Wedding Rings

The Story of Wedding Rings

An integral part of every wedding is the exchange of wedding rings. Exchanging wedding rings as the main part of the ceremony is present in society for centuries. The symbolism and the way the wedding ring is worn is something that is deeply rooted in all cultures of the world. It is considered that the wedding ring is the last gift that the newlyweds give to each other before the marriage itself.

Marriage Ring with Scenes from the Life of Christ, ca. 6th century, Walters Art Museum

It is commonly believed that the first examples of wedding rings were found in ancient Egypt. Relics dating to 6,000 years ago, including papyrus scrolls, are evidence of the exchange of braided rings of hemp or reeds between spouses. Ancient Egypt considered the circle to be a symbol of eternity, and the ring served to signify the perpetual love of the spouses. This was also the origin of the custom of wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand, because the ancient Egyptians believed that this finger enclosed a special vein that was connected directly to the heart, denominated in Latin the “Vena amoris”.

The Western traditions of wedding rings can be traced to ancient Rome and Greece, and were first associated with the marital dowry and later with a promise of fidelity. The modern exchange of rings derived from the customs of Europe in the Middle Ages as part of Christendom. In the United States, wedding rings were initially only worn by wives, but became customary for both husbands and wives during the 20th century.

 

Wedding ring is one of the oldest monuments of marriage and dating from the time of ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians thought that the circle is symbol of eternity and of lasting love was what made it into the ring. The wedding ring is a long-standing symbol, because it has always been made of solid metals, so it can’t be never broken. That is why wedding rings are often made of gold because gold is already tanned material. In addition to gold, today’s wedding rings are made of various metals such as silver, white gold, rose gold, platinum and can be decorated with various precious stones like diamonds. Often, young men decide to engrave an important date or name on their wedding rings.

One of the lucky couples who got engaged with a Ralph Jacobs Design

The wedding rings exchange was especially popular during the 19th century, and in the beginning, the wedding ring was worn only by women. In modern times wedding ring carry both men and women, on the right or left hand, depending on the culture. Regardless of the fact that in the course of time the way of wearing the wedding ring and the material from which it is made changes the essence of the wedding rings is the same and that is to show the eternal love of the people who carry them.

More interesting facts :

  • The earliest and smallest engagement ring was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time. Presumably the ring was given to her by Pedobear. ?
  • Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States!
  • Back in the 1300’s, when people were particularly superstitious, it was believed that taking a piece of the bride’s clothing would grant the guests good luck. This lead to many guests that would literally tear cloth from the bride’s dress (which made for a very peeved bride!). So, in an attempt to stave off greedy luck-seekers, many brides began to throw items to guests that could be easily removed from her and that included her garter. Eventually, grooms began to remove the garter and tossed it to the men as a means to prevent tipsy male guests from trying to do the deed themselves. In an effort to help the women feel included, it eventually became customary for the bride to throw her bouquet at the female guests.

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