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Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Ring: What’s the Difference?

A traditional practice in many cultures across the world is the exchange of rings which epitomises marriage. It symbolises the couple’s forging of a bond based on love and devotion to one another. Some cultures have the tradition of exchanging two rings: engagement rings and wedding rings.

Both the rings are worn on the fourth finger or the ring finger of the left hand. There is popular belief since ancient times regarding this. It is said that a vein runs directly from this finger to the heart. The Romans called it ‘vena amoris’ or ‘vein of love’.

One prevalent question amongst many people is ‘what is the difference between engagement rings and wedding rings’ because they are so similar. This blog briefly explains the difference between engagement and wedding rings along with other associated aspects.

Engagement rings

An engagement ring is an important aspect of a marriage proposal in most cultures across the globe.  It is exchanged between couples usually in the engagement ceremony. They have to wear it to indicate that the woman and the man are in a committed relationship or engaged. It also symbolises a formal agreement for future marriage. A man also offers a woman an engagement ring as a proposal of marriage. The woman wears the ring if she chooses to accept the proposal. This custom is said to have European origin and sometimes Egyptian origin as well. Engagement rings are usually worn by unmarried couples and are also known as proposal rings.

Wedding rings

A wedding ring is exchanged between couples at the wedding ceremony. This ring is also referred to as a wedding band. It shows that the wearer of the ring is married. The ring symbolises fidelity and never-end love. Ancient Rome is considered to be the origin of wedding rings. They usually have engravings of the date and initials. In some traditions, the ring is worn on the third finger or the middle finger of the left hand. If a bride chooses to wear both the rings, usually the wedding band goes first and then the engagement ring. The two rings get stacked. Some brides also choose to join the rings together so that they become one ring.

These rings hold a lot of significance. The circular shape symbolises eternity and the hole represents the doorway to future events. In the bygone ages, engagement rings were usually flashy and expensive compared to wedding rings. The reason is the former represented a man’s wealth. Today, this has changed.

It totally depends on the couple on what they choose to wear, be it an engagement ring or a wedding band. Moreover, it is also up to the couples if they want to wear both the rings or just one. Some also choose to wear them on different fingers and different hands at a later period in time.

Both engagement and wedding rings are available in a huge variety and wide price ranges. Usually, the rings are made up of precious metals like platinum, gold or silver and may have gemstones embedded into them. Diamonds are the most favoured of all due to which diamond wedding rings are always into fashion.

Putting together, engagement rings are for placing a marriage proposal and wedding rings are for the wedding ceremony. And both represent love and commitment.

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