Why Do Men Wear Wedding Bands on Their Right Hand?

by Marie Farmer

Men's wedding rings and their associated fashion customs have experienced increased popularity in recent years

wedding ring image by Tammy Mobley from Fotolia.com

Many men do not wear wedding rings, but many of those who do sport them on the right hand. Many left-handed men wear them on the right hand for convenience. Some men wear the ring on the right hand during the engagement period. Also, many men in Europe wear their wedding bands on the right hand because it has become a popular trend in European fashion.

History

According to the Baylor University Medical Center website, classical Greek and Roman culture implied that the left side was sinister (the word “left” comes from the Latin “sinestra,” meaning “sinister”). This tradition carried into Europe, as we see Old English using the word "left" to imply weakness or fault. Wearing the wedding ring on the right hand has become popular for this reason, just as most men offer handshakes with the right hand.

Culture

Most men continue to wear weddings rings on the left hand in America, Sweden, France, and the UK. In many other European countries, it has become fashionable for men to wear their wedding bands on the right hand. Men's wedding rings, in general, are still a relatively new tradition. Because men's bands have only become popular in the last century, the trends are not set in stone. Men have the freedom to choose to wear the wedding ring on the right hand.

Popularity

The practice of men wearing wedding rings really became popular during World War II, when soldiers began wearing rings to feel connected to their wives back home, according to the Journal of Social History. Most jewelers did not produce men's rings until the 1920s, but there was no real demand for them until the 1940s.

Considerations

Wearing the wedding ring on the right hand meets practical needs for a man who is left-handed. If a man most frequently uses the same hand he wears his band on, the ring will quickly become worn. Damage may also occur to the ring if the man wears it while doing any considerable amount of work with his hands.

Differences for Men and Women

Most types of rings can be worn by either a man or a woman. The bands themselves do not differ drastically based on gender. While it is more common among European men, many European women have also begun wearing their wedding rings on the right hand to keep up with European trends.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Marie Farmer writes informational articles on adult education for another website, and she creates study materials for an academic decathlon. She has been a writer since 2006 and published work in two Loyola journals: "Revisions" and "The Reader's Response." She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing from Loyola New Orleans.