Ask AANW: Why Does the Wedding Ring Go on the Fourth Finger?

Question: Why does the wedding ring go on the fourth finger?

Answer: This wedding tradition dates back to ancient times. Ancient Romans believed that a vein (“vena amoris” meaning “vein of love”) in the fourth finger (finger next to the pinkie finger) of the left hand led directly and was connected to the heart. Though the ring is typically placed on the fourth finger of the left hand as seen in Western cultures, some cultures favor wearing it on the right hand. For example, in Austria and Poland, the wedding ring is placed on the fourth finger of the right hand. The wedding ring’s placement symbolizes marriage. Hence, having a ring on any other finger (fashion ring amongst other) does not denote marriage.

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