Wedding days are always about happiness and love. White gowns, fragrant flowers, crying parents – it’s a bonding time for two families.
But there’s also something that stays behind the scenes – the decision on what to do with your engagement ring!
Your wedding day should be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, so keep reading to learn what to do with your gorgeous engagement ring.
History of Engagement Rings
Engagement rings have been a symbol of commitment and undying love for a long time. However, not many people know where this tradition comes from.
Engagement rings go back to Ancient Rome, where the tradition of wearing rings was popular among women. The materials for the first engagement rings included bone and flint, and then transitioned over to silver, gold, and copper in the 2nd century CE.
At that time, wearing rings was a sign of obedience and love. Not only that, but a woman wearing an engagement ring meant a successful business contract had occurred.
In other words, it meant a wife was her husband’s property. According to anthropologists, wedding rings in those days even had small keys to symbolize this.
Men in the Roman Empire were also rather practical. According to the Gemological Institute of America, Romans used to wear gold rings in public, but iron rings at home.
Engagement Rings as an Official Custom
In Ancient Rome, wearing a ring was not an official wedding custom. This practice became common only in 850 CE, when Pope Nicholas I announced that golden rings should signify a man’s intent to marry.
Beginning of Diamond Engagement Rings
The diamond engagement ring tradition began much later. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria ordered the creation of the very first diamond engagement ring to present to his wife-to-be Mary of Burgundy.
Quite soon, it started a trend among the wealthiest European aristocracy.
The Victorian times, known for their romantic and sentimental flourish, made the diamond ring even more popular.
People began refining the classic design by mixing diamonds with precious metals, other gemstones, or enamels. They sometimes even carved flower ornaments on the rings.
In the 20th century, as aggressive marketing flooded the streets of the United States and other countries, the diamond engagement ring became a tangible symbol of marriage.
It was during this time that De Beers, a leading jewelry company, launched its classic slogan – “A Diamond is Forever”.
One of the most popular cuts is the round brilliant. Over 60% of couples opt for a round diamond.
Since the 1800s, the round diamond has held its position as the leader of diamond cuts, becoming an undeniable classic. The round brilliant consists of 58 facets that separate the stone into top and bottom halves.
Other popular cuts include the emerald cut, the oval cut, and the princess cut.
Engagement ring trends have changed in recent years. Celebrities are the biggest trendsetters in every sphere, and engagement rings are no exception.
Ariana Grande is an example of this change. In 2020, when she was engaged to her now-husband Dalton Gomez, she displayed her beautiful pearl and diamond bauble.
In addition, Jennifer Lopez, enchanted her fans with her engagement ring. It was an 8.5-carat natural green diamond center stone, surrounded by trapezoid-shaped white diamonds.
Should I Wear My Engagement Ring Down the Aisle?
The answer to this question will either confuse or relieve you – it’s entirely up to you!
There are no rules for engagement rings on your wedding day. The history of engagement rings is one of changing traditions and marketing ploys.
You are the only rule-maker at your wedding. That means you can wear your engagement ring during the whole ceremony or take it off whenever you want.
One idea is to take off the engagement ring at the altar and let your spouse put the wedding ring on your finger.
Another great idea is to combine your engagement and wedding rings into one beautiful setting. You can choose your wedding ring to match the engagement ring, to symbolize the transition from fiancée to wife.
There are bridal sets, consisting of matching engagement and wedding rings, developed specifically to complement each other.
After the Wedding
When the wedding is over, the cake is gone, the guests have left, you may ask yourself – what do I do with my engagement ring?
Traditionally, the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. If you want to wear your engagement ring with it, consider keeping it over the wedding band.
Just like during the wedding, you are the only rule-maker. There are no official guidelines on how to wear these rings.
Being stressed out before your wedding is understandable. After all, it’s a big step in a relationship and your life, and you want to make sure everything is organized in the best manner possible.
There’s nothing wrong with wearing your engagement ring down the aisle. Even better – you can make a moving ceremony replacing it with your wedding band.
With a little bit of planning, you will be able to cherish your wedding day and remember it as one of the best days of your life.