While exchanging wedding bands is a common tradition in marriage ceremonies, you may not give much thought as to how this tradition came about. Furthermore, you may be familiar with checking the ring finger of potential suitors. However, you may not realize why the fourth finger of the left hand is the one typically graced with this symbol of love. Different countries have different customs when it comes to wedding-associated jewelry. Here are six fun facts about the wedding rings typically displayed by couples in the USA.
6. Why Wedding Bands Are Worn on the Fourth Finger
As a preschooler, you may have enjoyed singing the song, “Where Is Thumbkin?” In this nursery rhyme, each digit of the hand is greeted, beginning with the thumb and progressing through the pointer, middle, ring finger, and pinkie. Every toddler knows which finger is the ring finger. But do you know how the fourth finger gained this special title? Brides cites an ancient Roman belief that a special vein, the vena amoris, ran from the heart to the fourth finger of the left hand. To this day, many couples choose to place their symbol of love on that particular finger.
5. Men Did Not Wear Wedding Bands Until World War II
Wedding rings were not always exchanged between both husbands and wives in the marriage ceremony. The BBC reports that it wasn’t until World War II that men began wearing wedding bands as a reminder of their loved one back home. Today, many men wear wedding bands as a sign of love and commitment to their wives. Some men (Prince William for example) still choose not to wear a wedding band.