Post # 1
- Wedding: November 2017 - Central Park
Hello! I hope everyone is doing well!
I want to talk about engagement and wedding ring customs and culture! My husband and I are both American, but we live in Poland. As most of you know, American rings are worn on the left hand and tend to have a large carat weight and lots of finger coverage, so that’s what I have. I tend to like antique styles with colored stones, so my rings reflect that. In Poland, rings are worn on the right hand and tend to be a small diamond solitaire (around 0.10-0.20 carats). I am always asked why I don’t wear a wedding ring or engagement ring because I don’t wear a ring on my right hand. Men also assume I’m single when I go out (pre-covid, obviously) so it’d be nice to wear a ring on the “correct” finger. Because we’re learning the language, live in a smaller area, and want to try to assimilate a little, I decided I want to have a set on my right hand that suits my tastes, but also looks like a Polish wedding set. So, I’ve decided to have an “American set” on my left hand and a “Polish set” on my right. I thought about just moving my new set to my right hand, but my little American heart misses have bling on my left hand. Having two sets that reflect the culture I grew up in and the culture I’m embracing in my new home feels like a great way to handle this. I just ordered my “Polish set” on Etsy and am super excited about it! I hope it comes in soon!
Some of you may have seen my new set on my left hand from my recent post. It’s an art nouveau 3.8 carat natural ruby in a bezel setting stacked with a swirly wedding band. I love the finger coverage and the stone size is fairly common in New York, where we’re from.
My new set is from Poland and Ukraine because I wanted a set from this region. The wedding band is a bubble-shaped band with a rose engraving:
The engagement-style ring is a 0.10 carat black diamond (the picture shows a white diamond, but you get the idea) with an art deco filligree style band:
I think it’ll be really cool to represent both cultures and tastes with my wedding sets! Do any of you live in a place that has different wedding ring styles or customs from where you grew up? Do you choose a style you’re familiar with or do you branch out and choose a new style that reflects where you live? Do you wear rings on one finger or both? I think this is so interesting, so I’d love to hear stories and see rings pictures!
Post # 3
I do not, but I love all of your rings, and that you’re wearing a set for each culture 🙂
Post # 3
I don’t have a fun story, but I love this! What brought you to Poland? This is so cool!
Post # 4
hmmm, i tried to post but the bee keeps deleting my post (or i cant see it) but Im also excited to see and hear about different bee traditions!
Post # 5
I live In a European country where the engagement ring is worn on the left but the wedding band is plain gold worn on the right hand.
what I did was I have my “American hand” my engagement ring (which at 0,66 ct is huge compared to most) with my matching band and a plain rose gold band on the right hand. That way I identify as married in the culture I live in but I still have the set I always wanted
Post # 6
My parents grew up and got married in Ukraine. They live in the US now. My dad moved his wedding ring over to his left hand when they came to the US. My mom still wears hers on her right hand. They both replaced their rings for their 25th anniversary (because my dad’s broke in half and my mom’s was too tight and stuck on her finger). They still both have just simple (wide-ish) gold bands. But my mom’s has a small line of diamonds. No engagement ring for my mom.
I think because my mom’s ring is just a band and it’s a wide, stand alone ring, it’s still clear that she is married. Even if she wears her ring on her right hand.
Post # 7
What an interesting thread! I loved learning about differnt ring customs prior to getting engaged and would also love to hear more from actual bees than a news article! I live in the US (and in California) so we opted for the typical blingy e-ring. However, all my family is from Asia, and from what I’ve seen from them (may not be 100% representative of the whole):
Japan: custom or matching wedding/ering bands with small (0.25ct) diamonds. one cousin got my cousin got a sakura cut diamond almost identical to this one –
Taiwan: younger couples may do a small gemstone ring but traditional engagement you have an official ceremony with both sides of the family present and exchange expensive gifts of cash, gold jewelry and jade.
Korean: not sure about engagement but they have a custom of ‘couple rings’ where you get matching rings to show you are boyfriend/girlfriend.
Post # 8
here’s the picture that was missing from the japan portion
Post # 9
beautiful sets and I love that they represent both of your worlds.
My story isn’t like yours but it kind of fits your brief. I live in Australia and was born here but both of my parents were born in Italy. As a result my family visit Italy often. My dad comes from a very small town in the south of Italy that seems to grow very insular people who are lovely but slightly ignorant of the fact that a whole world with different customs to theirs exist outside the walls of their town. My mum has a typical set by way of engagement and wedding ring that fits with the norms in Australia. My sisters and myself do too. Our rings are all basically white gold and diamond sets. Nothing huge or very eye catching for over here. In my Dad’s home town we have all gotten scolded at by several different people, on different occasions, on different trips, telling us that wedding rings must be yellow gold and white gold is wrong!! We all laugh about it because it wasn’t just the same person saying it to us, it was several different people. over several trips, over several years. Some of the people telling us that, we barely even knew! They just don’t seem to understand that we are Australian in the way we do things despite our strong ties to our heritage but I guess its nice to know they consider us enough like them to scold us for not obeying customs!
