Wedding and engagement rings are two very special, emotional rings that mean a lot to most people. When it comes time to go shopping for that perfect wedding band to go with the engagement ring, you’re likely wondering just how you’re going to wear them. Can you wear the wedding band and the engagement ring ? Do you have to wear them separately ? Is there a ‘right’ way to do this ?
As a newlywed couple (at the time of writing this) we’ve had our shade of ring shopping and deciding on just how we’re going to wear those rings. And this is research we’ve done for ourselves, and we’ve learned one very important thing, which we’ll share with you right how.
How to wear engagement and wedding rings
There is no ‘right’ way to wear your engagement and wedding rings, but there are three main styles. What matters most is that, if you plan to wear both rings on the same finger, they won’t get in the way and that they fit together. If your engagement ring has a unique shape your wedding band will likely have to have a shape that fits snugly against the ring.
Do not worry if the wedding band feels a bit tight at first. Within a few days it will settle into a groove on your finger – like the engagement ring did – and you won’t feel it anymore. For men this process is especially awkward, since men don’t usually wear rings, so the feeling of a tight band can be alien at first.
So, as we said, there is no right way to wear your engagement ring and wedding band. But we can walk you through the three main ways people choose to wear them, maybe you’ll find something you like.
Engagement ring on top of the wedding band
This is the most common way to wear the ring set. As you walk down the aisle, your engagement ring – usually on the left hand – moves to the right hand to make room for the wedding band. The whole point of the engagement ring is to ‘reserve’ the finger for the wedding band and to show your promise to the world. And fend off unwanted suitors, that’s always a plus.
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So as you’re walking down the aisle your engagement ring is on your right hand, or not on you at all. During the wedding ceremony the wedding band will be placed on your left hand, and three it will stay until the end of time. Or until you decide to move it. But traditionally, that’s it’s place.
Many brides them slip on the engagement ring, usually after the ceremony is finished. The idea is that the wedding band is then closest to your heart. Some brides consider this to be very romantic, and not all brides have an engagement ring to go on top of it afterwards. That’s perfectly alright,
Wedding band on top of the engagement ring
The wedding band on top of the engagement ring is probably not the most common, but it can mean a lot to some people. In our case I chose to reverse the rings after the wedding ceremony was over. To me the engagement meant more, as it was a very honest and heartfelt question form my husband and a very emotional ‘yes’ on my part. I chose to keep the engagement ring closest, and then put the wedding band on top.
If your engagement ring is like most rings – it’s taller than the wedding band – it would also make a bit more sense to put it closer to the knuckle, as it has a smaller change of getting in the way. This is especially true if you have a big wedding band.
Wear both rings separately
Another option is to wear your two rings separately. If could be your wedding band on the left, and your engagement ring on the right, or another finger. Some people believe that once the wedding is done, the engagement ring should be on a different finger. As long as your hands offer this option – in terms of ring size – you can totally do this.
Or, if you’d like to keep a much simpler look, you can wear your wedding band most of the time and only slip on the engagement ring at special events or when you need to glow up.
Can you still wear your engagement ring after the wedding ?
Yes, you can still wear your engagement ring after the wedding. The point of the engagement ring is to show the world that you’ve promised your beloved to marry them, you are committed, and are not looking for another suitor.
Once the wedding is over you can still wear your engagement ring, either together with your wedding band, or separately on another finger.
What hand does the engagement ring go on ?
The engagement ring usually goes on the hand where the wedding band will go – the left hand. It is a promise to be wed, so it will take the place of the wedding band, as a temporary placeholder until the actual wedding.
However you can wear your engagement ring on your right hand if you want. The engagement is still on, the wedding will still happen. In the end the decision of what hand to put the ring on is irrelevant, as long as you do put it on.
Read also: Engagement Ring VS Wedding Ring
What hand does the wedding band go on ?
The wedding band usually goes on the left hand, both for the bride and the groom. The real story behind this is lost to the ages, so it’s mostly tradition and religious rituals that are left to guide newlyweds in this decision.
Some say that the idea of placing the wedding band on the left-hand ring finger dates back to the Roman empire. They believed the vein from that particular finger connects directly to the heart, so it would carry more meaning. They called this vein vena amoris.
The less romantic truth is that the veins on our hands have the same layout, and neither of them have a vein that connects directly to the heart. Veins are, by definition, small blood vessels that then connect to a larger blood vessel, an artery. And that, then, connects to the heart. So in a way all veins connect to the heart, just not directly.
As for why we still place the wedding band on the left-hand ring finger, it’s mostly up to tradition and inertia by now. Weddings are a symbol of love and tradition and unity and stability. You can make your wedding any way you want, but most people will expect to see your wedding band on the left hand.
Can I wear my engagement ring down the aisle ?
Yes, you can wear your engagement ring down the aisle, as long as you keep it off the left hand. During the wedding ceremony your left hand should be free, so the wedding band can be placed on the ring finger.
Your engagement ring can be worn on the right hand, or on a different finger, or not at all. You can hand it to a bridesmaid to hold onto until the ceremony is over.
Do men wear engagement rings ?
Traditionally men did no wear engagement rings, but that is taking a turn in the last decade. More and more men are viewing engagement as an equal promise, and they may wear engagement rings of their own to show their commitment.
This is not mandatory, and not all men view this as necessary. Some may seriously dislike the idea of wearing jewelry, and the wedding band is the only concession they are ready to make.
However if you’re wondering if the man you love would wear a ring, it’s best to bring it up with him personally. This is still a very new and possibly touchy topic, so try and formulate your question as an honest curiosity. If you’re both at a stage in your relationship where a wedding is an occasional topic, bringing up engagement rings shouldn’t be too dramatic.
What kind of engagement rings do men wear ?
If the man you love would like to wear an engagement ring, you may be wondering what kind you should get him. To be honest, this is a very personal topic and shopping for engagement rings for men is not as simple as it is for women.
Some men may like the big, flashy rings with diamonds, and some may want something very understated. In any case, it should not resemble the wedding band itself. Whether it has a stone on it or not is up to his preferences, and you can check his other jewelry for that.
A nice middle ground can be found in eternity rings. Those are simple metal bands with stones going down the middle. They could be diamonds, they could be black opal, they could be just another metal.
If you’re wondering who buys the man’s engagement ring, that is usually the bride (or the other groom). If you’re a bride who’s been proposed to and are now wondering whether you should get your man a ring, bring this up with him before going out to buy something. He may or may not be willing to wear one.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.