The tradition of wedding rings

By Shalini Mittal

Wedding rings are the major areas of focus in any given wedding away from the wedding gown of course. The bands are exchanged traditionally between the groom and the bride and they are worn as long as the marriage stays. They are the symbols of the union and love and are worn on the fourth finger usually on the left hand. This is why the finger is referred to as the ring finger. However, not many people know the basics behind the wedding ring tradition.

The oldest record of the ring exchange goes way back to about 4800 years ago in Egypt. In these years, the reeds, rushes and sledges that grow along papyrus would be twisted and braided to make the rings. Women would wear them alongside other decorative ornaments. The circular shape was used to symbolize eternity since it does not have a beginning or an end. This was not only for the Egyptians, but also for other ancient cultures. In essence, even the hole in the middle had some significance. It acted as a gateway or a door that led to events and things known and unknown. The giving of the ring to a woman would signify immortal love and never-ending love.

Material transformation

The reeds and rushes, however did not last too long and they would be substituted with rings made from ivory, bone and leather later in the years. The more expensive the material then more value the ring would hold in terms of wealth demonstration from the giver. The Romans would later adopt this tradition, but in a twist. They gave it a symbol of ownership of the woman. They would later be made from iron as a symbol of permanence and strength. Ring engraving is also believed to have come from the Romans.

Years later, Christians adopted the ring in marriage ceremonies in simple plain bands that are still common even today. The rings would be engraved with lyres, doves and linked hands, but this was to be discouraged since the church felt they were heathenish. During the 13th century, the rings simplified and carried a spiritual look as a symbol of hearts united.

Wearing of the rings

Over the different stages, the rings were worn on different fingers including the thumb. The tradition of wearing the wedding rings on the left hand and on the fourth finger was adopted from the Romans. The traditions came about because it is believed that the vein of love also known as Vena Amoris is on this finger and directly connects to the heart. Even though scientists falsified this, it is still a myth held dear by hopeless romantics. Another theory is the sealing of the marriage in the ritual based on the priestly recites ending on the ring finger. It acts as a symbol that binds that union together for a lifetime.

Modern rings now come made from different materials and decorated with beautiful gems that hold their own meaning. The one thing that has, however remained steadfast is the finger on which the rings are worn.

Wedding rings UK are in plenty and you will easily find something good enough to pass your message and value. With so many options, it is possible to adorn a ring you love most and is most comfortable wearing.

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