By the time you get to your wedding day, there’s every likelihood that you’ve had an engagement ring for some time. Time enough for it to feel “right” on the ring finger of your left hand. That’s where we traditionally wear the rings that signify our connection and commitment to another person.
On your wedding day, your partner will usually put your wedding ring on the same finger of the same hand. So, what do you do with your engagement ring on the day?
OK. There are three proven solutions to this dilemma, with a fourth in reserve, but there are some superstitions and (non-ironic) old wives’ tales to put to bed before we get to them.
1. Superstition #1: It is unlucky to take the engagement ring off before the wedding ring goes on.
No, it isn’t. The engagement ring is a promise, certainly, but it’s not a magic spell in a fairy tale. Your partner won’t stop loving you if you don’t wear your engagement ring on the day of the wedding.
All manner of calamity and catastrophe will not befall your perfect day if you take off your engagement ring so as to present an empty ring finger to be adorned by the bright, shiny, brand spanking new wedding ring.
What will happen if you do this, probably, is that almost immediately after the pictures, you’ll either have to add the engagement ring back, though now on top of your wedding ring (which is traditional), or, depending on which feels better to you, you’ll have to take the wedding ring off again (also, while we’re here, not bad luck) so you can put the engagement ring back in the place to which it has become accustomed, and then put the wedding ring on the same finger, to double up.
As we say, the engagement ring on top is traditional, mostly because in the traditional language of rings, the engagement ring is supposed to be a diamond, and the wedding ring a band – but these days, there’s much less conformity about these things, and you can wear the rings whichever way round you like.
Or you can even go talismanic if you like, and not put the engagement ring back on at all, having “levelled up” to the wedding ring. You’re then free to do whatever you like with the engagement ring – wear it on the right hand, wear it on a chain as a necklace, take it home, put it in your jewelry box and never think about it again. The choice is up to you.
2. Superstition #2: You must present a bare finger to take the wedding ring, or somehow, you’re not really married.
This is an odd one, but some people believe it, and it’s partially at the heart of the whole dilemma of needing to do anything with your engagement ring on the day of your wedding.
Nothing will happen if, on the day, your partner slides the wedding ring up your finger to meet the engagement ring they’ve already given you. Believe us, you’re just as married.
There is a more practical issue involved with this, in that wedding photography traditionally works better with a single ring than it does with two – for some reason, we have trained our minds to see a hand with a single ring as more intensely moving and meaningful than a hand with two.
That might well be a valid reason to do something with your engagement ring on the day – especially if it’s going to bother you for years to come, any time you look at the pictures.
So – what are the options for your engagement ring on your wedding day?
Ironically, we’ve covered most of them to some degree already. You can:
Take Off The Engagement Ring
That means you get the simple bare-fingered feeling of going into the day and the ceremony like the new thing that it is, upgrading your commitment and that of your partner. Plus, as we mentioned, that way you get cleaner-looking wedding pictures.
If you’ve gone the traditional route and had a diamond engagement ring and a simpler band as your wedding ring, the wedding day pictures are the best time to let the wedding ring shine on its own, unencumbered with the diamond of the engagement ring on top of it, but seen simply for the commitment that it is.
If you’re going engagement-ring free, be sure you remember what you’ve done with it. Wedding dresses are notoriously free of pockets, so whether you leave the ring in your jewelry box at home for the whole day, or slip it off in the last few minutes before you go down the aisle and entrust it to a bridesmaid, maid of honor, or, come to that, a groomsman, remember where it is so you can reclaim it after the ceremony if you want to.
Leave The Engagement Ring Where It Is
As mentioned, the only thing that stops you leaving the engagement ring where it is during the ceremony is a degree of convention. There’s nothing about the ceremony itself that says you have to be bare-fingered to receive the wedding ring.
And if you want to highlight the wedding ring in the pictures, there’s nothing at all to stop you slipping the engagement ring off for the few moments or minutes they take if you want the single-ring look in the official memories of the day.
Switch The Engagement Ring
Having two hands is great, sometimes, isn’t it?
Whether you choose this in advance, or don’t decide until the last moment and then go for it, you can slip the engagement ring onto the ring finger on your right hand for the length of the ceremony and the pictures, so you get all the benefits of the clean, single-ring look, but you don’t disconnect from the engagement ring for more than a couple of seconds as you slip it from finger to finger.
Oh, the fourth option? Simply spin the engagement ring, so only the band shows uppermost on your ring finger.
The reason this is an option-in-waiting is that it’s less ideal than either of the other ways to deal with the engagement ring on your wedding day – but if you get to the altar and have yet to ditch the ring, but want an uncluttered look, it’s a last-minute solution you can use.
Whatever you do with your engagement ring on your wedding day, it will melt into insignificance on the day in any case. Enjoy!