In bygone times it was far more common for women to wear a wedding band ring than it was for her husband, though it probably had more to do with economics than anything else. This trend changed markedly after the Second World War and in the vast majority of marriages today both partners exchange rings during the wedding ceremony.
Sophisticated marketing today also means that wedding rings are often seen as just one in a series of rings which starts with a ‘promise’ ring given at the beginning of serious courtship and for the serious is followed by the gift of an engagement ring on betrothal.
The wedding ring which follows next is then often followed by an eternity ring, usually given after the birth of a couple’s first child, to symbolize the ongoing nature of their marriage.
The series concludes (though not always) with a trilogy ring, usually set with three diamonds, as a symbol of the past, present and future of the marriage.
While the jewellery trade has had significant success in bolstering its sale of rings, most couples will choose to stick with the age old tradition of an engagement ring for the bride-to-be followed by wedding rings for both the bride and groom. Generally though, it is the choice of engagement ring which frequently dictates the couple’s choice of wedding band rings.
There is a great deal of custom associated with the wearing on engagement and wedding band rings. In many countries the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, while in other countries the wedding ring is worn on the forth finger of the right hand.
In some cases the engagement ring doubles as the wedding ring with a change of hand and often the addition of an engraving changing its role from that of an engagement ring to a wedding band ring. In other cases the engagement ring is removed on marriage and either worn on another finger or on a chain around the neck.
In most cases however the engagement ring is worn on the same finger as the wedding ring and the wedding ring is either placed inside the engagement ring so that it is nearer to the heart, or worn outside the engagement ring sealing the engagement into the marriage. In the majority of cases couples will choose to have matching wedding bands and the bride will wear her wedding and engagement rings together so that she will want a wedding band that matches here engagement ring.
In the past it has often been thought that the choice of engagement ring should be left entirely to the man who should purchase the ring and then spring it on his bride-to-be as something of a surprise. However, this practice is changing and, as engagement and wedding band rings will be worn hopefully for the remainder of the couples lives.
Wedding rings can be made from a variety of material; recently Five U.K. couples recently sealed their vows by exchanging rings made from their own bone tissue, grown in the lab from sample cells, however precious metals are far more common. Gold, titanium and platinum, some encrusted with stones such as diamonds.
Every wedding ring is individual, and a wedding ring is a powerful
symbol of union and commitment that will last a lifetime. So choose
carefully and keep the bond between you strong for ever.
Wedding Trivia: Today, prior to a Jewish wedding ceremony, it is the groom who ritually "veils the bride". This tradition goes back to the marriage of Jacob to Leah (the older sister) when he thought he was marrying Rachel (the younger sister) whom he loved.