“Which finger is the wedding ring on?” We’re willing to bet you’ve known the answer since you were a kid. It is quite common for most people, especially in the US, to wear their wedding ring on the ring finger of their left hand. But why wear a wedding ring on the “ring finger”? Also, do brides and grooms have to be present?
“Historically, it’s been documented that wedding rings were worn on every finger, even on the thumb,” says jeweler Stephanie Selle. “Today, wedding rings are usually worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, but some countries, such as India, Germany, Spain, Norway, and Russia, traditionally wear the wedding ring on the right hand.” In general, cultural traditions and norms seem to set the standard for this custom. “Somehow people decide to make wedding traditions and trends their own, and what’s interesting is that the ring finger is the one that most people keep,” Selle notes.
Below, we’ll explore the fascinating history behind the traditional ring finger placement, and why you may (or may not) choose to follow this custom. Plus, learn about other common questions and traditions behind engagement and promise rings.