As you plan and prepare for your special wedding ceremony, if you have not already done so, you will probably also be selecting the rings you wish to exchange if you both choose to wear rings.
A ring is a circle which is also the symbol of the sun, the earth and the universe. It is also a symbol of wholeness, of perfection, of harmony and balance.
The exchange of rings is symbolic in so much as it is a symbol of the circle of shared love into which you enter together and a reminder of the vows you pledge and exchange.
It is said that it was the Egyptians who began the symbolic ritual of presenting a ring to the bride as a sign of never ending love. The space in the center of the ring was considered to be an entrance or gateway leading to that which was known as well us unknown.
Rings were made of leather, bone or ivory. The greater the value of the ring, of course, reflected the wealth of the giver.
In time, the Roman’s adopted this tradition, however, the significance for the Roman groom to present his bride with a ring was not as a symbol of his love, but to claim his ownership of his woman. Often made of iron to symbolized strength and permanence, the Roman wedding ring was called Anulus Pronubus and it is thought that the Romans were the first to engrave the ring. The Roman wedding ring was worn on the left hand, on the finger that had a vein that was referred to as the Vena Amoris, the Vein of Love said to be directly connected to the heart.
Despite this myth, today this finger is known as the ‘ring finger’ and is the most popular finger for wedding rings in western society.
However, throughout history, wedding rings have been worn on different fingers on the right hand as well as the left including the thumb too! And so it is today, wedding rings are worn depending on the culture, religion or society, although it is usually accepted that if both partners choose to wear a ring, each wear their respective ring on the same finger!