Wedding band, which hand?
For guys who aren’t that into jewellery, selecting a wedding band might be their first foray into the world of rings. Before kick-starting the search for a ring that fuses comfort and quality, it’s important to know which finger it’ll be settling on.
Culture, tradition, religion, and geographic location largely dictate whether it’s the right or left hand the wedding ring will be worn on. In saying that, however, it is a free world and the modern man can make his own rules.
To the left, to the left.
When the ancient Egyptians weren’t busy building megaliths, they were creating traditions that would last centuries. They’re credited with discovering a vein that connected the ring finger on the left hand with the heart, which later captivated the Greeks and Romans, who called it vena amoris, Latin for vein of love. Though since disproven, the tradition of wearing a wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand is based on this ancient civilisation’s romanticised belief.
There’s also a practical side to wearing a wedding band on the left. Generally speaking, it’s the less dominant hand, meaning the ring is less likely to sustain dings and dents as the wearer goes about daily life.
Wedding rings are generally worn on the ring finger of the left hand in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Portugal, Latvia, Estonia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Finland, Sweden, Mexico, South Africa, Bolivia, Chile and countries of the former British Empire, among others.
Can’t be wrong when it feels so right.
The left hand gets a bad rap from many countries. In India and most of the Muslim world, it’s considered unclean, and some religious readings suggest the left hand is generally up to no good. That said, it’s easy to see why the right hand would win out when choosing where to wear a wedding band. However people follow style and you’ll see lots of men from these cultures and religions now donning the ring on the left hand.
Making your dominant hand the bling holder is a great way to show your commitment (and carats) to the world. If you’ve got it, may as well flaunt it, right?
Countries in Eastern and Western Europe, Central and South America, and India favour the right hand for their wedding rings. These include but are not limited to Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Ukraine, Colombia, Peru, Cuba and Venezuela.
Often, this is linked to the Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic religions. According to Greek Orthodox believers, the right hand is a symbol of truth, strength and commitment, a solid symbolic foundation for a marriage.
The best of both worlds.
In Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Romania and Brazil, the ring is worn on the right hand until the actual wedding day, when it’s moved to the left. It’s the opposite in Germany, Norway, Russia and the Netherlands, where they switch from left to right.
Don’t forget there’s room for personal preference too. Your wedding ring should be one that blends in while standing out, curated for comfort and gives a hint about who you are.
Your finger, your choice.
If you want the short answer however. Most of you living in the English speaking world will probably see it on the left hand.