Since ancient times, the wedding ring has consistently been worn on the fourth finger of the left hand.
This tradition comes from the belief that a special vein, called the ‘vena amoris’ or ‘vein of love’, connects this ring finger to the heart.
Wearing the wedding ring on this finger was symbolic of the love and connection between the couple, and a romantic gesture representing their commitment and love to each other.
However, some people choose to wear their wedding ring on the fourth finger of the right hand, making you wonder:
What does it signify? Does wearing your wedding ring on the right hand carry any symbolism of its own?
Let’s take a look at why some people wear their wedding ring on their right hand.
Reasons for Wearing Wedding Ring on Right Hand
Whether the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left or right hand has largely been a cultural difference.
- In some several Eastern European and Latin American countries, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand.
- In certain countries like Lebanon, Turkey and Syria, the wedding ring is worn on the right until up until the wedding, after which it’s transferred to the left hand.
- In some South East Asian countries, like Sri Lanka, the groom wears the wedding ring on the right hand while the bride wears it on the left.
- For people of certain religious groups, like Orthodox Christians, wedding rings are worn on the right hand.
As you can see, the right hand is often chosen for wedding rings depending on cultural and religious influences. When you meet people from other countries, you may see their wedding ring on either their left or right hand, which can sometimes get confusing.
As one of our readers put it:
I started wearing my ring on my left hand after I moved to America, because if I were to wear it on my right hand people here wouldn’t know that I’m married. All my European family wear their wedding rings on their right hands.
While not the first thing we think about, this is often a reason that makes wearing a wedding ring on the right hand practical.
Wearing your ring on your dominant hand often exposes the ring to a lot of daily wear and tear, which can result in scratches, dents and other signs of wear. By switching the ring to the right hand, this can be avoided.
Often, it’s more comfortable to wear your ring on your non-dominant hand too and doesn’t get in the way as much.
Gay and Lesbian Marriage
Gay and lesbian often opt to wear their wedding rings on the right hand as a way to circumvent traditional heterosexual norms, but this is often a personal choice. There’s no guideline or rule that states that same-sex couples should wear their rings on the right hand and any finger would be equally fine.
Some people may have health issues that could prevent them from wearing their wedding rings on the left hand. This could include bone-related conditions like arthritis which can make the knuckles swell up making it difficult to put on and take off your wedding ring. While a hinged ring could be the solution for this, simply switching hands is not only an inexpensive solution but also easy to do.
Problems with Wearing Your Ring on Your Right Hand
The most obvious reasons are all societal. If you were to wear your ring on your right hand in a culture (like America) where wedding rings are traditionally worn on the left hand, people could assume that you aren’t married.
This could be problematic because:
- You might get hit on by others who have no idea that you’re married
- It might seem that you’re being unfaithful to your spouse by ‘concealing’ your wedding ring on the ‘wrong’ finger
- You could be mistaken for being divorced, as some people wear a ring on their right hand to signify a divorce
As you can see, all these ‘problems’ are related to society and how society perceives you. If this isn’t something that bothers you, it’s likely you won’t care what people say or think.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal choice and beliefs. If you aren’t guided by tradition or religion, you can pick any finger you wish to be your wedding ring finger.
It might be confusing for some and may get raised eyebrows, but as there’s no law stating that your wedding ring needs to go on your left hand, you’re free to get as creative as you like.