Post # 10
I love this thread! I was really searching for information on other cultural traditions when my fiancé and I were looking at rings. I’m American and he is Swiss and we live in Spain. I’m pretty sure all three countries do traditionally wear wedding rings on the left, but you really don’t see engagement rings much at all on local women and definitely not with the American style and size. It also isn’t very traditional in Switzerland either apparently, but some people do have them (according to him). So we went for a style that was still traditional to me (diamond and white gold), but was a little more restrained so I feel comfortable wearing it in both Europe and the US. I hadn’t even considered we would end up taking so much into account when getting engaged! 😂
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2021 - Boulder, Colorado
All of those rings are so beautiful! I’m glad that you found a way to honour all cultures. I’m multicultural so this is a pretty big factor for us, though everyone wears their ring on their left hand. I live in the US, where people tend to like their rings unique and stones bigger. People from my background cultures (England, East Asia, Southeast Asia) usually have quite plain rings with much smaller stones like what you described. Anything beyond 1ct is very, very rare.
I fell in love with 2ct ovals when I was looking at rings and worried about sticking out too much but fiancé told me to pick mine based on what I like instead of what I think other people will think, so we are going with the large oval. We’ll always feel a little out of place anyway since we’re from multiple cultures.
We do think about getting a much subtler ring for various situations (cultural, safety, practicality) so we might end up with a second ring with a stone that is a half carat or smaller. 🙂
Post # 12
Interesting topic. I am from a Slavic family that migrated to Australia. In our culture wedding rings are worn on the right hand, but everyone here in Australia wears them on the left. My parents wore their rings on the left, I think.
Personally I would prefer to wear a ring on the right hand because I am left-handed and I think the ring would get a lot more damaged if I wore it on the left.
It’s interesting what a PP said about white metals being criticised in some countries. My family also hates white gold because it looks like silver, which they consider to be cheap junk. I actually didn’t buy any white metals until this year because my whole life all I’ve heard is how you should always buy yellow gold because it’s the most valuable and looks the most expensive. (Obviously my family doesn’t know about platinum!)
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2021 - Australia
this is so pretty, and I’ve so enjoyed hearing about what other cultures do!
Post # 14
I am from Germany and my fiancé is from Syria and we are living in the US (he has been here four years, I only came 3 months ago). So, we are dealing with three cultures and all have different ring traditions, so we went with the American way because we are here right now.
In Germany when someone is engaged they wear the engagement ring (often a plain band that later becomes the wedding band) on the left hand. With the wedding the ring gets switched to the right hand. Men and women wear engagement rings. Wedding rings are often just a plain yellow gold band, some women might have very small diamonds in it. That’s the traditional way, however things are changing and I’ve seen other engagement rings. But to wear two rings (or more) on one finger like in the States is very uncommon.
In Syria the engagement ring is worn on the right hand, the wedding ring on the left hand. Women wear always yellow gold. Men (at least in islamic tradtion) only wear silver. Diamonds or other stones are not common.
We are followong American tradition right now, for a number of reasons. I am wearing my solitaire with a yellow gold band on the left hand and will add a plain wedding band when we get married. Syrian friends have asked why I wear my engagement ring on the “wrong” hand. I don’t know if Germans will ask me the same question once my wedding ring is on the “wrong” side. We choose a smaller diamond (3/4 carat), though honestly to me it feels absolutely giant (but we’ve only been engaged for a month, so I am still hoping I’ll get used to it and I also love it at the same time and wanted a solitaire) and I wish my fiance had gone smaller (I wanted smaller, he wanted bigger, so this one is where we met). Maybe when we live in Germany in the future I might feel uncomfortable wearing my diamond and only wear it on special occasions and in normal life only the plain wedding band. That’s why it was super important for me to get a wedding ring that I also like wearing on its own. Actually, we just ordered the rings from James Allen and I really really really hope I’ll like it. I am bit nervous because there’s been quite some drama around my engagement ring.
I’ve lived cross culturally for over 10 years, so in many ways I am used to all the confusion that brings about (and the joy!!) but with planning a cross cultural wedding, sometimes I wish it were easier and less confusing.
@CAgredo: I love your solution to your “problem”.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey
Turkish bee here. Traditionally, engagement rings on the right hand and worn by both men and women. They move the rings to the left once they get married. Everyone has a wedding band which is pretty much almost always is a simple gold band. It can be wide like 8 mms.
Men and especially religious men usually do not wear gold bands, but they have one sitting at home. Men usually opt for silver or platinum for daily use.
Diamonds were not very popular until recently. But especially in the last 10 years, ads encouraged people to get one and nowadays almost all the brides have at least a small diamond.
One last point is, in Turkey when men propose and the woman says yes, it’s not considered as engagement. Once both families get together, a gold ring exchange happens in an engagement ceremony. That one is official.