Unless you have been living under a rock, then you probably know that the wedding ring is now commonly worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. This isn’t true of all cultures, but in most Western societies, this is seen as the correct way to do it. But, why is this the case? And has the wedding ring always been worn on this finger?
You might be surprised to hear that it has not. In fact, in most cultures, the wedding ring was traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the right hand. So the fourth finger has always remained the same, but the hand has not. Why is this? In this quick guide, we’ll be taking a look at what finger the wedding ring goes on, and the reasoning behind this. So, let’s dive right in.
What Finger Does the Wedding Ring Go On?
As we have said, in most countries and cultures, the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. This is the fourth finger if you count the first finger as your thumb. So, your wedding ring is worn on the finger next to your pinky finger.
Most people already know this, because it is a massive part of Western culture. In TV shows and movies, there is always a big fuss about characters placing engagement and wedding rings on the fourth finger of the length hand.
But, it is not only in the media that this is emphasized. This is something that is cemented in society, to the point where most people will not wear any ring on their “ring finger” because it is considered bad luck.
There are all sorts of superstitions surrounding this, with one of the main ones being that wearing a ring on this finger (when you are not engaged/married) will reduce the chances of this ever happening to you.
Of course, most of these theories are just superstitions, and there is nothing stopping you from wearing a ring on this finger. But, be warned that if you do wear a ring on your ‘ring finger’ then people might make assumptions about your relationship status. This isn’t ideal if you are single and looking for a partner.
What Is the Reason for this?
So we know which finger a wedding ring is usually worn on, but what about the reason behind this? There are lots of different theories about why the wedding ring is worn on this finger, and because this has been tradition for so long, it is difficult to know which is correct.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different theories behind why the wedding ring is worn on this finger.
The main reason that the wedding ring is worn on this finger comes from the ancient Romans. Back then, it was believed that the fourth finger on the left hand has a vein that runs all the way from that finger, directly to the heart. During this time, this vein was referred to as the ‘vena amoris’ which translates to ‘vein of love’.
As you probably already know, the heart is often referred to as the emotional center in humans. Love supposedly comes straight from the heart. So, by wearing the wedding ring on this finger, it has a direct route to the heart. But, the wedding ring isn’t worn on this finger in all cultures, so let’s have a look at why.
What Does it mean to Wear a Wedding Ring on your Right Hand?
As we have said, the wedding ring is not worn on the left hand in all cultures. In fact, even in modern society, a lot of cultures still choose to wear their wedding ring on their right hand. The finger remains the same, so the ring is worn on the fourth finger (next to the pinky) of the right hand, but why is this?
There are lots of reasons why this happens, the main reason being cultural differences. In a lot of cultures, there is no reason given as to why the ring is worn on the right hand rather than the left. This is simply just the way that it has always been.
But cultural differences aren’t the only reason behind this, so let’s take a quick look at some other reasons why you might choose to wear your wedding ring on your right hand.
Surprisingly, one of the main reasons behind this is being left-handed. If you are left-handed, then you might find it uncomfortable to wear your wedding ring on your dominant hand, in which case you might swap it to your right hand.
Some other reasons for this include wearing your wedding ring on your right hand as a symbol of financial independence, or because the ring was inherited as a family jewel.
Who wears their Wedding Ring on the Right Hand?
So we know some reasons why people wear their wedding rings on their right hand, but where is this most common? In Western society, and countries like the USA and United Kingdom, the ring is almost always worn on the left hand. So, let’s take a look at some countries where this isn’t the case.
Some countries where the ring is worn on the right hand include:
- And some parts of Spain.
But, it isn’t only different countries that wear the right on the right hand. It is also very common for couples who are in a same-sex union to wear their wedding ring on the right hand. This is simply a part of their culture, so there really is no correct hand to wear your wedding ring on.
In short, the wedding ring is almost always worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. At least in Western culture. But, in some countries and cultures, it is tradition for the ring to be worn on the fourth finger of the right hand. In both cases, the ring is worn on the fourth finger, but there is no correct hand to wear the ring on.