When a couple marries, generally(but not always) both the bride and groom wear wedding rings.
In this country it is customary to wear the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand(the ring finger). In other countries, however, the customs can vary surprisingly.
The reason(according to fable) this finger sports the ring is because a vein, the vena amoris, in this finger leads directly to the heart.
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES AND PRACTICES
Another tradition in medieval England entailed the groom sliding the wedding band part way up the bride’s thumb and then proceeding to her index and middle finger, repeating the same gesture, as he recited “In the name of the father, the son and the holy ghost.” The ring was then permanently placed on the next finger, the ring finger of the left hand.
Wedding ring traditions vary depending on the country you are in. Some cultures avoid wearing the wedding ring on their left ring finger because “left” equals “sinister” in Latin and doing such is bad luck. If you are living in one of these cultures, do as they do and wear your engagement and wedding ring on the right hand. When you get back to the U.S. you can switch to the left hand.
In some Scandinavian countries women wear three rings representing engagement, marriage and motherhood. Jewish brides wear the wedding ring on their left index finger because that is the finger that is used when they read and point to the Torah.
THE RING EXCHANGE
During the wedding ceremony, if the bride has an engagement ring she can opt to wear it on her right hand and then switch it to her left hand once the wedding band is placed on her left ring finger. Or the groom can put the wedding band on top of the engagement ring and the bride can switch them (wedding band on the bottom, engagement ring on the top) after the nuptials.
The reason the wedding ring is worn on the bottom is because this positions it closest to the heart.
When the bride wears gloves, this makes the ring exchange a bit more complex. Does she remove the glove on her left hand so the groom can put the wedding ring on? That’s one option. However, do not wear the engagement ring on top of the glove because it could slip off.
If the engagement ring is worn under the glove it can become tangled up in the glove, which is going to complicate things even further. If the bride is determined to wear her engagement ring under the glove the glove must be loose enough to accommodate the ring.
Consider purchasing bridal gloves designed with a slit in the left ring finger. When it is time for the ring exchange the bride slips her left ring finger out of the glove and the groom has easy access to place the ring.
WHY WEAR A WEDDING RING?
The rationale behind wearing wedding rings is that the couple is publicly stating their permanent bond, even when they are apart. The band is an unconcealed symbol of someone’s marital status.
Men haven’t always worn wedding bands. This tradition took hold during World War II because many men were leaving their wives and didn’t know if they would return. Wearing a wedding ring was the man’s way of honoring and remembering his wife and the value of his marriage.
It’s up to you whether you and your spouse choose to wearing wedding bands. Some couples are traditional, some aren’t.