why do people wear wedding rings on right hand
Life Tips

Why Do People Wear Wedding Rings on the Right Hand?

Ever pondered the question, “why do people wear wedding rings on right hand?” Across various cultures and timelines, this practice has fascinated many. While left-hand ring wearing is familiar in many regions, a deep dive into history, tradition, and personal choice reveals the rich tapestry behind this right-hand preference. Join us as we unravel this intriguing custom.

Origins of Right-Hand Ring Wearing

Ring Wearing

Image source: Pinterest

Ancient Civilizations

The concept of ring wearing dates back to ancient civilizations. For example, ancient Egyptians believed circles were a symbol of eternity, and rings, by extension, represented an eternal bond. The right hand, in various ancient cultures, was often associated with trustworthiness, power, or authority. Rings worn on this hand indicated the person’s elevated status or alignment with revered principles.

Religious Texts and Traditions

In many religious contexts, the right hand holds particular significance. For instance, in Christianity, the right hand is often associated with the divine favor, righteousness, and the blessings of God. This connection between the right hand and religious esteem might have influenced the choice of it for wearing significant rings.

Medieval and Renaissance Europe

During these periods, the right hand was frequently associated with oaths and vows. When knights would swear fealty to their lords, they would often do so by placing their right hand over their heart or on religious texts. This action cemented the right hand’s association with honor, promises, and commitment.

Social and Economic Indicators

In certain historical periods, the choice of hand for ring wearing was also a sign of one’s social or economic status. For instance, in some European regions, a ring on the right hand might indicate that the wearer hailed from an aristocratic family or held a particular public office. It became a way to differentiate the elite from common citizens.

Local Folktales and Myths

Numerous regions have local tales or myths explaining the custom of wearing rings on the right hand. These stories, passed down through generations, can play a pivotal role in shaping local customs. Whether it’s a tale of lovers separated by fate or legends of heroic figures bestowing rings, these narratives have added layers of meaning to the tradition of right-hand ring wearing.

Cultural and Religious Significance


Image source: Pinterest

1. Orthodox Christian Tradition

Countries like Russia, Greece, and Serbia prefer the right hand for their rings. Within Orthodox Christianity, the right hand carries profound significance. It’s not just the hand that’s believed to be favored by God, but also the one that Jesus Christ sits on the right side of in religious teachings.

Thus, wearing the ring on the right hand can symbolize being under the divine favor and protection. This belief reflects in various rites and ceremonies of the Orthodox Church, including matrimony, wherein the right hand plays an integral role in blessing and union.

2. Jewish Custom

The ring is placed on the index finger of the bride’s right hand during the ceremony. This practice originates from the Talmudic references where the right hand, especially the index finger, was considered an indicator of importance.

By placing the ring on this finger, the groom signifies the pivotal role the bride will play in his life. Additionally, it’s believed in some interpretations that this placement represents the direct line to the heart, echoing sentiments of deep affection and commitment.

3. Hindu Tradition

In many Hindu cultures, the right hand is considered auspicious. Hinduism places a lot of importance on rituals and symbolism. The right side is often associated with righteousness, virtue, and dharma. In some regions and communities within India, brides are adorned with rings on their right hand to symbolize blessings, prosperity, and a successful marital journey.

4. Diverse Beliefs

Many global cultures and religious practices have unique interpretations and reasons. Around the world, the choice of hand for wearing a ring extends beyond mere aesthetics or convenience. For many, it is a deep-rooted tradition, intertwined with stories, beliefs, and customs passed down through generations.

Whether it’s to invoke blessings, denote social status, or signify a rite of passage, the right hand has held a revered place in numerous cultures and their rituals.

Personal and Non-Religious Reasons


Image source: Pinterest

1. Hand Dominance

Left-handed individuals might prefer their ring on the right hand. In our predominantly right-handed world, tools, machinery, and everyday objects are often designed for right-handed use. This makes left-handed individuals adapt in unique ways. By wearing a ring on the non-dominant hand, left-handers can ensure their ring faces fewer risks associated with their primary activities, whether it’s writing, cooking, or crafting.

2. Symbol of Individuality

A shift from tradition to express personal identity. In an era championing personal expression and breaking away from strictly prescribed norms, choosing which hand to wear a ring on can be a quiet yet impactful form of self-expression. For some, it’s a deliberate choice to go against the grain, signaling independence, or emphasizing personal narratives over collective traditions.

3. Remarriage or Widowhood

Some wear their new ring on the right hand in subsequent marriages. Second marriages or unions later in life often come with unique dynamics. For those who have previously been married, wearing a ring on the right hand can be a respectful nod to their past while marking a fresh start. It’s a way to cherish memories from the past while celebrating new beginnings.

