As the ultimate symbol of commitment, wedding rings have become one of the most important elements of marriage ceremonies for many cultures across the world.
Here in Ireland, the custom of wearing wedding rings has become engrained into our culture – thanks, in large part, to the influence of the Catholic church. Although many modern Irish couples now often choose to shy away from grand church weddings, many traditions related to wedding rings still live on – this often includes the use of the traditional Irish Claddagh ring, either as an engagement ring or a wedding band.
Elsewhere in the world though, other countries and cultures have their own unique wedding ring traditions which hold particular cultural and personal significance. In this post, we take a look at three of the most charming international wedding ring traditions – read on!
In Peru, weddings are often huge colourful celebrations including many traditional elements – some with Incan elements dating back over 1,000 years. One of the many interesting Peruvian wedding customs we find particularly charming, is the “Cintas De La Torta”, or “Cake Pull”.
As part of this custom, an inexpensive wedding ring is tied to a ribbon and fixed to the base of the wedding cake along with other ‘empty’ ribbons. During the wedding reception, all single women in attendance must grab one ribbon; the lucky lady who picks the ribbon holding the wedding ring is then said to be the next in line to be married.
2. The Nordics
Sometimes mistaken for simply ‘Scandinavia’ – which only includes Sweden, Norway, and Denmark – the Nordics also include Finland and Iceland, as well as the territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. To the untrained eye, you could assume these areas would have identical traditions, however, in reality, they have different customs – even when it comes to wedding rings…
In Finland, it’s tradition for both partners to wear an engagement ring, however, on the big day, only the bride receives a wedding ring.
In Sweden, once married, the bride traditionally wears three rings together—an engagement ring, a wedding ring, and another ring used to symbolise motherhood.
In Norway and Denmark, married couples traditionally wear their wedding rings on the ring finger of their right hands – not their left.
In traditional Indian Hindu cultures, in order to show their marital status, women wear special decorative toe rings – known as Bichiya or Bichwa – instead of a ring placed on their finger. These ‘wedding rings’ are generally made from silver, though must not be made of gold – this is due to gold’s ‘respected’ status among Hindus, meaning it cannot be worn below the waist.
Although the exchange of wedding rings (worn on the ring finger) is generally not found in any traditional Indian culture, some modern Indian women choose to also wear a Western-style engagement ring or wedding ring. Because of the same ‘respected’ status mentioned above, these rings must also be made of 18 or 22 carat gold, as the pure gold ring stands symbolic of the bride’s own purity and beauty.
Looking for your own charming wedding ring?
At Martin Gear Jewellers we have decades of experience in fine wedding rings and jewellery.
As well as that, we’re one of the only jewellers in Dublin with an onsite manufacturing workshop. That means if you can’t find the perfect wedding ring, we’ll craft it for you – from traditional to contemporary, and all styles in between.