Wedding rings are so personal, and they say so much. They are a symbol of the vows you have spoken. We very rarely have the opportunity in life to give our vow. Marriage is sacred in many ways. One of them is the vows. A vow is way more than a promise. A vow is your word. Not to be taken lightly. We must consider deeply and know our hearts honestly before taking such a serious step in our lives.
That’s why the rings are so important. They are a daily, minute-by-minute reminder that we made such vows. We felt so deeply we came to a place in our lives and our relationship with another human being that we were more than ready to give our vow.
Rings are more than a reminder. And they are reassurance when times are hard. Yes, we are loved and do love sincerely. They are a constant celebration of Love and its magic and possibility and gift in our lives. Behold the wedding ring!
Table of Contents
What Do Wedding Rings Represent?
A symbol of eternal love, the humble wedding ring has been about for years, older than any of us and still as important as ever. While the design of weddings rings is becoming more modern in many cases, the tradition and symbolism of the ring are as strong today as it’s ever been.
The wedding ring is an emblem of love through time, a symbol of devotion and an agreement between two parties to love and cherish one another for the rest of their days. Of course, wedding rings are circular, which in itself carries symbolic meaning for the couple getting married.
The importance of the circle
A circle has no beginning or end and is, therefore, a symbol of infinity. It is endless, eternal, and just the way love should be. For many, the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. This is because the vein in this finger was believed to lead directly to the wearer’s heart. However, it is customary for the wedding ring to be worn on the right hand in many European countries.
Since ancient Egyptian times, wedding rings have been worn when they were woven from plants that grew alongside the river Nile. They were later incorporated into the Christian and Jewish wedding ceremonies, and it became common for the bride to be given a ring when she got married. More recently, both the bride and groom receive a wedding ring on their wedding day.
About 5000 years ago in ancient Egypt, sedges, rushes and twines found growing along papyrus trees were harvested and ornamentally twined in circular forms on fingers of newlywed women. This circle, which is an endless loop, represented eternity and infinity. Rather than the modern-day “till death do us part”, it was an insignia that meant “our love, this bond, and alliance, even in death, in the afterlife”. Although the materials the bands were made of at the time did not last for very long after the wedding ceremonies and had to be often replaced, the concept was well accepted. Over time, they found more durable materials to make these rings. The material became more durable and became more expensive, more aesthetically pleasing, and more customised.
When it was adopted much later by the Romans, it signified ownership rather than love. The offering and receipt of the ring meant that they had a claim on the girl or lady. The Romans were the first to make their iron rings, signifying strength and lastingness when someone was to be betrothed. They also were the first to make engraving on their rings. Subsequently, the idea of wedding bands was accepted by Christians. However, while in the Christian religion, it is worn on the fourth finger (the pastor touches the ring on each finger beginning from the thumb; acknowledging God, the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and finally slides the ring in the fourth), other religions and cultures have different ways of wearing the ring. For the Jews, it is worn on the index finger, for example. However, regardless of the religion, culture or where it is worn, wedding rings or bands ultimately signifies a promise of infinite, eternal love.
Wedding ring metal type
For centuries the type of material a ring was made from or the presence of a precious stone let others know the owner was in a high stately class within society. A king’s wedding ring was often used as an emblem to mark a document with it said to then carry the throne’s power.
Platinum has become an increasingly popular metal for wedding rings nowadays, a valuable and prestigious metal choice for wedding rings. It is also naturally hypoallergenic, so it will not irritate those with sensitive skin.
Plain yellow/white gold wedding bands are usually considered the traditional form of the wedding ring. These rings became famous because of their practical and straightforward style. They are still commonly worn, particularly by people who lead active lifestyles or need a ring that can easily be kept clean.
Rose gold is becoming an increasingly more attractive metal type for wedding rings due to its deep underlying meaning. Rose gold represents love compared to white gold representing friendship and yellow gold, which means fidelity.
Diamond wedding rings
Wearing wedding bands decorated with precious stones is just as historic a practice as the use of the wedding ring itself. Diamond wedding rings are a popular choice because of their beauty and significance. Diamonds have been associated with eternity because of their enduring nature and strength, while there is also an association between diamonds and love. This makes them the perfect stone to symbolise the love of a married couple. Other precious stones may also be worn on wedding bands, either on their own or alongside diamonds. Each precious stone has its meaning and symbolism.
You can make your wedding bands more personal with something romantic, meaningful or memorable engraved on their inside. Engraving a wedding ring is becoming more and more popular. It allows you to say something short and unique, something meaningful between you and your partner. Some people go for a simple “I love you” whilst others go for initials and the wedding date.
The beauty of an engraving is that it can be whatever you want it to say, although space is limited, so keep it short and straightforward. There are specific shapes and styles of wedding rings that engraving won’t be feasible.
Reasons Why it’s Important to Wear Your Wedding Ring?
