• Which is your wedding ring hand?
    The hand you wear your wedding ring and engagement ring on is different for each religion. In Christianity, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand while the engagement ring is worn on the left side. Wearing both rings on the left side comes from Roman traditions.
    • Traditional Western religions
    • Traditional Middle Eastern religions
    • Traditional Eastern religions
       
  • What are the differences between religions?
  • How do you wear engagement and wedding rings together?

There are many traditions associated with wearing engagement and wedding rings. These traditions often depend on culture and place. Religion plays a big role in this even if you do not practice it. Which hand does your most symbolic jewellery belong to? Or rather, should you wear your wedding ring on the right or left if you want to respect both tradition and social convention? 

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1. Traditional Western religions

How do Christians wear their rings?

Christianity is still the largest religion in the world. At least 31.2% of the global population is Christian. This makes it likely that you will follow all the customs and traditions associated with it even if you are not a believer. If this is the case, then the engagement ring will be worn on the left hand and the wedding ring on the right. Wearing an engagement ring on the left ring finger comes from the Romans. Just like the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Greeks, they believed that the 'Vena Amoris' or 'vein of love' ran directly from the heart to this finger.
Wearing an engagement ring on the left ring finger comes from the Romans.
But rings are worn differently in many Catholic countries in central and southern Europe such as Italy and Switzerland. So, whether you wear your wedding ring on your right or left hand as a Christian depends on where you live. More and more women also wear both rings on the same finger.

What is the tradition for Protestants?

Protestantism has around 560 million believers, making it one of the largest Christian denominations. As a Protestant, you will tend to wear the wedding ring on the right hand and the engagement ring on the left. Orthodox believers who live according to Christian traditions and dogma also follow this custom. A typical Orthodox custom is to move the wedding ring upon the spouse's death.

The wedding ring moves from right to left when the spouse dies. This tradition comes from old folklore that believes the left-hand side to be associated with evil.
Wedding rings are so heavy that it takes two people to bear them. Sometimes three.

How do engagement and wedding rings work in Judaism?

According to Jewish tradition, wedding rings are essential, whereas engagement rings are non-existent. But some Jewish women still wear engagement rings. This all depends on the denomination within Judaism.

How do Jews receive and wear wedding rings?

Nowadays Judaism has around 16.6 million followers, of which 6.4 million live in Israel. The bridegroom puts the wedding ring onto the bride's right index finger during the marriage proposal. After the ceremony, she moves her ring to the left ring finger. It is very important to Jews that this is a plain and smooth gold ring without precious stones or engravings. The plainer, the better. This is because the woman must be able to estimate the value of the ring herself. Embellishments would make this difficult.

2. Traditional Middle Eastern religions

What side are wedding rings worn on in Islam?

Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world with around 1.8 billion followers. The question of whether a wedding ring should be worn on the right or left hand is secondary to the question of whether a wedding ring is permissible in Islam at all.  The Koran forbids men from wearing gold and silk. These materials are reserved for women. But a man may wear a wedding ring made of a different precious metal such as platinum. In this case, the wedding ring goes on the right hand. Women generally may not wear engagement rings. Unless there are no superstitions attached to it.
Younger Muslim couples are increasingly choosing to have an engagement ring anyway. It is important to recognise that Islam is the most widespread religion. It forms the religious majority in at least 49 countries. Its broad geographical distribution means that Islamic practices can vary across different countries and regions.

How strong is the influence of one's home country?

Muslims wear the wedding ring on the right in Jordan but on the left in Iran. But we do not only see differences according to country and region in Islam. In North America and South Africa, most bridal couples put the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand regardless of religion. Even in little Belgium there are differences according to province. In East and West Flanders men often wear the wedding ring on the left, whereas they tend to wear it on the right in Antwerp and Brabant. Limburgers do it differently: for them it varies from place to place.

Confused? Just choose which tradition you want to follow when deciding whether to wear your wedding ring on the right or the left. Don't forget to take other aspects such as comfort and personal convenience into consideration.

