How to Wear Wedding Rings

Putting on a wedding ring

Show off your wedding ring to its best advantage by wearing it properly. Whether you want to position it well with your engagement ring, or need to wear it differently as time goes by, there are plenty of ways to make sure your ring stays at center stage.

Tips for Wearing Wedding Rings

While wearing a ring may seem straightforward, there are many tips that can help to ensure that your ring is shown off well, protected from damage and is easy to remove if needed.

  • Sizing: Choose a wedding ring size that is easy to remove; with no setting to grip, it can be difficult to loosen stuck rings. This may make the wedding ring a slightly larger size than the engagement ring.
  • Placement: Place the wedding ring on the outside of a loose or oversized engagement ring to help keep it in place, or place a larger wedding ring on the inside of a tighter engagement band.
  • Customs: Consider regional, cultural, and religious customs for how to wear wedding rings. Many eastern European cultures, for example, prefer a wedding ring to be worn on the right hand.
  • Curved rings: Position a curved wedding ring on the inside of the engagement ring, to allow the curve to show off the diamond to its best effect.
  • Rings with large stones: Position an engagement ring with an oversized diamond or gem on the outside of the wedding ring. Place a smaller diamond on the inside to help accentuate it.

At the Wedding

Knowing how to wear wedding bands during the ceremony itself is a matter of concern for many couples, particularly when considering how the bride should wear her engagement ring at the wedding. If the rings are soldered together, they will be treated as a wedding band and can be placed on her finger appropriately during the ceremony. If the rings are separate, however, there are different options.

  • Wear the engagement ring on the right hand during the ceremony, and move it to the left hand after the wedding.
  • Wear the engagement ring on the left hand during the ceremony but discreetly switch the order of the rings between the ceremony and reception, if desired.
  • Put the engagement ring in a safe place and do not wear it again until the wedding ring is in place.

Wearing a Wedding and Engagement Ring

If a woman chooses to wear her wedding and engagement ring as a matched set, the wedding ring is typically worn on the finger first. Women should keep in mind that some rings, such as bridal set engagement rings, are incomplete if worn separately.

If the set is a symmetrical diamond ring wrap, however, the band closest to the hand will not be as significant, particularly if the rings are soldered together as a single unit. If the rings are separate, it is easier to remove the engagement ring during gardening, exercise or other potentially dangerous activities if the wedding band is worn closest to the hand.

How to Wear Wedding Rings that Don't Fit

Over the years, a wedding ring may grow either too loose or too tight to be worn comfortably. If the ring cannot be resized, however, it may still be able to be worn. Try these ideas:

  • Wear the ring on a different finger. Sometimes the same positioned finger on the opposite hand may be bigger or smaller, which may accommodate your ring.
  • String it on a coordinating chain to wear as a pendant close to the heart.
  • Reset the diamonds or gemstones into an upgraded ring, necklace or pair of earrings to be worn instead.

When to Remove Wedding Rings

There are certain times when it may be best not to wear a wedding ring at all. Just like the engagement ring, a wedding ring ought to be removed for chores, gardening, sports and other activities that could damage the metal or gemstones. Fingers can shrink in water; it is also wise to remove loose fitting rings temporarily when swimming or bathing.

Certain life changes may bring up the question of removing a wedding ring permanently. If a couple chooses to divorce, the ring may be removed when the couple separates or when the divorce is finalized. If a spouse dies, the living spouse may choose to remove the ring after a suitable period of mourning, though it should always be a personal decision; do not feel obligated to remove the wedding ring if you do not want to.

A Symbol of Your Love and Commitment

Understanding how to wear wedding rings can help couples wear these symbols of their commitment with style, grace and dedication, no matter if they've only been married one day or many happy years. Wearing your wedding ring can be a daily celebration of the love and commitment you and your spouse share. Take a look at your ring and how it fits on your hand to determine the best way to wear it, from the time you say 'I do' to all the moments that life brings after the wedding.

How to Wear Wedding Rings