Different cultures have different ways of representing the exchange of vows between the bride and the groom who are tying the knot. Some cultures have them exchanging flower garlands as they promise to be with each other through thick and thin, till death do them part. However, in most western cultures, the exchange of rings, usually gold or silver, has existed for ages. Let us look a little deeper into the history of how men's bands came to become an integral part of weddings. Before that though, let us start with bridal rings.
Tracing back to the roots
Traditionally, women have worn jewelry as an accessory. If we look at the Egyptian tombs, we find gorgeous jewelry items accompanying the mummified remains of the pharaohs and their queens. It tells us that accessorizing with jewelry is not a new custom at all and that it was common even in ancient Egypt. Many people today perceive jewels as a symbol of vanity, but back in medieval ages, they held a spiritual significance, and people believed some ornaments could ward off evil spirits. Gold, silver and platinum jewelry is widely available today, but back in those days, people used a variety of metals and materials to craft their ornaments, and we see evidence of that in African jewelry that used the shells of snails and ostrich eggs as the primary component. Even the gold and silver that we just mentioned, apart from being attractive because of their dazzling shine, are also said to have specific connotations in certain cultures. Gold, for example, is associated with immortality and the life-giving properties of the sun, while silver symbolizes purity and the glistening moon.
Becoming part and parcel of weddings
Soon, cultures around the world adopted jewelry as part of accessorizing the bride on her special day. Women wore their best-looking jewelry on their wedding day, but they received the most significant piece from their husbands, and it was the wedding ring or band. This beautiful wedding ring symbolized the unbreakable bond that they promised to enter into that day, and it also displayed a woman's marital status. Aside from the wedding day, a man would also offer a ring to his beloved when asking her hand for marriage. This custom is in practice even today, and women wear this ring after accepting the proposal. However, how did the wedding band become a symbol of marriage for men?
We find the earliest examples of men's wedding bands in the first part of the twentieth century. During the first world war, the soldiers would be away from their loved ones for extended periods, and their wives or significant others would offer them rings as a token of love and remembrance. This idea soon caught up with civilians as well, and men took to wearing a ring on their finger not just to proclaim to the world that they were married, but also to have something to remember their wives by when they were not together.
Wearing it the right way
There are several theories about which finger men should wear their wedding band. Some people believe that the right hand is appropriate as we keep it on our chest and over our heart when taking a vow or an oath. However, people who prefer to wear the wedding ring on their left hand's ring finger have a more scientific reason. A certain vein called "vena amoris" supposedly runs from the ring finger to the heart, which is why some people prefer to use that finger for wearing the wedding ring. Another theory says that a majority of people are right-handed, so any strenuous physical activity requiring manual labor would usually have the right-hand leading, and that could damage the ring. Therefore, the left hand is safer for a wedding ring.
According to the experts at https://www.mensweddingbands.com, men's band is not as uncommon today as it was in earlier times, but there is still a world of difference between a woman's ring and a man's band. Bridal rings are usually carved intricately and often set with diamonds or other precious stones. A man's band, on the other hand, would most likely be a traditional metal band of gold or silver. The conventional thinking behind this is that men need to do more physical work compared to women, and if the ring is too intricate or costly, it can get damaged, or dirt and grime can collect within the patterns and make the expensive jewelry dirty. One more reason behind the simple design of men's wedding ring is that men usually do not like flaunting jewelry.
Varied styles and designs
Times are changing now, and people do not frown upon men who indulge in things that seem vain. Today's men and women do not necessarily go by strict gender roles, and men are now taking part in responsibilities that are traditionally a "woman's job." Such tasks may include looking after children, cooking and taking care of the family. Similarly, fashion has become a lot more unisex; men have started wearing more colorful clothes and accessorizing with chains, earrings, bracelets, and rings. Again, in the matter of wedding rings, men have started going for attractive designs and patterns, instead of the plain bands of yesteryear. Aside from the various styles, we can also spot numerous choices when it comes to material. Apart from the usual precious metals like gold, silver or platinum, you can choose from alternatives such as a meteorite, dinosaur bone, antlers and KOA wood.
The selection of the band depends on many factors including the groom's style and preference. Though the available variety offers infinite choices, it can also make the buying process difficult. If your big day is fast approaching, and you have not yet bought your ring, you should try the online stores. However, make sure that you carry out ample research before buying making the purchase.