You often hear the two names being used interchangeably, but in the past, a wedding band and a wedding ring served different purposes. While the ladies are the ones who get the fancy diamonds and shiny baubles, the men get and got engagement bands.
The bands were a simple and unadorned ring, normally made of silver, that men wore whenever they had proposed to their loved one. It was simple and perfect until the women of ancient times began wearing the rings as well. Ordinarily, the men of the ancient world would propose with a jewel or gemstone, but not a ring. When women began wearing rings, the unadorned wedding bands became decorative.
Eventually, the men’s wedding bands in Arlington would morph into the wedding rings that we have today, and the concept of wedding bands would become obsolete. Most men would get their ring on the wedding day, but the engagement ring would go to the woman when he proposed.
An in-depth history
Regardless of who wore what, the ancient Egyptians were the first to use wedding rings, traditionally made from plants or reeds and later from metal ores. Since the circle was a symbol of infinity, the ring was a symbol of infinite love between the couple. They also started the custom of wearing the ring on the ring finger of the left hand, since a vein in the finger was connected to the heart.
The Greeks and Romans used rings as promises of fidelity, and several different types of rings were made, one of them being the ‘puzzle ring.’ The puzzle ring was a series of interlocking bands which not only symbolized the connection between man and wife but was also very hard to remove, so the wife couldn’t remove it without her husband knowing.
The rings also weren’t symbols of love in ancient times, but rather symbols of money. When the rings were exchanged it also symbolized an exchange of wealth between the two families, where the groom would then give money to the bride in exchange for her hand.
Soon the double ring ceremony came into play, where the wife would wear both her ring and the engagement ring, also giving a wedding ring to her husband. Sometimes both rings would be welded together after the ceremony, giving the bride only one ring to keep track of, which was easier for her!
Love and devotion stay constant!
Still, if there’s one thing that has remained the same throughout the world, it’s that people use it as a symbol of fidelity and devotion to their chosen partner. That has carried on to the present day, so whether you wear a wedding ring, band, or something similar, know that whoever gave it to you loves you.
From ancient times to modern day, the ring has continued to hold its status as the symbol of love and marriage. It probably will continue to do so, as long as the idea of love endures.