On which hand should you wear your wedding or engagement ring?

On which hand should you wear your wedding or engagement ring?

(Luckily,) There is no ready-made answer to this question. How you choose to wear yours usually depends on cultural background, religion, where you live and whether you are left or right handed.

Strong traditions are holding up

Traditionally, the engagement ring is worn on the right hand by Catholics, Protestants usually wear theirs on the left hand. During or after the wedding they move their ring to the other hand. According to an old folk belief it is the right hand after all, that is connected to the heart.

In Flanders, even the province you come from plays a part. In East and West Flanders, the wedding ring is worn mostly left, in Antwerp and Brabant usually right. The customs in Limburg are even more complicated: they can differ from one region to another.

In North America and South Africa, most brides and grooms wear their wedding ring on the ring finger of their left hand, regardless of their faith. Eastern Orthodox Christians wear theirs on the right ring finger. During a Jewish wedding celebration the bride’s wedding ring is slipped on her right index finger. After the ceremony, however, the bride moves her ring to the ring finger of her left hand.

Room for contemporary trends

Apart from these traditions, the ring finger no longer has the sole and exclusive right to a wedding or engagement ring. Nowadays, you can also choose to wear your engagement or wedding ring around your middle or index finger.

Even practical purposes can play a part. Who is left-handed and has to perform heavy duties, often chooses to wear their ring on the right hand or another finger to prevent damage.

The latest trend is undoubtedly the engagement ring for men. An engagement ring used to be the unique privilege of women. Due to the legalisation of gay marriage and the increasing number of men who want an engagement ring, this is history. For men, there are no customs that indicate on which finger or hand they should wear their engagement ring.

Do not let ancient traditions guide you and choose the hand or finger you feel most comfortable with. To assure an optimal fit, it can be useful to think about where you would like to wear yours beforehand. The specialists of BAUNAT would be more than glad to advise and assist you.

Author: Katrien Maes

Inspirational insights