Which Go First Engagement and Wedding Ring?

Mar 15,2024

Exchanging rings is a significant and symbolic moment for a couple stepping into marriage. When it comes to wearing both an engagement ring and a wedding ring simultaneously, it can be confusing to decide which one to go first. While there are no strict rules, traditional customs and modern trends can help guide this decision.

In this discussion, we will delve into the importance of engagement rings and wedding rings, as well as various factors to consider when deciding which ring to choose first.

What is an Engagement Ring?

Darry Ring engagement rings

Traditionally, an engagement ring symbolizes a couple’s commitment to each other and their intent to marry. It is typically presented during a proposal and worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, also known as the “ring finger”. This tradition dates back to ancient Roman times when it was believed that a vein directly connected to the heart, called the “vena amoris” or “vein of love”, ran through the left ring finger.

Engagement rings come in various styles and designs, often featuring diamonds of different shapes, but the most common type is a ring with a central diamond or gemstone, usually surrounded by smaller gems or intricate details.

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What is a Wedding Ring?

Darry Ring wedding rings

A wedding ring, also known as a wedding band, is exchanged during the wedding ceremony, symbolizing the unity of husband and wife and eternal love. It represents an endless cycle of love and commitment, serving as a tangible reminder of the vows exchanged during the wedding. It is typically worn on the fourth finger of the left hand as the engagement ring, but after the vows are exchanged.

Unlike engagement rings, wedding rings are usually simple metal bands without elaborate designs or gemstone embellishments. However, with the evolving trends in style, many wedding rings now incorporate various shapes of diamonds and intricate details to add sophistication.

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Which Go First Engagement and Wedding Ring?

When it comes to wearing engagement and wedding rings, the most common method is stacking them. Traditionally, the wedding ring is worn first on the left ring finger, followed by the engagement ring. This custom is popular in countries like the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and many Asian countries.

However, modern brides are increasingly choosing to forgo tradition and opt for wedding ring sets that better suit their personal style and jewelry preferences. In other countries, it is also common to wear wedding rings on different fingers or even on the right hand.

wedding ring goes first
wedding ring goes first
wedding ring goes first

💍 Wedding ring goes first

According to tradition, the wedding ring is typically worn on the left ring finger before the engagement ring, which is the most common and traditional order. This tradition dates back to ancient Rome, where it was believed that a vein ran directly from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart. Therefore, wearing the wedding ring closer to your heart symbolizes a deep connection.

If you choose this route, you can remove the engagement ring before the ceremony or wear it on your right hand to make space for the wedding ring during the ring exchange. After the ceremony, stack the engagement ring on top of the wedding ring.

engagement ring goes first
engagement ring goes first
engagement ring goes first

💍 Engagement ring goes first

Another option is to wear the engagement ring first, followed by the wedding ring. Logically, wearing the rings in the order you received them can be meaningful. Your engagement ring represents a promise, while your wedding ring signifies the fulfillment of that promise. Wearing the wedding ring on top of your engagement ring can bring a satisfying conclusion to your engagement story.

Wearing Engagement and Wedding Rings in Different Ways

Apart from wearing both the engagement and wedding rings on the ring finger of the left hand, there are innovative ways. Traditional customs and personal preferences play a significant role, but in some cultures, there are specific customs regarding the wearing of engagement and wedding rings, and it is crucial to respect these cultural and religious traditions.

💍 Wearing the engagement ring on one hand and the wedding ring on the other



If your engagement and wedding ring styles do not match or stacking them together affects the aesthetics, it’s nice to wear the engagement ring on the left ring finger and the wedding ring on the right ring finger, or vice versa. In countries like Germany and the Netherlands, it is common to see couples wearing the engagement ring on the right hand and the wedding ring on the left hand. This is an ideal choice for those seeking personalized combinations or for those who prefer not to stack multiple rings on one finger.

Wearing the engagement ring on one hand and the wedding ring on the other
Wearing the engagement ring and wedding ring on the right hand

💍 Wearing both rings on the right hand



While it is common in many Western countries to wear engagement and wedding rings on the left hand, in Nordic and Eastern European countries such as Russia, Poland, and Denmark, many couples wear their rings on the right hand. In some Asian countries like India, the wedding ring is also worn on the right hand because the left hand was once considered inauspicious or unclean. Stacking the engagement and wedding rings on the right ring finger holds unique symbolic meanings for couples from these countries.

Now we have a better understanding of the significance of these two rings. Although traditional customs and modern trends dictate which ring should be worn first, the final decision depends on personal preferences and the symbolism that is most meaningful for both partners. We encourage you to explore various styles to design the ideal combination of your wedding and engagement rings. Ultimately, whether it is an engagement ring or a wedding ring, what matters most is the love and commitment symbolized by these rings.

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