General Question

Laina's avatar

How do engagement/wedding rings work?

Asked by Laina (429points) August 11th, 2009

Does the man give the woman an engagement ring when he proposes and then they exchange rings at the wedding ceremony?

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27 Answers

photographcrash's avatar

You are exactly correct.

Laina's avatar

So… does the woman have to wear two rings on top of each other on her finger?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

They ‘work’ according to each couple though most couples, in the U.S. anyway, do the whole man gives woman ring with diamond, then a band on wedding day…some couples don’t do the whole engagement thing – my husband and I didn’t and got identical bands for our wedding day

eponymoushipster's avatar

Some women wear both, or take the engagement ring on and off, depending on the situation. Especially since the engagement ring is typically quite expensive, in comparison to the actual wedding ring.

dpworkin's avatar

They cling to your finger by means of friction (QV)

whatthefluther's avatar

Engagement/wedding rings don’t work but, I highly suspect one or both of you will be working hard and lots to pay for them.

avvooooooo's avatar

She doesn’t HAVE to do anything. Many people wear two rings. You can get both rings in a set where the wedding band is contoured to fit with the engagement ring if it needs it. Wedding sets also match. Men’s rings can have something to do with the woman’s, but can also be more about the man’s taste in jewelry (more simple but in the same metal, for example).

wedding set picture

Supacase's avatar

Typically the woman wears her wedding ring then engagement ring on top of that, closer the end of the finger. I have heard the reason is that it puts the wedding ring closer to the heart. Personally, I always thought the engagement ring should go between the hand and the wedding band to help keep it from falling off – it is a lot more expensive to replace.

Laina's avatar

@pdworkin Ha, clever!
Thanks, everyone, but isn’t it awkward to wear two rings on top of each other? They’re pretty big…

casheroo's avatar

That is the tradition that I’ve always heard.

I got my engagement ring and he gave it to me when he officially proposed. Then I picked out my own wedding band and my husband picked out his…we exchanged them the day we got married.
I currently only wear my wedding band.

I used to put my wedding band on ALL the time before we got married. I love looking at it!

chyna's avatar

They work like magic. :)
It is not awkward to wear two rings on top of each other in my opinion. My bands weren’t very thick though. You would need to try both on together to see how it fits and see what thickness is comfortable for you.

Laina's avatar

If engagement rings are more expensive than wedding rings, and most people only wear the wedding ring after the ceremony, isn’t it not really worth it?

EmpressPixie's avatar

It depends entirely on the people and what they want. There is finger real estate—you can wear two smallish rings, an engagement ring and “hugger” as your wedding band, just the engagement ring, just the wedding band—it’s up to you. If an engagement ring isn’t worth it to you, then don’t do it. But if you happen to be the guy, um, let your lady make this decision.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Laina i think it’s the sentiment.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Laina There’s no “most people” with only wearing the band. Many, many people wear both and find it not awkward at all. Many wedding bands are designed to fit with the engagement ring so that it almost is one ring and not awkward at all. A lot of times, however, after a few years or if one is in a job where its just easier (medical profession where gloves come on and off all the time, for example) many just wear the band for everyday.

casheroo's avatar

My wedding band and engagement ring weren’t designed to be together, I picked them separately.
My engagement ring sticks out more, and when I had my son it would scratch him and I didn’t want to keep scratching him. Also, I gained and lost weight (while pregnant) so now it’s too big and I don’t feel like getting it resized til I’m done having children.

Laina's avatar

Thanks everyone, I’m not getting married in the near future but I have been wondering for some time. :) Long live Fluther.

asmonet's avatar

@Laina: Out of curiosity now that your question has been thoroughly answered, do you live in a culture where engagement and wedding bands are not the norm?

mesbates's avatar

After the ceremony, I had a goldsmith solder my engagement ring to my wedding band so that it is a single ring. There is no right and wrong despite what people say, it’s what you choose to do. I know a couple who did not exchange rings but instead have neck chains that were soldered onto their necks to symbolize the eternal circle for which the ring stands. Diamonds are a recent wedding addition which Cecil Rhodes and the DeBeers company invented.
Wedding rings were traditionally either a family heirloom or contained a sapphire which symbolizes fidelity (refer to Lady Diana’s wedding ring – not that it did any good).
At the time of proposal or shortly thereafter, the woman traditionally received an engagement gift from her intended. Prior to Cecil Rhodes and DeBeers advertising campaign, the traditional engagement gift was a strand of pearls – as perfect as the man could afford. As previously mentioned, the diamond ring as an engagement gift is fairly recent.

Strauss's avatar

The ring symbolism is so ancient; it is said to represent the yoni, and the ring finger the lingam.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

@whatthefluther i literally giggled at that, GA

Jeruba's avatar

I didn’t want an engagement ring at all. My husband and I each chose our own wedding rings, and they don’t match. Matching didn’t matter to either of us.

I have a friend who doesn’t wear any ring. Her husband does.

Many people do it the conventional way, with the three rings, just as you say. But it’s still an individual decision, and whatever you do is right.

sdeutsch's avatar

Some women also wear their engagement ring on a different finger once they have the wedding band, if they feel like stacking them is too much for one finger. Mine are both pretty thin, so I wear them together, but it really depends on the individual rings and the preference of the person wearing them.

janbb's avatar

I never had an engagenent ring either. To me, the idea of needing a ring in order to be engaged or planning to be married is stupid, but I realize it is significant to many people. We did get matching wedding bands for the wedding, my husband lost his changing a tire and got a different one; I still have the one I got 37 years ago. (G-d, I’m old!)

stratman37's avatar

Let’s see, you slip ‘em on your finger. Any other questions?

Laina's avatar

@asmonet No, I don’t right now (I live in North America), but I was born in a country where engagement rings didn’t really exist and wedding bands were worn on the right hand.

Adagio's avatar

Just thought I would register the fact that I didn’t have an engagement ring. Never even thought about it to be quite honest. By the way, I do live within a culture where it is the norm to sport an engagement ring that is not to say that everyone does though, and I am a case in point

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