Wedding rings have their origins in ancient times. Ancient writings illustrate how couples gave each other rings made of reeds or twigs. Later, the materials were replaced by bone, ivory or iron - the rule was: the more expensive the material, the greater the expression of love. An expensive ring was like an insurance. On the one hand to bind the partner to himself and on the other hand as a financial security.
The rings were worn on the left ring finger, because it was believed that the vein, also called „love vein“ (lat. Vena Amoris), led from this finger directly to the heart. As today, the man put the ring on the finger of his future wife. However, since in those days it was often a matter of forced marriages, the ring was probably more a sign of which woman belonged to which man.
IN THE MIDDLE AGES
In the Middle Ages, men wore so-called signet rings (with a stamp seal) to radiate power and wealth. As a sign of sharing their property with their wives, men put signet rings on them aswell.
Around 860 AD, wedding rings acquired a decidedly great significance for the Church - they became an official symbol of marriage and stood for fidelity and the permanence of marriage.
IN THE 15TH CENTURY
From the 15th century, a distinction was made between engagement and wedding rings. The engagement ring stood out because of its freedom. It could have a completely different material, intertwined shapes or contain a stone.
Diamonds played a major role in this. Since diamonds are the hardest material in the world, they perfectly symbolize the indestructibility of marriage. For the Greeks, for example, the fire of a diamond reflected the immortal flame of love.
When it came to wedding rings, people tended to go for a simple and classic design. From the 16th century, the bride and groom first chose two identical wedding rings.
IN OTHER CULTURES
In Arab countries, only the woman wears a gold wedding ring. The man wears a ring made of simpler metals such as iron. This has the background that the men should be humble. In the western culture wedding rings are a symbol of the connection of two people, where on the other hand in the Arab culture two families are connected.
In Hindu culture, marriage is also sealed with wedding rings - but with the big difference that the rings are not worn on the ring finger, but on the toes. The focus here is on the special and eye-catching design of the rings.
NOWADAYS WEDDING RINGS ARE FIRST AND FOREMOST BEAUTIFUL PIECES OF JEWELRY
The rings are meant to remind you of what promise you made to each other. They serve as a symbol of marriage and a strong bond between the spouses. The bride and groom choose the rings together and have them engraved individually. On the wedding day, the wedding rings are put on the fingers with the mutual wedding vows.
Also the meaning of the inscriptions and/or engravings increases up to today ever more. With the ancient Romans, the inscription „Pignus amoris habes“ was usually used - which means something like „You have my love pledge“.
Nowadays, the date of the marriage and the names of the spouses are engraved above all. Increasingly, one also finds the fingerprints of the partner or the fingerprints of the children as engraving in the wedding rings. But there are also very unusual engravings such as the sine heart curve or a map of the world in which a small diamond has been set in the place where the couple met.
THE MORNING GIFT
The morning gift is a gift that the groom gives to his bride on the morning after the wedding or puts under the pillow. This custom is still popular today - even if the deep meaning is now different.
Historically, there are two motivations for the morning gift: First, the man expressed his appreciation that his bride had kept her „virginity“ until the wedding day. Second, the morning gift served as financial security for the wife. The gift was the woman‘s property, which she could dispose of completely freely.
Today, the morning gift is mainly an opportunity to give your partner a romantic gift. Especially expensive jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces or earrings are popular.