Is There a Right Way to Wear Your Wedding and Engagement Rings?

We’ll help you decide how to stack your new bands.
by Maggie Seaver

Confession: We pretty much always have rings on the brain. But there’s more to it than ogling over carat sizes and stone shapes. The giving, receiving and wearing of both engagement and wedding rings is steeped in tradition and personal meaning. And now that you’ve started thinking about which way to stack your own bands, you might be wondering, is there a right way to wear them? The short answer is, it’s completely up to you.

Maybe you’ve always seen your mom’s ring finger with her wedding ring on the inside (or on the bottom)—but then you see stars like Emily Ratajkowski wearing her gorgeous sparkler on the inside. Is there a difference? Does it mean something in particular?

Even though tons of people wear their engagement ring on the outside, or on top, you might like the idea of turning that tradition on its head—not just to be a trailblazer, but because doing so has its own symbolism for you. Or it could be as simple as the fact that the shape, size and style of your rings work better worn one way versus another. Play around with both ideas—or a completely different one—to come up with your ideal ring order.

Here’s a little symbolism behind both stacking orders.

Wedding Ring First, Engagement Ring on Top

Perhaps the most common way to wear them, this tradition stems all the way back to an idea from the Ancient Egyptians, who believed we had a vein leading directly from the left ring finger to the heart. By wearing your wedding ring on the inside you guarantee it’s as close to your heart as possible. If you go this route, remove your engagement ring before the ceremony so you don’t have to deal with potentially losing it or awkwardly fumbling with it at the altar. Wear it on your right hand or keep it in a very safe place. Once you’ve said “I do,” you can slip your sparkler back on for the reception or wait a little bit to admire your new band on its own.

Engagement Ring First, Wedding Ring on Top

Another popular choice is to wear them other way around. Logically it might make sense to wear your rings in the order you received them (even though Ratajkowski got her engagement ring second and still wears them in this order). Symbolically, the idea that your engagement represents a promise and your wedding ring crystallizes that promise might really speak to you. Wearing your wedding ring on the outside gives your engagement story a sort of figurative bookend—first, you’re engaged, now it’s official. Time to start stacking with anniversary rings (wink!).

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