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How To Wear Your Wedding Rings

It is an assumption that everyone knows how to wear wedding rings, however, there is actually some volume and nuances to this question. From engagement rings and wedding bands to promise rings and eternity rings, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out how to wear them all! Whether you’re looking to add an eternity ring to your set, or curious about the order that you should wear your rings, this blog will break down the different options and outline both traditional and alternative options so that you can make an informed decision. 

How To Wear Your Wedding Rings: Image of a ring being given as a gift

Whether you’re looking to follow traditions or break the rules, the way that you wear your rings will be special and unique to your circumstances, preferences and ring choices, read on to learn how to wear your wedding rings and more!

Overview:

What order do I stack my rings?

Engagement ring first, followed by the wedding band

In this way, you wear your rings in the order that you received them, which is typically the engagement ring first, and then the wedding ring is slipped on top during the ceremony. This is the traditional order to wear your bridal set.  The way that your rings sit on your finger will also contribute to how you wear them as some bridal sets are designed to fit together in a certain way. 

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These rings would look beautiful in this order with the curved wedding band highlighting a solitaire engagement ring. A curved wedding ring can be more comfortably worn on top of the engagement ring, so that it sits nicely on the finger. Not only this, but it provides some security to keep the engagement ring in place!

Wedding band first, followed by the engagement ring 

Many people choose to wear their wedding band first, and then their engagement ring. It was Catholic and Eastern European tradition that one's engagement ring is removed before the wedding ceremony and then replaced on top of the wedding band after the wedding. Some also cherish the idea of the wedding band sitting closer to your heart.

Many who wear their rings this way do so because their bridal set is more comfortable worn with a simpler band underneath the more extravagant engagement ring. Again, some sets require you to wear your bands this way because of the way that the rings sit together.  

How To Wear Your Wedding Rings: Image of a ring on finger

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Wedding band on the left and the engagement ring on the right

A less traditional way to wear your wedding rings is to wear one on the left hand, and the other on the right hand. This could be a great option for those who have shorter fingers and find ring stacking uncomfortable. Furthermore, some people simply don’t like the weight and feel of wearing two rings on the same finger. 

On the other hand, some couples do not have a matching wedding and engagement ring! If the rings don’t sit well together or have different assets such as metal or stone, why not separate them and let them shine on their own?

How To Wear Your Wedding Rings: Image of ruby wedding ring on finger

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Some of our favourite bridal rings that look fabulous as a stand-alone piece.

Alternate rings

Another option is to wear your wedding ring day to day and only bring out the engagement ring on special occasions, or visa versa. Engagement rings that are more expensive or larger in size, may interfere with everyday activities, for fear of loss or damage. Therefore, some people choose to keep their beloved engagement ring safe and sound at home. 

Alternative engagement rings that feature gemstones such as morganite, amethyst, aquamarine, and blue topaz are less durable due to the softness of the stones, hence, to maintain the integrity of the ring, it can be beneficial to reduce wear time, especially during hands-on activities such as the gym, gardening, and household chores. 

See more: Shiels Gemstone Guide

See some of our beautiful gemstone engagement rings that are sure to turn heads wherever you go!

Wedding bands are typically more minimalistic and practical for day-to-day wear due to their simple design. Additionally, those who don’t like wearing stacked rings, or do not typically wear jewellery may find that it is more comfortable to only wear one ring at a time.

Which hand should I wear my rings on?

Right Hand 

It was an ancient roman belief that the left hand was untrustworthy (which saw many poor left-handed people struggling to use their right hand) - in fact, the Latin term for “left hand” shares the same roots as the modern-day word “sinister”. Hence, the custom of wearing a wedding set on your right hand was formed. It was once thought to be unlucky to wear your wedding rings on the left hand.

Left Hand 

On the other hand, the Anglican church decided that they wanted to challenge this notion and highlight their separation from the Catholic church. To object to old “sinister” traditions, people began wearing their rings on the left hand. Today, the left hand is considered the traditional hand to wear engagement and wedding bands.

