Why Are Wedding Rings Worn on the Left Ring Finger?

Why do married couples wear wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand? The answer comes from ancient Rome, and the belief that a vein in the ring finger – dubbed the vena amoris – runs directly to your heart. The custom of symbolically linking two hearts by wearing rings on the left finger continues today, although with significant variations around the world.

In many countries, such as Norway, Russia, Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Spain, wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the right hand. Still another tradition exists in Jewish culture, where the groom places the ring on the bride’s index finger.

With this ring, I thee wed... :

  • Vena amoris is a Latin term meaning "vein of love.” In reality, though, all five fingers of both hands have a similar vein structure.

  • Before rings, chains and bracelets were used to signify a marital union.

  • In ancient times, betrothal rings were made from hemp, leather, bone, or ivory. In early Rome, metal rings became more common, and they were usually made from iron.

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