An engagement is an exciting time in a couple's life before they forge a union together by getting married. During this time, a woman wears an engagement ring on her leftshand to state that she has accepted a man's wedding proposal. Following the ceremony, traditionally a wedding ring is worn next to an engagement ting to indicate the ring is close to a couple's heart and a bond of a future together.
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Typically a man asks for a woman's hand in marriage by proposing to her. At this time he presents a ring to her, which she traditionally wears on the left-hand ring finger. This goes back to classical times, where people believed that a vein to the heart is directly connected via the fourth or ring finger, making this area called the "vein of love."
Engagement Ring During Wedding
During the wedding ceremony, women generally take off their engagement ring or place it on their right hand, so that the wedding band can put on first. This is then followed by placing the engagement ring on top of the wedding band or ring. Some people, though, keep their engagement ring on their left hand and then switch the order of ring placement after the wedding ceremony.
After the Wedding Ceremony
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Traditionally, woman wear both an engagement ring and wedding band following a wedding ceremony. The wedding band is placed on first and then the engagement ring is placed on top of that on the left hand ring finger. This is rooted in the idea that the wedding ring should be placed closest to the heart. Some woman wear the wedding ring above the engagement ring, connecting the relationship of the engagement into a solid union of marriage.
Serena Norr has been a New York-based writer and editor since 2001. Her articles have appeared in "Time Out New York," "Tea & Coffee Trade Journal," "Time Out New York," "Film Monthly," "Shecky's," "Princeton Review" and "Beyond Race." Norr specializes in health and wellness, motherhood, and beauty-related topics. She attained her Bachelors of Arts in English at Hunter College.