While it is most popular to wear a bridal set on the left hand, it is ultimately personal preference and entirely up to you!

On a Chain

For those who work heavily with their hands, or simply do not like wearing fingers, then this option is for you! Wear your wedding band or engagement ring on a chain around your neck as a necklace! This way you can have your rings close to you (and on display).

How To Wear Your Wedding Rings: Image of a ring on chain

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How to match and compliment your rings

A bridal set generally is purchased as a matching set, however, sometimes they are bought separately and there are many factors to consider to ensure that they complement each other well. 

The first and most important thing to consider is the type of metal that you are going to choose. Whether you pick yellow gold, white gold/silver or rose gold, it is essential that both your engagement ring and wedding ring are made of the same metal so that they look nicely together.

Also note that different carats of gold will slightly alter the hue and tone of the metal, for example, a 9ct yellow gold ring will be less yellow in colour than an 18ct gold ring. 

The next thing to consider is what gemstones you are going to choose and how well their colours complement each other. A coloured engagement ring looks amazing when paired with the glitter of diamonds in a wedding band. Avoid clashing colours and incorporating more than two different types of gemstone.

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Eternity Rings

An eternity ring is a ring that is typically gifted by husbands to their wives as an addition to their engagement ring. They are often considered a rendition of a couple's everlasting love, and is usually given at a milestone anniversary from one year, five years, to even twenty years of marriage. It is also common to give an eternity ring during a vow renewal ceremony! There are many names for this type of ring including an eternity ring, infinity ring and a celebration band. 

A traditional eternity ring is a simple design, with sparkling stones (like diamonds) that pave all the way around the band - symbolic of eternal/infinite love. However, an eternity band can look like anything you desire! Often a bridal set will include an eternity ring and other times they will not. 

It is personal preference where you decide to wear your eternity ring and its placement will be dictated about where and how you place your engagement and wedding bands. It is tradition to wear your eternity band on top of your set (whether you wear your wedding band on top of your engagement ring or underneath). Although, stacking three rings together can be quite bulky on the finger, hence, many choose to wear their eternity ring on the right hand instead. This is also a great option if this band is not a part of the matching bridal set. Let it dazzle on its own or sit them all together, it's entirely up to you. 

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Promise Rings 

Promise rings are becoming more and more popular, however, they have been around for centuries. They are usually given before an engagement ring and act as a symbol of love and dedication, a symbolic promise for a long-lasting and eternal love. 

Most commonly a promise ring is worn on the right hand, on the ring finger (adjacent to the pinky). Another option is to wear your promise ring on the left hand where the engagement ring would go. To many people, a promise ring signifies the intent to marry, which is why they will place the ring here, while others believe that the left hand should be reserved for an engagement ring. A promise ring has many connotations and its meaning will be different for each couple. 

What to do after you’re engaged?

  • Wear your promise ring as a part of your bridal set, stacked with your engagement and wedding bands. This creates a sentimental and beautiful collection of your relationship. 
  • On the right hand. Many people choose to keep wearing their promise ring on their right hand, and reserve their left hand for their traditional bridal set - especially if it does not match. 
  • Retire the ring. Usually, a promise ring is given by younger couples who do not have the financial means to invest in an expensive piece, hence, the promise ring can be replaced by an engagement ring.

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Resizing

Wedding rings are pieces that are made to last a lifetime, they will be cherished for years to come. Over time you may need to get your rings resized so that they can be worn comfortably. The easiest metals to resize are yellow gold and sterling silver, they are malleable and usually inexpensive to resize. It is important to note that any ring that is plated (eg; gold plated or silver plated) cannot be resized at all. White gold can be more difficult to resize, and may be more expensive, however, it can be done at most jewellers.

See more: Jewellery Care Guide

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There are so many ways to wear your wedding bands and while there are traditions that you can choose to follow, there is no right or wrong way to wear your rings. Each couple and individual will have different circumstances, preferences and ring choices, therefore everyone's decisions will be different. Consider your comfort, everyday activities and preferences above anything else!

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