Here at Wendy Makin we design gowns for girls all over the world, and we wondered why not all our bride-to-be’s wore their rings on their left ring finger. After a little research, we found out there are heaps of reasons why a bride might choose another finger or another hand, so we thought we’d share!
The major reason that brides choose to wear their ring on the ring finger on their left hand dates back centuries, and centers on the once believed tale that there was a major vein that lead from the left ring finger to the heart. This symbolized that their heart was taken. However, The London reader wrote on May 1st 1870 that those who disliked this reasoning would perhaps rather the idea that the ring finger is the most protected as it cannot be moved easily without its fellow fingers. The New York Times also wrote in 1894 that during the exchange of rings in a Middle Ages ceremony, a prayer would be read and the ring placed on each finger at the name of each person of the holey trinity (the father, the son, and the holey spirit) and placed on the fourth finger with the word Amen, signifying a religious promise.
Many cultures wear their wedding ring on their right ring finger instead of their left, including Colombia, Greece, Norway, Russia and North Germany. There was scandal in 1934 when the Archimandrite of the Greek church removed the wedding ring of the Duchess of Kent from her left hand and placed it on her right hand during her wedding ceremony, as per tradition.
In Chile or Brazil, the engagement ring is placed on the right hand and then moved to the left hand during the wedding ceremony. And in Norway and Greece, the opposite occurs.
In a Jewish or Eastern Orthodox wedding ceremony, the ring is placed on the index finger on the right hand! And during a Hindu betrothal ceremony, the bride-to-be wears her ring on her left hand and the groom-to-be wears his ring on his right hand.
There are many other reasons for wearing a wedding or engagement ring on an alternate finger, including sexual orientation. Some same sex couples choose to wear their rings on their right ring finger to signify multiple things, including the unequal treatment of same sex couples and their right to marry.
There are surely many more reasons people choose to wear their rings on an alternate finger, but overall it is purely a personal choice. Some couples even choose not to wear them!
We hope you enjoyed our article! If so, comment below, and don’t forget to tag us on your special day @wendymakinbridal.
Words: Samara Flynn