What is the history of the wedding band?
The culture and tradition of marriage has undergone a tremendous change over the last centuries. And all through this evolution, the conventional wedding band has remained the same. It is an age old custom that has experienced transformations in appearance yet sustained its eternal connotations in the heart of couples. Wedding rings symbolise the eternity of a union between two hearts. A well-accepted tradition around the world depicting the sentiment of love, wedding rings have grown to become a billion dollar contributor in the wedding industry.
An Egyptian Connection
Though a contemporary fashion trend for its diversity of designs, wedding bands boast of a rich past dating back to the Egyptian period. However, the use of wedding rings supposedly precedes any written record. The Egyptians believed the circle as a holy insignia of infinity. To them, the nuptial journey of togetherness and devotion continued beyond the mortal frontiers, making the marriage sustain through eternity. The social class and status of the families involved determined the components of the ring which varied from precious metals to braided hemps.
The Roman Treaty
The ancient Romans continued this practice where the exchange of wedding bands signified an agreement between the two parties. It is assumed that Romans pioneered the concept of wearing both the wedding and engagement rings on the fourth finger of left hand. On the belief of the fourth finger being directly connected to heart via a certain vena amoris nerve, planting a ring on that crucial finger sealed the deal for life making an emotional association between the twin souls. The Roman epoch saw a rise in use of different metals as components of wedding bands. Metals such as silver, iron, and copper were frequently used with gold becoming the ultimate material of fascination.
Ancient Irish notion held that any metal apart from gold brought bad luck. The superstition reached an extent in some areas where couples were prohibited to get married in absence of a gold ring. A couple with limited means had the option of renting or borrowing during the ceremony which was later returned!
New World Notions
Though the tradition of wedding bands was discontinued throughout the Puritan timeline, the New World reintroduced the trend as a merry tradition.
Irrespective of differences of opinion, the concept of the wedding band enjoys immense popularity even in this confused time when the institution of marriage is enduring ceaseless struggles to retain its relevance.