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Customs and Traditions

Engagement Ring - Right hand?

I know that a lot of boards post that the engagement ring should be worn on the ring finger of the left hand and then the wedding ring there as well. However, what I grew up hearing is that you wear the engagement ring on the right hand while engaged and then switch it to the left hand as a sign that you're married during/soon after the wedding. I always figured that it was a custom based on my background but I'm speaking with people from the same background (Italian) and almost no one I've spoken with has heard of this. I like the tradition and am keeping it but I keep having to explain it when people tell me I have the ring on the "wrong hand" - has anyone else here heard of this/done this? If so, what's your background?

Re: Engagement Ring - Right hand?

  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I have never heard of wearing an engagement ring on the right hand, and if I saw someone doing it I would probably think/wonder why they were wearing it on the "wrong" hand, that is, unless they were missing the finger on their left hand or something.
  • I have never, ever, seen an engagement ring being on the right hand. I have, however, seen promise rings and purity rings on the right hand.
  • The Irish claddagh ring is traditionally worn on the right hand until marriage, but that's the only thing I can think of.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I've never seen an engagement ring on the right hand other than sometimes on the wedding day brides do that so it won't be in the way during the ring exchange.
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  • It's your ring and your hand -- you can wear it however you want.  As you've already seen, you may get some questions/comments about it being "wrong".
  • Schatzi13 said:
    This is done in parts of Germany. (In other parts of Germany, the engagement ring is worn on the left then wedding ring on the right.) It is also traditionally the same ring, and traditionally both men and women wear them.
    no, at least not where I grew up or where I live now... men don't wear engagement rings. each and every woman in my family has a separate engagement ring, so does every engaged girl in my circle of friends. it's worn on the left hand, the wedding rings on the right hand.
  • In some cultures, they wear the wedding ring on the right hand. It's neither "right" nor "wrong." It's your engagement/marriage and your ring; wear it how you feel comfortable.
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm Italian (among other things) and I've never heard of wearing an engagement ring on your right hand. 

  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I've heard of it. In fact, my friend who made my engagement ring suggested that I do that with my ring since it is a rather non-traditional ring. She learned it from her boss, whose a jeweler and advocates for it so people can have bigger wedding rings :P.  I was told it's more common in Europe, which means some people do it, some don't.

    There is no wrong way of doing it though. If someone asks, just say thats how you do it in your culture.

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    I had never heard of it until a few months ago... then one of my co-workers asked why my engagement ring was on my left hand when I'm not married yet.  He is from Poland, so maybe that's they way they do it there.  But, I was very confused by his comment until he explained it because I had always heard that the e-ring & wedding band go on the left hand... I'd never heard anything else.  I've heard of brides putting their e-ring on the right hand during the wedding ceremony to keep it out of the way though.  Although, my fingers are about a whole size different on each hand so I can't even get my e-ring on my right hand.


    But, like PP's have said, there really isn't a right or wrong way so do whatever you are comfortable with.  And, as my experience has shown, you will probably get questioned more with it on the right hand, but you could get questioned about it either way.


  • I am planning on keeping it on my right hand. Our engagement rings are also our wedding rings so the switching of the bands is even more sentimental beyond always liking the tradition.

    Just with all the comments I'd been getting, I was wondering if anyone else had heard of this! More curious than anything about regions who may have the same tradition since many Italians I speak with haven't even heard of this.
  • This is a European custom.  It is not followed in the USA, so you will get a lot of questions and comments.  Just explain that it is a family tradition.
  • In the Eastern Orthodox tradition (Greek is what I'm familiar with), the wedding ring is worn on the right hand.
  • My Russian ballet teachers wore on their sets right hand.

  • hellohkbhellohkb mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
    edited December 2013
    ive heard of people wearing the band or engagement ring on the right hand especially depending on culture (for instance, Greeks). Ive seen it a few times too. Personally, its your ring so wear it on the right if you'd like to.

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  • I've never saw it on the right hand before, but I have saw promise rings there.
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  • My parents did that. But let me give you some background on that. My parents grew up in Germany & moved to the US after getting married. They were born during WWII. Back in those days they didn't do diamond (or other stones) engagement rings, or seperate engagement rings for that matter, it wasn't the custom there at that time. The custom was to get your band, wear it on your right hand to symbolize you were engaged and then you moved it to the left hand after you were married.

    I'm not sure if this tradition is still followed there or not.

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