Wedding rings are a symbol of commitment to your significant other. Wedding rings have been tokens of responsibility for centuries, dating back to the middle ages. The groom would present the bride and her family with an expensive ring to prove his commitment to the marriage and never step back from this relationship. The ring signifies that you are in a committed relationship and having the ring on you at all times goes to show that you are open about this and that you are willing to show it off. Seeing the ring on your finger daily can also serve as a reminder to your partner about how much they mean to you and that it is them out of everyone else that you chose to spend the rest of your life with.
Wearing a wedding ring can also prove to be a symbol of attachment, love and affection. Although in some cases or societies around the world, marriage is not always believed to be the product of love but in any case, wearing your wedding ring goes to show that you are attached to the person you are married to and that they hold significant value/meaning in your life. Furthermore, the ring can almost act as a memory itself as it can make you reminisce about all of the good times you have shared with your spouse in the past, in times when you miss them the most. Along with being the representation of holy matrimony, the ring also has attached fond memories that you and your better half have shared over your time together.
Your wedding ring can also act as a trigger for you to think about the decisions you choose to make, keeping your partner in mind. With your wedding ring on your finger, there comes an added responsibility, and that responsibility is to keep your partners respect in mind. You must understand that you are no longer single and that your actions can affect you and your loved one too. Therefore you must think twice before making certain decisions and ask yourself: “Am I respectful to my partner by taking this decision?” Respect is crucial not only in marriage but in any relationship. Keeping your partner in mind at all times will ensure that your relationship/marriage is a stable one and also a quiet way of expressing the importance of your partner in your life.
A key reason as to why you should wear your wedding ring at all times is to avoid or block out any unwanted attention. Infidelity is one of the biggest reasons behind marriages ending in divorce, and it is something that a lot of married couples are in doubt of even though they may not admit to it. Having your wedding ring on can prevent such unwanted consequences from occurring. It sends a message to anyone you may interact with daily that you are in a committed relationship. It is also said that the most common cause of infidelity is often emotional disconnection from your partner or feeling unappreciated or unloved. These feelings cannot be avoided entirely as every married couple faces its ups and downs. Yet, you can still do your part by wearing your wedding ring every day in honour of your partner and to prove that you are and always will be attached, committed, and respectful to your partner, as discussed above.
The fifth reason to always wear your wedding ring is that it sets the right example for your children and gives them the impression that their parents’ marriage is secure. As time goes by and your children get to ages where they begin to understand the concept of marriage and healthy relationships, seeing you wearing your wedding ring every day will teach them the significance of the ring. They will learn the reasons behind both their mother and father choose to wear their rings till this day. In other words, your future children will be more likely to have a healthy perspective on marriage by learning from the example set by you and your significant other.
Today, you find wedding bands made of several materials; cobalt rings, ceramic rings, gold rings, diamond rings and so on. People often decide to buy the most expensive they can afford to show that their love for their partners is worth more than money can buy. Men’s wedding rings are as well usually very different from women’s bands. While women’s bands are generally smaller and thinner with flashy appeals, men’s rings are usually wider, thicker and less showy, although this is not always the case. A man may decide on a luxury men’s wedding band or gold men’s wedding rings. They may also decide on a men’s white diamond ring or men’s milgrain wedding band, men’s rope ring, men’s tungsten wedding bands or men’s carved rings. It is rather interesting that men find it hard to choose what to get for themselves more often than not.
Most times, the task of getting an engagement or wedding ring falls on the man. When it doesn’t come from their parents or grandparents as a family heirloom passed down from generations, it becomes imperative to go in search of a set of rings. While it is hard for men to choose which rings to get for their wives-to-be, they instinctively know when they find the perfect rings for their wives. However, it is harder to decide which one out of the so many available choices for themselves. They have to ask themselves if they would prefer to get the men’s unusual wedding rings, men’s plain wedding bands, men’s hammered wedding band or men’s black diamond wedding rings. It often becomes a tough choice to decide on one. Sometimes, just like they find for their wives, they are lucky to find one for themselves that feels just right, just enough to carry all the promises in their hearts. Other times, they settle for one of the two or three choices they were most attracted to.
People often choose to customise their wedding bands, marking them in their names or their initials. This is to make the bands feel more personal, more unique to them rather than a set of bands that another couple may as well possess.
In the current world, where half of all marriages fail, we need to understand the truth and importance of wedding bands or rings. It is not necessarily about how much we spend on it or how flashy it is, and it is not just a gift we present to people we have chosen to marry. We have to understand what it symbolises; that “with the this, I become yours and you mine, now and forever”, that “with this ring, I promise a forever, an eternity in love with you”, that “with this ring, I give all of myself to you, now and every day and I don’t want it to be any other way” and most importantly, that “with this ring, I promise to try, every day and to choose you every day”. While getting engaged and shopping for the perfect ring, we should keep in mind the importance and promises we want to convey to them.
In conclusion, your wedding ring defines and highlights the love, commitment, and respect you have for your partner while also acting as a shield from any negative/unwanted entities. Your marriage has nothing to do with the perfect diamond ring or gold or any other metal at the end of the day. What matters most is the love between two spouses, not the ring that you gift.