Marriage is something that is practiced in almost every culture, however whilst the union between two (or more) people is pretty much central to each marriage, culture dictates tradition. Of course, most of us are aware of the religious differences that can dictate what happens on the wedding day, but there are smaller differences as well that aren’t so well known. In this article we’ll take a look at wedding bands and how they differ from one culture to the next.
England and the United States
In England and the United States, most people will wear both a wedding band and an engagement band on the same finger. Sometimes, a third band is worn symbolising eternity. Because of the popularity of wearing three bands at one time, it is now possible to buy these as part of a set, so that they all fit together seamlessly on the ring finger.
France and Russia
In France and Russia, the majority of wedding bands have three different coloured bands which interweave.
Romania has a beautiful tradition which comes into play on the 25th wedding anniversary. On this anniversary, a married couple will give each other a silver wedding band which will be worn alongside their gold band. This is not only a great way to celebrate a wedding anniversary, but it also shows the world that the couple has been truly committed to each other for a staggering amount of time.
In Ireland, the wedding band is called a Claddagh. This is a uniquely Irish ring that can also be gifted as an engagement ring, or even just to symbolise a friendship. The Claddagh is worn on different fingers, and in different positions to symbolise whether it is being worn for friendship, engagement, or marriage. It was first created in the 17th century, and there are many legends surrounding its protective powers and mysterious origins.
Native American Tribes
Native American tribes generally wear bands that symbolise their tribe in some way. They are often made from materials that are relevant to their culture, and also contain symbols that contain powerful cultural messages. Contrary to what you may believe, most Native American rings are made from silver, and contain an array of different gemstones, or natural materials, such as shells.
Countries in Asia and the Far East love to have wedding bands made out of yellow gold. Usually, this is related to religion, but in countries like India, yellow gold is associated with beauty and attractiveness. According to most Asian traditions, the more gold a bride is gifted, the happier she will be. The gold content is also important, with most traditionalists believing the higher carat level, the longer lasting the marriage will be.
Wedding bands are designed to be a symbol of your love and long lasting commitment to your partner. But as you can see from this list, they are different in design around the world. At the end of the day, you just need to choose a design that you like, and that you are happy with. It is a symbolic piece of jewellery after all.