A wedding band is a symbol of the promises a couple makes on their wedding day. It is also an outward message that the wearer is “taken”. While the female wedding ring set is usually top of mind when discussing engagements and weddings, the male counterpart is often overlooked. Infact, the tradition of men wearing wedding rings is a relatively new concept and there are many facts about the tradition that are intriguing.
When did men start wearing rings?
Historically, the wedding ring doubled as the engagement ring for females only. The ring was presented as a proposal of marriage. For thousands of years, this is how courtship worked. Fast forward to the early 20th century where the tradition of male wedding rings as we know it began. Nostalgia played a large role in the evolution of men wearing wedding bands. During the World Wars soldiers began wearing wedding rings as a means of remembering their loved ones. Following the Korean War, male wedding bands had well and truly taken on the sentimental value they have today and become a staple in the wedding planning process. Due to the increase in popularity of men sporting wedding rings, the wedding band industry began creating matching wedding rings and increased mens wedding ring designs to customize the mens wedding bands on offer to a consumer's individual needs and taste.
Customary wearing of the ring
In the Western world, tradition dictates (in most instances) that the wedding ring be worn on the left hand. Mens wedding rings are worn to symbolize matrimony and the commitment to their partner. Traditionally, oaths and vows were said with the left hand raised, and it is for this reason that mens wedding bands are worn on the left hand. It should also be noted that it is said that the vein of love or vena amoris runs through the left hand. With most people being right handed, it is also practical to wear a wedding band on the right hand as this hand will not be as likely to be damaged while the hand is being used. The use of the ring finger is also thought to have a similar origin. The ring finger is the least used of the fingers and placing a wedding ring on it will not disrupt the day to day working of the hand and the other fingers.
Rings to suit the man
When looking at men’s wedding rings ,the person who will be wearing the ring should be taken into account. Considerations should be made regarding the man's hobbies, employment and personal style. Traditionally men’s wedding bands were plain metal bands as most men worked with their hands. As the tradition of men wearing wedding rings has evolved, customized mens wedding rings have become increasingly popular. The materials used for creating mens wedding bands has also changed from being gold and silver to stainless steel, tungsten and titanium, carbon fiber, wood and other natural elements. The original thought had been that the harder the metal the longer the ring will last and the more resistant to damage it will be, however the introduction of materials such as carbon fiber has changed this thinking.