A Close Look at the Use of Wedding Rings and Bands

By: Ron Poul

Wedding rings and bands are similar to engagement rings in that wedding rings and bands are used to symbolize the undying love of the giver for the recipient. For some countries and cultures, it is normal to wear wedding rings and bands on the left hand's ring finger while in other places it is more acceptable to wear wedding rings and bands on the ring finger of the right hand instead.

Hindus and other people who live in India may use toe rings rather than wedding rings and bands on the hands for the wedding.

The reason couples to be wed have to buy wedding rings and bands is that these are supposed to symbolize the fidelity of the man to the woman and vice versa.

In some cultures, wedding rings and bands would be the ultimate gifts that have to be given out. Generally, betrothal in such cultures would start with the engagement ring given by the man to the woman, followed by other gifts. More contemporary traditions that may be encouraged by jewelers is for the man to give out more ring-type gifts such as the promise ring that signals the start of formal courtship; followed by the commonly-accepted wedding rings and bands; then maybe an eternity ring which may be given out by the man after their first child has been born; and culminating with the trilogy ring that is supposed to indicate the past, present and future of the couple in that marriage.

Wedding rings and bands may have the names of the couple engraved on the inside of the wedding rings and bands. If possible, even the date of the wedding might be engraved on the inside of such wedding rings and bands.

In the British way of doing things, the best man (who might be the best friend of the groom) has the responsibility of guarding over the wedding rings and bands prior to the wedding ceremony. At the specified time, the best man is to produce these wedding rings and bands for use by the bride and groom. Sometimes, this duty is given to the ring bearer who is a young boy that might be the son of a friend of the couple or even the child of the couple themselves.

For some Europeans, the engagement rings may live a double life as the wedding rings and bands later on. The difference being, when the couple is to be wed already, the engagement rings may be engraved with the names and the date of marriage thus turning the simple engagement rings into bonafide wedding rings and bands.

Now, what happens if one partner in the marriage passes away? The fate of the wedding rings and bands may lie in the balance here, because it depends on what is acceptable in the family, the culture and the country that the married couple lives in or lived in. One generally accepted practice is for the surviving spouse to inherit the wedding ring of his/her partner and wear it along with his/her own wedding ring.

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