So, you are getting married? Let us be one of the first to tell you congratulations!
Weddings can be such a wonderful experience, but as you probably know, there are a lot of questions and problems that can arise during the long planning sessions.
Many of those questions may be regarding your wedding rings. In this article, we will be addressing many of those questions including, Who buys the ring?
In general, it is the groom’s job to buy a wedding ring for his bride, and it is the bride’s responsibility to buy a ring for her groom. Although this is common practice, it is truly up to the couple to decide how they want to go about purchasing rings.
As you continue to plan for your future wedding, we invite you to continue reading because we have compiled some important information that may help you decide how you want to go about buying a ring.
Weddings are steeped in traditions from families, cultures, and nations. Finding the right balance can be tricky, but the choice is up to every couple.
I know what you may be asking yourself, where does the wedding ring tradition even come from?
That is a great question! It is believed that the origin of the wedding ring is from ancient Egypt.
Although wearing a ring as a sign of marital contract was not commonplace until ancient Rome.
There have also been some interesting changes regarding what type of rings we wear.
In the 16th and 17th century it was believed that the Turkish people created a “puzzle” ring.
Because Turkish men spent lots of time away from their homes they created these puzzle rings that were designed to come apart if they were ever removed from the hand.
Thus, these rings quite literally represented fidelity and loyalty to one’s spouse. (source)
For a long time, wedding rings were mostly fashioned by the bride, however, in the 1300s the Greek orthodox church introduced the idea that the groom would also receive and wear a ring.
The idea did not become standard practice until World War II when young men started wearing rings to symbolize that a piece of their wives would be with them as they went off to defend their country.
This is obviously a very heartbreaking origin, however, after the war, about 85 percent of marriages were “dual ring” ceremonies and the tradition stuck. (source)
This tradition has also changed a bit over time as society adapted and gender roles continued to change.
What used to be a decision made by the groom, is now commonly decided upon by both bride and groom.
Taking it a step further, it used to be commonplace for the groom to bear the financial burden for both rings, but that has also adapted to make that responsibility rest on the shoulders of both partners. (source)
What Does the Ring Represent?
There is so much symbolism involved when you get married and your wedding ring is a prime example.
In ancient Egypt, pharaohs began wearing wedding rings because rings have no beginning or end.
It also was meant to be a public pledge that you were faithful to the marriage covenants you made.
In Roman times they decided to wear the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand.
They did this because they believed that there was a vein that they called “Vena Amoris” or “the vein of love” that leads directly to the heart.
Thus, their wedding ring was close to their heart. Unfortunately, because of modern science, this heartwarming symbolism is proven to not be true.
There really is not a vein that runs from your fourth finger to the heart but the tradition of wearing the ring on your left hand and the fourth finger has remained. (source)
A very common type of wedding ring is a diamond. Although very expensive, these types of rings are very durable.
“Diamond” is derived from the Greek word “Adamas” which means “the unconquerable.”
Although the Greeks loved diamonds for their beauty it is also believed that diamonds are used to represent the durability of the marriage relationship.
In India, people believed that diamonds were a shield against evil.
Many other cultures believe different things about diamonds, but no matter what you believe diamonds are some of the most beautiful materials in the world.
Giving the person you love one of them to wear to represent your love will show them how much they are appreciated and loved. (source)
Using precious metals such as gold or silver also represents how precious a person is to you.
You buy a ring with precious metals to let your future spouse know that they are one of your most prized possessions. (source)
The most obvious symbolism behind a wedding ring is the fact that it represents your commitment to your spouse.
In a traditional wedding ceremony, the bride and groom will share their “vows” with each other which represent promises they make to each other to love and respect.
The ring is worn not only as a reminder that you are married but as a reminder that you made promises to love and respect them.
How Much Should I Spend on the Ring?
A lot of people ask themselves this question and it can be a tricky one to answer sometimes.
Deciding how much to spend on a wedding ring is majorly dependent on your financial situation and your partner’s expectations.
Unfortunately, it is not really appropriate to give your fiancé a ring pop on their wedding day (unless you both agree on it), but it would also not be wise to go into major debt just to impress the person you want to marry.
You must find a balance between those 2 things.
