As part of any planning for a wedding, the rings form an integral part of, not only the day itself but also as something you’ll both treasure every day of your married life.
So, why do we give and receive rings? To answer that question, we have to take a step back in time...
6,000 years ago
No one is one hundred percent sure when the ritual of giving rings started but there has been evidence discovered that the Ancient Egyptians had exchanged hemp rings. As the circle is a symbol of eternity, it’s unsurprising that it was the Egyptians who used this symbol to declare their love and commitment to another person.
As times progress, the materials which these symbols changed from Hemp to more precious metals. In Ancient Rome and Greece, the ring was given as not only a symbol of commitment and fidelity but also formed part of the marital dowry which is why the better the ring, the better the class of family.
So, why the left hand?
Over 6,000 years, you can imagine that the hand and the finger which the ring was placed on has altered many times over that time. It is thought that the ancient Egyptians wore their rings on the middle finger of their right hand so, how did it move to the third finger of the left hand?
It’s believed that it was actually the Ancient Romans who started the tradition of wearing a ring on the third finger on the left hand as they believed that the “vein of love” runs from that finger, directly to the heart. (The fact that this isn’t actually true doesn’t matter because the sentiment is just so romantic!)
In more recent times, the Christians continued to use the third finger of the left hand as they sealed the marriage vows with the words “The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit” whilst tapping the hand from the thumb onwards and sealing the vow with “Amen” on the third finger and placing ring on that finger.
As time progresses, the tradition of the wedding itself has altered in line with peoples tastes, religious beliefs and budgets but I think we can all agree that the giving of rings, to symbolise your eternal love for someone else, is a beautiful tradition which has stood the test of time.
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