Engagement and wedding days are two significant landmarks of your life, which are sealed and proven by wearing their respective rings.
The engagement ring is exchanged to promise the wedding, while wedding rings are exchanged on the wedding day to solidify the union.
The rings have their respective places to be worn, and traditionally people in the US wear their wedding ring on the left ring finger.
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Well, it was traditionally (and romantically) believed that the left ring finger has a vein (the Vena Amoris or Vein of Love) which connects the symbol of your love and union to your heart.
By wearing the wedding ring on that finger, it’s implied that it’s close to your heart.
Though science has since then proven that there’s no such vein, as all the fingers of the hand have the same vein structure, the tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the left ring finger still continues.
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So, what are the main differences between wedding rings and engagement rings?
The tradition of wearing wedding rings has been around for a long time, as the ring symbolizes eternal love.
The band, a circle, symbolizes eternity where there’s no start or end to the love.
The bride and groom traditionally exchange rings on their wedding day, and place their rings on their respective partner’s left ring fingers.
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People in other countries however follow other traditions. For example, wedding rings are worn on the right ring finger in countries like Greece and Russia. And in case of a country like India, while the ring can commonly be worn on either hand today, it was once worn only on the right hand.
This is because the left hand was considered (traditionally) to be unlucky and unclean.
A major difference between wedding rings and engagement rings is that in wedding rings it’s usually a plain metal band, and sometimes diamond-encrusted eternity band.
Although it happens, but usually wedding rings don’t come with a main diamond, that’s more common with engagement rings.
Although it’s meant to be temporary and just a promise to marry, engagement rings are much more popular among people, we look at engagement rings with more “passion” than a wedding band.
Even when looking at large online stores, you will immediately feel the vibes & messaging of “engagement rings” more than wedding ones, it’s always the first item listed on their main menu and homepages, and that’s of course for a reason.
The concept of wearing engagement rings, traditionally worn on the right hand, started long after wedding rings were exchanged and needed a new placement to indicate someone was promised to another person, but not yet wed.
Don’t be mistaken though, this ring is now often considered more important than the wedding band by society, and you should take great care when looking to buy your love their engagement ring.
Engagement rings usually come with a diamond in the middle (or 3 in Three-stone diamond rings), and that’s a main difference from wedding ring, note that we marked “usually” in bold because it’s not always necessary.
So a question like “does an engagement ring have to have a diamond” pops into your mind, the short answer is simply NO.
If you can’t afford a diamond, don’t get yourself in debt, the other half should understand this, with a promise to make it up for them in the future. You have variety of options to select from in that case.
You can go with lab-created diamond (yes it’s a diamond, but much cheaper than natural diamond if the reason was budget), you can go with moissanite, or cubic zirconia, or simply a nice & modern ring, yes they do look great even without a diamond!
Where to Wear Rings on Wedding Day and After?
On the big day, no matter which hand you wore your engagement ring on, it will almost always be placed on your right hand as you walk down the aisle. This frees the hand closest to your heart for your intended.
During the ceremony, the wedding band is slipped onto the left ring finger, and then the engagement ring is later worn atop it.
Some brides solder the wedding ring to the engagement ring, either because it signifies a stronger marital bond, or because it leaves them with only one ring to wear.
There are also some brides who opt to wear only the wedding band after the wedding, for simplicity or practicality.
This is all a personal choice.
So while wedding and engagement rings are traditionally worn on the left ring finger, this is today not a steadfast rule to follow. We are in the 21st century after all.
What matters is that you and your loved one are happy with your decision, it is after all, all about you.