There is an incredible amount of symbolism attached to the symbolism of the wedding band. Though there are many different streams of thought as to how or why this tradition started, they all offer the same traditional experience. For many, the tradition of the wedding band started in ancient Egypt, where the symbol of a gold ring became the traditional wedding rings design because the circle represented the notion that life, love, and happiness has no beginning, and no end. This is the statement that even today is said in many vows and ceremonies marking this occasion all over the globe.
Ancient Egypt as well is also attributed for beginning the tradition of placing it on the fourth finger of the left hand, the finger that we know of today as the “ring finger” for this very purpose. The story goes that this tradition began because the primary vein in this finger goes directly back to the heart, thus this finger became the finger of choice as the ring was a direct connection to the wearer’s heart, the organ where love resides eternally.
As time went on, the Roman era continued this tradition, but the ring became a contractual document of sorts. The symbol of the ring was the symbol of marriage, and this ring would represent the legalization of the marriage when it became public. Eloping would not have been considered in this time, as the public exchange of rings was an important step in sealing the deal, or the symbolic way of signing the dotted line. Today, this tradition is still present in many contemporary ceremonies when you hear the bride and groom say before their loved ones in public, “with this ring, I thee wed.”
A few centuries later, Europeans would expand on this tradition with a tradition that would become known as the engagement ring. This was a ring that would be given in addition to the wedding ring, and one before the wedding. This tradition is still present today, all over the globe. In Europe at the time in the 1600’s, this ring was not called an engagement ring, but rather a Poesy Ring, and given as a symbol of promise to marriage. The circle represented fidelity and was consider a pledge of eternal love in much the same manner that today’s engagement ring promises. Today, whether you are getting wedding rings for cheap, or going as extravagant as you can for your future betrothed, the history of this tradition lives on and is an important step for any couple getting married.