When You Get Married, Which Ring Goes on First?

Mariah Brown

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Mariah Brown

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Getting married is a magical moment, filled with love, joy, and the promise of forever. As you embark on this journey with your partner, there are many traditions and customs that you may come across. One of these traditions involves the exchange of rings during the wedding ceremony. But when it comes to putting on those beautiful rings, which one goes on first? Let’s dive into the symbolism and significance behind this age-old question.

when you get married which ring goes on first

When it comes to wedding rings, there is no universal rule that dictates the order in which they should be worn. The tradition of wearing an engagement ring and a wedding band on the same finger dates back centuries, with different cultures having their own unique practices. While some opt to wear the engagement ring before the wedding band, others choose the opposite. Ultimately, the decision is up to the couple and what feels most meaningful to them.

Now that we’ve clarified that there’s no hard and fast rule, let’s explore some popular practices and considerations when deciding which ring goes on first. Remember, at the end of the day, the symbolism and love behind the rings matter more than the order in which they are worn.

Symbolism and Significance

1. Engagement Ring First, Wedding Band Second

For many couples, the engagement ring holds a special place in their hearts. It symbolizes the moment when their journey towards marriage began, representing love, commitment, and the promise of a lifetime together. Wearing the engagement ring on the finger closest to the heart is a common choice. Placing the wedding band on top of the engagement ring signifies the union of two souls in the sacred bond of marriage.

2. Wedding Band First, Engagement Ring Second

On the other hand, some couples prefer to place the wedding band on their finger first, followed by the engagement ring. This symbolizes the wedding band as the foundation of their marriage, with the engagement ring as a beautiful addition. The wedding band represents the unbreakable commitment and eternal love shared between the couple, while the engagement ring serves as a reminder of the love that led them to this union.

3. Switching Hands

In certain cultures, such as in Russia, Greece, and Colombia, the engagement ring and wedding band are worn on the right hand. After the wedding ceremony, some couples choose to move the rings to the left hand, symbolizing the transfer of the engagement into the lifelong commitment of marriage. This practice allows the wedding band to be closest to the heart, while the engagement ring takes a supporting role.

4. Stacking Rings

A popular trend among modern couples is the concept of stacking rings. This involves wearing both the engagement ring and wedding band on the same finger. The rings are often designed to fit together seamlessly, creating a unique and personalized look. Whether the engagement ring is placed below or above the wedding band depends on the couple’s preference. Stacking rings allow for creativity, flexibility, and the opportunity to showcase the beauty of both rings.

5. Personalized Order

Ultimately, there are no steadfast rules when it comes to wearing wedding rings. Couples are encouraged to discuss and decide together which ring goes on first and what symbolism resonates most with them. It’s about creating a personalized experience that represents their unique love story.

What the Experts Say

“The beauty of weddings is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The key is to choose a meaningful order for your rings that holds significance for you as a couple,” says Sarah Hanlon, a wedding expert and author known for her insightful advice on The Knot Magazine’s weekly spotlights.

Sofia Deeb, another renowned author and wedding aficionado, adds, “The order in which you place your rings is a personal decision. It’s about honoring the love and commitment you share with your partner.”

Weekly Spotlight

Sarah Hanlon: June 29, 2023

Sarah Hanlon is a highly regarded wedding expert and author who offers valuable insights and ideas on all things wedding-related. Her weekly spotlight dives into the significance of the order in which wedding rings are worn. With her expert advice, Sarah guides couples in creating a meaningful tradition that reflects their love and commitment. Whether you’re a traditionalist or prefer a more modern approach, Sarah’s spotlight offers practical and heartfelt advice for all.

Popular Topics

Sofia Deeb: April 25, 2023

Sofia Deeb, a respected author and wedding enthusiast, delves into the various traditions and customs related to wedding rings. Her popular topic explores the symbolism behind wearing wedding rings and provides couples with guidance on deciding which ring should be worn first. Sofia’s thoughtful insights are loved by couples worldwide, as they navigate the exciting journey of getting married.

The Knot Magazine

May 10, 2023 – Cathryn Haight

May 11, 2023 – Taylor Carson

April 30, 2023 – Dina Cheney

April 26, 2023 – Chapelle Johnson

The Knot Magazine, a go-to resource for engaged couples, covers everything from wedding planning tips to fashion inspiration. Its talented team of authors, including Cathryn Haight, Taylor Carson, Dina Cheney, and Chapelle Johnson, craft engaging content that keeps readers up-to-date with the latest wedding trends. With articles centered around the order in which rings should be worn, couples can gain valuable insights and find inspiration for their own ring-wearing journey.

Latest Stories

Stay informed and entertained with these latest stories related to wedding rings and their significance.

  • July 22, 2023 – Lauren Whalley: A Journey of Love: The Symbolism of Wedding Rings
  • July 21, 2023 – Hannah Nowack: Breaking Tradition: Exploring Unique Ways to Wear Wedding Rings
  • July 21, 2023 – Jessica Estrada: Stacking and Styling: How to Create a Glamorous Wedding Ring Look
  • July 21, 2023 – Sarah Hanlon: Personalized Rings: Adding a Touch of Sentimentality to Your Wedding Day
  • July 21, 2023 – Naoimh O’Hare: Cultural Traditions: A Global Perspective on Wedding Ring Placement

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I wear my engagement ring or wedding band first?

A: The choice is entirely up to you and what holds the most significance in your relationship. Both options have their own symbolism, so discuss with your partner to find what feels right for you.

Q: Can I switch the order of my rings after the wedding?

A: Absolutely! Many couples choose to switch the order of their rings after the wedding as a symbol of their new bond. It’s a personal decision that allows you to create your own traditions.

Q: What if I want to wear my rings on different fingers?

A: There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to ring placement. If wearing your rings on different fingers feels more comfortable or meaningful to you, go for it! It’s your love story, and you have the freedom to express it in a way that feels right.

Q: Do cultural traditions influence the order in which rings are worn?

A: Yes, cultural traditions can play a significant role in deciding the order of wedding rings. Different cultures have their own customs and practices, so take some time to explore and understand the traditions that resonate with your heritage.

Q: Can I combine my engagement ring and wedding band into one ring?

A: Absolutely! Stackable rings and engagement ring/wedding band combinations are becoming increasingly popular. Combining your rings into one can create a unique and personalized look that showcases the beauty of both pieces.


The order in which you put on your wedding rings is a personal decision, intertwined with symbolism, tradition, and cultural practices. There is no right or wrong answer, only what feels most meaningful to you and your partner. Remember, the journey towards marriage is about celebrating your love and commitment, and the rings you wear are a tangible reminder of that. Whether you choose to follow traditional customs or create your own unique traditions, cherish the love and joy that brought you together, and let your rings be a symbol of the beautiful union you share.

If you’re interested in more articles about weddings, engagement rings, or other wedding planning topics, check out The Knot Magazine. Their team of expert authors can guide you through every step of your wedding journey, from the moment you say “yes” to the day you say “I do”. Happy planning, and may your love story be filled with everlasting joy!

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