Last Updated on January 7, 2022
How would you respond if I asked you this question: What hand does a wedding ring go on?
For the most part—at least in the western world—when we think about what hand a wedding ring goes on, we automatically think of the left hand. However, the answer to this question is not as simple as it initially seems.
The hand that a wedding ring goes on actually changes from place-to-place and from person-to-person. This means that—depending upon where you live and your personal preferences—your wedding ring could go on either hand and on any finger.
If you want to learn more about why you can wear your wedding ring on either hand and any finger, which hand is preferred for men and women, and the significance of wearing a wedding ring on the left hand and right hand, then continue reading.
What Hand Does a Wedding Ring Go On?
A wedding ring can go on any finger on either the right or left hand: It just comes down to where you live in the world and your personal preferences.
In the western world—United States and Canada—and the United Kingdom, it is traditional to wear a wedding ring on the left-hand ring finger (the fourth finger counting outward from the thumb). Yet in places such as Norway, Russia, Poland, and Germany, it is normal to wear a wedding ring on the right-hand ring finger.
This does not necessarily mean that if you live in, say, the United States that you must wear your wedding ring on your left hand. If you are more comfortable wearing your wedding ring on your right hand—perhaps because you are left-hand dominant and your wedding ring gets in the way of performing some tasks—then you can definitely wear it on your right hand.
In the western world, the only risk you run with wearing your wedding ring on your right hand instead of left is that some people might assume that you are not married, which means that you may get some unwanted attention from people who think you are single.
What Hand Does a Wedding Ring Go On for a Woman?
Again, depending upon where a person lives and their personal preferences, a woman can wear her wedding ring on either the right or left hand.
The majority of women often wear their wedding ring on the same hand and finger that they wear their engagement ring. So, if you are a woman who wears her engagement ring on the left-hand ring finger, then your wedding ring should go on the same finger. This is not always the case, of course, and can differ from woman-to-woman.
When it comes to stacking the wedding ring and engagement ring—many women continue to wear their engagement ring after they are married—the wedding ring typically goes on first followed by the engagement ring. This is done so the wedding ring is closest to the heart.
What Hand Does a Wedding Ring Go On for a Man?
Men typically wear their wedding ring on the same hand and finger that their wife is wearing her wedding ring on. So, if a woman is wearing her wedding ring on the left-hand ring finger, then the husband usually does the same.
There are some places, however, where men and women wear their wedding rings on the opposite hands to one another after marriage.
Wedding Ring on Left Hand Meaning
The story goes that wedding rings were initially worn on the left-hand ring finger because that finger was supposedly connected to a person’s heart. This specific wedding ring placement signifies the love between two people through marriage.
There is now evidence to suggest that all fingers are connected to the heart in some way, but this has not stopped people from adhering to the traditional practice of wearing wedding rings on the left-hand ring finger.
Wedding Ring on Right Hand Meaning
It was oftentimes the case that members of the LGBTQ+ community would wear rings on their right hand rather than left to signify they were in a committed relationship. This was before the legalization of gay marriage in many places, though, so many couples now opt to wear their wedding rings on their left hands.
It’s also possible that a wedding ring on the right hand simply means that the person prefers the right hand over left!