Updated: May 4, 2021
Wedding traditions vary significantly among religions and cultures, but one constant that holds true for nearly everyone is the use of wedding bands! We often don’t give much thought to this commemorative piece of jewelry, unless that is, one would be selecting them. Do you know where wedding bands originated? What do they symbolize? Today we take a look at where it all started and how it shows up in one of life's most joyful celebrations.
While opinions vary on origin, most agree that wedding bands originated in ancient Greece. The hands represented various meridians of energy and it was believed that your ring finger included a blood vessel with a direct line to your heart. The wedding band symbolized a commitment to your true love as it acted as a “heart lasso.,” tying your hearts energetically together for eternity. Hence the reason that most bands crafted in ancient times perfectly matched one another. Dr. Yevgeny Shuhatovich of the Reconstructive Orthopedic Center of Houston who specializes in hand surgeries says that’s not the case. “All veins ultimately travel back to the heart, but there is not one specific one that does''. The over embellished tale can still be heartwarming when thinking about why our ring finger was originally selected as the carrier of the wedding band.
While the ring has such significance on our wedding day it’s often not regarded in the same light on the daily. Over time we begin to take for granted the simple act of putting on our wedding ring. Perhaps if we took a moment to be present when putting it on, one might be more appreciative. Maybe not...but still an interesting thought. I recently heard of a couple who would take off their wedding rings each evening and give it to their partner (to be kept safe in their bedside table) and they would ceremoniously put the rings back on each other’s hands in the morning. A very sweet idea that takes a few extra seconds daily but can have a lifetime of benefits. Is this more popular than I realize? If you continually recommit I’d love to hear about it!
Engravings inside wedding bands also come from longtime traditions. During the Renaissance period, posey rings were popular. These rings were made of sterling silver and inscribed with a poem or “posey”. To this day, nearly all of our customers opt to have some sort of engraving included in their wedding band. Wedding dates, initials, bible references, nicknames, or short quips are some of the most popular options. When purchasing your wedding bands in-store or online, be sure to include your engraving instructions.
On our wedding day the wedding band is a key player in the long list of rituals and practices that bind us together in holy matrimony. It’s so fascinating to learn more about how rings show up in ceremony. Often we’ll see a ring bearer who carries a pillow with the rings attached with a satin ribbon. This is traditionally carried down the aisle by a young male family member, but more recently popular, by a beloved family pet. I’ve seen it tied to a dog's collar or more inventively tied to a pillow on the dog’s back! Some cultures find it extremely important to pass the rings around to everyone in the reception in a velvet bag. Each person is to offer the rings their special blessing so that when they are presented in the ceremony they are infused with all of those beautiful sentiments.
How about you? Did you give much thought to your wedding bands? Did you have the insides engraved? Are you in the process of researching them now? Do you want them to match or be different? Are you using any materials other than the traditional gold or diamonds? I’d love to know more about your wedding bands’ story. This week we’ll be sharing some of our favorite pictures in our social media posts. Please do not hesitate to tag us in yours! No matter what it looks like, love is a universal language and it’s always fun to discover how we express it in different ways.