You may have heard before that you should spend about 2 months’ salary on a wedding ring, however, this rule of thumb is not always realistic.
For instance, if you make four thousand dollars a month then this means you are expected to drop eight thousand dollars on a ring.
For many people, that is a lot of money to spend on a ring.
This rule of thumb was actually started by a company that was the first one to start convincing men they needed to propose with a diamond ring.
We understand that it is all about making money for them, but you want the best value for the ring you buy.
The amount of money that you spend on a ring should be a decision that you make with the person you are giving it to.
I remember my dad telling me when he went ring shopping with my mom that as soon as they walked in, she asked “Is there a discount section?”
He jokingly claims that is when he knew she was the one.
Maybe the person you want to marry is like my mom and they are frugal and don’t mind having a cheaper ring.
It would be well worth your time to sit down and have that conversation before you go to buy the ring.
If the expectations of your significant other are much higher as far as quality goes then you may need to save up a little more.
There is absolutely nothing wrong however with wanting to spend the money to make your fiance happy.
Many people who get married are younger and are not yet established in their careers.
Spending a lot of money on a ring may not be the most realistic thing to do.
However, when you get later in life and you have had the opportunity to save a little more money you may have more of an opportunity to buy a more expensive ring for that person that you love.
Some people choose to wear anniversary rings for this reason.
Ultimately I know that you just want your future husband or wife to be happy and deciding how much to spend for them is a tough decision, but remember that it would not be wise for you to start a marriage with a ton of debt.
Building a financially successful marriage is going to take some time and effort, but I know that as you make that effort it will be worth the wait.
How is it Done Around the World?
In this article, I have mainly focused on how things are done in western culture, but the truth is that not all countries and cultures do things the same way.
We have put together a chart that can help you see what other countries do things similar to us.
|Country||Dual Ring||Ring||Left hand|
As you can see every country and culture does things just a little bit differently.
You may have noticed that in China none of the boxes are checked. That is because in China they traditionally do not exchange rings at all.
Although many people in China have begun to adopt western culture and you are seeing more and more ring ceremonies.
However, China has very rich traditions regarding marriage.
In Australia, it has now become common for couples to exchange rings at their wedding.
In early history, however, people could not afford to buy each other expensive rings so they did what was called a “stone-throwing” ceremony.
In this ceremony friends and family place stones that represent their love and support into a bowl.
It is becoming more common for people to decorate these stones as well.
After all the stones have been collected a couple will then work together to throw all of the stones into a lake.
It was originally used as a time to replace making wedding vows because of the lack of financial resources to buy a ring.
Although it has become much more common to buy wedding rings, the tradition of throwing rocks into a lake remains. (source)
Unlike a country such as the United States, Russia does things just a tiny bit different when it comes to buying rings.
As we talked about previously the bride and groom buy and exchange rings.
In Russia, it is common practice for the bride and groom to shop for rings together. The groom will then bear the responsibility of paying for both rings.
Though it is not always common to do a ring ceremony, some people in African countries will decorate a ring themselves to give to their significant other on a wedding day.
This makes each ring unique, just like the person you are marrying. (source)
In India, it is not likely that you will find a woman wearing a ring on her finger.
Instead on their wedding day, it is much more common to gift the bride with a toe ring or any other jewelry.
Though like many areas around the world, western culture has crept in. It is still very popular to wear lots of jewelry, not just on the finger.
In Romania, they have the common ring ceremony at their weddings.
However, it is traditional that at the couples 25th anniversary they will exchange a silver ring to be worn with the original to indicate their commitment to one another.
More important than that though is that they wear it to commemorate all the wonderful memories they have already made with each other. (source)
Whether you wear your wedding ring on your right hand or the left depends primarily on culture.
It seems that in every countries origin there was some kind of belief about hand significance that determined which hand they would wear their ring on.
It is most common to wear a wedding ring on your fourth finger and most countries do that.
However, in a country like China, which is just adopting the tradition of ring ceremonies it is much more common to wear the ring on your middle finger.
In some countries and cultures, it has also become a tradition to pass down a ring from generation to generation.
This is very important in some cultures to keep family traditions going and to build on your family’s legacy.