Engagement ring

Wearing Engagement and Wedding Rings in Public?

Woman wearing white gold engagement ring and wedding ring

Believe it or not, there are fairly large discussions and debates about wearing your engagement and wedding rings in public. One of the places where people seem hesitant to wear their rings is in the gym. But why? Below, we have compiled a list of some common questions, and answers, about wearing engagement and wedding rings in public. There may be some things you didn't know about wedding/engagement ring etiquette!

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Why Do you Wear Your Wedding Ring in Public?

First, ask yourself: why do you wear your engagement or wedding ring(s) in public? Is it because it is lovely, and you feel that it is the perfect accessory to everything you wear? Is it so you can show the world that you made a commitment to someone?

There is actually no single reason why people choose to wear their rings. However, some people’s decision to wear theirs is based on what others think. People really do make assumptions about your relationship status based on your ring, or lack thereof. Others simply wear theirs because of their pride in their partner and/or spouse.

There are many other reasons why people choose to wear their engagement and/or wedding rings in public. Have you thought about why you do or plan to?

Why Do People Say Not to Wear Rings in Public?

Why exactly do people say not to wear your engagement/wedding ring(s) in public? The answers to this question often vary greatly, but in some cases, they make valid points!

For example, many people all over the world are guilty of taking their rings off commonly when:

  • Handling greasy or otherwise messy food.

  • Washing their dishes or hands. We have heard many stories of a ring going down the drain. Better to take off your ring(s) so you can prevent losing anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars, to a couple of thousand, right down the drain.

  • Swimming. Cold water can make your fingers shrink so your hand jewelry has a higher chance of coming off. Also chlorine in pools can damage your ring setting.

  • Gardening. For this activity we recommend wearing rubber gloves over your jewelry. However, to err on the safe side, you're better off storing away your jewelry temporarily.

There are other reasons why people might opt to not wear their rings in public. For instance:

  • Some people have jobs that make wearing any kind of jewelry unsafe or impractical. This includes those who have active lifestyles or frequently go to the gym. Or, sometimes, people can simply forget to put on their rings when they get up in the morning, or after putting on beauty products.

Woman in namaste pose with engagement ring on: wearing engagement ring in public

No matter the reason one may not choose to wear a ring or wedding band, in public, remember one important thing: cheating is most definitely not the only reason for that decision!

Is it Ok to Not Wear a Wedding Ring?

Generally speaking, yes, it is perfectly ok to not wear an engagement ring, a wedding ring, or a wedding ring set. Few people think twice if they are talking to someone and find out the person is married, even though they are not sporting a ring. The idea that every married person not wearing a ring is up to no good is outdated (though we want to remind you of the point we made earlier…people in public usually assume you are not married if you are not wearing your ring).

The decision to not wear a wedding ring should be discussed with your partner. In the end, the only people’s opinions who matter on this particular subject are yours and your loved one.

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In What Order Do You Wear Your Engagement and Wedding Rings?

This seems like something of a random question. However, did you know some people (this applies often to women, who usually get both an engagement ring and a wedding band) dislike wearing their engagement ring and wedding band sets in public. This is simply because they do not know which one of them goes on the ring finger first? (And, yes, there is a more common way to wear them!)

Just as with whether you decide to wear your ring at all, how you wish to wear your rings is up to you. The fact is, on your wedding day, the wedding band is slipped on in front of the engagement ring, which is often already on the left ring finger. Some people choose to keep the rings positioned thusly.

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Tradition: How to wear your engagement ring and wedding ring

The old tradition is that, after the wedding, the wedding band is put on first, and the engagement ring is put on atop it. Rumor has it that the reason for this positioning is so the wedding band, which is the symbol of your eternal commitment, is closest to your heart. You can see a photo reference down below.

woman's hand holding metro handle wearing engagement ring: wearing engagement and wedding ring in public

Again, however, the decision is up to you. And, there is nothing wrong with completely replacing your engagement ring with your wedding band, or with wearing your engagement ring on your right ring finger after you are married!