3. Traditional Eastern religions

Hinduism

Hinduism is one of the biggest religions in Asia. Engagement and wedding rings do not traditionally belong to Hindu weddings, but Western influences have increasingly caused this to change. Although wedding rings are still rarely worn, engagement rings are becoming more common.

Prevalence

Hinduism is often associated with India since at least 80% of the Indian population follows this religion. At Hindu weddings you will also see a lot of gold jewellery as this customary for Indian brides. It is believed that the more gold that brides receive on their wedding day, the luckier they will be. Aside from the rings that are exchanged, traditional Indian brides also often wear yellow gold jewellery from head to toe.

The religion has spread across south Asia and the Middle East and is especially present in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bali. Religion also often comes through the British Commonwealth due to the historic association between the United Kingdom with its former colonies.

Buddhism

Buddhism is another especially popular religion in Asia. A considerable difference is that Buddhism does not tend to have a religious ceremony to mark a marriage. Weddings are a secular occasion which the two partners can completely organise themselves, although many Buddhist couples will ask for a blessing from a monk.

Since weddings tend to follow secular rules, they are very receptive to new trends. Western trends are gaining more traction in Asia, meaning that more and more Buddhist couples are also choosing to have engagement rings and wedding rings.

Which hand do they wear their rings on?

The choice for a Buddhist couple to wear rings is mainly determined by where they live rather than their religion. There is also a great deal of diversity at every level, including language, between the countries and regions in Asia.

In Japan, for example, many brides like to go for Western wedding trends. They wear white dresses, have wedding ceremonies based on Christian traditions and a large wedding cake. They are inspired by pop culture from the United States and so they often choose to wear their engagement and wedding rings on the left hand. More traditional Shaolin brides (pictured) should not wear wedding or engagement rings.

A brief overview

As you have read, there are various customs all over the world which determine which hand you wear your wedding or engagement ring on. You can see a brief overview on this map of the world.

How do I combine different rings on the same finger?

Combining wedding and engagement rings

There is no reason why you cannot combine your diamond engagement ring with your gold wedding ring. Social conventions won't stop you either. But, it is good to adjust them to each other so that they form a nice whole and look good together.

View all our engagement rings here

Engagement ring, wedding ring and... signet ring?

In some families a signet ring engraved with the family crest is passed down through the generations. Valuable jewellery like this can certainly be worn as an engagement ring or wedding ring. This enables you to show your beloved how they are now a full member of the family.

Cultural and regional differences also apply here. In Belgium, both men and women wear signet rings on the left little finger. In the United Kingdom, only men do so. French men choose the left ring finger whereas women go for the little finger on the left. And you? It is ultimately up to you which finger you choose to wear your ring on.

How do I combine other rings?

Even women without immediate marriage plans still love the sublime beauty of diamond rings. And many married women don't want to limit themselves to just an engagement ring and a wedding ring. And why should they? But can you combine your engagement ring and wedding ring with other rings?
stackable rings of BAUNAT

Combinations and stackable rings

The size and shape of your diamond rings will determine how easy or difficult it is to combine them. Two solitaire rings might be a bit too much for one finger, whereas two eternity rings or one solitaire and one eternity ring will go together perfectly.

Do you want to be sure that your rings will go together? Then go for stackable rings. These fine rings each have a unique design, but they are made specifically so that they can be worn on the same finger.

View our collection of stackable rings

Are you looking for a wedding ring that goes perfectly?

Tailor made wedding rings

How about personalised advice about your wedding and engagement rings?

Are you finding it hard to decide which wedding rings will match your style? Make your decision together with the experts at BAUNAT and consult us (online) for advice. Or view all the wedding rings for men and wedding rings for women separately and each choose your favourite design.

How do I begin my search?

Now you know all the rules about engagement rings and the complexities that can arise. Let the search for the perfect ring begin. We have given you more than enough information to ensure that it goes well. Here you will find some blogs with essential information. Enjoy reading them and good luck with your search.

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