of fidelity while he was away.

If for some reason, the woman removed her ring, it would fall apart and be very difficult to put back together without knowing the answer to the puzzle.

My goodness but we’ve come a long way since then!

Traditions of Wedding Rings:
The Wedding Ring Exchange Ceremony.

Before 1940, only about 15% of bridegrooms received rings. The tradition of the double ring ceremony first started to become popular during World War II where around 60% of couples exchanged rings. This percentage rose to 70% during the Korean War.

Although it is not known what the percentage of wedding ring exchange ceremonies exist today, one can only assume that it has increased steadily over time. What can be more romantic than two people who promise to love and honor each other, using wedding ring symbolism as an acknowledgement of that pledge?

The Proper Way to Wear a Wedding Ring:
Is there such a thing as wedding ring etiquette?

Ancient Egyptians and Romans believed that the ring finger of the left hand follows the”vena amoris” or vein of love, which is directly connected, to the heart.

Therefore, many wedding rings were worn on the left ring finger, as it was believed to link a couples’ destiny. Even though Science discredits this theory – many romantics at heart still follow this practice today.

Another theory suggests that during the 17th century, wedding rings were typically worn on the thumb and then moved to the 4th finger of the left hand during the wedding ceremony.

It is believed that during a Christian wedding, a priest presents the ring to the 4th finger after touching three fingers on the left hand and saying, “In the Name of the Father – Son – and Holy Ghost”.

In Summary:
There is no other piece of jewelry more tied to emotion than the wedding band. The wedding ring symbol transcends into an extension of the wedding ring vow itself…

“To have and to hold From this day forward For richer — for poorer In sickness and in health Forsaking all others… Till death do us part.”

Isn’t it amazing how a small circle of metal, an unbroken circle, symbolizes eternal love, continuing its endless flow through time? This universal symbol has been an important part of the wedding ceremony for many generations.

While there are no hard and fast rules on the exact science of wedding ring wearing, most people opt for wearing theirs on the ring finger of the left hand.

One Last Wedding Ring Tip:
Which goes on the finger first… engagement ring or wedding band?

After the wedding ring vows are exchanged, and the Bride is officially married, she often chooses to put the band on her wedding ring finger first and then the engagement ring on top of the band. The symbolic nature of this order is so that the wedding band is closest to her heart:)

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