Wedding Rings – Why Are They Placed on the Left Hand Ring Finger?

two weding rings

The tradition and symbolism of exchanging wedding rings originates with the ancient Egyptians.

Egyptians are one of the first cultures to use rings in their wedding ceremonies because of what the shape of the ring, a circle, represents.

egyptian papyrus painting with elements of egyptian ancient history

A circle represents eternity because it has no beginning nor end. This makes a ring the perfect symbol for a long-lasting marriage.

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Egyptians were also the first to designate the third finger as the “ring finger,” and the ring finger of the left hand as the finger where the wedding ring is to be worn. They believed that a vein from this finger went directly to the heart and if this finger were circled with a ring, the love was captured and would not escape.

wedding rings

And they believed that the third finger of the left hand is the weakest. (Technically it’s not the weakest, but its movement is limited due to the way the muscles and tendons are connected).

Anyway . . . What “does a weak finger have to do with weddings” you ask?

Because of this perceived weakness, the Egyptians felt this finger is the most dependent on the others for help in lifting and holding. For couples who are marrying, this is a symbol of their dependence on each other and combined strength as a couple.

Alone they can do many things, but together they can do even more.

wedding rings on top of a pumpkin

The double ring ceremony, where both partners give and receive a ring came into practice in the 20th century. There has never been a law requiring the exchange of rings, but this is one tradition that remains strong.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credits
Two rings: rasoft / 123RF Stock Photo
Egyptians: mohamedifm / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on left hands: wajan / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on pumpkin: Faye Sommer Photography

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3 thoughts on “Wedding Rings – Why Are They Placed on the Left Hand Ring Finger?

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