Choosing which finger to wear an engagement ring on is a big decision, and one that should be considered carefully. After all, this is the finger you will wear your symbol of love for the rest of your life. There are several factors to consider when selecting which finger you will put your engagement ring on, such as tradition, personal preference, practicalities and more.
Depending on where you live in the world or what culture you come from can also influence which finger would be most appropriate for wearing an engagement ring. In this article we’ll explore some of these considerations so that you can make an informed decision about which finger to wear your engagement ring on.
Which finger should I wear my engagement ring on?
In Western cultures, the fourth finger on the left hand is typically used to wear an engagement ring. This is known as the ‘ring finger’ and has become a traditional choice for many couples.
The reason this finger is believed to be so special is because it has a vein called the ‘vena amoris’ that runs directly from your finger to your heart. Wearing a ring on this finger was once thought to alleviate many ailments.
This vein is also thought to symbolise true love, making the fourth finger a perfect place for an engagement ring. In some other cultures it is more common to wear the engagement ring on the right hand. For example, in countries such as Russia and Greece it is traditional to wear the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the right hand.
Why is it called the ring finger?
The ring finger has been named so because it is the traditional place for couples to wear a wedding band or engagement ring. The name ‘ring finger’ also refers to the fact that this is the finger where people traditionally wore rings of all types such as signet rings, class rings and more.
This finger was also once known as the “leech finger”, for a reason similar to why we now know it as the ring finger. The ‘vena amoris’ is a vein that runs from this finger directly to the heart. By placing leeches on this finger, it was thought to have greater therapeutic impact.
Is it OK to wear an engagement ring on the right hand?
It is perfectly acceptable to wear an engagement ring on the right hand, but it is important to consider your personal preference and the traditions of any culture you may come from. In some cultures, wearing an engagement ring on the right hand could be seen as a sign of disrespect or even bad luck.
However, it's expected in some cultures, so to wear it on any other finger would be a sign of disrespect. Think about your own background and culture when making this decision. At the end of the day, the finger you choose to wear your engagement ring on is a personal decision.
While wearing a ring on certain fingers might give a clearer message that you are engaged, it ultimately comes down to your preference and what you feel comfortable with. No matter which finger you decide to wear your engagement ring on, it is a special symbol of your love and commitment to one another.
You might be unable to wear your engagement ring on your ring finger due to a medical condition such as an allergy or localised swelling. Injury could also prevent you from wearing it on this finger. And there’s also a case of personal preference. At the end of the day, it’s all down to what makes you the most comfortable.
When should I take off my ring?
It is perfectly acceptable to wear your engagement ring all the time, but you may choose to take it off for certain activities. This could include taking part in sports or activities that involve water such as swimming and showering.
You'll also want to protect the ring from harsh cleaning chemicals, so it's a good idea to remove it while you are cleaning. Some sports will also require you to take off your ring for safety. And finally, some professions will not allow you to wear your ring at work.
If you cannot wear your ring for any reason, you might choose to wear it on a necklace around your neck. This can be a great compromise if you’re not fond of wearing jewellery or can’t because of medical reasons.
Do I have to wear my engagement ring?
Ultimately, the decision to wear your engagement ring is a personal one. If you feel comfortable wearing it all the time, then do so. However, if you prefer to take it off for certain activities or occasions, that's also perfectly acceptable.
Some people prefer to only wear their ring on special occasions. This might be because they don't like to wear jewellery, or because they are scared of losing it. You could also place the ring on a necklace that would allow you to wear it all the time without having it on your fingers.
Some people who suffer from swelling in their hands might prefer this as it won’t be as uncomfortable as trying to wear a ring. As long as your partner knows why you aren’t wearing it, this should be sufficient to ensure that no one is upset or offended.
Should men wear an engagement ring?
In some cultures, men wear engagement rings too to symbolise their commitment. However, this is not a tradition in all countries and it's entirely up to the couple as to whether they want the man to wear a ring or not.
Some couples choose for both partners to have rings so that they can match, while others prefer for only one to wear a ring. In same-sex couples, it's more common for both parties to wear a ring.
The rules and traditions around engagement rings are becoming relaxed and blurred, and couples are choosing to make their own traditions rather than follow any arbitrary rules. This gives couples a huge amount of freedom to express themselves in the way that makes the most sense to them.
What finger do you wear your engagement ring on when you get married?
Once you are married, you can choose to keep wearing your engagement ring on the same finger, switch it to a different finger, or just wear your wedding band. Some couples prefer to move their engagement ring to the right hand for easier access when exchanging wedding rings.
You can also switch to a different finger altogether if this is what you prefer. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer here. It's all about what you prefer. If you are very traditional, then you will wear your engagement ring alongside your wedding band.
This is why some people choose to get a wedding band that matches or compliments their engagement ring. This could include a wedding band with a cutout that fits perfectly with the shape of the engagement ring. Whatever you decide, it should reflect your personal style and preferences.
Do I wear my engagement ring on my wedding day?
This is again a personal preference. Some couples choose to wear their engagement ring on the wedding day and then switch it to their right hand afterwards. However, others prefer to just wear the wedding band as a symbol of their commitment. Ultimately, it's up to you and your partner what works best for you both.
It’s sometimes a nice touch to switch from your engagement ring to your wedding band on your wedding day. Others will prefer to leave their engagement ring at home so they can focus on their wedding band. This can look better in photos, as you’ll be able to take photos of you and your partner wearing just your wedding bands on your hands.
While the ring finger of the left hand is the traditional finger for an engagement ring in many Western countries, there are no rules about where you wear this symbol of your love and devotion.
Some people will wear the ring on a different finger for personal reasons, medical reasons or practical reasons. It’s also common for individuals to wear their engagement ring on a necklace if this is more practical.
Once you are married, you could choose to continue wearing your engagement ring on your ring finger alongside your wedding band. Or you might choose to save your engagement ring for special occasions and only wear your wedding band. If your engagement ring is very expensive, you might feel more comfortable leaving it at home.
While there may be plenty of traditions surrounding engagement rings, these are only traditions and are becoming weaker over time as couples choose to carve their own path. For this reason, you don’t have to feel bound to any particular tradition and can instead make up your own rules based on what works for you.