4. Personal Comfort

For some, it’s simply more comfortable to wear it on the right hand. Everyone’s body is different, and this includes hand shape, size, and even sensitivity. For some, the right hand might offer a better fit, or they might find that their daily tasks are easier to accomplish without a ring on their dominant hand. It’s about practicality and what feels right for the individual.

5. Symbol of Personal Empowerment

Taking control of one’s narrative. For some, the choice is more profound than mere comfort or convenience. It might symbolize taking control of one’s destiny, decisions, and life narrative. Especially for those who might have faced hardships, making a conscious choice about something as symbolic as a ring can signify empowerment and autonomy.

Which Countries Wear Wedding Rings on Their Right Hand?


Image source: Pinterest

1. Russia

In Russia, the tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the right hand dates back centuries. Rooted in Orthodox Christianity, the right hand is esteemed for its religious significance. Additionally, wearing a ring on the right hand is seen as a symbol of being blessed under divine favor, in line with various Orthodox traditions.

2. Greece

Much like Russia, Greece’s Orthodox Christian beliefs play a pivotal role in the custom of wearing wedding rings on the right hand. Ancient Greek texts and artworks often highlight the importance of the right hand for taking oaths, blessings, and significant commitments, further endorsing its use for wedding rings.

3. Serbia

Serbian tradition, grounded in Eastern Orthodox beliefs, also observes the practice of wearing wedding rings on the right hand. Rituals during Serbian wedding ceremonies often involve actions performed with the right hand, emphasizing its importance.

4. Ukraine

Ukrainian couples typically wear their wedding rings on the right hand. This practice is intertwined with religious beliefs and national customs that honor the right hand for its role in rituals and blessings.

5. Norway and Denmark

In these Nordic countries, it’s traditional to wear the wedding ring on the right hand. The roots of this practice are a mix of historical, cultural, and possibly even Viking traditions. While the exact origin might be debated, the custom has been ingrained in their matrimonial traditions for generations.

6. India (some communities)

India is a vast country with diverse customs and traditions. While many Indian communities wear rings on the left hand, there are specific communities and regions where the right hand is preferred, often due to religious or local customs emphasizing the auspiciousness of the right side.

7. Spain (in certain regions)

While it’s common in many parts of Spain to wear wedding rings on the left hand, some regions, particularly traditional or rural areas, still maintain the practice of wearing them on the right. This might be influenced by historical or local customs.

The Modern Perspective


Image source: Pinterest

Evolution of Traditions

In the age of globalization, people are more exposed to various cultures and traditions than ever before. This exposure often leads to the blending or adaptation of customs. As a result, the “rules” about which hand should don the wedding ring are evolving, becoming more flexible and inclusive.

Personal Over Prescriptive

The modern approach to weddings and marriages often places more emphasis on personal preference rather than strictly adhering to prescriptive norms. For many, how and where they wear their ring is a reflection of their individual journey, stories, and choices.

Reimagining Symbols

The ring, in essence, is a symbol of commitment. How one chooses to wear it, whether based on tradition, personal reasons, or aesthetics, is secondary to its core symbolism. The modern perspective often emphasizes the sentiment behind the symbol rather than its placement.

Inclusivity and Diversity

The world is becoming increasingly inclusive, embracing diverse identities, orientations, and cultures. In such an environment, the traditional “rules” around ring wearing are being revisited, allowing people to choose based on their unique identities and relationships rather than societal expectations.

Wearing Rings on Both Hands

Both Hands

Image source: Pinterest

1. Symbolism of Unity

For some couples, wearing rings on both hands represents the unity of two separate lives becoming one. It symbolizes the merger of personal histories, emotions, and future aspirations. By adorning both hands, they acknowledge the equilibrium and reciprocity in their relationship.

2. Display of Commitment

A ring on each hand can also intensify the proclamation of one’s commitment. It’s like doubling down on the promise made to a partner, using both hands to show the depth and breadth of their dedication.

3. Personal Style and Aesthetics

Fashion and personal style play a significant role in modern jewelry choices. Some individuals love the balanced visual appeal of rings on both hands, making it an aesthetic rather than a symbolic choice.

4. Honoring Traditions

Some cultures or families have traditions where multiple rings, denoting different milestones or blessings, are worn. In such cases, wearing rings on both hands becomes a way to respect and honor these traditions while also embracing personal beliefs and commitments.


The hand on which a wedding ring is worn may differ, but its universal symbolism of love remains unchanged. In a world filled with diverse traditions, it’s a beautiful reminder of love’s global language.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.