Yeah Weddings

What Hand Do an Engagement & Wedding Rings Go On?

Whether you’re newly engaged or dreaming of the day that it happens, it’s helpful to know what hand a wedding ring goes on. There are certain customs around how to wear wedding rings and engagement rings.

woman putting on wedding ring

So what hand does a wedding ring go on? Typically, most couples wear their wedding rings on the left hand ring finger. There are no set rules about how to wear your wedding rings, however, so it’s ultimately up to you.

Learn about common wedding ring customs and the history behind them to decide how you want to wear your wedding band! 

What is the Ring Finger? 

The ring fingers are the fourth finger on each hand, next to the pinky finger. The fourth finger on the left hand specifically is the wedding ring finger, where most couples commonly wear their engagement rings and wedding bands. 

bride and groom ring exchange

Significance of the Ring Finger

You may be asking, “Why do people wear wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand?” There is a long history of wedding rings that varies by culture, but this practice comes from the Ancient Romans or possibly from the Ancient Egyptians.

In Ancient Rome, it was believed that there was a vein on the fourth finger on the left hand that ran directly to the heart.

This vein was called the Vena Amoris, or the vein of love. It was common practice to wear wedding rings on this finger, because the veins were connected directly to your heart.

men and womens ring sizes

In modern times, this theory has been disproven: it’s not anatomically correct that a vein runs directly from your ring finger to your heart.

It’s still a lovely story, however, and many couples still choose to wear their rings on the fourth finger of their left hand anyway.

This placement often signifies that you are engaged, married, or in an otherwise committed relationship. 

In some cultures, it’s actually more common to wear wedding bands on the ring finger of the right hand instead of the left. This is common practice in places like Russia and Greece. 

What Hand Does a Man’s Wedding Ring Go On?

Men commonly follow the above traditions; in most Western cultures, men wear their wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand, just like women.

groom with wedding ring

Men and women both can opt to wear their rings differently, however. Some modern couples even forego wedding rings entirely, opting for alternatives like wedding band tattoos or other jewelry instead of rings. 

What Hand Does the Engagement Ring Go On? 

When you get engaged, most people wear their engagement ring on the standard ring finger, the fourth finger of the left hand. This is standard practice for newly engaged women and men. 

On the actual wedding day, however, many brides and grooms transfer their engagement ring from the left hand to the right hand. This is to make things easier during the exchange of rings at the wedding ceremony.

When you exchange rings, you typically put your new wedding ring on your ring finger. Keeping the engagement ring on your right hand makes it easier to slide the wedding band on the left hand ring finger.

proposing to fiance

After the ceremony, it’s common practice to move the engagement ring back to the left hand, on top of the wedding ring. This makes for a smooth transition as you begin your marriage and put your rings together.

Wedding Ring FAQ

Learn more about ring wearing etiquette! 

Is it okay to wear wedding rings on a different finger? 

Yes! While it’s common practice to wear wedding rings on your left hand ring finger, there are no hard rules about how you wear your jewelry. You can wear your wedding rings on any finger you see fit, whether it’s for a cultural reason or even just comfort. 

It’s ultimately up to you how you wear your rings – you don’t have to stick to tradition. 

Can I wear my engagement ring and wedding ring on different fingers? 

Sure! You can wear your engagement ring and wedding ring on different fingers or even different hands. 

Gold wedding rings are on the bride's hand

It’s common for married folks to wear the wedding band and engagement ring on the same finger, and some people even get the rings fused together into one larger ring. But if you’d rather separate the rings, it’s totally up to you!

You could wear your rings on different fingers or hands based on your cultural or religious beliefs, or even just because you like how it looks! How you wear your jewelry is completely up to you – there’s no right or wrong way. 

Do you wear your engagement ring after you get married? 

Yes! Most people wear both their engagement ring and wedding band once they’ve tied the knot. If you have a gorgeous diamond engagement ring, why not keep wearing it? 

If for some reason you only want to wear your wedding ring, it is okay to take off the engagement ring. Keep it somewhere safe or wear it on special occasions if you’re worried about wearing it every day. 

What does it mean to wear a wedding ring on your right hand? 

There are many different reasons that people wear wedding rings on their right hand instead of their left. It could be related to their specific culture or familial traditions, or it might just be because they like the way it looks! 

Men in some cultures specifically wear rings on the right hand instead of the left. It’s also common practice for gay couples to wear rings on the right hand instead of the left to subvert the tradition. Some divorced people even switch their rings to their right hand if they want to keep wearing them but not on the traditional hand. 

It doesn’t mean any one thing to wear wedding rings on your right hand; there are plenty of reasons why some people switch up the usual ring finger.

Is it okay to shower with your wedding ring on? 

We would advise against showering with your wedding ring on. When you’re showering, there’s a chance that your ring could slip off of your finger and go down the drain before you can catch it. It’s not worth the risk of losing your wedding ring, both for sentimental value and the actual cost of the ring! 

Wearing your rings in the shower can also lead to damage, as all the soaps and shampoos may not be good for the metal or the gemstone itself. It’s best practice to simply remove your ring and keep it somewhere safe while you shower. 

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1 comment

  • Thank you so much, this was very helpful as I am inexperienced with weddings and didn’t want to be awkward about it =)