When you get married, rings are often exchanged as a symbol of your love and commitment to one another. But why do we wear wedding rings? And why the ‘ring’ finger?
The Symbolism of the Circle
Since ancient times, circles have represented infinity, eternity, and equality. A circle has no end and no beginning, no prominent feature that stands out. It’s a continuous loop that looks exactly the same from all angles. The opening in the middle of the ring represents a door to the future.
As such, the very shape of the wedding ring is full of meaning some of which are:
Entering the future
For the religious, the circle represents God.
The ‘ring’ finger
The tradition is that a wedding band sits on the fourth finger on the left hand.
This tradition can be traced back to ancient times when Egyptians used to believe that a vein ran from the fourth finger on the left hand directly to the heart.
Due to modern science, we know this is not true. Yet we still stick with tradition and use this finger as the ring finger.
When Christianity became the official religion these engravings of the couple were replaced with Jesus or would have a cross between them.
The Wedding Ring Style Contributes to Its Meaning
There are many wedding ring styles available, each with its own pros and cons and symbolism.
Eternity band – this ring style features diamonds or another gemstone surrounding the entire circumference of the ring. This ring style represents eternal love, equality, and passion.
Infinity band – like the eternity band, this style showcases the figure-8 infinity symbol which represents timelessness, endlessness, and togetherness for all time.
Wishbone band – also called the chevron ring style, wishbone wedding bands symbolize hope, good luck, fortune, joy, and positivity.
Claddagh wedding ring – these traditional Irish wedding bands feature two hands holding a heart, with a crown perched on top. The hands represent friendship, the heart symbolizes love and the crown represents loyalty.
Five stone wedding ring – five stones could represent particular traits in a relationship like commitment.